EX1 Cosmetics Invisiwear Liquid Foundation


There’s a new cosmetics name on the scene and it’s for brown-faced girls like me. EX1 Cosmetics is the first ever mass market make-up brand in the UK specifically formulated for Asian and exotic skin tones.

The brain behind it is British Asian Farah Naz who came up with the concept to create a line of cosmetics suited for skin tones like hers after becoming fed up of the limited choice on the high street.

I know exactly how that feels. When I first started exploring make-up in my late teens, my first stop was my local Boots store where I was met with a very restricted selection. Clueless and pocketless too, I settled for an apparent match which I later discovered had pink tones and was completely wrong for my yellow/golden undertone. Well, how was I to know?!

To get the right match, I had to move up to the high-end spectrum and pay about 4 times the price. Ah, I remember the day clearly…it was the MAC counter in Selfridges… Ever since I’ve always purchased high-end foundations because as the girl at MAC pointed out, there are only about 5 shades on a high street brand and about 30 with the likes of MAC.

With a background as a biochemist, Farah’s philosophy was simple: to design the highest quality collection of products for exotic-skinned women, using only the best in cosmetic technology and to keep it affordable.

Two years in the making, the results are five foundations, five mineral powder foundations, three powders, three concealers and four blushers formulated to mimic the natural yellow/golden pigments found in Asian skins. By ‘Asian’, I mean Pakistani, Indian, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern skin tones.

I was sent EX1’s ‘Invisiwear’ Liquid Foundations in two shades: F200 and F300. The latter is slap bang in the middle and in fact a pretty accurate match for me, whereas F200 is too light.


The style of packaging is generically identical to some other foundations I’ve used (plastic bottle with a pump). It doesn’t look or feel expensive but for what it costs, I think it serves its purpose more than adequately.

It is priced at the very favourable £10.50 and is a lightweight and luminous liquid base with light diffusers to cover imperfections and provide a natural, soft finish. It’s been clinically and dermatologically tested, and is 100% oil and fragrance-free and non-pore clogging.

The formula is quite thick but very easy to work with. I have been wearing it every day to work and the coverage is remarkable; I’d say it’s medium but easy to build up to full. I have to say one thing though – when I used it over Illamasqua’s Hydra Veil, I noticed a profound difference in the foundation’s appearance. The use of Hydra Veil really enhanced it, giving a far superior finish. Compared to its competitors, EX1 Cosmetics is in a league of its own because I’ve not found any other high-street brand that has made a foundation with these results:


And that was taken with a flash… OK so I’ve got a full face of make-up but without a decent base, your face will look a mess – no matter what fancy products you’ve used.

My one concern is the limited number of shades. With only five currently available, I do wonder those who fall in-between or outside this spectrum will feel left out. By no means is it an easy task to do what Farah has accomplished, and it is positive to see things are moving in the right direction with (here’s hoping) the scope to expand for a skin group that is no longer considered a minority.

EX1 Cosmetics is currently available from Look FantasticBeauty Expert and HQ Hair.

For more information, visit their official website EX1 Cosmetics.

*PR sample



  1. Renku
    12th May 2013 / 8:04 PM

    Omy this looks amazing and your skin looks beautiful! x

  2. Sheenie
    12th May 2013 / 10:01 PM

    Thank you, Renku! Looking at the picture, I am beginning to like this foundation even more.

  3. Gigi
    13th May 2013 / 9:09 AM

    You look a similar tone to me, I’ve been using Mac nc37, sometimes nc40 in studiofix and all I can say is that this wins hands down. The colour is just way much better than mac’s NC’s on yellow or olive skins, and it doesn’t break me out. Great post! xx

  4. gigi
    13th May 2013 / 9:18 AM

    sorry, if i repeat my comment, I think it didnt go thru? Anyways….This for me blows away Mac NC35-NC40 Much more natural looking on olive skins, amazing coverage that doesn’t break me out. I’m your colour and also use the F300. This has become my HG foundation, Great post xx

  5. Sheenie
    13th May 2013 / 10:36 AM

    Thanks Gigi for your feedback and experience. I’m an NC42 in MAC but EX1 definitely looks more natural. I’m definitely going to be buying this when my sample runs out. xx

  6. Leena
    13th May 2013 / 3:24 PM

    I use illamasqua in 10.5 on my Asian skin, and I’ much prefer the f300. I use the illamasqua with the built in primer, but to be honest hate the fact it’s not oil free, and honestly don’t think the colour match is anywhere near as good as ex1. I find the results are better with a primer, but not essential, and the price is just amazing. thanks for the post, really good to see things are changing 🙂

  7. Sheenie
    13th May 2013 / 4:15 PM

    That’s really interesting, Leena. Skin Base is my favourite but lately I am wondering if the shade I’ve been matched with is correct as it feels darker now so I am going to go back and get matched again. Your experience of using EX1 is valuable as well. Thanks for letting me know.

  8. Leena
    13th May 2013 / 6:47 PM

    Well I was matched to the 10.5 but the problem is all the shades they suggested for my brown skin, have yellow/pink tones in them according to their website, which explains why the match isn’t that great. The only other decent match i have found was a Youngblood shade, but that was years ago. llamaqua feels great on the skin only because it stuffed full of oil and primer, you put that into any foundation it will feel amazing, but kills you skin!

  9. Sheenie
    14th May 2013 / 12:10 AM

    How do you mean it kills your skin, Leena? Personally it’s the one base that’s worked for me and I’ve gone through nearly all the MAC variations. What’s your skin type?

  10. Leena
    14th May 2013 / 6:23 PM

    Hi Sheenie, They contain paraffin’s/mineral oils, which are quite cheap and nasty really, Mac studiofix doesn’t have them I don’t think, most premium brands stopped using mineral oils ages ago, its like putting vaseline all over your face, really surprised they get away with it lol xx

  11. 15th May 2013 / 8:05 AM

    Awww…this product looks amazing. I wanna try this out too. It looks like it blends well with the skin. can’t wait to grab one and try it out. I hope it hides slight blemishes as well.

  12. glittergirl
    23rd July 2013 / 1:35 AM

    That looks like a nice foundation. I’m a shade NC 30 so which number in this foundation do you recommend?

  13. Sheenie
    20th October 2013 / 3:21 PM

    Hi Glitter Girl, sorry for the late reply – didn’t see your comment until now. I’m not sure what shade you will be. If you’re able to get to Topshop Oxford Circus, you can try some swatches as EX1 Cosmetics is selling in that store – which is fantastic news.

  14. sonam
    28th October 2013 / 6:45 PM

    is this foundation good for oily and acne skin?

  15. Sheenie
    29th October 2013 / 3:22 AM

    Hi Sonam, the foundation is oil-free and not perfumed plus it won’t clog the pores, which collectively won’t aggravate your skin. If you’re able to get to Topshop Oxford Circus easily then I wonder if you could get a sample de-potted to try? I think it would be a great idea if more brands made sachet samples so ladies like yourself wouldn’t have to take a gamble.

  16. Makeup Girl
    17th November 2013 / 3:28 PM

    Hi. Where can I get EX1 foundation samples? I’ve contacted EX1 via their website to no avail! Thanks!

  17. Sheenie
    17th November 2013 / 7:21 PM

    Are you able to visit Oxford Circus Topshop? They sell EX1.

  18. Makeup Girl
    23rd November 2013 / 1:05 PM

    Unfortunately not. I’ll have to pop in there next time I am in London. Thanks for your response 🙂

  19. Blusher123
    7th December 2013 / 12:31 AM

    Hi…Looks great…I’m thinking of ordering it…but I’m stuck on which shade I should buy? what shade of the ex1 do you use and are you still using it? Thanks!!!!

  20. Sheenie
    7th December 2013 / 6:29 AM

    Hi Blusher123, I use F300. In MAC, I’m NC42 and Illamasqua I’m Skin Base 12. F200 was slightly too light and pinkish for me but F300 is a perfect match. I wish EX1 did samples. I may have to get onto them about this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *