Modern Foundation From Ilia: My New Fall Staple

Santorini Mojave Fall is such a great time to freshen up the product lineup, and I am so happy that I found a new bet in the foundation department, which I think is the hardest area. It has to look like skin, not dry me out, not make me oily, wear all day, and let warmth and glow show through while covering all the imperfections as much as possible.

So typically I see foundation as a necessary but unexciting and usually disappointing step in my routine – and due to this feelings – it’s also a step I often just skip and conceal a little then get on with my day. I’ve been in long rut with the YSL Youth Liberator Foundation even though I didn’t love the shade that was “my” shade. I fell back on it all the time due to the serum formula – it silkened and sunk into my skin really well, and it had SPF coverage so I felt protected; so, it became my habitual fall back foundation. But recently, upon discovering more skincare products that I want to incorporate (because technology has come a long way and there’s no end to the great products out there) I have become interested in layering.

Koreans popularized skin care layering by utilizing up to ten layers or more depending on the person. The idea is that each step effectively addresses different issues and once sealed in all together your skin is plump, hydrated, and gets more and more gorgeous everyday. Judging from the way the Koreans are looking these days, it must work! (And I’m first in line for anything Korean. Their technology is ten to twenty years ahead of the US market’s). Layering is a soothing ritual, and as long as you have the right formulas, it’s a beautiful thing. There are some fantastic treatment sunscreens (Zelens Daily Defense goes on nearly effervescently) so I like to separate that step from my foundation, and it’s my little foray into layering. Not up to ten layers yet, but aspirations. Aspirations. However, when you are layering multiple products, if the foundation is too heavy, layering leads to a pilling, moveable mess, so it’s imperative you have a great formula on your hands if you are going to layer skincare underneath.

Enter Ilia Vivid Foundation. This is the dream formula for me. After one try, I grabbed the box to see what it was the made this so superb. And, quickly, I spotted certified organic coconut oil as the second ingredient. No wonder “melting” into my skin was my very first sentiment. This is the first natural foundation I have used that wears like a high tech serum foundation (with who knows what in it) but uses only natural ingredients. Rose hip oil and sunflower seed oil are ingredients number six and seven. It is extremely rare to see all these potent oils at the top of the ingredient list. They are often only listed as the last few because they are in such small amounts. Not with Ilia – and the product performs accordingly.

And don’t let oils scare you – these are ultra pure, non greasy oils and Vivid Foundation is pore-refining due to a medicinal resin from a tree in Greece with anti-bacterial properties that also works alone as a primer – so this foundation actually has the primer built in.

Impressed yet? It also contains:

  • jasmine flower extract
  • lavender flower extract
  • grapefruit extract
  • citrus fruit oil
  • cranberry fruit oil

It comes in six flexible shades. I am currently a mix of Mojave (great for a tan) and Santorini (more my actual skin tone). Mixing two shades lets you customize the shade from season to season.