So here’s the deal: I’ve worn the Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation every single day for two weeks. It’s great stuff. The only reason I don’t have it on today is that I was travelling and needed to keep the weight of my makeup bag down – my laptop alone weighs the same as a Shetland Pony and I don’t need to be carting about an extra tonne in cosmetics. The Light Illusion Foundation comes in a heavy glass bottle – lovely and luxe-feeling, but about twenty times the weight of my current Affordable Foundation Champion, L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro Glow.
I tell you what though, Flower Beauty give L’Oreal a run for their money with this softly luminous, right-side-of-dewy face base. It’s just as glowy – in fact it perhaps has a teensy bit of added glossiness – and it’s also alcohol free. Perhaps because of that it’s not quite as light in feel as Pro Glow, but for those who constantly crave a rich butteryness in anything that touches their face, it’s incredibly pleasing.
(Cheat’s trick: layering on an intense hyaluronic serum (the one from Institut Estherderm is amazing) and then Darphin’s 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream beneath your base will make any foundation feel like the world’s most plumptious. And if you want less coverage but with the same juicy texture then Clinique’s Even Better Glow is gorgeous.)
Flower Beauty is the brainchild of Drew Barrymore, who I must admit I have a soft spot for. She seems quite normal and a bit of a laugh – which, in Hollywood, often seems to be interpreted as someone being troubled or a bit kooky. Anyway, I accidentally threw out the press release so I’ve had to do my research on Google and as far as I can tell, her beauty range has been out for a while in the US but has only just landed in the UK.
Superdrug have taken a selection of the products from the range and the foundation is my favourite thing. Unfortunately they have initially taken only five of the foundation shades, which is a situation that needs to be rectified immediately. Five shades! Acceptable when it’s a blend-it-out BB Cream or a sheer, complexion-enhancing tint, but when you’re working with a proper medium-to-full coverage foundation you can’t mess about with your perfect match. And five shades isn’t going to be perfect-matching a whole lot of people.
So let’s pretend that Superdrug have all twelve shades; is this Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation one that you need in your makeup bag? Yes, I do think that it is. If you’re after a perfectly matte, mask-like finish then it’s not for you but for virtually everyone else it’s a beautiful, skin-glossing, relatively high-coverage addition.
I hate the term “real skin” but that’s what you get with Light Illusion – although my real skin doesn’t look anywhere near as illuminated as this. There’s no powdery finish, no sitting in fine lines and creases and the longevity is good enough that you can do a standard sort of work day (makeup on at 7am, let’s say, off again by 8pm) without worrying about shifting or sliding. Light Illusion sets well (though not as well as L’Oreal’s Pro Glow) but still feels comfy and – searching for the right word here – flexible.
Coverage is medium, so it won’t obliterate the darkest circles or reddest blemishes, but it’s beautifully buildable so you can add more in places that need it. I have to say that the shade I have (Natural Beige) is ever so slightly off on me – if it was a better match then I think I could easily use it in just the places that needed it and sheer it out with a damp sponge elsewhere. But I will have to report back at a later date on that one because the next shade lighter that Superdrug stocks is a little too light, I think – I’m guessing that I’m an Ivory.
Here are the before and after photos:
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God only knows why I planted my hand on my chin in the after shot – maybe I was trying to stop my head from falling off. I did it in every single photo. Anyway, you can hopefully see the beautiful sheen on the foundation finish here – part sheen, part gloss. And that the coverage is fairly comprehensive in skintone is evened out and blemish + circles are just about gone.
You can probably see, also, what I mean about the shade being ever so slightly wrong for me. I don’t even think it’s the depth of tone, it’s more the colour itself. Too warm? Too pink? Whatever, I’m still wearing it because I love the texture and finish! Sign of a good base if you’re prepared to put up with the wrong shade…
You can see that it’s a beautiful product, though – almost undetectable even very close up, with that perfected-yet-real effect. Just lovely. It’s a yes from me, once they get the full shade range in.
You can find Flower Beauty Light Illusion Foundation at Superdrug for £12.99. L’Oreal Pro Glow (12 shades) is £11.99 here* – you can read the full review with before and after pics here. I also filmed a video so that you could see it “in action” – just press play on the screen below.
Update: in the video I say that the shade I have is “Nude”; it is, in fact, “Natural Beige”. I was reading the wrong part of the bottle, like a total moron. Nude could actually be quite a good match for me, so I’ll endeavour to get some and re-shoot.