The official blurb -
Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.
Firstly BB creams stand for Blemish Balm not Beauty Balm as they were originally created to be worn by ladies whod had skin peels and treatments. It was a makeup that would help heal their skin and still give them something to wear makeup wise. It became a trend in Korea, when many of the young celebs there started wearing them. Beauty brands caught on and started making ones related to different skin issues, like spots, dry skin, mature skin and so forth.
Its true, the UK doesnt have any brands that sell bb creams, it's a shame, as the hardest thing about choosing a bb cream is knowing what colour and formula will work.
When i have bought them online, ive searched through various blogs to show swatches of the colours. I used to use a pale shade by Etude House, but even then it was ever so slightly too dark for me. Once blended it was ok. It was excellent, though, for my oily skin as it contained ingredients that healed blemished skin.
Of course the colour problem is because they are mainly made for asian skintones. But, some companies have realised that western people are starting to like bb creams and are making paler shades.
Missha is a brand i've found that does a colour that matches my skin almost perfectly. Shade 13. This brand has probably the palest colour ive found in a bb cream.
They do that shade in two formulas -
Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++
Signature Real Complete BB Cream SPF 25 PA++
Now to compare, Illamasqua's Skin Base foundation comes in a very pale shade for cool pink tones called shade 02. They also do a white shade 01 which actually is more useful than you'd think. Its can be used for highlighting areas, where you dont want sheen, but do want to highlight areas like the top of cheekbones, above the cupid's bow and along the nose. of course it can also be used to blend out any of their other shades to make a completely custom shade.
Click below for review and swatches
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation - £25 per 10ml
Missha Perfect Cover BB cream $15 per 15mls ( although you can find it cheaper online, just buy from a reputable seller as they are fakes sold)
The links below are for the US site, as its in english.
Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream $32 for 45g (dont know why theyve used grams over mls here) You can also get a smaller tube for around $15.
Good sites for the bb creams are -
Now Illamasqua say they didnt include an SPF in the Skin Base because they wanted customers to be able to choose the level of protection they wanted on their skin and that SPF protection can often wash out on camera. This doesnt bother me as i always use a natural sun protection via my mineral foundations, and my moisturiser also have good SPF too.
They also removed the brightening aspects of many bb creams. Now ive not used any bb creams that say they whiten skin, but i have used ones that say they brighten due to the herbs and vitamins in them and they are lovely, keeping my freckles at bay!
OK ...if you managed to read all that here are photos of the 3 i used to compare -
1 - Applied onto face (ive 'blobbed' more than i normally would so you can see the colours of the products)
2 - Slightly blended -You can see that Illamasqua's one (near my jaw) is slightly paler than my own skin, the other two have disappeared into my skin tone as they match so well. None of the products have oxidised, which is great.
3 - Blended and buffed..
The Illamasqua blended into my skin, and did give good coverage, but i can feel it on my skin ( one of the reasons i really like bb creams).
I found applying it with my fingers, the same way as bb creams works far better than applying it with a brush as recommended. Applying it the brush way, i could feel it on my skin, no matter how much i buffed it.
The 2 Missha bb creams match my skin tone really well, but aren't as covering as the Illamasqua, The Signature Real Complete though, feels fantastic on my skin and is a great base to put mineral foundation or finishing powder onto.
Here are two examples of Skin Base used on my skin. The first applying the foundation as recommended, using a brush and buffing the product on. The second photo shows it applied using clean fingers and patted, then buffed.
Both looks have had a mineral foundation buffed on top as i prefer a matt look to my skin.
Pros - MANY shades from white to very dark skin colour, Some characteristics of bb creams, blends into skin quite well (when applied using clean fingers, rather than a brush, at least that's what i found) makes skin look flawless on camera.
Cons - Contains Mineral oil (6th ingredient so quite a bit of the product is that) which id expect a higher end cosmetic to not have. Needs to be used sparingly on the skin and built up slowly for full coverage, so not a quick application, unless you dont follow MUA advice and use your fingers!
Sooo , would i still buy Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation?
Yes, i think i would. Because its better than a normal foundation and does have some of the characteristics of bb creams, like some good ingredients and easy blending when using fingers. It does give a good coverage, and would work well when you need total cover. (like in photoshoots and when costuming...or Nights out for example)
But, it hasn't toppled my favourite bb cream, which is far better for day to day makeup.