This foundation has over 450,000 5* reviews

With online beauty sales booming, it’s clear that we’ve learned to love buying makeup via our phones, rather than heading into a store (remember those?). But while it might be easy to add a favourite lipstick or trusted eye palette straight into that virtual cart, finding the best foundation online remains the final frontier. With so many nuances in shades, not to mention undertones, selecting a base product without an in-person swatching session remains risky.

This is where the tech-led beauty brand Il Makiage comes in. You’ve probably heard of them, or at least seen a slice of their major Instagram presence. Launched just a few years ago, Il Makiage wants to finally make shopping for foundation online a practical reality, using a comprehensive PowerMatch algorithm to lead you to your perfect bottle of its signature Woke Up Like This foundation, which comes in 50 shades.

The quiz itself is pretty straightforward: questions progress from your skin type (so far, so standard), onto your preferred method of application, and finally, a set of questions to determine your exact skin tone.

But can a foundation seen only through a screen really live up to such high expectations? According to the 450,000 people who have left an independent 5-star review, yes. Not only do thousands of make-up wearers sing the foundation's praises, but it's also the most-reviewed product in the US – no big deal.

We had to see if the foundation lived up to the hype, so our beauty team put the famous formula to the test on-camera...

That's not all, either. While the brand's signature foundation is clearly the star of the show, there's also a sprawling collection of eye, lip and face products to explore. You can simply shop via product, or scroll through the brand's endless catalogue of artists and influencers for a spot of inspiration, before clicking through to purchase their kit.

Let's be honest here – when I first heard about the brand, I wasn't completely sold. Anything that forces its way into my eyeballs via an aggressive #ad campaign generally makes me sceptical, and the fact that I can't swatch half a dozen shades before selecting my best match always makes me lose interest.

But in the name of serious journalism, I took the quiz and waited patiently for my perfect foundation match to arrive at my door.

Our review of the Il Makiage Woke Up Like This Foundation

Charlotte Bitmead, Senior Beauty Writer

il makiage woke up like foundation review
My bare skin vs. one layer of Il Makiage’s Woke Up Like This foundationHearst Owned

I'd seen a lot of hype about this foundation on social media, so as a full-coverage foundation gal, I couldn't get this on my face fast enough. At first, I was surprised by the veil-like texture that felt almost weightless on the skin. As you can see, I applied the foundation to the right side of my face and kept my left bare so you could really see the difference. And boy, can you see the difference.

It has neutralised my redness like a pro and covered up my patches of post-acne pigmentation – this is all after just one layer, btw. Many foundations claim they're buildable but you just end up with a lot of unwanted streaks. However, this really does layer well, so you can customise your coverage. The 'natural matte' finish leaves my skin oil-free and feeling as soft as a puppy. Plus, it lasted like a champ throughout the day too. Believe the hype, people.

Roberta Schroeder, Senior E-commerce Editor

So, let’s talk about the formula. I’m loyal to light and glowy coverage (Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint, if you’re asking), so seeing all the completely poreless influencers backing this one brought me out in a bit of a sweat.

But I have to say, I actually kind of... love it. The coverage is indeed major, yet it doesn’t feel like a heavy-duty foundation at all: in fact, I completely forget I’m wearing it during the day. The finish is a little more matte and velvety than I’d normally go for, but it doesn’t feel dry or cakey, even after a full day’s wear.

And the shade? Going against all expectations, mine was perfect. Embarrassingly, it's better suited to my tricky-to-match, pale but warm-toned skin than the foundations I've chosen myself.

Would I buy it again? For days when I need to step up my coverage, absolutely. And while I'm there, I'd add these four similarly brilliant heroes to my order too...

Looking for more foundation products worth the money? Check out our guides on the best foundations for dry skin, acne-prone skin, oil-free, full coverage plus read our review of the bareMinerals Loose Powder.

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