Friday, September 7th, 2012

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow (£15.50 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rich black.” It’s a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a mostly matte finish. MAC Dark Dare is comparable. theBalm Serious is a smidgen lighter. MAC Carbon has a similar intensity though it tends to be sheerer.

The texture is soft but not powdery, and it blends easily on the lid.  I think with black eyeshadow blendability is even more important, because you may just want to darken an existing color and other times, you’ll want the color to play a central role in the look.  It had good color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It’s not the blackest black eyeshadow I have seen, but it has a nice level of darkness that can also be used without looking dramatic right off the bat.  When I wore this shade, it managed to stay on for eight hours (without a base) with no creasing or fading.

The Glossover

product

Obsidian

A
It's not the blackest black eyeshadow I have seen, but it has a nice level of darkness that can also be used without looking dramatic right off the bat.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush
Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Delightfully Subtle Rosy Cheeks

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as as “soft neutral pink.” It’s a light-medium rosy pink with a mostly neutral undertone (against my warmer complexion, it seems to pull just barely cool-toned). It has a mostly matte finish and true-to-pan color. MAC Crew is lighter, yellower. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is lighter, more yellow-toned, a bit brighter. MAC Stunner is more yellow-toned and has a strong sheen. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit cooler-toned. MAC Dame has a smidgen of plum in it.

The color goes on as it looks in the pan and in any variation lighter than that; it is, obviously, not a dark pink or the like, so the effect on deeper complexions may be subtle. There’s enough actual product and pigmentation for it to show up on a wide variety of skin colors, though. What’s nice about this shade is it works throughout the year and with many different looks. It can be used to complement a soft, barely-there face, but it can work to add color without overwhelming a more dramatic eye/lip (or combination thereof).

It has a soft, blendable texture that’s finely-milled.  Not dry nor powdery, it applies easily to the skin, and the color is buildable.  When I trialed the blush on my cheeks, it lasted a solid eight hours with very minor fading along the edges of the color. Had I not been looking, I don’t think anyone else would have noticed, it was that subtle.

The Glossover

P
product

Naked Rose

A
This is the type of blush that I keep close by, because when in doubt, it almost always works with whatever I'm wearing. I love neutral pinks and soft beiges and browns for their versatility.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Illamasqua Magnetism Lipstick
Illamasqua Magnetism Lipstick

This Will Draw You in Like a Magnet

Illamasqua Magnetism Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “deep raspberry pink.” It’s a raspberry pink-red with a natural glossy sheen. NARS Afghan Red is softer, more of a sheen than a glossy finish. MAC Deliciously Forbidden is pinker. Hourglass Nocturnal is less intense. Guerlain Pour Troubler is redder.

The finish on Magnetism is a first for me, because I remember previous Illamasqua lipsticks I’ve tried as having a matte finish (or even an iridescent but still mostly matte finish). Magnetism has quite the sheen, and as a result, actually feels very unlike the brand’s formula overall. It has a much creamier, more glide-on consistency and feel that doesn’t tug or pull at all, and it’s comfortable and hydrating to wear.  It was really easy to apply the color, but it had a tendency to create lines if you pressed your lips together.  This shade wore five and a half hours and left behind a faint stain. The color coverage was opaque.

The Glossover

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product

Magnetism

A
This was a surprising item from the collection (from what I've seen so far), because it had a slightly different texture. I think those who have avoided Illamasqua's lipstick range because of the more matte, drier texture, may find this one a breath of fresh air.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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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
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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

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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
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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
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