The various adverts and Il Makiage foundation reviews we’ve been shown on the likes of Instagram and Facebook all describe the makeup “melting into the skin.” The coverage then looks flawless and promises to last all day.
The majority, but not all, of this is accurate. Firstly, we didn’t get our exact skin tone match on the first go but, thanks to the Il Makiage returns policy, we could simply just swap it for the correct shade and now we’re very happy with the result.
The foundation goes on well. We wouldn’t describe it as melting into the skin – in fact, it dries quite fast so you need to be quick and use a bit of force to get it to blend well. Once blended, however, the coverage is great and the overall finish looks matte yet dewy. A difficult combination to get right.
Due to the amount of oil in this foundation, it will slide off the skin easily. Particularly if you are an oily skin type like us. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy this foundation, but we recommend using a powder. And you’ll definitely need to use a setting spray to keep it looking its best.
By removing the hassle of finding your perfect foundation match, Il Makiage allows you to focus on the formula and the finish and we’re fans of both. This foundation is not perfect, but it’s not a bad choice either.
|Il Makiage UK||£39|
In our Il Makiage foundation review, we discover whether the viral beauty product is worth the money – and if you really can get a perfect foundation match from the brand
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How we tested Il Makiage foundation
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Il Makiage foundation Review: Verdict
Il Makiage Formula: What’s inside the foundation?
If you’re a regular Instagram or TikTok user, chances are you’ve seen many, many adverts and Il Makiage foundation reviews.
It starts with a woman applying a thick, poor shade of foundation to her face before applying the Il Makiage Woke Up Like This foundation, which appears to melt into the skin and match her tone perfectly.
It’s almost too good to be true, right?
Well to find out, once and for all, we decided to put it to the test.
Read on to find out if the Woke Up Like This foundation is really worth the hype, how you can try the foundation before you buy, and where to get it Il Makiage in the UK in our Il Makiage foundation review.
We also put the Il Makiage Power Quiz to the test to see how accurately it matched our foundation shade, and we delve into the ingredients to determine what its formula is like and which skin types it will suit best.
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As you can read in our Il Makiage UK guide, the brand was founded by the brother-sister duo and entrepreneurs Oran Holtzman and Shiran Holtzman-Erel.
The first Il Makiage products went on sale in June 2018 and the brand describes itself as selling “inclusive makeup without compromise.”
In that time, Il Makiage has garnered a cult following. It was one of the first brands to properly, and successfully, harness the nature of influences and digital growth to sell its products.
Its Woke Up Like This foundation has been reviewed more than 90,000 times (and counting) which makes it the single most-reviewed beauty product online in the US.
The brand is also unique in that it offers a Try Before You Buy service across all of its bestselling products. Under this scheme, you get 60 days to try any Il Makiage foundation and concealer and if you don’t like them, or the shade isn’t right, then you can send them back and swap them for a different shade.
This is rare for any beauty brand to do this, let alone one that sells foundations.
FURTHER READING: Foundation samples UK: How to get free foundation samples online
Before we delve into our Il Makiage foundation review, we wanted to let you know about its shade range, price, and Try Before You Buy options.
What is the Il Makiage foundation? Il Makiage promises that the Woke Up Like This foundation “smooths and evens the skin with an advanced, innovative formula that instantly minimises the appearance of shadows and pores, effortlessly enhances the complexion, and generates a flawless natural matte finish.” It contains powders that help to blur fine lines, and redness while giving a streak-free finish.
Il Makiage foundation price: £39 (30ml); you can also buy it on a subscription for £35.10 every four months.
Who should use Il Makiage foundation? Suitable for all skin types but is particularly good for mature skin because it contains antioxidants and skin-plumping ingredients.
Il Makiage foundation alternatives: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer (£29); NYX Bare With Me Skin Tint Foundation (£9.99)
Il Makiage foundation shades: The Woke Up Like This foundation is available in 50 shades and has been designed to suit all skin tones. Within this range are shades of light, medium, tan, and deep tones as well as the choice of four undertones: neutral, pink, yellow, and olive.
Il Makiage foundation return period: You have up to 60 days to try the Il Makiage foundation. If you’re not happy with the shade, Il Makiage will let you exchange it. If you don’t like the foundation at all, Il Makiage lets you return it. Even if it’s been opened, and even if it’s empty! You can find out more about its return policies here.
Where to buy the Il Makiage foundation: Il Makiage UK
To get the full Il Makiage experience for our Il Makiage foundation review, we didn’t call in freebies. We took the Il Makiage Power Match Quiz, and bought our recommended shade.
We then used the foundation as our base product for four weeks. We wear makeup three to four days a week and we wore this foundation to the gym, to work, on days out with our youngest, and for drinks with friends.
For the two weeks, we didn’t use a setting spray. For the second two weeks, we did.
@victoria_woolly_web Replying to @victoria_woolly_web This is the shade that the Powermatch Quiz recommended – once blended, it’s not far off… #ilmakiage #ilmakiagefoundation #fyp #fypシ #mamabella #foundationtest #NatWestWhatYouWaitingFor #foundations #foundation #skintest #foundationreview #makiage ♬ Fly Away – Wes Nelson
There are 50 Il Makiage foundation shades and they’re divided by skin tone and undertone.
The four main skin tones are Light, Medium, Tan and Deep however, Il Makiage offers shades in crossover tones, too, including:
Once you’ve selected your skin tone, you then choose your undertone:
If you’re not sure which tone(s) you are, you can read more about it in our guide on how to find your perfect foundation match online and in-store.
Instead of relying on a selfie, Il Makiage uses an algorithm to help you find your best foundation match via its PowerMatch Quiz. This online quiz is powered by Il Makiage’s PowerMatch AI technology and the brand claims it is more than 90% accurate.
The quiz involves answering questions about your skin type – dry, oily, combination, and balanced – and whether you want light, medium, full coverage, or somewhere in between. You’re then asked about your preferred finish, from matte to luminous before the quiz takes you through to the shade-matching process.
After you’ve chosen from one of the seven skin tones shown in the image above, you’ll be asked to be a bit more precise before being asked how you prep your skin and what your skincare concerns are.
We took the quiz and were matched with Shade 60. The package arrived four days later and sadly, despite the brand’s claims, it wasn’t quite the right match.
As Il Makiage encouraged us to do, we took the quiz again, and this time we were matched with Shade 40. This was a much better match. Still, not 100% spot on, like the adverts suggest, but close enough.
If you already have a good shade match in a rival brand, we highly recommend using Findation. You can type in your current shade and the site will cross-reference it against the shades of other foundations. It’s not perfect as it doesn’t always have a match but it will often tell you – based on the shade you already use – what your skin tone and undertone is and this is a good place to start.
If you don’t want to take the PowerQuiz Match, you can go straight to the Il Makiage foundation product page and filter the shades by skin tone and undertone. For instance, we have Light skin but our skin tone moves between Neutral and Pink undertone, depending on the brand.
Given the fact we’re not entirely sure if we fall under neutral or pink we opted for a shade in the middle, which turned out to be shade 40.
It gave us a buildable medium-to-high coverage that was able to conceal our redness and create an even base. The image above shows our skin before makeup was applied (left). The image in the centre shows half and half – with the Il Makiage foundation only applied to the right-hand side; you can see that the shade match is decent. The image on the right is the finished look.
This was from a single pump of foundation applied with a flat foundation brush and then blended out with a damp beauty blender. Typically, high-coverage foundations tend to feel cakey on our skin but this foundation has a lightweight texture that gives a natural matte finish.
The Woke Up Like This foundation also helps even out the skin and minimises the appearance of pores to give a flawless streak-free look.
Elsewhere, this foundation contains Vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and is great for anti-ageing. It has our favourite ingredient hyaluronic acid to keep skin plump and hydrated. Plus, it protects the foundation from filling in your fine lines or wrinkles.
These benefits weren’t immediately noticeable upon first application, but as the day wore on it was clear that our makeup wasn’t creasing anywhere near as much as it normally does. Especially around our eyes and mouth. This was the case even without setting powder or setting spray, which is unheard of.
What’s more, the more we used the Il Makiage foundation, the plumper our skin looked and the softer it felt, even when we weren’t wearing it.
Since publishing our Il Makiage foundation review, we’ve embarked on a TikTok series in which we test dozens of foundations, skin tints, and CC creams on the hunt for the best foundation in the UK. As part of the test, we put the products onto the skin of oranges and strawberries, as well as on our skin. We know the idea of using fruit sounds a little odd but it’s because the skin of both of these fruits mimics our own skin!
By testing in this way, we can see how the Il Makiage foundation performs on our skin type, but also give an idea of how it performs generally. Without our skin type skewing the results.
@victoria_woolly_web PLS VOTE 🙏 I’d really love it if you all got to pick which foundation goes through to the next round and which is knocked out, in my foundation death match series in which i put two foundations against each other. This time it’s the NARS Light Reflecting foundation review against the Il Makiage foundation review #mamabella #foundationdeathmatch #bestfoundation #ilmakiagefoundation #wokeuplikethis #narslightreflectingfoundation #vote @IL MAKIAGE @NARS Cosmetics #tiktokpoll ♬ New Rules (Remix) – Dua Lipa
In the TikTok video above you can see the coverage of the Il Makiage foundation before and after application. You can also see how well it stays put during the day, compared to the NARS Light Reflecting foundation.
This video is part of our wider Foundation Death Match series in which we pit foundations against each other in real-world, long-wear tests. For round four we put the Il Makiage foundation against the previous round winner, NARS Light Reflecting. As you can see in the TikTok, the Il Makiage coverage is great, it lasts all day and when we asked our followers to choose a winner, they chose Il Makiage.
There are a couple of catches, however.
Our main criticism is that this foundation does contain quite a lot of oil. This means that the Il Makiage foundation won’t work well with water-based primers. It’s also best suited for people with dry skin. Find out more in our What skin type do I have? guide.
The pump is also a bit strong meaning we quite often dispensed much more product than we needed to, given its good coverage. This is a little galling when you spend this much on a foundation only to waste it.
FURTHER READING: We’ve reviewed and ranked the best Charlotte Tilbury foundations, the best MAC foundations, and the best No7 foundations
The various adverts and Il Makiage foundation reviews we’ve been shown on the likes of Instagram and Facebook all describe the makeup “melting into the skin.” The coverage then looks flawless and promises to last all day. The majority, but not all of this is accurate.
Firstly, we didn’t get our exact skin tone match on the first go but, thanks to the Il Makiage returns policy, we could simply just swap it for the correct shade and now we’re very happy with the result.
The foundation goes on well and blends evenly with a damp beauty blender. It has a tendency to streak a little when applied with a brush but this is easy to buff out with a blender or softer brush.
We wouldn’t describe the foundation as melting into the skin and it can dry quite quickly so we recommend blending or buffing straight after application. Once blended, however, the coverage is great and the overall finish looks matte yet dewy. A difficult combination.
Due to the amount of oil in this foundation, it can slide off the skin easily if it’s not set with powder or spray. However, as you can see in our TikTok Il Makiage foundation review, if the foundation is set effectively, the coverage and finish last all day. Even on oily, acne-prone skin like ours.
By removing the hassle of finding your perfect foundation match, Il Makiage allows you to focus on the formula and the finish and we’re fans of both. It’s not perfect, but it’s not far off.
The Il Makiage foundation is great but it doesn’t come cheap. If you want a similar finish without the high price tag we highly recommend the following Il Makiage alternatives.
Granted the Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation isn’t a *lot* cheaper than the Il Makiage Woke Up Like This but every little helps right? Plus, depending on where you buy it, the savings range from £5 up to £10 which can’t be sniffed at.
Like the Il Makiage foundation, Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting foundation offers buildable, full coverage that lasts a long time and isn’t too heavy on the skin. It’s particularly good at covering blemishes and balancing redness and skin tone in the same way the Woke Up Like This foundation does. It also has a tendency to cling to dry patches in the same way.
In Clinique’s favour, we find it easier to blend the Beyond Perfecting foundation compared to the Il Makiage rival because it doesn’t dry as quickly and feels lighter on the skin.
However, Clinique doesn’t offer as many shades as Il Makiage and while the applicator helps put the foundation directly on your skin, this does bring with it its own hygiene problems. Something that could cause problems if you have acne-prone skin.
The Il Makiage Woke Up Like This foundation is silicone-based. This means that its most prominent ingredients (after water) are silicones called Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethicone. Silicones form a thin barrier on the skin to leave it feeling smooth and to fill in pores and fine lines. This is what lends the Il Makiage foundation so well to mature skin.
To get the soft, velvet finish, Il Makiage then uses talc. It’s typically found in powder makeup because of its ability to mattify and soften and it performs a similar role here.
This foundation does contain alcohol, which can be drying on the skin and can cause problems for people with sensitivities and rosacea. It also contains perfume, which isn’t ideal for sensitive skin or people prone to breakouts. To counteract this, the formula also contains hyaluronic acid which attracts and retains moisture.
Speaking of breakouts, the majority of ingredients in the Il Makiage foundation have a zero comedogenic rating, apart from an emollient called Myristyl Lactate. This is shown to have a very high comedogenic rating (of 4 out of 5) which means that the chances of this ingredient clogging your pores are high.
In our Il Makiage foundation review period, we didn’t get any spots – and we have acne-prone skin. Plus, it’s the overall formulation that determines whether or not a product is comedogenic and a comedogenic rating typically depends on the amount of ingredient used. However, it is just worth noting.
The following ingredients list is taken from the INCI Decoder website.
Aqua/Water solv, Cyclopentasiloxane emo|solv, Dimethicone emo 0 1, Isododecane emo|solv, Talc abrasive/scrub 0 1, PEG-10 Dimethicone emu, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Octocrylene sunsc, Alcohol Denat amic|solv|vc, PEG-4 h|solv, Isononyl Isononanoate emo, Caprylyl Dimethicone Ethoxy Glucoside emu|surf, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Myristyl Lactate emo 2 4, Polysorbate 20 emu|surf 0 0, Sodium Chloride vc, Disteardimonium Hectorite vc, Cetyl Dimethicone emo, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer vc, Benzyl Alcohol pres|perf|solv|vc, Sodium Dehydroacetate pres, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Silica vc, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate vc 0 0, Tocopheryl Acetate aox 0 0, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide emo|h|vc, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disodium EDTA chel, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Sodium Hyaluronate sii|h 0 0, Phenoxyethanol pres, Parfum/Fragrance perf, Titanium Dioxide sunsc|colMay Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide) col 0 0, Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides) col 0 0, Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides) col 0 0, Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides) col 0 0, T-Butyl Alcohol perf|solv, Alcohol amic|solv|vc
Hover the mouse / tap over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget