Foundation Review: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

I do enjoy it when a product does exactly what it says on the tin. Although I must admit that I often fail to look at the tin (tube/bottle/pot, delete as applicable) before I start, which gets me into all sorts of beauty scrapes. I once fake-tanned my face instead of applying sunscreen (that was an interesting day, especially for the palms of my hands) and I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve mistaken exfoliating liquids for makeup removers and temporarily blinded myself. (You’d think after the first time one would be more cautious, but there you go.)

But anyway, to cut a potentially long and boring story short, the Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation from Hourglass does exactly what it says on the front of the tube. It’s an incredibly lightweight, completely matte base that feels as though you’ve merely whisked some setting powder over your face. And because of that light-as-air feeling, it’s easy to assume that the coverage would be – at best – weak. Not so. Take a look at the before-and-after shots:

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

If my face looks slightly odd in the first photo, it’s because I was “fading out” some dodgy gradual tanner (thought it was sunscreen, joke); but it only serves to highlight just how good the coverage is. I find it quite hard to get my head around this foundation, because you simply can’t feel it – how then, can it possibly cover anything but the most insignificant blemish or pigmentation, the faintest areas of redness?

Time to zoom in:

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

You can hopefully see that the finish is non-cakey and smooth and that the coverage after one light application is at least a medium – I think that once it’s built up, it could almost be classified as a full coverage. I’ve seen some reviews online (there are 3111 of them on the Sephora website!) that complain that they get virtually no coverage at all from Hourglass Immaculate. I can see how you’d think that it was on the sheer side, but sometimes it takes a good before-and-after picture to be able to analyse something in a detached way! Had you asked me about the coverage before I’d looked through my images then I’d have said it was very light – I was quite surprised that the difference was so dramatic.

I think Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder is a very, very clever foundation; how can something this light – and I mean it’s like swiping on air – give such a radiant, flawless finish? It’s not my particular cup of tea, because I don’t have oily skin and I don’t require the (amazing) mattifying effect that this foundation has, but I absolutely appreciate it. I often get an oily nose during the summer and some foundations and BB creams slip dreadfully; this sticks in place and keeps skin shine-free. The formula contains kaolinite clay which very efficiently absorbs oil without leaving the skin looking parched – it seems to skim over dry patches too, which you couldn’t say for the majority of matte foundations.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Review

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation comes in 22 shades – I used Shell for this review, which is slightly too pale for me (see photo above for swatch) – but still looked believable when applied. I think because the texture is so fine it’s quite easy to blend the foundation to a completely undetectable finish. I used fingertips, but a brush (the stipply, buffing kind) would work equally well.

If oily skin is a real problem for you and you hate traditional matte foundations then this is a brilliant – if extremely expensive – solution. It’s like a wispy veil of powder sitting over the skin, except that it manages to conceal imperfections and help to even out patchiness and redness and pigmentation. I do keep having to refer back to my before and after pics, because when I wear it “in real life” it seems so sheer. Maybe the camera picks up on a flawless radiance that the naked eye can’t detect!

It’s definitely one for oily or combination skin; dry or normal simply doesn’t need this level of matte.

You can find Hourglass Immaculate at Sephora here* and Harvey Nichols here*. It’s £50. For a similar matte, oil-absorbing formula with a featherlight texture but a less eye-watering price then take a look at my review of the Effaclar BB Blur here. It’s not quite so refined in texture, and it only comes in two shades (major downside) but it’s very radiant and gives surprisingly good coverage.

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© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. July 13, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    My skin is more normal than oily, so I believe I will pass on this one, but I do understand what you mean about the coverage: when a base is so lightweight, our first response is to think that it is a light coverage foundation, I had the same reaction to my Diorskin Forever Cushion foundation, it took me a while to realize how much coverage it actually has!

  2. Angeline
    July 13, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I love this because I do have combination skin and it’s one of few foundations that stay put for hours without fading or disappearing on me. The coverage is fantastic – that light veil simply evens everything out magically. The Dior forever cushion foundation is another one that covers and lasts well, but Hourglass is more finely textured and has better shades. Thanks for the review, I always love your before, after and zoomy shots. And I have a feeling I was your neighbour in our previous solar panel planet ! X

  3. Sofie
    July 13, 2017 / 4:51 pm

    Hi! Question regarding the picture of your fabulous new haircut: did you let your hair airdry using the redken no blowdry or did you use styling tools? Thanks!

    • July 14, 2017 / 3:36 pm

      Kat used a tong on it after sort of rough-drying with the hairdryer. But this was the day after so it was pretty much natural and flatter.. x

  4. Poorani
    July 14, 2017 / 1:53 am

    I got this today after reading your review. I was waiting in vain for better colour choices from Effaclar. I love it on top of a light moisturizer.

  5. Jo.C.
    July 15, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Twice I’ve cleansed my face with nail polish remover by mistake. Both liquids were similar colour and bottles. I have now separated said bottles, and I look five years younger now after burning my face off LOL.
    How do you go about choosing the correct shade? X

    • Abigail
      August 11, 2017 / 2:50 pm

      I’ve made the same error with nail varnish remover – ouch! I don’t know if you live near a Space NK but I was in there buying some other goodies and asked for a sample pot and they happily obliged.

  6. July 17, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Very interesting! I love Hourglass products (I’m completely devoted to the Ambient Lighting Powder and Bronzer) and I’ve been looking for a lovely lightweight foundation for summer.
    I’m currently using Laura Mercier Candleglow foundation but it is a bit too much for the really hot weather, curious to know if you’ve ever tried that and how the Hourglass compares?

  7. Mansi
    July 23, 2017 / 7:42 am

    I’m completely sold on this one- seems like something I need. Becca is my absolute favourite, but it tends to be greasy at times!

  8. Abigail
    August 11, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    I had a sample of this and had high hopes as it’s so hard to find foundation for oily skin that’s also pale but olivey/yellowy. Unfortunately I don’t think this foundation has the necessary ingredients that help hide pores or at least, not ‘pool’ in pores and make them even more obvious. So, good for oily skin but not ones with prominent pores as well.

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