Friday, 4 January 2013

My current fave foundation (and it's a shocker!)

Hi everybody!

My search for a HG foundation has been going on for years now, and often I find myself liking a foundation for 2 months and then despising it soon thereafter. I've tried high end and drugstore and to be honest, I generally favour the former. But last September, something crazy happened to me, I was seduced by a machine and a generous sample, it was pretty much love at first sight even though part of me was loathe to admit it, and now that four full months of using this foundation have elapsed and it's still my go-to foundation, I feel like it is time to share with the world my current favourite foundation. 


No 7 Instant Radiance Foundation in 'Cool Vanilla'

I honestly thought I would never see the day when I would rate a No 7 foundation so highly when my overall opinion of the brand was pretty darn poor if I am being honest. For years, I have just felt like it was old fashioned and boring, with little to ever entice me, and I only ever purchased something in a moment of weakness when armed with one of those €7.50 vouchers that Boots hand out frequently. I usually picked up wipes and cleansers, the odd mascara (Lash Adapt- not a fan!), lipstick or nail polish, but nothing substantial, and certainly not a foundation. 

I am ridiculously fussy when it comes to foundations. I like good but not too much coverage and I have very schizophrenic skin that is oily in parts and can be dry as a desert the next day. I don't like the cakey look, and I find colour matching to be the ultimate pain in my side because I am so pale and fair that it takes very little to make me look like I have been tangoed or am suffering from liver failure. I don't often praise foundations, and I very rarely find a foundation that I am happy using for daytime and nighttime use. 

So, with everything militating against me idolworshipping a No 7 foundation, I really did not expect to be seduced by a piece of technology and a huge free sample, but honestly I have not looked back since. I  primarily called into Boots that day because I wanted to experience this new gizmo they had been advertising, the Foundation Match Made Service.  Basically, the lovely lady in Boots in Dundrum (cannot remember her name!) took off a dot of makeup on one side of my face, pressed a gizmo and took something in the region of 200 photos in a matter of seconds and deduced that the colour that would suit me best is Cool Vanilla. I was skeptical at first because I would have been almost certain that I would be matched with the palest shade but Cool Vanilla is actually the second fairest colour. The No 7 assistant tried that foundation asked me what kind of coverage I would like, and I said something in the middle, not cakey but something lighter and more light reflecting for the winter months, and she recommended the Instant Radiance line. She applied some on my face but she really won me over by giving me a massive sample pot to take away with me and try at home. I u sed up all of that sample- there was literally ten days worth of foundation, and I completely fell for it, so I went and purchased it for a mere €17.45 I think and I also used a €4 voucher which they give out from time to time. I'm on my third bottle currently but I have used this foundation every single day since I got it, bar a few days where I tried out my newer Make Up For Ever, Bourjois, MAC and Rimmel foundations- none of which made the same impact.

The Boots website claims that the No 7 Instant Radiance Foundation is a unique energising complex with vitamins C and E to help protect and revitalise dull-looking skin. I usually don't fully believe such blurb but I can stay behind this, I really do feel that this makes me look more radiant, especially on these cold, dark winter mornings when, let's face it. we need as much help (and as many vitamins) as we can get.

So why exactly do I love it so much? I don't know where to begin or what words to use. The consistency is quite watery, and you may be deceived into thinking the coverage is not that great. I use three pumps of this and a flat top kabuki from Blank Canvas Cosmetics to apply this and it applies like a dream. Funnily enough, I do feel instantly radiant- I wouldn't say it's dewy but there is enough dew to keep me happy, and it really just makes me feel brighter and perkier. I think the coverage is really excellent, I feel it gives a great base to work on but doesn't make your face feel flat in the way some other foundations have. I sometimes use a setting powder over this (either MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Light, Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent or Catrice Prime and Fine Powder) and this foundation reacts remarkably well to it. It does not go cakey in the slightest, not even remotely. My skin is combination- my nose can be quite oily but I am also prone to dry patches and this foundation just works with my skin so well, it doesn't cling to dry patches or flake.

(Blob squirted on back of my hand- looks quite watery but do not be deceived!)
 (Again even with a heavy swatch you can see that it still looks quite fine and thin...)
 (But blended out, it gives a lovely finish, not greasy or thin but not cakey)

As for the packaging, you get 30 mls of product for the price which is pretty much par for the course with most foundations, and I do think it is good value. I have repurchased this twice already and have a back up stored just in case. The bottle comes with a pump which is very handy and even though the packaging is not the most glamorous as it is a plastic bottle, I think it is perfectly adequate. You can clearly see how much product you have left because as you use it, the bottom of the inner packaging is sucked up further and further. This is probably my favourite feature in relation to this packaging- unlike my Bobbi Brown, MAC and other foundations in glass bottles, it is perfectly easy to extract every last drop of this foundation out.

I have to admit, I do consider myself to be a foundation snob, and I am crazy fussy and critical of foundations more so than any other cosmetic component because I think so highly of foundation- I very rarely skip foundation, I always put foundation on before any other make up, I just feel like it's setting up a canvas for everything else. On a lasting power note, this lasts the whole day on me and doesn't crack or vanish in one part. I've never needed to use a primer with this either and it worked equally well in the hot September/early October months as it did through cold November and wet December.

This was a find, and I am so glad that I took off my foundation snob hat for long enough to find a great foundation. I'll continue to use this for now but I will probably continue my quest to find a dream foundation, but for now, I couldn't ask more of this offering from No 7. 

 Has anybody else tried this and fallen in love with it also? Or would anybody else never have thought of trying this because they don't have much time for No 7 as a brand? 

If you are interested in trying this out, pretty sure Boots are running a no 7 voucher spree again at the moment (€6.50 off skincare, €4 off cosmetics) so seems like a great opportunity to get face matched and try it out :) If you do, let me know how you get on!

Thanks for reading xxx



  1. Loved this post, Im the exact same with foundation and would generally think of No7 the same way you did. I decided in January that I was no longer happy with the 2 foundations I mix (both drugstore). They used to work amazingly but I think my skin has changed a lot over the last few months so been looking and testing a couple of new ones. Will be picking this up too :) thanks!

    Ellie xo
    MisseBlog | MisseDesign

    1. Can't wait to hear how you get on with it when you try it! Think you will be pleasantly surprised too! :) x

  2. I LOVE the Stay Perfect from No7 (and never thought I would), I might try this next! I think their shade range is a big part of why I love it, much better selection than MAC or Lancome x

    1. I definitely think it is worth a try! I must actually pick up the Stay Perfect foundation in the same colour because I have heard many good things about it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained :) xx

  3. I bought this the other day and LOVE it. I too am a foundation snob, Chanel and Dior being my favourites. However, my skin has changed so that the Chanel had begun to look cakey. Couldn't justify the price of the Dior. Went into Boots for Calpol, got a €4 off voucher and decided to get a cheap foundation. Asked the very helpful assistant what she would recommend - I like to look as though I'm not wearing anything. She said This is what I am wearing. Bought it, thinking This will do for now. I am so pleased with it! I can't believe how natural and fresh it looks, even at the end of the evening. Delighted!


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