Merle Norman Timeless Illuminating Makeup review and swatches

Merle Norman Cosmetics has been around forever but it’s a line that is new to me. I am not sure how it could be that I have never tried it…they have an incredible array of options for both color cosmetics and skin care. I have been testing a few of their products:  Timeless Illuminating Makeup Foundation, Contour & Highlight Duo, and Plush Lipstick. Today’s review is all about the foundation.


TIMELESS ILLUMINATING MAKEUP BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 ($28) from Merle Norman Cosmetics is a liquid foundation with what is billed as medium to full coverage, but I would say that it’s more medium than full.  There are 13 shade options, none of which are suited to dark skin tones. The foundation is fragrance-free and oil-free. Ingredients include ‘award-winning and patented probiotic ingredient, Brightenyl®, which is clinically proven to help restore skin’s natural tone and healthy-looking luminosity. Kombuchka™ is clinically proven to significantly smooth the appearance of fine lines and make skin appear more plump and luminous (as reported by the majority of testers). Boosted with 24-carat colloidal gold, a peptide and Broad Spectrum SPF 30 protection to maximize luminosity and anti-aging benefits.’

Merle Norman Timeless Illuminating Makeup in Quiet Rose

I was sent Quiet Rose, which I was sure would not be a match for me – but incredibly, it was darn near perfect. The Timeless Illuminating Makeup is Merle Norman Cosmetics’ silicone based luminous foundation, similar to Becca Aqua Luminous, Nars Sheer Glow, and Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. It also has SPF 30, which is a great touch – I love multi-taskers! If you plan to use it as your SPF protection, you will want to touch it up throughout the day for true SPF protection. It comes in a glass bottle with an open top. While it is billed as medium to full coverage, I find the coverage to be medium. My freckles show regardless of how much I layer it on. I think that the finish is gorgeous – I love it. It gives my skin a natural glow that brightens and makes for a youthful look. I find that the foundation lasts well throughout the day, and it doesn’t settle into my fine lines and wrinkles.

Merle Norman Timeless Illuminating Foundation

For my Merle Norman Cosmetics face of the day, I am wearing the Timeless Illuminating Foundation, as well as Merle Norman Cosmetics Plush Lipstick in Stunner.

Overall I am super impressed with the Timeless Illuminating Foundation. My only gripes are the packaging, which could be better – I’d love to see this lovely foundation in an airless pump – and the shade selection, which could be expanded to include darker shades. But the Timeless Illuminating Foundation is a big winner in my book, and it’s significantly less expensive than other mid to high-end silicone based luminous foundations. You can find Merle Norman Cosmetics products at their private studios and here is a link to find one near you:  – Lisa


  1. Nancy | 21st Jul 19


    I love this foundation on you. The most natural I’ve seen!

  2. Michelle H. | 22nd Jul 19

    That foundation does look nice on you.

  3. beautyin | 23rd Jul 19

    Thank you Nancy and Michelle!! It has gone into my regular rotation – a very happy surprise of a foundation.

  4. Laura | 23rd Jul 19

    Your skin looks so radiant and glow-y, this foundation really is flattering!

  5. T | 23rd Jul 19

    Love the foundation, especially that it has SPF in it!!

  6. Claudia Materdomini | 23rd Jul 19

    Tat foundation looks great on you! I like how it makes your skin looks healthy and glowy

  7. Courtney | 24th Jul 19

    Quiet Rose is pretty!

  8. Lola Seicento | 24th Jul 19

    I love the color of Stunner!

  9. Miranda Mendelson | Slashed Beauty | 24th Jul 19

    That is a great wearable purple lipstick!

  10. Courtney | 31st Jul 19

    Love this so much! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Merle Norman Cosmetics gives me Betty Davis eyes | 2nd Aug 19

    […] make me remind you that a trip to a studio is something you’ll enjoy. Lisa’s shared the foundation which is a favorite for her as well as a few other pieces of their collection so it would be an […]

Leave A Comment