Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush
Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush

Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush ($27.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering magenta pink.” It’s a cool-toned, medium pink with a frosted finish. NARS Gaiety is more matte. MAC Peony Petal is darker, less frosted. MAC I’m the One is darker, less frosted. See comparison swatches here.

The texture of Morale is very soft but, as a result, somewhat powdery.  Luckily, the powderiness did not translate on the skin as dry-looking or chalky.  The high frost content of the finish did emphasize the texture of the skin and pores.  Morale blends out beautifully on the skin and can be worn as a subtle pink or layered for a more intense look, as it is incredibly pigmented but still buildable and blendable, so a sheerer application is possible.  There was minor fading after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

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Morale

A-
The high frost content of the finish did emphasize the texture of the skin and pores, which is the biggest drawback of this product. It had great color payoff and was blendable and buildable.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright mauve pink.” It’s a cool-toned, light-medium lavender-pink with blue undertones and a creamy finish (almost looks like a jelly, because it has a plush, squishy look to it). MAC Vagabondage is pinker and darker. MAC Saint Germain is pinker. MAC Pinkly Fresh is lighter, grayer. MAC Ice Cream Cake is darker and pinker. Essie French Affair is softer, pinker.

I was totally surprised that I couldn’t think of any dupes for Harem–it pulls very lavender/lilac, but there’s still quite a bit of pink in it, so it’s neither lavender nor your expected cotton candy pink. The formula is excellent; no streaking, pooling, or bubbling. It applied fluidly and evenly, and it was fully opaque after two coats of polish (nearly opaque in a single coat, actually). It dries to a glossy finish, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (just right). Illamasqua really nailed the formula of their latest shade releases–I continue to be impressed (but still sad over the recent price increase!). I typically get at least seven days of fantastic wear out of their formula, but I’ve worn many shades as long as fourteen days with minor tip wear but no chipping.

P.S. — The brush was splayed on this one, but I don’t remember having this issue on any of the other Nail Varnishes I’ve swatched (and there have been a fair number) so it’s either never happened or seldomly happened, so I think this is just a one-off.

The Glossover

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Harem

A+
Illamasqua really nailed the formula of their latest shade releases--I continue to be impressed (but still sad over the recent price increase!). Excellent formula, pigmentation, and wear.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection for Summer 2013
Illamasqua Paranormal Collection for Summer 2013

This summer Illamasqua opens the doorway to another dimension. Dare to come in? To go where you have never been before? This new collection summons you to channel your extra sensory perception and step across the threshold into a parallel reality. After all, why be normal, when you can be paranormal?

It is time to awaken the aura you have repressed for so long by exploring another universe of unexpected textures and formulas. Embrace the distorted reflection in a cracked mirror or the candle that suddenly extinguishes in a sealed room; a window has opened, allowing you to penetrate the fragile membrane of a twin existence, the Paranormal world.

“The Paranormal collection was inspired by unbridled kinetic energy, spectral light and transcendental emotional forces. The things we can’t explain, that we can only feel, the place between dreams and reality; the door of perception is open and is beckoning you through, step into the light!” — Creative Director, Alex Box

“Paranormal is something that is out of your ordinary world, it’s something from a parallel world, a parallel universe, something that is going on at the same time but you can’t really see it or touch it.” — Brand Director, Joseph Corré

“Paranormal is about a sense of something different, a sense of expression through texture and colour that shifts the expected and normal to something from a different dimension, a paranormal part of our expressive and spiritual mind.” — Director of Product Development, David Horne

Paranormal UV Nail Varnish (£15.00) (Limited Edition)

Transmit your acceptance of the paranormal by wearing these otherworldly Nail Varnishes. These 3 new shades and Top Coat not only offer a vivid burst of colour in the normal world, but also glow under UV black light, revealing an alternative, paranormal effect unknown to the naked eye.

  • Omen Paranormal bright green
  • Ouija Paranormal bright pink
  • Séance Paranormal bright violet

Paranormal UV Top Coat (£13.00)

  • Geist Paranormal clear/glow

Paranormal Palette (£34.00)

This palette boasts textures of the unexpected. The unique formula of water-resistant eye shadow provides a silky unknown consistency with a soft vivid finish for effortless application and blending. The shadows contain a spherical fine particle silicone, which ensures ease of use and long-wearing hold.

  • Paranormal Vivid cerise
  • Aura Warm copper
  • Possession Cool green
  • Trance Soft violet

Hydra Veil (£27.50)

A first from Illamasqua, part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil is cosmetic-care created to enhance make-up application through skin rehydration for an optimal base. Hydra Veil’s self-levelling futuristic gel texture is proof that all is not as it first seems.

Lipstick (£16.50)

In an intergalactic colour scheme, Illamasqua’s new Lipstick shades are both in bold, purple shades. Providing an intense matt coverage, ESP and Posture are designed to honour the connotations of purple in parapsychology – a symbol of intuition and psychic activities.

  • Posture Cool mauve
  • ESP Vivid violet

Precision Gel Liner (£18.00)

New Precision Gel Liner soon to be a mainstay in the make-up bags of any beauty enthusiast, Precision Gel Liner recreates the fluidity of a liquid liner with the ease of a gel. Creating a smooth rich line from the first application, the long-lasting waterproof formula is guaranteed to stay in place all day, and night. The eyes are the windows to the soul, go forth and frame them.

  • Infinity Black

Gleam (£18.00)

This lightweight compact highlighter with golden iridescent formulation lifts, highlights and creates a halo of extraordinary light wherever applied.

  • Supernatural Warm bronze

Availability: Now @ Illamasqua; Sephora date to be announced (a few products may be excluded)

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Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Illamasqua Superstition Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Superstition Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Superstition Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright fuchsia pink.” It’s a bold, magenta pink with a jelly-cream finish. It is similar to the base color of Hare Polish Party Palace. NARS Ratin Jot is a bit less magenta (pinker). Illamasqua Obsess seemed really similar to me; perhaps a little purpler and lighter (and this has a true cream finish). If you have Obsess, I’d skip this (unless you’re a die-hard fan of Illamasqua’s formula, wear this kind of color all the time, or really want the jelly finish this has), because they are very, very similar. Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee is similar but has a shimmer finish.

The formula is everything I’ve come to expect from Illamasqua: perfection. It’s not too thick or too thin, so it applies beautifully without bubbling, streaking, or pooling along the edge of the nail. It flows well across the nail and is opaque in two coats. The finish is more of a hybrid between jelly and cream; it didn’t look as squishy as a typical jelly is, and this shade was more opaque than a lot of jelly polishes I’ve seen have been. Illamasqua’s formula lasts seven days on me with very minor tip wear, but it easily extends to ten to fourteen-day wear if I let it go that long.

The Glossover

product

Superstition

A+

I wish it was just a tiny bit squishier in appearance--to really make it absolute perfection. The formula in all other ways is fantastic.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bold blue green.” It’s a medium teal with a hint of green in a cream finish. China Glaze Exotic Encounters is darker, greener. MAC Salad Dressed is a bit lighter and bluer. MAC Ocean Dip is very similar–perhaps a bit deeper. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is lighter and greener.

It was fully opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It applied evenly, smoothly, and fluidly, which made it a breeze to apply. I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the color along the edges of the nail. Venous lived up to Illamasqua’s lacquer reputation–excellent in every way. I typically get at least a week of wear (as long as 10-14 days) out of Illamasqua’s formula with very, very little tip wear and no chipping.

Also, heads up: Illamasqua has raised their polish prices from $14 to $17 sometime in the past few days. This particular shade is actually coming as $14 (which as far as I can tell is merely an oversight/mistake), and some readers mentioned the price still being $14 in stores. I’m disappointed to see such a large increase (21% as compared to the 5-10% increases on other prices, within their range, which is more in line with most price increases) — I think it may shift the polish out of the comfort zone for some — even if it is a standout formula.

The Glossover

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product

Venous

A+
Venous lived up to Illamasqua's lacquer reputation--excellent in every way. It was rich in color, had a fluid, workable consistency, and finished with a glossy finish.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, April 8th, 2013

Illamasqua Creep Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Creep Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Creep Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “soft lavender purple.” It’s a light-medium lavender purple with cool undertones and a matte finish. There are several lavender eyeshadows that I’ve come across, but I haven’t seen anything this cool-toned. The closest shade I could think of was MAC Water & Ice #2 which is more silvered and very frosted.

Creep had decent to good color payoff, but it didn’t yield full, opaque color.  The texture was very soft and finely-milled, but it was noticeably powdery, so it was prone to sheering out during application and tended to fade while worn.  Because the powderiness, it would work better over a slightly creamy or tacky base, because it would give the powder something to adhere to, so it would appear more pigmented and wear better.  It lasted six hours well but looked significantly faded after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

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product

Creep

C

The powdery texture resulted in sheerer color payoff and color that was prone to fading while worn.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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