I really need to crack on with my foundation reviews because I have a serious backlog. I get a bit stuck, sometimes, because I try to go into too much detail and then I start comparing one foundation with another and then I set myself the task of wearing one on one side of my face and another foundation on the other side and before I know it, a year has gone by and the brand has discontinued the foundation and the whole exercise was pointless.
So, Max Factor Radiant Lift Long Lasting Radiance Foundation. This does exactly what it says on the bottle: it’s radiant, it’s long-lasting and (shuffling on down to the smaller print) it does give all day hydration, never feeling dry or cakey. At first I thought that Radiant Lift was comparable with L’Oreal’s Pro Glow – a comprehensive, medium-to-full kind of coverage, a surprisingly light and fresh texture and a very nice dose of glow – but actually there are some significant differences.
Pro Glow (housed in a tube, which makes it convenient for travel, though it is a little leaky into the lid) is incredibly lightweight – lighter, noticeably, than Max Factor Radiant Lift, which is contained in a glass bottle and has a creamier texture. Pro Glow looks radiant and perfected and gorgeous but sets fast and completely and has nothing in the way of a residue that you can feel; Radiant Lift from Max Factor is more robust in texture and leaves a very slight residue.
So if your skin was very dry, you’d maybe opt for the Max Factor Radiant Lift – the formula is alcohol free, the texture is slightly creamier, the finish has that pleasing plumptiousness that dry skin loves. The thing you’d be losing out on – albeit only fractionally – is longevity. L’Oreal’s Pro Glow performed just a tiny bit better over the course of a fourteen hour wear (I did my half-half face with both for a week, dedication to the cause and all that) with a completely in-tact finish at the end of the shift. Radiant Lift wasn’t far behind, but it had started to look ever so slightly tired by the time I went to cleanse before bed. I also find Pro Glow marginally better to blend – because it’s lighter, it spreads smoothly and quickly.
Now that the Pro Glow/Radiant Lift comparison is out of the way, let’s concentrate on the coverage and glow from the Radiant Lift. It’s not dewy glow, as in that sheeny sort of surface that catches the light, it’s more of a “lit from within” glow that gives an all-over, uniform sort of luminosity. I’m so bored of writing “lit from within” on foundation reviews, but it is the best way I can think to describe it – it’s not the sun hitting slightly oily skin and bouncing off the high points, it’s a flawless kind of luminosity that feels as though there’s a soft beauty light underneath the skin, glowing through. It’s dewy without the oil. Or dewy without the sweat, depending on how uncouth you want to be about it.
And coverage? Let’s take a little look at the before and after pictures:
There’s a tremendous level of radiance going on there, wouldn’t you agree? But it’s not shiny-shiny glow, it’s the aforementioned sophisticated sort of radiance that’s beautiful and soft. Skintone is evened out and the coverage tackles darkness under the eyes quite well. It’s not the heaviest coverage I’ve seen, but it definitely leaves a flawless finish and it doesn’t leave the skin looking flat.
You have to be reasonably quick with blending because once this sets, it sets fast. Which is intentional, as it’s a longwear base! But it’s worth noting. Especially if you (like me) tend to run into problems in the upper lip area thanks to a layer of fluffy down. (Sounds better than “blonde moustache hairs” doesn’t it?)
So what is there not to like about Radiant Lift? Not much at all. It has great staying power, it gives a beautiful, radiant finish with excellent coverage and it doesn’t cost the earth. There are eighteen shades to choose from, which is relatively decent (Pro Glow had twelve at last count) and there’s no alcohol in the formula, for those who prefer their bases without. I’d say that it suits skin that’s on the drier side rather than oily – it looked quite shiny on my t-zone when I was in my pre-period hormonal nightmare week – but do leave your comments below if you’ve been using it and have any anecdotal material to add!
Those who want the same sort of coverage but more moisture and much more dewiness will love the new Clinique Even Better Refresh foundation, which is £30 here*, and if you’re in the market for a designer foundation and want the same radiance and coverage then Dior Forever Skin Glow would be a sturdy choice. It also comes in 30 shades. Find that here* – it’s £37. My review of the new Forever line-up will probably be the next one up as it’s been sitting in my drafts for months!
Update: If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my IGTV video applying the new Maybelline Dream Urban Cover* – I’ve had so much interest in that via direct messaging that I think I may bump it up the queue and review next! I’m @modelrecommends on Instagram should you wish to follow.