Illuminate your stash with holy grails from Illuminare Cosmetics

Nothing makes me happier than exploring niche cosmetic lines and finding fabulous holy grails…except for the opportunity to share my finds with my fellow makeup aficionados.  I previously posted about the magical gel eyeliner by Illuminare here, and if you haven’t tried it out yet you really should – it’s different from anything else on the market, and it is one fantastic eyeliner for the waterline.  I actually started my Illuminare collection with the Extra Coverage Foundation/Concealer ($27) pictured above.  It has a thick, creamy consistency and you squeeze it out of the tube.  I like to squeeze a small amount on to a steel palette, then pat it on with my fingertips.  It can be used as a full coverage foundation or a concealer.  It’s the definition of full coverage, so I typically only use this as a concealer.  And boy does it conceal!!  If you have under-eye circles, even super dark ones, this will work for you.  I love how it covers completely without looking cakey or fake, and it doesn’t settle into my fine lines.  It’s also great for covering blemishes, you only need a tiny bit so it doesn’t clump up.  The key with this product, and all Illuminare foundations, is blending.  But I will get to that in minute.

I am also in love with the Ultimate All Day (Mattifying) Mineral Foundation ($27).  It’s a little thinner in consistency than the Extra Coverage Foundation.  However, it’s also very pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way.  This foundation gives a medium to full coverage, and while it’s mattifying, it still gives your skin a healthy looking glow.  it doesn’t settle into your pores, and it is one of the most natural looking foundations I have ever used.  It truly lasts all day, which is a bonus, and it’s great for even the most sensitive skins.

And here is the secret to a perfect finish with Illuminare foundation – and any foundation, for that matter.  This gem is the Fast Application Pad ($10).  It’s a cloth pad that reminds of very soft terry cloth.  This little puff gives you a fabulous, perfectly blended finish.  You can use it many ways, sometimes I apply my foundation using the pad, sometimes I apply with my fingers or a sponge, and then sweep the Fast Application Pad over my face.  It doesn’t soak up the foundation, it just blends it out and you are left with a truly flawless look.  I wash it by hand in the sink, and it holds up wonderfully.  It is machine washable, too.

I also tried the Ultimate All Day Blush ($18).  I have such a problem with blush, it fades on me so quickly it’s bizarre.  I am always looking for a blush that has true staying power.  Happily, Illuminares blush fits the bill!  This blush is a thick liquid in a squeeze tube.  I squeeze a little out on to my steel palette  – and I mean a little, because once again the product is highly pigmented – and then apply it with my Sonya Kashuk cream blush brush.   I sweep the Fast Application Pad over it, and it blends out perfectly.  The result is a ‘glow from within’ look that lasts and lasts, even for me.  It’s true love!

Pictured below are swatches – far left is the Ultimate All Day Mineral Foundation in Florentine Fair, next to that is the Extra Coverage Foundation/Concealer in Portofino Porceline, and then below is the Ultimate All Day Blush in Florentine Fair.

And here I am wearing the Extra Coverage Concealer, Ultimate All Day Mineral Foundation, and Ultimate All Day Blush.

One of the best things about Illuminare are their sample sizes.  They are generous enough to get quite a few uses, especially since the products are super pigmented and concentrated.  By ordering different sample colors you can find the right color for you before you buy, and have great sizes for travel.

So far I have found four holy grails within this line – the Beyond Black Everlasting Liner, Extra Coverage Foundation/Concealer, Ultimate All Day Mineral Foundation, and Ultimate All Day Blush.  I can’t wait to try the eyeshadows!!  – Lisa


  1. I bought the eyeliner after your last review and it’s terrific so I’m taking your advice on this. Dermstore carries the line and they don’t charge shipping.

  2. I love this~ ordering this now!

  3. Well these sound fantastic. Thank you for the great finds.

  4. Science Teacher says:

    The blush sounds like it would be good for me.

  5. This is such a wonderful line, and it doesn’t get enough press for sure!


  1. […] Illuminare foundation: Illuminare makes several formulas of foundation and I refuse to pick a favorite; I can’t help but love Extra Coverage foundation/concealer and Mattifying Mineral foundation. Add in their Fast Application Pad and you have perfection. […]