Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “fuchsia violet with a glossy finish.” It’s a rich, vibrant magenta with a near-neon brightness. The closest shade I could think of was Urban Decay Miss T, which is very close but has shimmer and a touch pinker. The next closest would be China Glaze Senorita Bonita, which is much darker, purpler, and has shimmer. Illamasqua Obsess is pinker, less purple. Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee is more fuchsia.

It’s opaque in two coats, and it does dry down to a semi-glossy finish. For a really high-shine result, I’d still recommend using a top coat.  The formula was a little thinner than other shades I’ve tried from Illamasqua, though I would not describe it as thin.  It was neither thick nor thin, so I didn’t have any trouble applying the color to the nails.  I didn’t experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail.  If you’re more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it’s definitely opaque after two coats.

Illamasqua’s formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it’s one of the longest-wearing polishes.  I can wear a shade for ten days without a single chip and very minor tip wear.  I so often reach for an Illamasqua hue before traveling, because I know it will hold up to all the demands of a trip!

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Stance

A+
I didn't experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail. If you're more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it's definitely opaque after two coats. Illamasqua's formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it's one of the longest-wearing polishes.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright jade” with a glossy finish. It’s a vibrant aqua-green with just a little too much green and aqua in it to be a true mint green. It’s like the lightest, brightest jade. China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint is much, much lighter. MAC Peppermint Patti is the closest shade I could think of, though it’s not as bright. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is bluer.

Illamasqua makes one of my favorite polish formulas, not just because the formula itself is excellent with impeccable wear (it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas on me–I’ve literally wore a color for 10-14 days with minor tip wear), but they often set and create trends and do so at a much more palatable price point than some higher-end brands like MAC, NARS, Dior, Chanel, and so forth.  Nomad is no exception.  I wore this shade for seven days with barely any tip wear and no chipping.

Nomad turns opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with–not too thick or too thin.  It flowed fluidly across the nail and yielded even color, though it did take a little longer to dry than the average polish.  The finish is slightly glossy, but I’d still recommend using a shiny top coat for a truly glossy finish.

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Nomad

A+
Nomad is a gorgeous shade that's appropriate for both spring and summer (though, perhaps, an edgy spring shade!). The formula is every bit as lovely to work with as the color is.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick
Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick (£15.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “teal” with a matte finish. It’s an opaque blue-teal with a matte finish. It’s certainly not the shade you think of when you hear the word “everyday.” I’m sure it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when I say I don’t have anything quite like this. The closest would be Illamasqua’s Gender, which is a bluish lipgloss. I haven’t swatched or used it yet, but perhaps OCC’s Chlorophyll will be similar (but it looks more like a green-teal).

The formula is very dry, though it will slide over lips well enough to deposit opaque color without too much pulling or dragging (but there is some). The finish is entirely matte. It’s unscented, and there was no discernible taste when I tested it. Apocalips will wear and wear and wear–and it will stain, too. The stain is almost like frostbitten lips, to be honest! This shade wore for six hours with little fading, but because of the drier texture, you’ll want to ensure that you absolutely have perfect, moisturized lips prior to application. My lips felt a little dry after wearing this for six and a half hours. I wouldn’t describe the formula as drying, just dry, and naturally, lips without any hydration, will need some after several hours. My lips weren’t chapped or cracked, though–and that is how my lips react when a formula is truly drying.

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Apocalips

A-
Bold, unconventional color that applies neatly, stays in place, and goes on entirely opaque (no streaking!)--wear it with confidence!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, March 15th, 2012


Behind the Scenes with Illamasqua’s Human Fundamentalism Collection

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism is such a gorgeous campaign with really dramatic, artistic looks and costumes. I’m so pleased to be able to share several photos from behind-the-scenes that Illamasqua has provided! I’ve also included additional campaign imagery, because it’s truly stunning and inspiring!

Illamasqua also recently relaunched their website, and they’re one of the few brands that really takes the time to create real swatches shown on real people. I mean, seriously — check out their moving skin swatches! They’ve also launched an interactive Socialise aspect that includes how-tos, swatches, and more.  I know that they’re going to be posting a ton of extras for their recent collection on the Socialise section!

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Monday, March 12th, 2012


Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection for Spring/Summer 2012

Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside. To rise above mainstream limitations and exist in a world where individuality is received with celebration not derision, and breaking the mould is a sign of strength not instability.

We stand for freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we’re not ordinary but extraordinary, even if society refuses to accept it. We’re beyond conformity. Beyond control. Beyond hiding who we really are. We are not a religion, but the singular opposite. We are Illamasqua.

“Human Fundamentalism is the unique spirit and fundamental human drive for individuality. It’s a belief, a movement and an emotion. A connection with the spirit of the age and its global motifs. You are your own human hybrid, a unique nomad of street cultures and global trends.” — Alex Box, Illamasqua Creative Director.

Get ready for a startling celebration of humanity’s connection with colour. Introducing the Human Fundamentalism collection, where blinding flashes of pigment provide a sharp contrast to neutral tones, creating a saturated palette that catapults your alter ego to new levels of self-expression. Mix contrasting textures to express your true self, spiraling from rich metallic to pale matte shades. This is nonconformity at its most fundamental. At its unpredictable best.

”Human Fundamentalism to me is physical expression of your self-belief, sharing your opinions with colour that shape the narrative of your thoughts and inner self. It is a statement of conviction and colour confidence, it states, this is me and now see what I see, be tinted by how I express colour and behold an oblivion to social convention and constraints.” — David Horne, Illamasqua Director of New Product Development.

Fundamental Palette ($42.50)

The Fundamental Palette is a playground for self-expression. Experiment with contrasting textures, from glistening Liquid Metal in molten pewter to matt Cream Pigment in mint green, to express every inch of your alter ego. Coupled with two vibrant Powder Eye Shadows in Hype (Bold Yellow) and Inception (Rich Violet) this palette demands bold levels of nonconformity.

Neutral Palette ($42.50)

Create sculpted highlights and stark contours anywhere on your face and body with these four fundamental Powder Shadows. From new matt shades in Stealth (Creamy Buttermilk), Wolf (Chocolate Brown) and Vintage (Antiqued Gold) – a shade exclusive to this palette – to the glistening metallic accents of Obsidian (Rich Black), express your inner light and darkness in a rich riotous glamour.

Precision Ink ($27.50)

Precision Ink in pure white Scribe is the ultimate anti-liner. Subvert expectations and highlight the unconventional, creating white-lined eyes and white-out brows with Precision Ink’s super-fine tip. Waterproof and extremely long-lasting, Precision Ink also makes the perfect nail art pen. Simply apply then seal with Illamasqua Top Coat for nails that transcend conformity.

Nail Varnish ($14.00)

  • Stance Bright mauve
  • Nomad Bright jade

Lipstick ($22.00)

  • Box Deep scarlet red (Matte)
  • Apocalips Teal (EU only) (Matte)

Intense Lipgloss ($20.00)

  • Fierce Bright blue purple

Powder Eyeshadow ($20.00)

  • Burst Blue green
  • Pivot Yellow green
  • Cancan Lilac purple
  • Sex Pure white
  • Obsidian Rich black (EU only)
  • Vernau Yellow ochre (EU only)

availability: March 15th @ illamasqua.com, March 20th @ sephora.com

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush
Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush (£16.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm coral pink.” It’s a subtly warmed-up pink-coral with a satiny sheen. The color can be built up to be more true-to-pan or blended out for a very subtle flush of warm pink on cheeks. Tarte Blissful is similar, slightly less pink. MAC Posey is similar but less bright. Smashbox Blushing/Peony is milkier. theBalm Frat Boy is similar but softer. Make Up For Ever #6 is similar but less pink and lighter.

When it comes to cream blushes, don’t let the color of the pan scare you away, because of the density of creams, they often appear darker on the surface than they do when swatched. The intensity of application is in your hands! Typically, creams blend out easily and require very little product if you want just a tint of color. Illamasqua’s formula is lovely, because they provide a dewy finish that’s natural and luminous but never greasy or oily. It also works well on both bare skin and foundation. The texture is soft and creamy, and with Illamasqua’s highly-pigmented formula, I tend to use a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) to yield light to medium color coverage. It wears for around seven hours on my skin and looks a noticeably faded after eight hours.

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Dixie

A-
If you love coral blushes and cream formulas, this is one worth checking out. The color is very flattering on both warm and cool-toned complexions because of the amount of pink in the base color. I wish it wore just a wee bit longer, though!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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