Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Beautiful Beginnings with Illamasqua

What was the first Illamasqua product you ever tried?  Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely?  What was the first Illamasqua product you purchased?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?

my answer:  One of the coolest things about Illamasqua is that it’s one of the newer brands, so I get to say I was an early adopter!  The first products I tried were their nail varnishes, followed by their matte lipsticks and matte blushes.  I love the theme and aesthetic of Illamasqua, and they’ve always been a pleasure to work with.

Share your first time experiences with Illamasqua in the comments! :)

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Fledgling Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “matte kelly green.” It’s a brightened medium grassy green with very subtle yellow undertones and a matte finish. MAC Fresh Flare is darker, cooler-toned. MAC Wondergrass is similar but a touch lighter, yellower, and shimmery. Inglot #384 is darker. Inglot #331 is even darker. Make Up For Ever #91 is just a little lighter and yellower.

Just released, Fledgling is another stellar matte shade to work with.  It’s intensely pigmented with opaque, smooth color payoff with very little product required.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, but not powdery.  If you aren’t a fan of some of the denser, more “buttery” matte shades because of the excess powder they kick up, you may find Illamasqua’s formula a happy medium between drier and softer mattes.  Fledgling wears extremely well with or without a primer; it lasted for eight hours without fading or creasing.

The Glossover

P
product

Fledgling

A
Illamasqua has a stellar matte formula on their hands. If you love pigmented matte eyeshadows that don't have a powdery finish, I think Illamasqua is a good match for you. Fledging has amazing pigmentation, and I love how subtle the yellow undertones are.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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 →

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Illamasqua Pivot Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Pivot Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Pivot Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Pivot Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “yellow green.” It’s a medium chartreuse green with strong yellow undertones and a matte finish. There are a lot of chartreuse shades on the market, but this shade is less dupeable because it has a fair amount of green in it–it is more green than yellow. MAC Swimming is darker, greener. MAC Lucky Green is a little yellower and has a shimmery finish. Make Up For Ever #171 is the closest shade, though it’s more vibrant, lighter, and has a frosted finish.

The texture is the perfect balance of softness and density.  It’s rich in color, soft like silk, but not at all powdery.  With mattes, the more pigmented formulas tend to be softer but slightly powdery as a result–you’ll kick up a fair amount of excess powder when you disturb the top layer with your brush–but with Pivot, it’s soft enough to apply smoothly, evenly, and not skip or drag, but it never turns powdery.  When worn alone, it wore for a full eight hours without creasing or fading.  It was easier to blend the shade over a primer, though it was not overly difficult over bare lids (just marginally easier over a primer!).

It’s listed at Sephora but looks like it hasn’t been added to stock yet, but I expect it to show up officially soon. It is available at Illamasqua’s website, though, for international readers.

The Glossover

P
product

Pivot

A
For those who love matte eyeshadows, Illamasqua's formula is worth checking out. Pivot is a great shade for a pop of color this summer! If you have cooler undertones but have always found chartreuse-like shades too yellow, this might work better for you.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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 →

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!

The Glossover

P
product

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

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 →

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.

The Glossover

P
product

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

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 →

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.

The Glossover

P
product

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

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 →