Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Steal vs Splurge: Boots No7 Instant Radiance Foundation vs. Bobbi Brown Skin

There's no doubt I'm a something of a snob when it comes to foundation - generally I stick to Bobbi Brown for foundations and occasionally venture into MAC, Dior or Chanel. Which is why I was very pleasantly surprised by Boots No7 Instant Radiance foundation.

The last time I bought a drugstore foundation was probably in my teens, when I bought my very first foundation, Revlon Colorstay. It had a tendency to thicken over time and I never quite found the right colour match. But goodness I loved it - until at some point I discovered MAC and never looked back.

Until recently, that is - when I had a £5 voucher for No7 and on a whim picked up the Instant Radiance foundation. What really drew me in is that the consistency is very, very close to my absolute favourite foundation, Bobbi Brown Skin. If you've ever tried the Skin foundation, you'll know it's very lightweight (almost watery-feeling) and dries down to a very skin-like, radiant, slightly dewy finish. The Instant Radiance does exactly the same and honestly I can't tell much if any difference at all in the quality and finish. I've been wearing it for the last 2 weeks and I like it as much as, if not more than, Bobbi's version. It's a lovely foundation for warmer days when you want something light and natural but need a bit more coverage than a tinted moisturiser.

Instant Radiance only comes in a limited shade range (compared to Bobbi's very broad shade range) but I was lucky enough that New Ivory was a perfect match for me (MAC NC30). The shades seemed to run yellow, which for me is a good thing as it really gives my skin a lift. I do think the formula would work well on all skin types - dry skin will love its hydrating properties. My skin is very oily, but I did not find I had to blot or powder any more than usual and it's lasted well enough through some long and busy days.

The Instant Radiance retails at £12.50 for 30ml (£7.50 with voucher) compared to the BB Skin at £29 for 30ml. Bottom line: if you can find a colour match, it's definitely worth giving a whirl - it's a steal!


  1. Great post! I shall have to look this out, I still have a voucher hanging around. I promise to come back and follow but I can't get the GFC to load for me right now. It's that you're posting again! x

  2. @ModestyBrown Thanks, it's good to be posting again! It's been a really long time..!

  3. Very interesting! I'm the exact same shade as you when I'm tan - I have 3 bottles of Bobbi Brown Natural! Now I'm a 3.5 Warm Beige, so I've reverted to tinted moisturizer. I used to be a 2 - but never again, I think.

  4. @Jamilla Hi! Yes, we are close in skintone - I follow your blog and I always find it useful to see what colours work well on you as they usually work well on me too ;) Like you my skintone fluctuates a lot (I tan very easily) - I can easily be a Warm Beige in winter. I do have a lot of foundations as a result, but hey I can live with that!