My 6 (7) Must Have Make Up Items | No. 7 Lift & Luminate Foundation Review

First up, this post is not sponsored in any way. I bought everything you see here. What prompted me to write it is my journey to find another foundation after Kiko discontinued their Anti-Age one (thanks a million Kiko). After trying a few different foundation samples at home and talking to my make up guru friend Katrina Doran, I decided to buy a bottle of the Boots No. 7 Lift And Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

So here's the science bit - 'Enriched with anti-ageing skincare ingredients from our No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum, this foundation instantly improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles, firmness and uneven skin tone. Pores and discolourations look reduced for a flawless looking, radiant complexion.

The flexible formula stays in place all day and doesn’t migrate into fine lines and wrinkles despite the thousands of daily facial expressions you make. This comfortable feeling foundation is proven to deliver the ideal level of coverage for ageing skin, which doesn’t mask your natural beauty, keeping skin looking healthy and flawless all day'

I don't know many women in their 40's that won't want to try it after reading that. I was certainly attracted in and after a bit of hand testing, I bought the Honey shade, which seems to be among the darkest of the range surprisingly. Good news if you're naturally pale.

Luckily, I got the shade exactly right and I've been wearing it now for 10 days and in response to all the requests on Instagram, I wanted to share on here how I found it. 

This review is not sponsored and I'm not one for gushing where gushing isn't deserved so be assured that when I say I'm really happy with this, I mean it. 
I tried 4 foundations over the summer - Chanel, Pur, Rimmel Wake Me Up & Inglot and all of them disappointed me in different ways. The reality is that there are very few foundations aimed at older skin. Endless oil-free and matt ones. Loads of heavy coverage ones for younger skins. But very few luminous, flattering foundations that have anti-ageing benefits

The texture of this Boots foundation is quite different to the Kiko one - a little grainier, if that makes sense? But the coverage is similar and it's buildable. So at the weekend, I'll just pop on one squirt all over my face but on a work-day or on a night out, I'll build that up with a little more.

I've used it with a brush and with my fingers and both worked well. I possibly think it went on better with the brush but I'm so lazy about washing brushes so I'm going to stick with fingers.

It's hard to describe foundation and I'm not sure photos would even help. All I can say is that I like the coverage, the 'feel' of it, the fact that it's still on my skin at the end of the day (albeit with somewhat reduced coverage) and my skin is in great shape at the moment - though I accept this can be for a number of reasons. I guess where I'm coming from is that all is good as I use this and I feel like this foundation is part of the reason why, so I'm sticking with it. I'm not sure most busy women overanalyse why they use a certain product. My feeling is that if your skin seems content, don't question it too much!

It's not overly cheap at £18 (though it's half the price of the Chanel one I tested) so before you buy, go to the counter and get colour matched and ask for a sample to try at home. Unless you're very confident about buying foundation (and don't mind wasting £18!) you should always get some to try yourself first. Any brand worth buying from will willingly offer this. PS Number 7 is on BOGOHP at the moment.

Now I should say that since I bought this one, a reader has told me that they tried the Number 7 one AND L'Oreal True Match and is finding the latter to be better. Watch this space. I will try it next time I'm in Boots but if you're in looking, you might like to give it a try also. Also on Buy one get one half price at the moment.

I'm also, as part of the review, showing my 5 (6) other must have make up items that I use religiously every day. Because none of us puts on foundation alone. The final finish is determined by so many factors but mostly by what we apply under and over. So it makes sense to show you what I put on over my foundation to achieve my final look. (I've a post scheduled on what I wear underneath - currently testing a few new bits so I'll share when I feel happy about these new products.)
Starting at the top of the picture - my favourite bronzer which I know isn't everyone's favourite. I don't know why I like this Vita Liberata Trystal Minerals Bronzer (Shade - Bronze) so much as it gets really mixed reviews online. But for me, it's got a natural colour, it's not drying on the skin and I love the brush it comes with. A proper bronzer brush. I can't believe that premium brands still sell bronzers with those crappy little flat brushes inside...or worse again, with no brush!
Shop around - it often is on offer and I picked mine up at less than half price earlier in the summer. There are some on eBay also - take care who you buy from though - as is always the case with eBay and beauty products.

So I apply the Trystal Minerals Bronzer almost in a figure 3 from the centre of my forehead to just under my cheekbones, to my jawline. Use VERY little of it and blend like mad. Build it up rather than putting on lots as it can look way too strong on the face otherwise.

After my bronzer, it's brows and I've already covered those off on another post here. Didn't think it was necessary to talk more about them. I'm still using and loving my Defined and Refined brow kit - the pencil mainly. I've repurchased it since that last post.

Mascara next and I've tried so many, including a recent disappointing experience with Benefit They're Real. Not for me. That's skincare for you - not everything will suit everyone. This Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara is a dream to use and will be repurchased.
Then it's lips and by far the thing I get asked about on Instagram the most. I don't use lipstick alone though I do use it to top up my lips when I'm out and about later in the day. But in the morning, I put on my Maybelline 24 Hour in Absolute Plum and it pretty much stays put for most of the day...amazing stuff. 
It can be tricky to get it on evenly around the lips as it dries and fixes quite fast so I put it on without going right up to my lip line and then use this Mac lip-liner in Soar (BEST nude liner - available in a duo here) to draw around the lips. This naturally pulls up some of the Maybelline and gives you a lovely even edge that stays all day. 

And I finish by using a brush to put some Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer (Shade - Nude) in a v-shape under my eye. This product is amazing but the sponge applicator is MING. Tear it off at once. It's so unhygienic and used to put me off buying the product. But then Katrina (make-up guru) enlightened me to the fact that if you tear off the sponge, you can access the product hygienically underneath. Just be careful when you twist it up as you can end up with a volcano eruption of product.

I do have one last little must have that I carry in my handbag every day. It's the holy grail of lip balms that will calm and soothe the sorest of lips...but also does a great job of moisturising your lips every day. Essential when you use drying lip stains like Maybelline or Max Factor Lipfinity. I know both of these products come with balm options but I find them so greasy and useless. 

I don't have a pretty image as my tube is a bit battered but I repurchase this twice a year. CANNOT be without it. Are you getting my level of dedication here? It's Blistex Relief Cream. Less than £3. You can keep your 8 hour cream, your Kiehls lip balm, your Eve Lom unhygienic pot full of dirty finger scoops. Blistex kicks them all to touch. If you have times where your lips get in any way sore, this stuff will knock it on the head with once use. 

Finishing with the last of my 'playing about with my camera/flat lay' pictures and a shameless plug for my work candles. This Rain Candle by Field Apothecary is incredible which is probably why it has just been shortlisted in the 'Home Product of the Year' category of the Image Interior Design Awards. Pretty special. It really does smell like rain. So difficult to describe. I'm going to give one (that I've purchased) away on my Instagram this week so keep an eye out! 
And there you go - I'm no beauty blogger but I know what I like. Please ask away if you've any questions. Congratulations on making it to the bottom of this post - it took a lot longer to write than I thought it would!


  1. I might give this one a go although I find it nigh impossible to deviate from Esteé Lauder Double Wear Light at the moment. I've just got Maybelline Superstay Full Coverage 24H (who wears their make up 24H??) to try out.

  2. Agree Estée Lauder is the best... been using it for over 20 years! Also, I didn't like Benefit They're Real either but the Roller Lash is fantastic. As for Blistex...(used to be Blisteze) there's nothing better! Great post Avril... thanks!

  3. Have recently changed to No7 lift and luminate foundation after using Lancôme for a number of years and I am very happy with it, also love the No7 tinted moisturiser xx


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