My Essentials for the Perfect Makeup Base

ruth crilly model beauty blog

I thought that I’d share with you my current foundation “routine”. Obviously it varies a little from time to time; I adapt it to suit the weather, how my skin’s looking and the products that I want to test out, but this is the general gist of it. I’ve used a radiance primer (Laura Mercier’s) beneath Dior’s Forever foundation and I think that the glow does really gleam on through. I find the Laura Mercier a little too gleamy if it’s not tempered down with something a little more velvety or heavy over the top, though. I once used it underneath a sheer tinted moisturiser and it was very, very shiny. Got to love an effective product, though, eh? Laura Mercier have the most brilliant primers – they really grip on tight to the foundation but don’t feel sticky or clogging on the skin. This one is for radiance, but it also does a nice job of smoothing out minor fine lines and blurring pores. (Blurring pores? I’m not sure what I mean there. It doesn’t “fill” them, but it does seem to…glaze over them a bit.)

I’ve layered over a few different things because I wanted to create a dewy but non-greasy finish. Everything sets to quite a velvety, matte feel yet there’s a gorgeous glow from the radiance primer and from the St Tropez illuminator that keeps it all looking fresh. This is probably quite a nice routine to try if you need your makeup to last for ages but don’t want a “set” or powdery feel. I didn’t need to powder once with this, it lasts for well over ten hours on me. No harm in a little dusting of powder if you need it though.

 I’ve detailed everything below, and I’ll probably review the YSL cream blush and the Aerin cream cheek and lip colour separately because they are both fantastic. Those with fair skin or who like to keep things subtle and natural will love them. And the Rimmel eyeshadow stick? Amazing! It’s almost up there with the Urban Decay ones, though it’s a little softer and doesn’t last for eight years like the UD 24/7. I think that the Bad Bronze version I’m wearing is a great little makeup bag addition.

OK, enough of my waffling – the video is at the bottom of the page or, if you’re reading via email, it’s here.

Product Details:

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer:

Dior Forever Foundation in Shade 020:

Aerin Cheek Colour in 01, Natural:…

YSL Cream Blush in shade 9:

St Tropez Illuminator in Rose:

Louise Young Foundation Brush:

Soap & Glory Kick Ass Concealer in Light:

Rimmel Scandaleyes Pencil in Bronze:

Guerlain Mascara:

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  1. Kelli
    March 13, 2013 / 10:04 am

    Your skin looks so luminous! I’ve been seeing the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer around a lot lately, I might have to check it out again- but I do seem to remember it being a little too sparkly? I love a healthy glow, but don’t like when it looks too obvious that I’ve got glitter on my face!

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:25 pm

      No, not glittery! xx

  2. Christina
    March 13, 2013 / 2:59 pm

    I was about to go and buy the by terry foundation that u have mentioned in other videos.. Now i am confused. It is not in your favorites anymore?

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:25 pm

      Yes, but I mention it a lot. It would get boring if I made the same video again and again! Did you see my Desert Island post? Have a look – it was last week. x

  3. Anum
    March 13, 2013 / 3:11 pm

    Hi Ruth,

    Whenever I put makeup (tinted moisturizer or foundation) on my skin I notice that my skin tends to flake on my cheeks. Any suggestions or product recommendations for what I can do? Thanks!

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:25 pm

      What are you using beneath it? x

  4. March 13, 2013 / 6:20 pm

    I’ve just rediscovered my old favourite foundation after running out of my Filorga bb cream – and I just remembered why I loved it so much. The Guerlain lingerie de peau is nice and light but gives a little more coverage than the Filorga, which it turns out is pretty sheer, so I think I will buy it again for the summer. Anyway, as you say, it’s nice to change products and coverage, cos then you actually realise what a difference they make! Also can’t wait to try out the Nars concealer as recommended by GossMUA:-) Thanks for the great vid as always!

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      I like the Filorga BB a lot. It’s very sheer though – virtually no coverage! x

      • March 18, 2013 / 8:15 pm

        Well, I can’t thank you enough for your skin care recommendations, my skin has been looking so great, that I hadn’t even realized how sheer the BB cream was! My friends have been asking me what my secret is (liquid gold!) :-) Also, I got my new Nars concealer, and I am glad to report it really is as incredible as Wayne says! no creasing at all… yipee!

  5. Helen
    March 13, 2013 / 6:53 pm

    I watched this video and thought “need to give this a try”. I don’t have any of the products you’ve used, but I just thought that mixing my liquid highlighter and my foundation would be a great way to have that luminous look with the base (which worked!), but I also made sure that I resisted the temptation to powder my face and I’m happy with this glowly look that I have today! I also used a powder blush (Benefit Coralista) and this inexpensive MUA bronzer to contour, overall, I like this glow-y look alot! Thanks for this video, I am sometimes scared of that “glowy” look as I have combo skin and really dread looking and feeling the grease on my skin, but sometimes you just need that extra “oomph” to look refreshed and healthy (especially in this weather!).
    As for that YSL blush, I tried a little sample of it and you’re right, it feels very lightweight and moussy, my mind immediately thought of the Topshop blush as a cheaper alternative (I’ve also tried that) as they both have somewhat of a similar texture (I suspect it’s the silicones in both products, making them both really workable on the skin without disrupting the base/concealer underneath). Oh, before I forget, I have to say that you do look really good wearing blush on your skin! I think the pink goes really well with your skintone! You should wear it more often ;) xx

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:26 pm

      The Topshop in the flat pot?
      Glad you did a bit of experimenting today! x

  6. MissLuxe74
    March 13, 2013 / 7:07 pm

    Hi Ruth

    I’m so grateful for this post, I’m getting married in 5 weeks and I have to do my own makeup (yikes) . I’m running around trying to gather samples of primers and foundations to see what works best, is long lasting and heat resistant ( we are marrying in sunnier climes).

    Unfortunately some counters never seem to have any samples and you could spend a fortune on full size products that are not going to suit your skin.
    I need the dewy, non-powdery look and I’m late on the bandwagon with primers but seeing your review on the Laura Mercier means I might just purchase it as your skin looks beautiful.

    Having skin nearer the latter end of my 30s and mediumish pores on show, I need as much help as I can get. Any other recommendations would be most welcome!!!

    Thank you xxx

    • Laura
      March 13, 2013 / 8:59 pm

      My make-up artist used the Laura Mercier primer for my wedding make-up, and it was beautiful. My make-up stayed on all day and looked lovely in the pictures.

      • RuthCrilly
        March 13, 2013 / 9:26 pm

        Thanks Laura x

      • MissLuxe74
        March 14, 2013 / 10:24 pm

        Thank you Laura, just to check is it definately the radiance primer that Ruth mentions as I know there’s a few in the range?

        Much appreciated, its great to find tried and tested recommendations. xx

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:27 pm

      There’s also a good one from Urban Decay – in fact all the UD ones are great. xx

  7. Laura
    March 13, 2013 / 9:01 pm

    Hi Ruth, I love this healthy, glowy look. Would you recommend the radiance primer under the YSL touche eclat foundation? I really like this foundation, but its not as dewy as I thought it would be.

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:27 pm

      Yes, I’ve used it beneath that too, but you might find it TOO glowy! You’ll have to experiment I think and get it so that it suits you. xx

  8. Heather
    March 13, 2013 / 9:19 pm

    Hi ruth I have a sensitive skin type that is prone to blemishes I have trouble with finding skincare or foundation that will keep my skin balanced, not break it out or irritate my sensitive skin. Is there any products you would recommend?
    Love your videos xx

    • RuthCrilly
      March 13, 2013 / 9:28 pm

      Pai skincare for the sensitivity – is it allergies or anything you can pin down? What tends to break you out? x

      • Heather
        March 13, 2013 / 9:34 pm

        I seems to be sensitive generally weather ( hot / cold) can affect my sensitivity but also fragrance/ alcohol and some ingredients in foundation/ skincare same applies to foundation ( nars sheer glow/ new bobbi brown foundation the long lasting one and dior nude all broke me out terribly) thanks for your reply x

        • Emily
          March 14, 2013 / 3:46 am

          Just to butt in on this comment. I have horrible sensitive skin to fragrance,alcohol. I have rosacea/ acne. but the funny thing is my derm told me never go near like totally “All natural” things because im allergic to most natural ingredients. If you need recc i use Bioderma as makeup remover, Avene extremely gentle cream cleanser(its a wipe off) i remove with cotton pad and lightly wash off. And foundation Lorac Nat Performance doesn’t bother me at all. Idk i hope this helps in some way..

  9. March 14, 2013 / 7:10 am

    beautiful natural outcome: I only do not see you applying the ScandalEyes in your crease whereas I can see a (powdery) colour there. I like that Aerin shader, though. And you have such perfect poreless skin to begin with

  10. petra
    March 15, 2013 / 9:07 am

    hi, i am sure you are getting thousands of messages like that, but i’ll try it anyway :-) i think your web/youtube/etc. project is amazing and it helped me a great deal. but my skin is kind of pale, ashy grey, unhealthy looking one. with some blemishes on the top of everything. And also very sensitive and dry, so i usualy get red dry spot after using some cream or make-up for a while. plus normal make-up shades all look a bit too dark and heavy on my skin and flaky. the result is i look 10 years older (not that happy about it, i am 26 btw.). Do you have any kind of advice?(or shall i give up at all with such a skin ;-) ) thank you

  11. Anna Gilbert
    March 16, 2013 / 7:43 pm

    Hi, I have sensitive Skin What foundation would u recommend also what other makeup products x

  12. Taryn
    March 17, 2013 / 1:14 am

    Hello Ruth!
    I’ve been slowly sifting through your videos and posts to see if you have already answered this question before, (so I apologize if you have!) but I was wondering if you could recommend a concealer for someone with red hair/fair skin/freckles? I don’t wear foundation because I don’t like to cover up my freckles, so I just rely on concealer for my under-eye circles. After a lot of trial and mostly error with drugstore options, I think it’s time to invest in a really nice concealer, a nice long-lasting one with good coverage! I find that the one I have now is a little too light/is trying to be “illuminating” and just stands out on my face..
    Does anything come to mind? Thank you, and love the videos :)

  13. Lidia
    March 19, 2013 / 1:14 am

    Hello Ruth,
    I Love your videos , I’m a brazilian fan :), and I just wanna ask what is your favorite foundation for a natural look, I have only 17,and i have no idea which one should i buy. :)

    You look gorgeous.

  14. Tallis74
    April 13, 2013 / 9:45 am

    Hi Ruth, just discovered your blog, loving it! I wondered if you’ve ever tried hourglass products? They’re incredible – some of the best make-up I’ve ever found. The Veil primer is amazing and Film Noir mascara is the holy grail of mascaras (I’ve been searching for about 20 years! Am about to start trying Alpha H skincare – hoping it will work wonders for my skin! x

  15. Natalie
    April 25, 2013 / 7:31 am

    This is great as i am trying to figure out my beauty and make up routine for my wedding day – it will be a long day starting from about 9am and ending midnight – any tips welcome Ruth!

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