Illuminating Bases


I think most everyone wants a lit-from-within glow, especially in summer. For those of use without a natural radiance, we are always looking for the best way to achieve the look. Over the last few weeks, I have been testing out different bases that claim to give the perfect glow.

To keep everything fair, I used all the same products every day. The only thing that changed was the illuminating base.

My daily makeup consisted of:

  • Illuminating Base of the day
  • NARS Sheer Glow
  • NARS Creamy Concealer
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Powder (used under the eyes & lightly on the t-zone as that is where I tend to get slightly oily throughout the day)
  • Marc Jacobs Tan-Tastic Bronzer

I did not touch-up throughout the day to see exactly what these bases would do when left alone.


Pixi by Petra Flawless beauty Primer was a little off for me. Overall, if you have light to maybe medium skin, you may like this. But because of the base tone to this, I feel like on deeper skin this may give off a bit of a white-cast or ashy tone to the skin. It does give a nice, natural glow & for a lighter complexion it blends in nicely. Out of all the more affordable brands, this one did hold up the best throughout the day. It was hydrating, but never made me look oily, giving just the right amount of glow throughout the day. And because this was built to be an illuminating primer, I did find that my foundation lasted just a little bit better than normal.


I can without a doubt say that my personal winner is the Kiehls Glow Formula Skin Hydrator. It’s both hydrating, plumping & illuminating without leaving my skin feeling oily by the end of the day, making it likely to work for all skin types. Although it is not the type of product I would recommend you use all over your face alone, it makes a beautiful base to foundation. My makeup stayed in place all day when I used this in place of a primer. It only has one shade, but with the slightly warm tint, I doubt that it would look ashy on darker skin tones. Overall, this what the best option for what I wanted it for; a gorgeous lit-from-within natural glow. The best part is that it is skincare infused, meaning it actually helps your skin produce a natural radiance over time.

Loreal Lumi Glotion is the only illuminating base that I tried that came with different shade options, making it likely that everyone could find a shade that works for them. It is also the base that gave me the most glow (bordering on disco-ball territory when used alone). That may seem a little overwhelming, but when foundation is applied on top, it gives the most beautiful glow. My main problem with this base is that by the end of the day, I looked a little bit like a grease ball. If you have a drier skin type, you may like this more than I did for everyday use. Because I have slightly oilier skin, I’m more likely to use this on a date night where I’m only wearing my makeup for a few hours as opposed to wearing it all day.

Loreal Infallible Glow Lock gives the most natural glow to the skin. So natural, in fact, that you cannot even tell that you’ve used it once you’ve applied foundation on top. If you’re looking for something to wear to give you a very natural glow on your no-makeup days, this is the one I would choose. Although it looks pink out of the tube, it seems like there is no actual base color to this, so it would suit any complexion without altering the skin tone. I did notice the tiniest but of oil on my skin by the end of the day, but it was hardly anything at all so I didn’t find it to be a real issue.


Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops are by far the most expensive illuminating option that I tried out, coming in at a whopping $145. Yes, that is absolutely nuts. HOWEVER, these are not your run of the mill glow drops. This illuminating serum combines short term & long term benefits, giving you an immediate glow while also helping your skin produce its own natural radiance. Soft enough to be used without a foundation, these still pack enough of a punch to be seen through my foundation. My #1 problem (besides the price) is that the darn cap refuses to stay closed! No matter what I do or how tightly I put it on, when I come back 10 minutes later, the darn cap feels like its about to fall off.


What’s your favorite illuminating base?




  1. Great reviews…thank you so much! I’m addicted to Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter at the moment so I think I will try the Kiel’s and see if I like a less expensive product just as well!😊


    1. I really want to get my hands on the Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. They look absolutely beautiful. I definitely recommend the Kiehls! It’s absolutely beautiful.


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