Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Illamasqua Opulent Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Opulent Intense Lipgloss

Dress Your Lips in Opulence

Illamasqua Opulent Intense Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “rainbow beige.” It’s a golden-beige with multi-colored shimmer (almost holographic but not quite) that reads mostly champagne, gold, copper, and pink once applied. NARS Albatross looks a bit lighter on the lips. MAC Bubble Lounge is lighter, less beige. MAC Luxure has a similar sparkle but is more silvered.

Now, the tube I have (which is a sample) indicates this is a Sheer Lipgloss, but online, Illamasqua has it listed as an Intense Lipgloss and again on their Facebook (when they posted promos)–so I’m going to go off of their websites. Intense Lipglosses are supposed to be rich in color, non-sticky, and have a high-shine finish.  The color coverage is semi-sheer to semi-opaque; there’s noticeable sheerness in the color, but there is enough sparkle that it still delivers a noticeable change in lip color. I didn’t initially feel the glitter/sparkle, but after a half hour, there was a definite grittiness and I could feel the edges of the sparkles.  Opulent wore for four hours, which was good and consistent with most glosses. The texture was non-sticky, and the finish had plenty of glossy shine.

With Generation Q, I noticed that Illamasqua has changed the packaging on their lipglosses. They used to be slanted, squeeze-tubes, but now they’re clear plastic with a black screw-top that twists and reveals a brush-type applicator. Both of the glosses I receive with this type of applicator had several splayed bristles, which made application more difficult. The bristles could be a little softer, as they seemed to be a touch scratchy against the lips as well as created some brush strokes. I’m not sure if I just happened to get two exceptionally messed-up brushes or if a lot of them are going to be that way. For now, we’ll assume that because these were samples, they were an early run, and perhaps not pristine, but I don’t think the applicator is ideal for this gloss formula–a regular doe-foot would be easier to maneuver around the lips and be less likely to cause visible brush strokes. I also detected a fruity scent.

The Glossover

product

Illamasqua Opulent Intense Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

B
This product works well for layering, and on its own, it's okay, but I think it lacks the opacity as described for the Intense Lipgloss formula, so it's a bit of a let-down. I don't like the grittiness that develops.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher
Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher

A Blendable Blush is Key

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “dusky rose pink shimmer.” It has a just barely softened appearance to the color–it’s still rather intense, because it’s on the darker end of the spectrum–but “dusky” is an apt description. The color itself is a rosy red with flecks of gold shimmer.  The shimmer doesn’t really transfer to the skin–it looks mostly matte when applied. MAC Hidden Treasure is darker, redder. MAC Ring of Saturn is warmer and has more golden shimmer/sheen. Tom Ford Savage is browner.

The texture of this felt soft, fairly finely-milled, and it returned excellent color payoff that applied smoothly and evenly when swatched. It had a drier overall texture, consistent with Illamasqua’s formula.  When I applied it to my cheeks (and I used MAC’s 116 blush brush), the results were less impressive.  It was difficult to blend, and with the intensity of this color, that made for a rather frustrating application. I’d apply the barest amount of product, and then the color would blend and disappear but blend unevenly.  This kind of hue needs to be blendable and apply evenly, otherwise it gives cheeks a ruddy or sunburned look–not at all attractive.  I tested the wear, and it lasted eight hours with only a smidgen of fading.

The Glossover

P
product

Allure

B
It's not a very blendable, easy-to-use blush. It will take some patience, a deft hand, and an excellent blending brush to get even color that flatters rather than accentuates any natural redness/unevenness in the skin.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette
Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette

These Shades Definitely Complement Each Other

Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette ($42.50 for -0.20 oz.) contains four shades: Slink (soft champagne shimmer), Focus (cool brown metallic), Forgiveness (rich chocolate plum), and Queen of the Night (blackened plum).

Slink is a pale champagne beige with a frosted finish. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. It’s not an uncommon shade, though, so you may find you have several similar shades in your stash. Just a few shades to consider: Tarina Tarantino Elektron, MAC Call Me Bubbles, Giorgio Armani Madreperla, Urban Decay Booty Call, MAC Baby It’s Cold, MAC Dazzlelight, and many more.

Focus is a medium-dark brown with a gray-ish tinge and a soft, metallic finish. This is a Liquid Metal, so it’s like a cream eyeshadow in feel. When I used it alone, it was prone to creasing after a few hours. When I used it underneath other eyeshadows in the palette, it didn’t crease. Bare Escentuals Most Requested has more plum in it. Tom Ford Platinum has less red-orange tones. Urban Decay YDK is more golden. Urban Decay Wreckage is grayer.

Forgiveness is a soft plum with red undertones and a matte finish. This shade had decent pigmentation but was a little sheer and powdery. Lancome Color du Jour is a bit darker and has gold sparkle. Make Up For Ever #131 is darker and more intense. NARS Grand Palais is browner, less plum.

Queen of the Night is a dark, smoky purple with a blackened brown base and very fine shimmer (that doesn’t really translate). The texture was very, very dry and somewhat powdery, while the color payoff was good. Queen of the Night Pure Pigment is much better than the eyeshadow iteration. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter. Urban Decay Rockstar is purpler. MAC Hypnotizing is lighter. NARS Lhasa is lighter and grayer. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is somewhat similar when sheered out.

All four shades work really well together, and it’s a very smoky, purple-themed look.  The quality, overall, is just okay.  The dryness and powderiness of Forgiveness and Queen of the Night were disappointing, especially because those are the two more interesting shades in the palette.  I really had to pack on Queen of the Night to get decent intensity, and it was prone to disappearing when you went to blend the color.  I noticed that after eight hours, Queen of the Night looked rather faded when applied over Focus.  I didn’t see creasing, but there was some fading.  However, I also layered Slink over Focus, and I didn’t see any fading there.

The Glossover

palette

Complement

C+
The quality, overall, is just okay. The dryness and powderiness of Forgiveness and Queen of the Night were disappointing, especially because those are the two more interesting shades in the palette. I really had to pack on Queen of the Night to get decent intensity, and it was prone to disappearing when you went to blend the color.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Boost Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Boost Intense Lipgloss

Get a Boost of Rich Color for Fall

Illamasqua Boost Intense Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “blueberry violet.” It’s a cool-toned, blue-based magenta pink with violet-fuchsia iridescent shimmer. I couldn’t think of a great dupe for this; lipsticks that may have been somewhat similar in color lacked the shimmer/sheen, which is such a noticeable characteristic of this gloss that they didn’t look alike at all. MAC Style Packed is pinker with no iridescence. LORAC Cliche has some iridescence, but it’s pinker and so much sheerer. Benefit Wild Child also had an iridescent shimmer, but it was sheerer and lighter.

Illamasqua’s Intense Lipgloss formula is supposed to deliver high-shine, rich color, and be non-sticky. Boost is mostly opaque, though there’s a little translucence that lets my natural lip color peek through. It’s very pigmented for a gloss overall, but it’s not as opaque as other shades in the range are. It does have an extremely glossy sheen, though, and the sheen lasts quite awhile. I wore this, and it lasted for five hours with the glossiness being pretty high-shine for three and a half of those hours. The color didn’t apply quite as evenly as it should have, though it’s one of those colors (because there doesn’t seem to be a lot on the market that is similar to it) that may make it worth the extra energy to apply. It’s not too heavy, feels comfortable on lips, and has a non-sticky texture–it feels very slick on lips.

With Generation Q, I noticed that Illamasqua has changed the packaging on their lipglosses. They used to be slanted, squeeze-tubes, but now they’re clear plastic with a black screw-top that twists and reveals a brush-type applicator. Both of the glosses I receive with this type of applicator had several splayed bristles, which made application more difficult. The bristles could be a little softer, as they seemed to be a touch scratchy against the lips as well as created some brush strokes. I’m not sure if I just happened to get two exceptionally messed-up brushes or if a lot of them are going to be that way. For now, we’ll assume that because these were samples, they were an early run, and perhaps not pristine, but I don’t think the applicator is ideal for this gloss formula–a regular doe-foot would be easier to maneuver around the lips and be less likely to cause visible brush strokes. I also detected a fruity scent.

The Glossover

P
product

Boost

A-
It could be a little more pigmented (to be true-to-description and in line with the rest of the range), but otherwise the formula is good. The new applicator/packaging could use some improvement, and I'm not certain how wide-spread the splayed bristles will be.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream
Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream

A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream ($24.00 for 0.23 oz.) is described as a “champagne.” It’s a soft, warm ivory champagne with a strong shimmer-sheen. The shimmer is fairly fine, but it has a strong sheen that’s almost metallic depending on how much product you use. Benefit Watt’s Up! is similar, though a bit less warm-toned. NARS Albatross is similar in color but a bit lighter because the white base is stronger. MAC Truth & Light is lighter.

The Gleam formula is supposed to be lightweight with an iridescent finish to highlight both the face and body. It’s very creamy and slides right over the skin, and it doesn’t take a lot of product to highlight the higher planes of the face. I used some on the top of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, and above my cupid’s brow. I used a clean spatula to take a little product out of the pan, and then I used my fingertips to pat it on. (Bonus: you can see it live in this video.) It does emphasize pores somewhat, because it does have a strong sheen that almost looks metallic, depending on the lighting.

This is a true cream, as it doesn’t dry down or set over time, so the wear time wasn’t stellar.  I managed about five hours of decent wear (and I have normal-to-dry skin), and after a little over six hours, a lot of it had faded/separated. It’s a product I’d consider setting lightly with translucent powder, which would help to set it as well as tamp down some of the high sheen finish (if you prefer a subtler highlight).

The Glossover

P
product

Aurora

B
If you like more intense highlighters, you might like Aurora, which should work on a variety of skin tones, because it's not an ashy champagne, but it's not too yellow that it becomes gold. The shorter wear time is its biggest downfall.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Illamasqua Wisdom Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner
Illamasqua Wisdom Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner

Antique Gold May Be the Color of Wisdom

Illamasqua Wisdom Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner ($27.50 for 0.06 oz.) is described as an “antiqued gold.” It has a deep olive brown base with antique gold and copper micro-shimmer. When it’s applied and seen from a distance, it does resemble antique gold more than it seems when you first swatch it. Chanel Khaki Dore is much lighter. When applied, MAC Buried Treasure is comparable. Urban Decay Stash is greener. MAC Blackline looks greener. MAC Desires & Devices and Stila Flash are much greener. MAC Defiantly Feline is more coppery.

The Precision Ink formula is supposed to be an “intense, waterproof liquid eyeliner” that’s long-wearing and “dries within seconds.”  If you’re familiar with MAC Superslick Eyeliners, Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners, or Stila Sparkle Liners–this formula is very much like those. There’s no real distinction between them, other than they vary in color range, some are just a wee bit thinner or more watery. But the reality is they perform and wear and feel very much the same across the board. In this instance, that’s a good thing, because they all wear like iron.

Precision Ink does dry down quickly (about 20 seconds) and sets into place; no smudging, budging, fading, or the like happens until I remove it (which was 10 hours with Wisdom). When I use a cleansing oil, it removes easily. I can take a shower or swim with this formula on and not experience any problems. It applies mostly opaque in a single go, though a second go-through might be necessary for a really crisp line.

The Glossover

P
product

Wisdom

A
I wish it was completely opaque in a single pass, because it would be easier to apply and get the precision you wanted in a single go.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →