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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012

5 More Positively Electric Eyeshadows

I couldn’t resist–there are too many fabulous bright shades to highlight!  If you’re after a lot of brights, Make Up For Ever has a spectacular selection.

If you could only keep one bright eyeshadow, which would it be?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish

I’m Utterly Captivated with Charisma

Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep raspberry pink.” This is a rich berry-red with fine, ruby red shimmer that’s noticeable but on the subtler side. Dior Graphic Berry is a smidgen lighter and has no shimmer. Essie Size Matters is redder and has no shimmer. Illamasqua Vice is a bit more berry-hued and has a rubberized finish with no shimmer. Dior Apparat is very close, perhaps a smidgen more red and has a subtle golden sheen. Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised is similar, slightly more berry-colored, and has no shimmer.

Charisma was fully opaque in two coats, and almost opaque in one, but it definitely needed two for full opacity. The formula was lovely to apply, because it was just the right thickness to yield rich color without causing it to pool along the sides, bubble, or streak.  There are subtle brush strokes visible under really bright light (like flash photography) but are barely visible under natural light.  This dried on par with most polishes, not exceptionally long or short.  I typically get a full week of wear with very, very minor tip wear and no chipping with Illamasqua’s formula.

The Glossover

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Charisma

A+
The only flaw here would be the appearance of brush strokes at certain angles. They're very subtle in natural light and slightly more noticeable under flash. The color is rich and opaque in two coats and was easy to apply evenly.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

A Magical Cauldron of Silver Sparkle

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “magical black.” It’s safe to say that’s a very apt description; it’s a gorgeous deep, dark black cream with large silver sparkles–that seem to be in an almost rectangular shape. NARS Night Breed is very nearly the same–I really can’t tell the difference. China Glaze Tinsel town has a lot more silver sparkle/glitter, so it looks more like a silver glitter with a black base than black with silver shimmer/sparkle.

Creator is opaque in two coats, and there’s plenty of sparkle with every coat. It scatters in an “even” way–you don’t have to worry about the bits of sparkle getting clumped up on one side or anything like that. As anticipated, the formula was a breeze to work with. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it spread evenly, easily, and fluidly without pooling along the sides or bubbling. The drying time was average, and the finish was naturally shiny. One of the reasons why Illamasqua’s formula ranks tops in my books is because it wears like iron. I’m always reaching for an Illamasqua shade when I go traveling, because I know it’s not going to chip and even the tip wear is so, so minor. I’ve worn several shades for as long as 14 days!

The Glossover

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product

Creator

A+
Absolutely stunning and flawless in application and formula--there's nothing not to like about this product. It's high quality every step of the way.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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