January 21, 2013

Becca Radiant Skin Foundation and Shimmering Skin Perfector

I first encountered Becca as a brand at The Makeup Show a couple of years ago. The line had immediate appeal - a natural but polished aesthetic, focus on healthy, glowing skin and some of the sweetest people manning both the booth and the company. My budget at the time didn't stretch beyond a small sampling of their wares (a lipgloss), but I walked away with the the intention of getting some more items as soon as I could.

"As soon as I could" stretched until fairly recently, unfortunately. I heard that their UK distribution was closing down, and I thought that was a shame, as this is a brand that deserves more attention. Not everything they do is perfection (it seems like their eyeshadows have been hit-and-miss from what I've read) but they do excel at face products, which is what I splurged on when I placed my order. I ordered the Radiant Skin Satin-Finish Foundation in Buff, the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (and received a sample of the same in Topaz), and a couple of their renowned Beach Tints (which will be reviewed separately).

becca radiant skin satin finish foundation buff
Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation in Buff
I originally planned on purchasing the Luminous Skin Foundation, which is what they are famous for, but it has the coverage level of a tinted moisturizer, which I wasn't really feeling at the time. Radiant Skin purports to have "medium buildable coverage" and a "lightweight radiant finish", which all sounded aces to me.

Picking out a foundation colour online is always a delight, but Becca did make it easy with good descriptions and swatches on the Sephora site, and a foundation finder on their own site. I went with Buff, which is just a touch too yellow-toned for me (more so in the swatch below than when actually applied) but otherwise very workable.

becca radiant skin satin finish foundation buff
Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation in Buff
Part of what makes it workable is that this is not exactly a medium coverage foundation. I would say light at one coat, medium at two. You can build it without it looking cakey, but you need to do so carefully. I found I had the best results with a flat-type foundation brush, particularly the Contour Brush from Glamcor, which maximizes the coverage without leaving behind any streaking. When I used my favourite buffing brushes, the foundation picked up too much on skin texture and had a hard time applying smoothy.

The finish is interesting - it does indeed possess a radiant glow, yet unlike many satin-finish foundations, I found it dries very quickly and almost matte at first. It needs about thirty minutes to settle into the skin to achieve that luminosity, and continues looking more and more like skin as the day progressed. It doesn't settle into pores or move around, though for that first half hour it does pick up surface dryness. It lasts relatively well, with some breakdown around the corners of my nose at the 7-8 hour mark. (For what it's worth, my skin at the moment is combo/normal to dry, with visible pores on and around my nose.)

Overall, it actually reminded of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation.

Now as for the Shimmering Skin Perfector - well, this is the be-all-end-all product in their range, to hear it told. It has achieved a certain cult status thanks in part to the exposure it received on the Pixiwoo YouTube channel. And after testing it, I have to agree with the accolades.

Large bottle: Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal
Small tube: Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz
I debated between Pearl (which is more white-based) and Opal (which has a golden-peach hue) and opted for the latter because I tend to favour warming highlights. And it is beautiful. While it appears alarmingly opaque when first pumped out, it sheers out to the perfect shimmer, reflective and dewy, not sparkly. The peachy undertone isn't perceptible on my skin, it just allows the shimmer to blend in without looking stark.

It can be used straight to add a more focused shimmer, or it can be mixed into a foundation to add all-over glow. I would be very light-handed with the latter, because while this is a very refined shimmer, it does still pack a punch. You may end looking a little more Studio 54 than planned.

I didn't have a chance to wear Topaz, so I can't comment on it, though I imagine it would look fantastic on deeper skin tones than mine.

One caveat I have is that the pump bottle is sleek and elegant, but it pumps out more product than you probably need at one time. I also don't see the point of having an SPF in something that tends to be used in spots rather than all over.

becca shimmering skin perfector swatch opal
Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

becca shimmering skin perfector swatch topaz
Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz
And in keeping with my New Year's Resolutions, I wanted to add something to the review format. Instead of just swatches, a quick before-and-after application.

Becca Radiant Skin Foundation

I kept this makeup very simple, mostly to demonstrate the two products reviewed.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme used as a moisturizer/primer.

I applied and blended the Radiant Skin Foundation with a Glamcor Contour Brush (which is best for achieving stronger coverage without the "stroke" marks of a tradition flat foundation brush), going over some areas with a dab more. I went without concealer to show the level of coverage. I did not apply powder.

For the blush, I used a Real Techniques Contour Brush to apply Becca Beach Tint in Watermelon (and applied the same to my lips using my pinkie). I applied the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal to my browbone and the tops of my cheekbones with the Real Techniques Setting Brush.

For my eyes, I applied Burberry Trench all over the lid as a base using a MAC 239, and Burberry Midnight Brown very softly through my crease using an Inglot 6SS Crease Brush, and under my lower lash line using the MAC 239. For lashes, I used one coat of the Buxom Lash Mascara.

burberry trench midnight brown becca radiant skin foundation buff shimmering skin perfector opal beach tint watermelon

And for fun, the look under an Instagram filter, feeling all Monica Vitti.

Availability: The Radiant Skin Foundation is priced at 42$ USD on www.beccacosmetics.com, and 51$ CAD at www.sephora.com. The Shimmering Skin Perfector is 41$ USD and 50$ CAD at those same sites.

Pros: Radiant Skin is dewy, light-feeling, ideal for skin that doesn't need a ton of coverage but needs some extra luminosity. Shimmering Skin Perfector is concentrated glow in a bottle, sheerable to the most natural, healthy-skin effect.

Cons: The foundation does take a bit of time to settle, during which time it can pick up on dry texture. It is more light than medium in initial coverage, has to be built up with care. The only downside to the Perfector is the over-generous pump.

What do you guys think? Have you tried any Becca products? Are you, like me, hoping they continue to be a presence on the beauty scene?

(I purchased these items from the Becca website.)


  1. I heart Becca big time too! Opal looks so much lighter on me, but it's still amazingly natural on you! I've heard both good and not-so-good reviews about the foundation, and since I have no access to a counter here I'll wait before I make a decision :)

    1. I think the foundation has that kind of dual quality that can be problematic - oily skins might find it goes too dewy or disappears on them, while drier skins might find it cakey. It definitely needs to be tried out, I agree. I don't know what possessed me to order it blind, but I'm glad it's something that worked well enough for me.

      What are your favourite Becca things??

  2. Anonymous21.1.13

    So gorgeous on you! I remember trying this when I was younger and found it didn't work too well on my then oily skin. Now that I am..ahem..more mature...it might work better for me! You are a brave woman ordering it blind lol! I wish I could remember what shade I was 10 years ago. That highlighter will last you for like what-25 years haha! It's HUGE.

    1. Thank you! Ya, that's what I suspected - oily skin and this would probably NOT be a match made in heaven. But thanks to advancing years, it seems like my skin can better tolerate foundations it would have run screaming from before, lol!

      The highlighter - right?? I wish they sold it in the little sample size too.

  3. ...Maggie, how are your brows /so perfect/ o.O

    This review is a wonderful Becca primer, my dear! Thank you for sharing your thoughts :o)

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you! I have the most amazingly talented threader wrangling them into submission.

      And I'm happy this was helpful in some way. =)

  4. Anonymous23.1.13

    YAY you look pretty!! :) I have the shimmering skin perfector but haven't tried it yet (a small tube from the best of becca kit from sephora!) i know lisa eldridge does sometimes use it all over the face, so i'm curious to try it that way too. I felt very similarly about the foundation in terms of coverage and how yellow it was when swatched compared to when applied! I do like it though, but i returned it today because I think I'd rather get a foundation that wows me, and i'm thinking i'll go for koh gen do! :)

    1. Thank you!

      Ooooh, Koh Gen Do! Would love to read your thoughts on that one. =)

    2. Anonymous24.1.13

      it may be a while... but i will definitely post as soon as i get them and test them out! i had a sample packet of the aqua foundation and it seemed quite radiant even though it was the wrong shade. and the moisture foundation sample i tried was also nice. So now i have to decide which (maybe BOTH!?) and then when i should be allowed to buy them! LOL

  5. Anonymous24.1.13

    What a gorgeous look!

  6. ~sigh~ I have been lemming some Becca products for ages...haven't pulled the trigger yet, though you're not helping! I want to try both of these, but I am so madly in love with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation that I really don't need anything else right now. And the highlighter calls my name but I'm more in the market for a powder illuminator. We shall see!!

  7. That swatch of Opal. GORGEOUSNESS. O_O

    I was lemming some Becca terribly before but now that they're readily accessible in Toronto, I don't feel like they're as big a deal, haha. This was a nice thorough read as an intro to the brand though and very helpful! I don't think their foundation is for me, and after testing the shimmers at the counter, I agree that the bottles are too big and pump out way too much product.

    1. Ya, I don't think you would enjoy the dewier aspect of the finish. Are they at the Sephora in TEC??

  8. Judith26.1.13

    Never used this brand, but that Opal looks phenomenal! Great post!

    1. It IS totally worth the hype, a very fine shimmer highlight. :)


Hi! Thank you for your comment, I love to hear back from you guys. =) I try to respond back to every comment within a few days.

Please don't use this comment form for self-promotion, though. It's bad blogger etiquette. And we don't wish to upset Emily Post. ;)