I am constantly on the lookout for new foundations that give a near undetectable finish. In the world of HD filming and photography, it is key to find a base that won’t look too heavy or too ashy. High street foundations have come a long way in recent years, especially when it comes to undertones and shade range but sometimes it’s still a bit difficult to find a great one. So far Bourjois was my favourite brand when it comes to bases but EX1 has become a strong competition.
I must confess, I have haven’t heard about EX1 (I must live under a very big rock since 2016, it seems) until make-up artist Pati Dubroff mentioned it on her IG when she was doing Margot Robbie’s makeup for the Baftas this year and if it’s good enough for Margot, it’s good enough for me. As soon as I’ve seen Pati’s makeup breakdown I started to look into it, luckily it is available in Boots in the UK I so instantly put it on my shopping list.
It took a while but finally, I can now review it and I have to say, I’m happy to do that, I love it!
Biochemist and makeup lover Farah Naz after struggling to find a foundation shade that wasn’t too orange or pink on her skin tone, she ended up creating EX1 Cosmetics in 2016 specifically designed for olive skin tones. Using high-quality ingredients, the brand has grown into a range of complexion-based products including powders, blushers and concealers to help you achieve a perfected skin.
EX1 foundations contain a unique blend of yellow/golden pigments that are designed to undetectably blend into the skin’s natural tones creating a very flattering base. It contains light diffusers that will add a luminous effect and radiance to the skin blurring away imperfections.
“A lightweight and luminous liquid base formulated with light diffusers to unify skin tone and effortlessly cover imperfections. Specially designed ‘true colour’ pigments work perfectly with your skins’ natural tones in an ultra-blendable formula.
- Perfectly matches your skin’s natural tones
- Easy to apply with a lightweight, luminous liquid base
- Seamless finish with ultra-blendable formula
- Matches more closely to your skin than any other product on the market
- Buildable yet breathable”
Many will be happy about the paraben-free claim, even more about the oil and fragrance-free labels. Let’s face it, the less possible allergens there are in our cosmetics, the better. The clinically/dermatologically tested label together with the non-comedogenic label doesn’t say much to me, everyone’s skin is different, so I don’t think anyone can guarantee that customers won’t react to a certain ingredient. I am not sure what the ‘matches more closely to your skin than any other product’ means exactly but now they have a decent range of shades, so many could find the appropriate one. I completely stand behind the claims about it being lightweight, seamless, blendable, buildable and breathable.
Packaging: The packaging is simple, the bottle is light and the pump dispenser makes the application clean, hygienic and simple.
Who it is for: I think this could work on most skin types, probably not the extremely oily or dry ones.
Texture: lightweight, creamy, soft consistency, easily blendable.
Finish: natural, satin, not too matte, not too glowy, it looks like skin, a great all-rounder, perfect for all occasions from popping out to the newsagents or to a fancy red carpet event.
Coverage: medium to buildable, you really don’t need much to achieve a flawless finish.
How it worked for me: I have been using this for a week now and I really like how it wears. I’ve been applying it with a damp Real Techniques sponge over the Pixi Caviar Essence. The application is quick and easy, and I love how mess-free the pump allows the whole process to be. The natural the finish of this foundation is beautiful and all the other makeup blends into it like a dream. Around halfway through the day a quick touch-up is needed but with a lightweight foundation like this and a slightly oily t-zone like mine, it’s perfectly fine. A quick spritz of the Bodyshop Mandarin Energizing Face Mist and using my fingers I just tap along until my base is fully blended again. I usually avoid powders these days but I guess you could use it for touch-ups too. No matter how much I like to be without makeup at home, evening cleansing is not one of my favourite things to do so I like to have it over and done with very quickly. I removed the foundation it with a cream cleanser and cloth and it didn’t take long to wash off the last traces of it which made me very happy…more time for me to watch Poldark!
Value for money: it is budget-friendly, great value for money, only £12.50 at Boots .
Here is the before and after:
..and with a finished makeup look: