Face, Reviews

Second look: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

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A few things happened yesterday that made me want to have another look at this foundation. For one, I saw that my original post on it is still getting lots of views, even though the photos are fairly awful. Two, I had already decided to pick up a new bottle of it now that the heat and humidity are cranking up.

Also, I heard (via Belly at Wondegondigo) that Gilt City had half off vouchers for Space NK, and a 20% off code (WELCOME20). So I used that to snag the $100 voucher for 40 bucks, then used the voucher to order my foundation plus the Hourglass retractable foundation brush. Usually the best deal you can get on Hourglass stuff is during Sephora’s fall 20% off sale, so I thought that was a bargain too good to pass up. Note: SpaceNK doesn’t accept returns of opened products, so bear that in mind.

So after a whole year and a whole bottle, here are some updated thoughts.


Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder FoundationThe heavy glass bottle for this foundation feels super-luxe, though that does make it a little less travel-friendly (but it’s 1oz, so the TSA shouldn’t mind). It’s really sturdy, and I’ve dropped it many times with no ill effects. It does end up being a ‘display piece’ though, because it’s too thick to fit in a slim Muji drawer. Once you get toward the bottom, the bottle needs to be standing up in order to get the product out anyway.


Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder FoundationIt still comes in 16 shades that range from pretty pale to quite dark. The one shown above is Sand, which is left over from my last bottle. I’m much less tan now than I was at this time last year, so Sand is a bit too dark for me; I re-matched myself over the weekend and settled on Natural as my new color. For reference I’m about NW25/Chanel B30.

It’s also worth a mention that this foundation does tend to oxidize on me, and that’s a pretty common thing according to the Sephora SA who made a sample for me. On me it gets dark, not orange, but your mileage may vary. I’d strongly suggest getting a sample if you can before you fork over the cash for it.

Texture, application & wear

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

No makeup, to show you what we’re working with these days

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Wearing the shade Natural, with Guerlain Meteorites

My opinions on the formula are still pretty much the same as they always were. It’s a thick, almost pudding-y consistency but feels very light on the skin. It’s sort of a tricky foundation to apply, since it sets so quickly. You need to work in sections, blend quickly (I like to dab it on with the Shiseido foundation brush) and any coverage-building needs to be done before you move onto the next section of your face.

Once it’s on, it’s totally worth it. The finish looks very natural, and is really a true matte foundation. If shine is your enemy, this is for you. I usually add a bit of finishing powder (either Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder or Guerlain Meteorites in Clair) since I like to have a little bit of glow. True to their word, this stuff really does stay shine-free all day. The picture above? That’s about 13 hours after I put my makeup on. No touchups (except to lipstick), no blotting. This is on a day that was 87 degrees with 74% humidity. My skin isn’t as oily as it used to be, but it does still get pretty shiny if I leave it on its own, so that’s quite a feat. It doesn’t get powdery as the day wears on, and it doesn’t dehydrate my skin the way some oil-absorbing products do.

In Short: Still the best foundation I’ve found for controlling oil.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation ($55) is available at sephora.com and spacenk.com


  1. Elena

    July 3, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I am still trying to decide if I love or hate this foundation. My skin is crazy oily, so I still need to blot even though I set it with one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders too. Do you usually wear a primer or sunscreen with it? I am curious because you didnt mention how did you prep your skin. I seem to have a better luck with it if I pair it with the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer.

    1. Nikki

      July 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Yup, I always wear it over primer! If it helps, this is my skin routine:

    2. Moisturize – right now I’m using First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, but I also like Nuance Age Affirm; wait 5 minutes (while I do my hair)
    3. Sunscreen – EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46; wait 5-10 minutes (while I eat breakfast/make coffee)
    4. Primer – either Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer or Rouge Bunny Rouge Metamorphoses Mattifying Primer
    5. Foundation
    6. I usually finish up with some kind of powder (Hourglass ALP, Guerlain Meteorites, RBR Diaphanous, Bourjois Java Rice) but that’s more for light-diffusing than oil control
    7. Something that helped me hugely back in the day was figuring out that my skin was actually really dehydrated, which made it overproduce oil to try to balance itself. I was using all kinds of ‘oil-control’ products because I had acne and oily skin, and I think it was seriously stripping my skin. When I switched to a sulfate-free cleanser and started using moisturizer, I was still oily but it calmed down a lot. Not sure if this applies to you or not, but I figured it was worth mentioning :-)

      Hourglass ALPs don’t seem to be great for controlling oil, in my experience – they’re mostly mica, which is used more for its reflective properties (I don’t think it absorbs oil). A silica powder might work better for you. I personally like Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous. Meow Cosmetics also makes a ‘primer’ that’s kaolin clay based (the same ingredient that Immaculate uses) and I’ve seen some folks say they use it as a setting powder – I haven’t tried it myself though.

  1. Elena

    July 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks a lot! This is super helpful. I had a baby last year, during my pregnancy I got lucky and my skin behaved great. But after I stopped breastfeeding all the hormonal changes have been quite a challenge and right now I am in the middle of the dehydrated vs oily predicament. I like the Hourglass ALPs because they look great and dont break me out. Will definitely check out the two you suggested, thank you again :)

  2. Nikki

    July 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    No problem! I’d love to hear how they work out for you.

  3. Elena

    July 14, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Hi Nikki, after you posted this I have been playing with a few combinations of moisturizer/sunscreen/primers and it seems like I have found a really good combo *happy dance* (mario badescu control moisturizer, la roche posay anthelios ultra light, hourglass mineral veil)

    I have been on a glycolic acid prescription for about 2 months. Turns out it was a bit too strong and was getting my oiliness out of control. Now with a lower concentration and enough moisturizer my skin is happier!

    Just wanted to say thank you again :)

  • Linda

    July 4, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Thanks for this review Nikki! I love this foundation too but it has so many haters out there I wondered if it was just me. It really looks beautiful on you!

    1. Nikki

      July 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks :-) I can definitely see how it wouldn’t be for everyone, but it’s the first foundation I’ve repurchased in a long time!

  • Lis

    June 23, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Do you know if it is breastfeeding safe? Great review – def want to try if it is safe.

    1. Nikki

      June 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

      I don’t know, sorry – cosmetics (at least in the US) don’t have to go through the same pre-market safety checks that drugs do, so I doubt the product as a whole has been studied specifically for safety in pregnancy/breastfeeding, though the individual ingredients may have been. I would recommend having your ob/gyn review the ingredient list if it’s a concern.

  • Angie

    June 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    If you still have the bottle can you tell me how fluid oz it is? They just changed their packaging and it seems like the new packaging has less, but it’s still the same price… I had the old packaging but returned it because it wasn’t the right color.

    1. Nikki

      June 7, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      The new packaging is more compact & lightweight, so it seems like it wouldn’t have as much, but the old & new are both 1oz. I think the new one is actually better since you can cut open the tube to get out every drop unlike the glass bottle.

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