Review: New No7 Hydraluminous Foundation in Calico

No7 Hydraluminous Foundation title image. Behind the text is a photo of the Hydraluminous foundation tube on a fluffy white background

Recently No7 released their HydraLuminous Moisturising Foundation and concealer, along with a range of skin care products. These are all supposed to help people with dry skin and the foundation is supposed to help to improve your skin over time, like an additional skin care step within your makeup routine. If you’re thinking of trying it I’d recommend giving it a go soon as, at the moment, it’s on an offer where everything in the range is £10 so you’d save £5 off the RRP of £15 on this foundation and more on some of the others.

I wouldn’t normally buy a foundation without testing it first but I know that their lightest shade, Calico, is a pretty good match for me and I have drops that can lighten or darken it if the colour match was a total failure. The idea of a medium coverage foundation from a company that my skin gets on with and also works for dry skin sounded too good to be true so I had to give it a try.

There isn’t too much to say on the tube itself, it seems to be a fairly standard style for a lot of foundations so it doesn’t stand out but it does squeeze easily and I love that you stand it on the lid so you’ll be able to get the last of it out a lot easier than a pump style bottle. I’m not 100% sure but I think that the area at the bottom of the tube that shows the colour is actually clear, which means that you will be able to see how much is left, another bonus.

The back of the tube of foundation. It has some information on what the foundation does and the beneficial ingredients

The beneficial ingredients listed include vitamins A, C and E alongside anti-oxidants for your skin and grapeseed oil as the moisturising ingredients. Aside from the skin benefits this is supposed to have it also has SPF 15 in it. I recently found out that you’d need so much of any foundation that it would be over the top to actually get this SPF so it’s not really doing that much it’s still a bonus for me. I always use an SPF underneath and I’d say don’t rely on any foundation for your sun protection.

I think my skin has tanned in recent years, but their Calico colour is pretty much a perfect match for me and it doesn’t turn orange. I do find that within their own range of foundations the same shade name can be a slightly different colour, a couple of their others look a lot more orange in the Calico than this one, so see fi you can at least try with a tester in store first.

A photo showing the foundation when applied to the back of my hand. On the left is a photo of the foundation neat as it comes out of the tube and on the right shows the sheen you get after spreading and blending it out.

One thing I found with this foundation, and I find it with a lot of No7 products for me, is that it oxidises a lot on my hand when I swatch it but I don’t have the same problem on my face. If you aren’t sure about a colour I’d recommend asking at the No7 counter, they’ve given free samples of foundation before and then you can try it a few times on your face to see if it is the right colour match rather than relying on a hand swatch.

I love the formula for this, it’s so easy to use and apply. It’s probably middle of the range when it comes to thickness, it definitely has the feel of a tinted moisturiser but with extra coverage. I’m sure there are a lot of us with dry skin who’ve done this, but I used to mix a foundation with a moisturiser to get it to kind of work for me, and this reminds me of how they used to apply.

A photo comparing my skin with and without the foundation. It shows how the foundation evens out my skin tone and helps to reduce redness.

Like a BB Cream it spreads evenly and does take a few minutes to dry down and set due to the moisturising qualities. It does look a little shiny at first but after five minutes it dulls down to a little bit of a glow. You can use your fingers, a brush or a sponge and all of them work well. I prefer using a damp beauty blender style sponge as it buffs the foundation in and I just find I get a more natural look with it for any foundation. Using a brush does definitely give more coverage, though it can build up with a blender it still doesn’t give the same finish.

If you want a natural looking finish that evens skin tone, I’d probably say it was light coverage that can be built up to getting close to medium, then a sponge works well. If you want the medium coverage it says then a brush is best. I like how it didn’t end up streaky with a brush as you had time to work with it and even it out if you need to.

As far as staying power goes I was definitely impressed. It’s not designed to be used on a primer as that blocks the beneficial ingredients from getting into your skin, and a primer didn’t do anything to increase the staying power. I did find a setting spray helped and a powder did improve staying power when applied thicker with a brush. In general though I got an easy twelve hours out of it without it disappearing. It does get a bit shinier through the day though, especially on my forehead, but the foundation didn’t slip off or separate.

The front of the No7 tube in front of a dark blue background.

My skin has gone through the adjustment period my skin always does and I had a few small spots when I started using it. It was nothing major but I would say it’s definitely not one for oilier skin. I think it’s great for my skin which is technically combination but needs products for dry skin. It’s dry, sensitive and acne prone so it’s a bit of an ask to find products that work for one without setting off another but this one seems to be a good balance for me. I think combination and normal skin you’d have to know what your skin likes, it may be a bit too moisturising for some but others may love it.

Overall I was very impressed with this foundation. I’m not sure I’d say I’ve seen a massive benefit to my skin overall (though it has been two weeks rather than the four it says on the claims) but I have found that my skin feels less like I need a moisturiser after using it. I’m definitely going to be using this in the spring, it’s a nice light foundation that’s easy to apply and lasts well. The only real issue I have with this foundation is the lack of shades in it, I can only see twelve online and they stop at deep honey, and I wish they’d bring out more for people with darker skin tones.

I like this foundation so much I’m very tempted to try the under eye dark circle concealer, though I’m not sure how much my under eye needs moisturising if it has the same staying power as this I’d definitely try it. Have any of you tried the concealer, or any of the other products in this range?

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