Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation swatches - RF105 and RF120

Foundation for pale skin: Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation swatches – RF105 and RF120


Before my unexpected beauty blogging hiatus, I promised you a review of Illanmasuqa’s Rich Liquid Foundation, which I’ve been using for a couple of weeks now. Well, that’ll be along soon, but first of all, knowing how difficult my fellow palefaces find choosing the right shade of foundation, I thought I’d quickly show you some swatches of the two shades I’m using – RF105 and RF120.

These are the second and third palest shades Illamasqa do – or so I thought when I ordered them, anyway. I’ve since read that RF135 may be paler than the RF120 I bought, so that may be worth bearing in mind too. The very palest shade – RF100 – is a stark white that’s basically only going to be of use for editorial or theatrical purposes. The next shade up – RF105 – also appears to fall into that category at first glance, although it does have a pinkish tinge to it. It’s far too pale for even me to wear on its own, but I actually think a shade like this is really useful to have if you tend to have problems buying foundation, because it can be mixed with other, darker shades, allowing you to dial almost any foundation down to your shade. I’ve used it almost daily since I got it, and this is because the RF120, which I’d assumed would be more or less the perfect colour for me, is actually quite a bit too dark. It’s billed as a pink-toned, pale base, but I found it a little more yellowish than I’d been expecting, and too dark for me to wear it on its own. Here are both of the shades blended in a little:


(With flash)


(without flash)

RF-120 blended in a little more:


Although it’s obviously lighter once it’s blended in properly, this was still too dark for my skin, unfortunately.

RF-105 is too pale to really photograph on my arm when it’s blended in properly, so here it is on the jawline, although I’ve left it unblended at the edges, so you can actually see it!


I’ve been blending both of these together to get the perfect shade, and although doing that does have its merits, I was a little dissapointed that the RF-12o didn’t work for me on its own – these aren’t cheap, and I think most of us would prefer NOT to have to spend twice as much to get the right colour.

This is, admittedly, partly my own fault: foundation isn’t something I’d ever recommend buying without trying it on first, but I was forced to do that because I don’t have an Illamasqua counter close to me. (Ironically, I did manage to get to one about a week after placing my order, which was delayed during the Royal Mail strikes, but wasn’t looking at the foundation – d’oh!) RF0105, however, is definitely a useful product to have, if only for its ability to make any other foundation instantly paler, and I’m hoping some other pale colours may be in the offing soon, particularly ones without the yellow base so many of the current colours seem to have.

If you have an Illasmasqua counter near you, I’d defiitely suggest paying it a visit to try these shades on in person (and in natural daylight!) if it’s at all possible. If you want to try your luck on the website, however, you’ll find it here.

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  • Loaf


    This is a really useful post for those of us with pale skin – I was just thinking earlier how much fuss finding a foundation to match my skintone really is. The RF105 looks as though it’ll be perfect for my skintone, and at just the right time too.
    I’ve been using B Never’s ‘Babydoll’ foundation for a while now, but as they’re ceasing trading in a few months time, I’m stuck trying to find an alternative. It’s always nice to see someone else having the same problems with matching shades as I do (as awful as it is to say that!)

    November 11, 2009
  • Hannah


    Thanks for this review, I’ll have to have a look when I’m in Fenwicks Newcastle next… I always have trouble finding foundation for my skintone. They’re usually too yellow 🙁
    I once had a lady from Clinique tell me to do myself a favour and get a tan!

    November 11, 2009
  • Amy


    Thanks so much for the swatches and the tip on RF0105, what a good idea to use it to tone down other foundations. I’m still bemoaning the impending loss of my beloved Prescriptives Custom Blend. After one last purchase of that next month I’ll be auditioning other foundations to find a substitute, and Illamasqua will undoubtedly be on my list.

    November 12, 2009
  • WOW, very interesting.

    November 12, 2009
  • Thanks for the swatches, it can be so tough to choose a foundation- especially when there’s not a counter nearby.

    I would second your notion that the 105 is not really a skin tone shade. I am extremely pale, I’ve never found a shade that’s too fair, in fact, 99.9% of major brands’ lightest shades are 2-3 shades deeper than my skin, and I do have to mix a pure white in to make them match. I’m also a professional makeup artist, so I have a good grasp on the range of skin tones out there. 105 is a great mixer, but unless you want a goth look (or purposely lighten your skin) it’s probably going to be too fair.

    Also, a heads up on the Illamasqua Rich Liquid range for those shopping on line: they do not necessarily go in numerical order from lightest to deepest. I have the 135, which actually appears lighter than the 120. It is overly yellow, but mixed with a bit of the 105 is blendable. Also be advised for those in the US, that only a fraction of Illamasqua’s foundation shades are available at Sephora- for the full range you have to order from Illamasqua’s website.

    Illamasqua are currently working on revising their shade range, since many shades have unrealistic undertones. I’ve been told that this new range of shades will be available around January, so those wanting to purchase may be well advised to wait a couple of months.

    November 17, 2009
  • Oh, I also should mention that this is a very unique formula and it does not blend well with all other formulas. I purchased both Illamasqua’s Rich Liquid and Light Liquid Foundations, and had planned on blending the two, but found that the mixture of the two actually breaks (like water and oil.) I have had some success blending the Rich Liquid with other formulas, but not all- just a word of warning. I love the blend I’ve come up with (Rich 135 with Face Atelier’s -0) I also know someone who blends hers with Estee Lauder’s Doublewear Liquid successfully. Just thought I’d mention this-Illamasqua is not an inexpensive formula and I wouldn’t want someone to be disappointed if they can’t use it for their intended purpose.

    November 18, 2009
  • Ryla


    Hello, I’m also having sooooooooo much trouble landing on just the right shade for this foundation. I tried 135 and it was too yellow and too light. Then I tried 120 and it’s ok but way too pink. Just wondered, have you tried 125 yet and how would you describe the color? Sephora does not have this color as I live in the US so…

    December 19, 2009