Monday, February 20th, 2012

Illamasqua Expose Blush
Illamasqua Expose Blush

For Posterity: Illamasqua Expose Blush

Illamasqua Expose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is–apparently–discontinued.  I had already written up this review (and then reworded it to reflect the news) when I discovered there was no place to link to in order for readers to buy it!  This post is mostly for posterity, then, and if someone already owns it, since I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Perhaps a local store or counter has a lone one of these in stock, but otherwise…

It’s a matte, softened orange. NARS Taj Mahal is brighter, more tangerine with gold shimmer. The color can be applied intensely (think true-to-pan color) or lightly for more of a peach-orange tinge to cheeks.   Becca Damselfly is more coral. Make Up For Ever #5 is darker and more coral. NARS Exhibit A is much redder. MAC Optimistic Orange is brighter, more neon.

Illamasqua has one of the better matte blush formulas on the market, and when they really nail it, they hit it out of the park, which was the case with Expose.  Despite its matte finish, it almost has an ethereal glow when it’s blended out just right.  It doesn’t look chalky or powdery, and it wears incredibly well, still looking good after nine hours of wear.  Wonder why Expose got the axe…

The Glossover

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product

Expose

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, February 13th, 2012

5 Pretty in Pink and Red Lipglosses for Valentine’s Day

In case you’re not into lipsticks, or maybe you like to mix, here are five of my favorites that would make for a perfect lip for Valentine’s Day!

  1. MAC Driven by Love — ruby red with ruby shimmer
  2. Chanel Trimphal — pinky-red with lighter pink and red shimmer
  3. Illamasqua Indulge — bright, yellow-toned pink
  4. Milani Photo Flash — glittery, glitzy pink-red
  5. Hourglass Siren — metallic orange-red

What’s your favorite gloss for Valentine’s Day?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Illamasqua Seduce Cream Blush
Illamasqua Seduce Cream Blush

Illamasqua Seduce Cream Blush

Illamasqua Seduce Cream Blush (£16.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm rose pink” with a “dewy finish.” It’s a medium-dark raspberry pink with warm undertones and a dewy finish. It can be very opaque if you wish it to be, but it is blendable if you want softer, sheerer color (and I caution you to use a dab at a time). It reminded me of MAC Mighty Aphrodite, perhaps blended. MAC Amazon Princess is a bit darker, redder. MAC Full Fuchsia is darker, pinker. Bobbi Brown Plum is darker, redder.

Seduce wears six to seven hours on my skin, which has been normal-to-dry but closer to normal than dry (no dry patches, despite the winter temperatures!). The finish is softly dewy; it’s not slick, shiny, or oily-like in any way, but it will give the skin a glowy look. If you are very sensitive to “glow,” then this may be too much for you. I expect it will be a welcome glow for most, though. The texture of the blush is creamy and soft, and once applied, it feels like it melts against the skin, so it looks natural and doesn’t feel heavy. It also worked well over and under foundation without caking or looking patchy.

The Glossover

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product

Seduce

B+
I can see why Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are popular; the wear is good (but it has some room for improvement), and the color is buildable and blendable, which are really two must-have characteristics of a cream blush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Lipsticks & Lipglosses

Whew — this was difficult!  I ended up having to lump some of the new-for-2011 formulas into a single pick, even though there were lots of shades I loved!   These are products I reviewed and discovered in 2011, some being part of a brand’s permanent range and others being new/limited edition shades that we saw over the past months.  I guess you could say I gravitate towards reds…

  1. Hourglass Siren Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
  2. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colors
  3. Guerlain Rouge Automatiques
  4. Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipglosses
  5. NYX Chic Red Round Lipstick
  6. NARS Damage Lipstick
  7. Guerlain Garconne Rouge G Lipstick
  8. Dior Nocturne Rouge Dior Lip Color
  9. Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick
  10. Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

What was your favorite lip product this year?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” with a jelly finish. I loved this shade from the moment I applied it; this was actually my nail color of choice when I went to NYC for Fashion Week this past September (it had been raining quite a bit, so it seemed totally appropriate). It’s a semi-sheer, light stormy gray with flakes of light gray shimmer. I used two coats for swatches, and as expected, you can see the nail line, but I have worn it with three and four coats, and it is more opaque at that level. I couldn’t think of anything like this shade.

Illamasqua’s formula is one of my top five favorites, because it wears like iron. I wore Raindrops for my trip, which means I was nowhere near nice or delicate with my nails, as I was hauling heavy luggage and heavier camera equipment over a week. I didn’t even end up removing the polish for ten days after I had applied it, and there was hardly tip wear, like just barely. The formula has a great consistency so it flows evenly across the nail bed, and it’s not thick at all, so if you prefer more opaque color, you can easily wear three or four coats without compromising the integrity of the wear.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
It's a great shade to wear during the fall/winter and even into spring, as it's light but stormy, and the name is totally appropriate during the rainy seasons! The wear is fantastic; no chips, barely any tip wear!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush
Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Cream Blusher Rude ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm peach pink” with a dewy finish. I didn’t detect any pink in the pan, and on my skin, it seemed more orange than anything else. When blended out, it looks more peach-orange (and not to worry, it doesn’t have to be as fierce applied as it appears in the pan). Perhaps on those with more obvious pink undertones, it will look less peach-orange and more peach-pink. If you apply Rude very subtly, it compares to Urban Decay Indecent but without the shimmer (and I’d say Urban Decay Bang is too dark and orange-y).

It definitely has a dewy finish, and it’s almost on the wrong side of dewy, even on my normal-to-dry skin; luckily, it skates that thin line and manages to be a glowy dewy rather than an oily dewy. You can also take down the dewiness by dusting translucent powder on top. This product is buildable and very, very blendable; the creamy, melt-on-your-cheeks consistency enables that, so it is impossible to overdo it, but if you like your blush darker, you’ll likely do better by building up the color in layers.

The texture, despite its creaminess, feels featherweight against the skin; it’s thin, comfortable to wear, and doesn’t feel greasy. It wears around seven hours on bare skin before it seems to reach its limit at eight hours (where it appears faded). Over foundation, it wears five to seven hours, depending on the quality of my underlying skin; if it’s drier, then it tends to cling to patches over time, so it’s manageable for five hours or so, but if my skin is more normal, then it lasts just over seven hours. What I really liked was that it looked and felt good over and under foundation, and many cream blushes have a tendency to work best on bare skin–and let me tell you, my skin is nowhere near good enough to be wearing full makeup and skipping foundation.

The Glossover

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product

Rude

B+
I can see why Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are popular; the wear is good (but it has some room for improvement), and the color is buildable and blendable, which are really two must-have characteristics of a cream blush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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