Showing posts with label illamasqua. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illamasqua. Show all posts

Monday, 19 October 2015

Illamasqua Earth Collection - Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette, Ara Pure Pigment & Element Nail Varnish

Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette

Ara Pigment

Top: Ara Pigment; bottom: Nomadic Eyeshadow Palette

Element Nail Varnish
So, in the time it's taken me to write about Illamasqua's Earth collection for autumn 2015, they've gone and released a new one, Equinox.  And Alex Box has announced her departure from the brand. Oh well.

Earth is themed around, obviously, earth - the imagery is of mysterious eyed, veiled and turbaned ladies in a distinctly desert-like environment.  Since I've been reading the Martian recently, I've been imagining them on Mars, which is a little off piste, but fits in with the colour theme - warm, rich brick reds and oranges tempered with cool rock greys and beiges.

The Nomadic palette, £34, is the centre of the collection, and it's an interesting one - it boasts three matte shadows in shades of taupe grey (Solitude), green (Loam) and warm orange (Terra), and one shimmering pewter, Gravity.  As always, the eyeshadows are well pigmented and blend smoothly, with the mattes boasting not one jot of chalkiness.  Solitude, Loam and Gravity are much easier to wear, and I've had to take myself out of my comfort zone to find a good use for Terra - I suspect many others will feel the same.

My favourite part of the collection is the understated, shimmering taupe silver of the Pure Pigment in Ara, £17.  It's got such a beautiful rich shimmer, blends easily, and doesn't fall out too much if you pat rather than swipe it onto the lid.  It's also a perfect pairing for the more rich reds and pinks I wear on my lips during the autumn.  Element Nail Varnish (which has mysteriously disappeared from the Illamasqua website), £14.50, is also lovely, but I can't help but think I've seen this kind of low level metallic pewter polish somewhere before - it's not particularly unique.

All in all, there are some interesting elements in the Earth collection (see what I did there?) and my picks are the pigment and the palette in that order.  But there's something off here, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is - the quality of the products is high, as usual, but I think the overall tone is just a bit meh for a brand like Illamasqua.  Granted, it's less "safe" than some of their previous nude based collections, but it's not setting the world on fire.

And with Alex Box having now departed, I'm left wondering whether Illamasqua can survive as a mid-priced, game changing brand.  I guess we'll see what happens with the collections to come...

Disclosure:  PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Illamasqua To Be Alive Collection - Iridesce Shine Lipgloss

Illamasqua's latest collection, To Be Alive, isn't really my cup of tea at all - it's based entirely around blue, which is a colour I rarely wear as makeup (perhaps because it's a bit much with my hair).  One piece, though, is a surprisingly subtle take on blue - Iridesce Shine Lipgloss, which is a clear gloss with a subtle sprinkling of blue particles, which makes the gloss glow with a gentle blue iridescence.

Trying to photograph that blue iridescence was a bit of a bugger, which proves how subtle an effect it is.  A macro shot of the lips shows the icy blue particles, but in person it's hard to spot - the overall effect is a blue flash which is only visible when the sun hits it just right.  Alone, it's pretty, but over a blue toned red lip, it's stunning, albeit high maintenance.

This is the first time I've tried Illamasqua's Shine Lipgloss, and for a generally-gloss-disapproving person I'm pretty impressed.  The shine level is good, and the texture is wonderfully slippy, not at all tacky.  The downside is that it dries down in just over an hour, but hey, that's the price you pay for a glossy pout.

Shine Lipgloss in Iridesce costs £16.50, and is a limited edition with the To Be Alive collection, so run to the Illamasqua website if you're after a blue flash for your lips this summer.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Illamasqua Gel Colour in Charm

"WHAT IS THAT?" is what my husband said when I pulled Illamasqua's latest release from its post bag.  "Is it face paint?"  And indeed, you would be forgiven for being bloody terrified of this stuff if you casually opened the cap on counter - it's bright, bright orange, and if I didn't know that it had a sheer finish and a very light gel texture, it's the kind of thing I'd immediately put back down again because it's for Braver People Than Me.

The swatch above is pretty heavy, and even so it's a pleasingly sheer, punchy apricot colour - blended into the cheeks it wakes the whole face up, adding brightness and colour without going overboard and without any kind of glitter or shine on the finish.  The gel texture applies beautifully smoothly from the stick, and feels wonderfully cooling, like sticking your face in a sinkful of cool water on a hot day.

I love this product for a couple of reasons - because it's subtle yet buildable, but still somehow natural on the skin despite its orangeness, because it blends beautifully with your fingers (no tools required) and also because it lasts brilliantly well - the whole day, in fact.  Perfect for the warmer weather which is (hopefully) on it's way.

Illamasqua Gel Colour is also available in Fluster, a pink shade, and Silhouette, a brown designed for contouring.  They cost £22 each - spendy, but a tiny bit goes a long, long way.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Virgin

I'm a fan of Illamasqua's newest lipstick formula, Glamore - it's much more comfortable to wear than their original, intensely matte formula.  This shade is called Virgin, and it's a classic true red with a satiny finish and a lovely comfortable feel on the lip.  The fact that it's a collaboration with the reddest of airlines, Virgin Atlantic, might have passed you by, since Illamasqua do like to name their lipsticks in a semi-sexual manner, but a collaboration it is - Virgin's cabin crew wear this shade to match their red uniforms.

Side note - my stepson thinks that an excellent alternative career for me would be to work on Virgin Atlantic, because I have red hair, and that would clearly give me an advantage in the application process.

Anyway - if you're looking for a comfortable red lipstick at a mid-range price (£18.50 does seem to be a mid-range price nowadays), this is a good one to try.  Add to that a decent 4 hour wear time before softening down to a muted ruby stain, and you've got a good all round classic red.  The fact that it's from a home grown brand is a bonus, too.

Find it online and in-store at Illamasqua now.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Illamasqua Multi Facet Palette in Aura

Illamasqua's latest release is a neutral palette.  Bit weird, again, for a brand which has traded so much on unusual shades and textures, but I guess their recent, more wearable collections speak to the fact that brands cannot trade on the unusual alone - most of us love more wearable shades, and thus, Illamasqua are making more of them.

Anyway, the palette itself is a bit of a departure from Illamasqua's previous rounded-edge, squareish shape - this one is a simple black square, embossed subtly with the brand's name on the lid.  Whilst I definitely liked the original shape (and it certainly stood out in my makeup collection), this new shape makes the palette much more compact.

Inside, we get a variety of Illamasqua favourites - on the left, Aurora cream highlighter and Tremble powder blush, and on the right Hollow Cream Pigment (included for contouring), Thunder brow cake, and four powder eyeshadows in Vision (shimmering white), Servant (peachy matte), Feint (reddish pink matte), and Machine (black matte with silver shimmer).  As someone who'd look quite frankly stupid with brown eyebrows, I've been using the Thunder brow cake as an eyeshadow / eyeliner instead.

Tremble Powder Blush, Aurora Gleam highlighter, Hollow Cream Pigment, Thunder Brow Cake

Vision, Servant, Feint, Machine Powder Eyeshadows

And here is most of the palette on my mug.  I'm wearing Tremble and Aurora on my cheeks, with all four eyeshadows on my eyes, and a bit of Aurora on my browbones too.

This is mostly Servant (peach) and Feint (reddish pink) blended across the lid and into the crease, with a touch of Vision (shimmering white) in the inner corner and Machine (black) along the lash line.  All the colours blended easily, although I did find that the matte colours needed a bit of layering to give a strong finish.

Tremble powder blush is a rather nice pink, but the thing I'm most impressed with is Gleam in Aurora - it's an incredible highlighter, as you can see above on my browbone and cheekbone.  It catches the light subtly, and doesn't rely on glitter or shimmer, just a very smooth sheen which manages to look perfectly natural and very polished indeed.  I'm definitely buying a full size once I've used up the pan in the Aura palette.

Overall, this is a lovely palette for workhorse every day looks and I'm particularly pleased to see it include so many cult favourites such as Aurora and Hollow.  Illamasqua fans will like this one for the sheer number of products crammed into one tiny package, and those new to the brand will find it a great introduction to a variety of Illamasqua products.  At £45, it's not cheap, but given the number of products included, I think it's worth the cash.  Find it now at the Illamasqua website, alongside it's sister palette Semblence, which is designed for deeper skintones.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix in Courtier, Bibelot, Embellish

Illamasqua's latest collection, Once, is full of whimsical antique/vintage tones, and the star of that particular show is the new Vintage Metallix eyeshadow.  It's a cream eyeshadow with a distinctly twinkly finish, albeit a twinkle that's a bit burnished, in keeping with the vintage theme.

There are three shades - Courtier, a soft pink; Bibelot, an antiqued green; and Embellish, a glowing brown.  Packaging wise, they're pretty standard - screw top lids stop them from drying out quickly, with the cream easily accessible with a fingertip or brush.

Embellish, Bibelot, Courtier
Swatched, the colours are intense and very twinkly indeed, although you'll find that by the time you've applied them to your eyelids and blended, they're a little more subtle unless you layer them up.  I was impressed by the texture of these cream eyeshadows - my oily lids usually mean that cream eyeshadows crease despite my fanatical use of primer, but these hold fast to my eyelids all day atop Urban Decay's cult Primer Potion.  You get about a minute to blend down before they set, and I think I get better evenness of colour using a synthetic brush compared to my fingers.

At £16.50, they're reasonably priced for a premium brand.  If I had to choose a single colour, I'd go for Bibelot - creamy pink and brown eyeshadows are ten a penny, but Bibelot's vintagey green is a very unusual shade.  Find them now at the Illamasqua website.

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 1 September 2014

NOTD: Illamasqua Melange

Illamasqua's latest collection, Once, has a distinctly vintage theme, and the sole nail polish within that collection is absolutely glorious.  Melange is a dusty, muted duck egg blue with plenty of burnished golden bronze micro glitter, and it somehow manages to look antique. I think it's the combination of the faded colour and the slightly tarnished, rusty shade of the glitter.

Anyway, musings about colour aside, I've only got a single coat on in the photos above.  I was being a bit lazy when I applied it, and I was unsurprised to find that like most Illamasqua polishes, this one has great opacity, and is smooth and thick enough that it virtually applies itself.

At £14.50, Illamasqua polishes certainly aren't cheap, but they tick so many boxes for me (outstanding application, unique colours, decent wear, good texture) I'll always be prepared to part with my cash in exchange for them, and Melange is no exception.  Find it now at the Illamasqua website.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nude Collection - Naked, Buff and Rosepout

Following on from the launch of their new Glamore formula with the Glamore collection earlier this year, Illamasqua have done the unthinkable and released a collection of nude lipsticks.  It's somewhat of a departure for the brand who previously brought us teal lipstick, dark red eyeliner and glow-under-black-light nail polish.   I'd like to revisit the days of the dark, smoky, theatrical collections from the brand's early days.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Illamasqua Matte Effect Summer 2014 - Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender and Forbidden, Velvet Blush in Flirtation

Illamasqua's latest collection is all about matte textures.  Like everyone else and their dog, they've developed a matte liquid lip product, and their already-popular Velvet Blush has been treated to a new, coral-tastic shade for summer.

The Matte Lip Liquid product comes with a flexible brush and has a surprisingly fluid texture; it's silky and slick, and you paint it on almost like a watercolour.

Velvet Blush has a lovely emollient texture, without any trace of greasiness - it turns to a powder finish when blended into the skin, giving a matte finish rather than the slightly shiny look so common with cream blush.

Left to right:  Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender and Forbidden; Velvet Blush in Flirtation
Swatched, you can really see the colour intensity in the Matte Lip Liquids.  Dabbed onto the skin, they dry super-super-matte, with even pigmentation and intense colour.  On the lip, though, you have to work really hard to get the same even application - the brush leaves brushstrokes behind, and you'll have to quickly apply two very thin layers to avoid patchiness.

Matte Lip Liquid in Surrender
Matte Lip Liquid in Forbidden
Neither colour suits my pale, pink-toned skintone and both look pretty weird next to my hair, which is currently pink.  I also found the application to be a bit of a chore - two layers to avoid streaks and patches, a matte finish which emphasises every flaw in the lip... it all adds up to a lip look which takes quite a bit of work to get right.  Which isn't what I want to be doing in summer.  I also found the texture to be a bit sticky, even when fully set.  If you can bear the application time and the stickiness, though, you'll get a very long lasting lip - I struggled to remove my swatches without a fair bit of oil cleanser.

Velvet Blush in Flirtation
The Velvet Blush is a much safer bet for me - the colour is a slightly coral/orange toned nude, and it warms up the skin without being too bright or in-your-face, although you can layer it if you like a stronger pop of colour.  I really like the non-greasy, non-shiny matte finish, too.

Overall, the collection is a bit of a mixed bag for me.  I really hoped that Illamasqua would nail the matte liquid lip thing, give us some amazing colours, but the Matte Lip Liquid is a bit too fussy, and the colours aren't going to be flattering on everyone (none of them are flattering on me!).  The blush, though, is a keeper, and I can see myself using it quite a bit this summer.

You'll find the Matte Lip Liquids, £18.50, and Velvet Blush, £21.50, online at Illamasqua's website, or at one of their stores and counters.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish in Marquise and Trilliant

Last week I wrote about the new lipsticks Illamasqua has released as part of their new Glamore collection.  This week I have two of the three new nail shades to show you - all three have a new finish Illamasqua have termed Shattered Star, a super-sparkly, textured glitter finish.

Trilliant is a sparkling silver/taupe/rose, which really sits at the border between silver, pink and champagne.  Like Marquise, a super hot orange, it contains glitter particles in many sizes, giving a multi-faceted effect which is very, very sparkly in the sun.

As you can see, the glitter in this polish is textured - and even if you decide to try to smooth it out with a bit of topcoat, it will remain textured.  I tried to put topcoat atop Marquise and Trilliant, but they drank it up, and my nails looked the same as they had beforehand.  This is a polish that's meant to be worn textured.

Removal was comparatively easy for this polish - it did need a bit of soaking and scrubbing, but not half as much as I'd feared.  Wear was reasonable at three days before the tipwear became obvious - I'm putting this down to a lack of protective topcoat - and I certainly got a lot of comments whilst I was wearing it, particularly for the very hot, very sparkly, very eye-catching Marquise.

Illamasqua polishes seem to have been heading upwards in price over recent years - and the Shattered Star polishes are no exception at a whopping £15 each - nearly as much as my beloved YSL La Lacque Couture, which are £18.50 each.  Still, if you like a textured sparkling nail, you'll love these - and you'll find Marquise and Trilliant at the Illamasqua website now.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Soaked and Glissade

Illamasqua's latest collection, Glamore, is small but sweet when it comes to new products - three shades of super-sparkly textured Shattered Star nail polish (more on those later) and three shades of a new formula of lipstick.  Those of you who've tried Illamasqua's original lipsticks will know that they're highly pigmented, matte in finish, and often a little dry as a result.  These new Glamore lipsticks, though, boast a satin texture, with the same high pigmentation in a more comfortable, emollient formula.

Soaked, Glissade
I have two of the new lipstick shades to show you today - Soaked, a super bright orange, and Glissade, which is described as a bold pink.

 Soaked is a rich, vibrant orange - it has a bit of a glow which I've found very difficult to capture on camera.

It also clashes quite a bit with my hair.  Still wearable, though, if a little jarring!

Glissade reads a little more mauve-pink on me, and I like it for its cool undertones - very flattering.

Still a little bit of a clash, but not much.

The new formula is lovely - the lipsticks glide smoothly onto the lips with none of the dragging I've experienced with Illamasqua lipsticks in the past.  The pigmentation is still good, but it's not as intense as the matte formulas - the swatches above show a couple of passes over the lips, which gives plenty of colour payoff.  The satin formula has a slight sheen to it, and it's much, much more comfortable on the lip than the matte formula, although predictably it doesn't wear quite as well.  It's still pretty damn good for a satin finish lipstick, though - the colour lasted all day, albeit with quite a bit of even fading, becoming a bit dry on the lips after six hours or so.

The new Glamore lipsticks cost £16.50 each - expensive, yes, but still worthwhile for the pigmentation, the comfortable formula, and the uniqueness of the shades, particularly if you're in the market for a bright, bright orange.  Find out more about the Glamore range at the Illamasqua website now.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Illamasqua Creators Collection

Illamasqua have teamed up with a few favourite bloggers to create a mini-collection called Creators - it pays homage to Illamasqua's online popularity, in celebration of their 5th birthday.  I can't quite believe they're been around for 5 years - feels like yesterday they were bursting onto the scene with their refreshing attitude towards makeup.

The collection is made up of two lip glosses - one Intense and one Sheer - and two nail polishes.

The lipglosses are Wanderlust, an Intense lipgloss with an interesting brown base with multi-coloured shimmer.  It's pretty striking.  Culminate is a sheer gloss, and has a peachy pink base with copper glitter.

The polishes are my favourites of this collection, mostly because I always wear polish and I rarely wear gloss.  Perseid is a deep purple black with multi-coloured glitter in multiple sizes - it's absolutely beautiful in the bottle.  Fusion is a cool bronze shade with silver and gold glitter.

On the nail, I find myself preferring Fusion - it has a low level sparkle which really catches the light, and it applies like a dream - smooth, virtually opaque in one coat, and easy to remove for a sparkly polish.  Perseid is the opposite.  The glitter makes it somewhat gloopy and chunky, and you really have to work to get it even on the nail.

You'll find Illamasqua's Creators collection online now, where each piece will cost you £14.50.

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.
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