Saturday, 5 March 2011

Illamasqua Toxic Nature: new Cream Pigments

Disclosure - PR samples

The highlight of our beauty week has definitely been the Illamasqua Toxic Nature event, where we were introduced to Illamasqua's new spring collection, due out on counter 17 March (and online on 10 March at

Toxic Nature is a grungy mixture of post-apocalyptic pastels and eye-searing acid brights. It features some amazing nail polishes, including the neon chartreuse Radium that Gemma posted yesterday, and Glister, a new flesh-toned liner with pink shimmer that was grabbing a lot of attention at the event. (No doubt we'll be examing that in closer detail in a later post.) It's also the vehicle for a new product format, the Cream Pigment, which I'm swatching below.

Product Development Director David Horne explained that the Cream Pigments were created in response to customer feedback about the previous range of cream shadows, which were widely felt to be too oily. Illamasqua are known for their affinity with the straight-talking blogger world (and the feedback of their customers in general), and it's great to see that dialogue resulting in improvements to the line.

Our first question about the Cream Pigments was "will they set"? Both of us have been stung too many times by "creaseless" cream colours that do, indeed, crease, rather than setting to a dependable finish. I'm not sure that the Cream Pigments will work as stand-alone lid colours, but they do have a lot of other potential uses.

The feeling we got from the Illamasqua team was that these are as much pro tools as consumer products. They're intended to be mixed and matched, used on different areas of the face and body, and generally provide pigment where it's needed in an open-ended, non-prescriptive way. Some of the models at the event and in the promo pics even had Cream Pigment in their hair, although that's possibly a shade too experimental for us.

The Cream Pigments are poured in the usual four-cornered Illamasqua pots. The lids don't have screw or snap-shut mechanisms, which means they're not very portable - I'd worry about the lids coming off in my bag and making an unholy mess. However the lids are quite snug-fitting, so there shouldn't be too much problem with the products drying out.

As you can see, I couldn't resist sticking my fingers in before taking pictures. The texture is very creamy and easy to pick up.

I've been playing around with the two colours I received at the event, Mould and Hollow. I tried Mould, which is a deep plum/grape shade, as a lip colour. I thought it worked surprisingly well, although the verdict from Jon, who I live with, was "you look like you've been eating a pen." Maybe not then.

Hollow is a definite candidate for contouring, as it's very blendable and totally without the tell-tale orange stripe effect you get from many bronzers. It's more of a dark tea colour than a bronze. You could also use either shade as a cream blush, as they can be sheered out easily.

The pigment is strong with this one. The above swatches are a single swipe. To show you how well they blend together, here's a merged swatch of both colours.

Six cream pigments will be released with Toxic Nature. If they do well, more colours will be in the pipeline. The colours, all densely-pigmented mattes, are: Mould and Hollow (above), Emerge (a pale peach), Bedaub (pastel mint green), Dab (pale lilac), and Delirium (a dusty rose that would be a killer cream blush).

Cream Pigments will retail at £17 each (8g).

See more Toxic Nature concept art at Illamasqua's official blog. You can also win your Toxic Nature waiting list at prior to the collection's release.


  1. "you look like you've been eating a pen." - LOL so kind. I think it looks nice as a lip colour! I'd really like to see Hollow in action as a contour :)

  2. I do like these but I just wish they wouldn't crease. I like it on your lips!


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