Foundation Review: Max Factor Radiant Lift

Foundation Review: Max Factor Radiant Lift

I really need to crack on with my foundation reviews because I have a serious backlog. I get a bit stuck, sometimes, because I try to go into too much detail and then I start comparing one foundation with another and then I set myself the task of wearing one on one side of my face and another foundation on the other side and before I know it, a year has gone by and the brand has discontinued the foundation and the whole exercise was pointless.

So, Max Factor Radiant Lift Long Lasting Radiance Foundation. This does exactly what it says on the bottle: it’s radiant, it’s long-lasting and (shuffling on down to the smaller print) it does give all day hydration, never feeling dry or cakey. At first I thought that Radiant Lift was comparable with L’Oreal’s Pro Glow – a comprehensive, medium-to-full kind of coverage, a surprisingly light and fresh texture and a very nice dose of glow – but actually there are some significant differences.

(You can read the full review of L’Oreal Pro Glow here)

Pro Glow (housed in a tube, which makes it convenient for travel, though it is a little leaky into the lid) is incredibly lightweight – lighter, noticeably, than Max Factor Radiant Lift, which is contained in a glass bottle and has a creamier texture. Pro Glow looks radiant and perfected and gorgeous but sets fast and completely and has nothing in the way of a residue that you can feel; Radiant Lift from Max Factor is more robust in texture and leaves a very slight residue.

Max Factor Radiant Lift foundation review

So if your skin was very dry, you’d maybe opt for the Max Factor Radiant Lift – the formula is alcohol free, the texture is slightly creamier, the finish has that pleasing plumptiousness that dry skin loves. The thing you’d be losing out on – albeit only fractionally – is longevity. L’Oreal’s Pro Glow performed just a tiny bit better over the course of a fourteen hour wear (I did my half-half face with both for a week, dedication to the cause and all that) with a completely in-tact finish at the end of the shift. Radiant Lift wasn’t far behind, but it had started to look ever so slightly tired by the time I went to cleanse before bed. I also find Pro Glow marginally better to blend – because it’s lighter, it spreads smoothly and quickly.

Now that the Pro Glow/Radiant Lift comparison is out of the way, let’s concentrate on the coverage and glow from the Radiant Lift. It’s not dewy glow, as in that sheeny sort of surface that catches the light, it’s more of a “lit from within” glow that gives an all-over, uniform sort of luminosity. I’m so bored of writing “lit from within” on foundation reviews, but it is the best way I can think to describe it – it’s not the sun hitting slightly oily skin and bouncing off the high points, it’s a flawless kind of luminosity that feels as though there’s a soft beauty light underneath the skin, glowing through. It’s dewy without the oil. Or dewy without the sweat, depending on how uncouth you want to be about it.

And coverage? Let’s take a little look at the before and after pictures:

Max Factor Radiant Lift foundation review

Max Factor Radiant Lift foundation review

There’s a tremendous level of radiance going on there, wouldn’t you agree? But it’s not shiny-shiny glow, it’s the aforementioned sophisticated sort of radiance that’s beautiful and soft. Skintone is evened out and the coverage tackles darkness under the eyes quite well. It’s not the heaviest coverage I’ve seen, but it definitely leaves a flawless finish and it doesn’t leave the skin looking flat.

Max Factor Radiant Lift foundation review

You have to be reasonably quick with blending because once this sets, it sets fast. Which is intentional, as it’s a longwear base! But it’s worth noting. Especially if you (like me) tend to run into problems in the upper lip area thanks to a layer of fluffy down. (Sounds better than “blonde moustache hairs” doesn’t it?)

Max Factor Radiant Lift foundation review

So what is there not to like about Radiant Lift? Not much at all. It has great staying power, it gives a beautiful, radiant finish with excellent coverage and it doesn’t cost the earth. There are eighteen shades to choose from, which is relatively decent (Pro Glow had twelve at last count) and there’s no alcohol in the formula, for those who prefer their bases without. I’d say that it suits skin that’s on the drier side rather than oily – it looked quite shiny on my t-zone when I was in my pre-period hormonal nightmare week – but do leave your comments below if you’ve been using it and have any anecdotal material to add!

You can find Max Factor Radiant Lift Foundation at FeelUnique here* or Boots here* – it’s £14.99.

Those who want the same sort of coverage but more moisture and much more dewiness will love the new Clinique Even Better Refresh foundation, which is £30 here*, and if you’re in the market for a designer foundation and want the same radiance and coverage then Dior Forever Skin Glow would be a sturdy choice. It also comes in 30 shades. Find that here* – it’s £37. My review of the new Forever line-up will probably be the next one up as it’s been sitting in my drafts for months!

Update: If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my IGTV video applying the new Maybelline Dream Urban Cover* – I’ve had so much interest in that via direct messaging that I think I may bump it up the queue and review next! I’m @modelrecommends on Instagram should you wish to follow.

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 



  1. Marianne Dunker
    August 9, 2019 / 7:37 pm

    Ich finde die Foundation recht gut. Bei mir muss die immerhin Einiges können: Den ganzen Tag gut aussehen, mindestens mittlere Deckkraft haben, um meine Rötungen abzudecken, Feuchtigkeit spenden, Fältchen kaschieren und sie soll sich nicht in den Fältchen oder in meinen großen Poren an der Nase absetzen. Das alles schafft die Radiant Lift ziemlich gut und das für einen freundlichen Preis. Es gibt noch eine Foundation, die das alles kann, noch perfekter hält, aber auch sehr reichhaltig ist, also eher etwas für den Winter oder sehr trockene Haut: Die Radiant Lifting Foundation von Sheseido, allerdings teurer
    Gruß Marianne aus Lübeck

  2. Beverly
    May 26, 2019 / 5:01 pm

    I’ve been mixing the Pro Glow and La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar BB Blur together to great effect lately. The Pro Glow juices things up and adds significant coverage and staying power, while the BB Blur brings the glow down just a notch, absorbs oil and does an amazing job of blurring and perfecting the finish. I can mix them up based on how my skin is behaving that day and the season to get a perfect, custom base. You introduced me to both products and I’d love to hear your thoughts if you try it out!

  3. Nevena
    May 22, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    I currently (every day for months) use Radian Lift and i absolutely love this foundation . I personally think the foundation looks flawless for a night out . I’m 40 years old , have normal skin & get oily on the t-zone . With primer you can lock the foundation so it doesn’t get oily during long period of wearing. The only downside is the range of colors, at the stores in my country there are only 5 shades available , but would absolutely recommend Radiant Lift :)

  4. Sevda
    May 21, 2019 / 8:00 pm

    I couldn’t get prototype glow in Ireland so hopefully I can get this, sounds right up my street. Thanks for the review.

    • Elaine
      August 12, 2019 / 10:02 pm

      Hi it’s exclusively available on Amazon, I’m in Ireland too and order it from there.

  5. May 21, 2019 / 3:49 pm

    Hi Ruth, Great foundation review on Max Factor Radiant Lift. I never thought that Pro Glow is convenient for travel. Why do you think it is? Thanks for sharing this post!

  6. Louise
    May 21, 2019 / 12:19 pm

    A vote for the Maybelline review next – I’ve loved their concealers (Dream Lumi Touch and Eraser Eye Concealer) for years and never found their foundations lived up to them. But, I love this new one (Urban Cover). I woudn’t say it’s full coverage, but I think it has a lovely, not over the top glow and “stickability” . Makeup often doesn’t seem to “bond” with my skin – just slides off…. but this one did. I have older (just over 50) combination skin but think it would suit anyone. I’ve tried the Max Factor and found it OK but really like the Maybelline. (I don’t work for Maybelline by the way!)

  7. Margaret
    May 21, 2019 / 9:49 am

    I only started using Radiant Lift when the formula was changed on another MF foundation which rendered it useless ( they have since changed it again ) however I am delighted this happened or I would never have discovered such an amazing suitable foundation. I am 66, have dry skin and need a decent coverage that looks light and natural, Golden Honey suits me perfectly, I get so many compliments and it really does last well….love it love it love it…..

    • Annya
      July 3, 2019 / 9:35 pm

      Have just seen your comment whilst I was searching for inspiration and I want to thank you. I also have skin “of a certain age” that is dry and you have convinced me this is one to try, Thank you!

  8. May 21, 2019 / 8:32 am

    I think the Pro Glow would be my choice out of these two then, I don’t mind the alcohol and prefer my base to be really lightweight.

  9. May 20, 2019 / 10:37 pm

    I love Pro Glow so would love to try this if we had it in Canada. Maybe on my next trip to the UK?


    • Anna
      May 22, 2019 / 1:14 am

      You can get this at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada.

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