Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sheer Coverage Bases including BECCA, Le Metier, RBR and Erborian

I've had this particular post in draft for months now. I'd already taken the accompanying photographs but my collection has grown since then, so I decided it was time to take some more pictures. For a lot of people, these are brands that are available online only so I hope the swatches and overview will be useful.

Sheer Base6

Sheer Base4
L-R: Second skin, PV in shade 01, RBR 041 Adansonia, Erborian, BECCA Sand and Illamasqua Light Liquid foundation in 135

Sheer Base1
With flash. L-R: Second skin, PV in shade 01, RBR 041 Adansonia, Erborian, BECCA Sand and Illamasqua Light Liquid foundation in 135

I've included Max Factor's Second Skin, as although it is a foundation, it has quite a sheer and dewy quality to it. It evens skin tone without giving detecable coverage. When swatched, it has quite pinky undertone but it it seems to react with skin to give a good match.

Le Metier Peau Vierge is probably best described as tinted anti-ageing skincare. It contains retinol with a patented delivery system and also has an SPF of 20. I have this in the new Shade 01 and as you can see from the swatch it is quite apricot hued. I find this provides enough coverage on it's own and this was the only base I took on holiday with me. For those of you in the States and have access to Le Metier, I believe they recently launched a full skincare range which also contains the patented Syntoc Actif system. It's an expensive line but I've heard good reports from people that ordinarily suffer with skin reactions to certain active ingredients.

I bought the Rouge Bunny Rouge Sketches on Water Tinted Moisturiser from a sales site last year. I have it in the lightest shade, Adansonia. I think it has quite a neutral undertone. I find it a touch pale on my skin but it's workable as it is a sheer coverage. I wonder if the shade Quercus might be a better match when I re-purchase. I have almost finished this tube and I think this really is my most favourite tinted moisturiser. It doesn't provide a lot of colour but it's enough on it's own for me on good skin days. It feels beautiful on the skin and, like Peau Vierge, it has skincare benefits as well as offering coverage. My success with the tinted moisturiser has made me even more tempted to try their Milk Aquarelle foundation.

BB Creams have been big news this year and I snapped up this Erborian BB Crème in a blog sale. Erborian comes in only two shades, Natural and Golden. This is the shade Natural. I have swatched all of these products on the underside of my arm where my skin is very fair. With age and sun damage, the skin on my face is not as pale. I would describe myself as fair but not porcelain and this just doesn't work on my summer skin. It has a pinky blue, almost grey tinge to it and when applied this gives my face a ghostly cast. So, unfortunately I can't give any thoughts on how this works as a base. I'm hoping that I can make it work for me in the cooler months.

I have spoken about the BECCA Luminous Skin Colour tinted moisturiser before. I like this as a base, it is very sheer though and I will sometimes use it with foundation layered over areas where I need more coverage. It gives quite a dewy finish and I find Sand to be a good match for me. However, I have found that I can't wear this everyday as seems to irritate my skin slightly if I wear it continuously. I really like the fact that it has an SPF of 25+ but it's possible that the sunscreens in it are the source of my skin reaction.

I was very kindly sent this small sample of Illamasqua Light Liquid Foundation by Mizz Worthy. This is in the shade 135, which the website describes as a match for light skin with golden undertones. Although this is a light foundation, it still contains quite a lot of pigment and offers more coverage than a tinted moisturiser. Like Skin Base, I find that this foundation tends to sit in my pores. It also requires more care in application than some of the other bases I have mentioned here.

I hope the comparison and overview was useful. If you want any more detailed information about any of the products or other colour comparisons, please feel free to ask. Do you have a favourite sheer coverage foundation or tinted moisturiser? I know My Lips But Better has me intrigued by the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser and that is on my list to investigate.

Disclosure: Second Skin, Peau Vierge and Luminous Skin Colour were received as PR Samples. These are my honest thoughts about all of these products, irrespective of their provenance. There are no affiliate links in this post and the links are provided for information only.


  1. Excellent! The RBR 041, Erborian, and Illamasqua look like excellent shades for you. I would love to try the RBR--their products are so luxurious.

    If you haven't tried the BB cream on your face yet, do try! I was surprised by how something that looked so odd on the back of my hand blended so seamlessly into my skin.

    I agree completely about Becca. I must also be sensitive to one of the sunscreen ingredients. Love the light coverage and dewy finish but it can make my skin turn red with prolonged use. I do not think I'd have had the same reaction 10-20 years ago.

    I would also like to try the Clinique. I saw it used on a Lisa Eldridge video where she used it as a base to smooth out skin blemishes.

  2. Thanks Jamilla. I do hope my owning rather more than necessary will help someone else decide on just one!

    Hi Zuzu! I agree with you about RBR, I find their products a pleasure to use. I really want the foundation but I'm nervous about getting the match right. It's not so bad with a sheer product but I need to get it just right with a foundation.

    I have tried the BB cream on my face a couple of times but it really does white up my face. I will try again when my tan has disappeared. Which ones have you had experience with?

    Jane x

  3. I really like the sound of the Rouge Bunny Rouge tinted moisturiser. Zuneta has free shipping at the moment so hm....

    I don't really understand why Le Metier Peau Vierge incorporates retinol if it's a day product? Even with the added SPF it's still something that I probably would steer clear of.

    Great post!

  4. Interesting to see the light Peau Vierge as I have the light-medium that I bought around Christmas. I didn't use it much because it was too dark but now I have a touch of a tan (the merest hint!) it works well and I really like it. I am definitely favouring tinted moisturisers over normal foundations at the moment. My Laura Mercier is about to run out and although the Erborian is still tempting as I am very fair, the RBR sounds great. Thanks for this x

  5. This is a lovely post Jane, really lovely. I find it so interesting that shades of pale can vary so much as I have found to my consternation - what I hope for is pale can turn out to be any shade of snow to putty to peach and anything in between! Thanks for this. Jan x

  6. Great swatches; I appreciate that you told us that you swatched on the bottom of your arm. That's very helpful!

  7. Thanks for a such a thorough and useful review Jane!
    Of all the products you have featured I am still using my two PV bottles (in combination with my day moisturiser as the colour -the old Light to Medium- is a tad too dark for me). I love Becca, but their base products do not seem able to control the oilies for me.
    The Erborian is one product I am very tempted by and, thanks to your review I will consider the darker option.
    You are right about the RBR foundation: colour matching is crucial. I was very kindly sent a few potted samples some time ago and, although I absolutely loved the product itself, not one colour matched me satisfactorily...So do ask for a few samples with your next order, I'm sure they'll be happy to help you.
    Nina x

  8. For sheer foundations, I absoultely love LMDB and Becca. Thanks for mentioning the others too.

  9. Great post Jane, thanks for that. Silly question and the answer is probably yes but do you mix products to get the right tone if you have a couple that are not quite right? xx

  10. This is only a product I've tested, but you might like Origins VitaZing on your summer skin. It adds a barely imperceptible glow.


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