Photo by Gabriela Garcia
Buying a lip balm or eyeshadow palette online is pretty straightforward, but when it comes to picking out a foundation that will perfectly match your skin tone, that’s something very different. With Covid restrictions, the days of color testing and sampling beauty products in store are long gone. This is where the new tech-led beauty brand Il Makiage comes in. The brand first caught my attention with its eye-catching Instagram presence—beauty enthusiasts shook to the core over how well its online quiz matched the Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation to their skin and undertones. Was this all just a clever marketing ploy? Or can a foundation seen only through a screen really live up to the hype? I tested it to find out.
Il Makiage Foundation Pros:
- A near-perfect match
- Flawless, full-coverage
- Vegan, cruelty-free formula
- Oil and paraben-free
Il Makiage Foundation Cons:
- Heavy formula
- Needs a lot of blending
- Matte finish with little to no illumination
- Seeps into fine lines throughout the day
Launched in 2018, Il Makiage is a New York-based beauty brand that aims to make shopping for products online easier through its PowerMatch quiz. “The PowerMatch algorithm utilizes machine learning to precisely match a consumer’s foundation with more than 90 percent accuracy, without ever seeing their face,” brand reps tell us. Their tech team combined hundreds of thousands of data points and information on 700 different skin tone combinations to create the PowerMatch algorithm. After completing the online quiz, you’ll receive a perfectly-matched foundation from one of its 50 shades. If the foundation doesn’t match your skin or you simply don’t like it, you have up to 14 days to return it for free and get your money back.
While the brand’s signature foundation is their most buzzed-about offering, there’s also a sprawling collection of eye, lip, and face products to explore. While the algorithm is currently only available for the brand’s foundation and concealers, the brand tells us they are “continuing to explore the application of technology and AI in a range of other products,” so stay tuned.
The PowerMatch quiz took under two minutes to complete and included straightforward questions about my skincare goals, the color of my veins in my wrists (to match undertones), and the type of coverage I prefer. I was also asked about the foundation brand I’m currently using (Armani Luminous Silk), and whether I use a brush, sponge, or my fingers to apply. From there, I did my best to match my skin tone with the various examples and then I entered my email to receive my color match results.
With fine lines, dullness, and hyperpigmentation, I definitely need a good amount of coverage that stays put throughout the day but, more often than not, foundation feels heavy on my skin. I adore formulas that are lightweight, offer plenty of coverage, and provide a subtle dewiness to give my skin a youthful glow. For this reason, Armani’s Luminous Silk has been my go-to. My T-zone can get a bit oily as the day progresses, so I often use a setting powder, followed by a quick spritz of rose water, in the afternoon for a quick refresh.
Prep skin with your usual suspects. For me, it’s a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. According to the directions, you should apply two pumps of the product to your skin, using a brush or sponge (not your fingers), and blend thoroughly. Note: This formula has a slight orange tint upon application and needs to oxidize for about five minutes before matching your skin tone—so don’t be alarmed.
My Il Makiage Foundation Review
What really piqued my interest with this foundation is that it’s blended with vitamin E, which has anti-aging benefits, and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and plump skin. But to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve never been good at matching foundation for my skin; I’ve always relied on a sales associate in a beauty store to help me with the process, and even then it’s been hit-or-miss. However, with Il Makiage, I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy once the formula completely oxidized on my skin.
For the first few hours, my complexion looked pretty fabulous under different lighting conditions—indoor lights, natural sunlight, the bright lights of my bathroom vanity. As the day progressed, however, the oiliness around my T-zones got out of control, and the product started seeping into my fine lines, making my skin appear dull and cakey. The formula also felt heavy on my skin, so that I was very aware that I was wearing foundation. By the end of the day, I couldn’t wait to wash my face so my skin could breathe.
Although I wouldn’t recommend this product for long-term wear (they do, however, offer a primer and setting spray which may help extend its mileage), I think this foundation would work great for short-term events, like a photo shoot or after-dinner drinks with friends. It does offer some pretty serious coverage with a matte finish, which would look great on camera or film. For beauty enthusiasts who aren’t afraid of a heavier, full-coverage look, this is the product for you. But as someone who prefers a lighter, more natural-looking finish, I’ll stick to my go-to Armani Luminous Silk for everyday wear.