Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick
Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brightened, peachy-coral with nearly matte finish–it does have a very subtle glossy sheen (but no shimmer). Because it has a more matte finish, it’s not an overly creamy lipstick–it doesn’t have a lot of slip–but it has enough creaminess to apply evenly, opaquely, and not dry out lips. This is a totally opaque lipstick, which is particularly good for those of you with more pigmented lips and never can find a coral that doesn’t look red on you.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Frenzy Intense Lipgloss ($19.00 of 0.20 oz.) is a fierce, ultra-pigmented hot pink lipgloss. Illamasqua is totally on the money when they named this lipgloss of theirs–INTENSE! is the word for sure. This is a completely opaque color with a high gloss finish. It feels and looks very much like a liquid lipstick. It’s non-sticky and hydrating enough that you won’t have any parched lips after you wear it. I find it lasts about average–three to four hours–before it starts to fade. It has a slightly fruity scent, but it was pretty subtle, because I didn’t even remember what it smelled like and had to revisit my notes.

Illamasqua (at least, at Sephora) also has eight other shades — Fierce (bright grape), Follow (reddish hot pink), Fume (dark rose), Indulge (neon pink), Mistress (bright coral orange), Move (muted thistle heather), Petulant (hot magenta), Temper (bright tangerine).

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Is this the right pink gloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Illamasqua Lover Blush

First Blush of Spring:  Illamasqua Lover Blush

Illamasqua Lover Blush ($23.00) is one of the better blush shades I’ve tried from Illamasqua since its stateside launch. Lover is an orange-apricot color with a matte finish, but it’s matte without being chalky or powdery (which can sometimes be the case with matte blushes!). The color looks smooth and natural with nice color pigmentation. It has rich color that can be layered and built up for greater intensity or used with a light hand for a subtle flush.

I still don’t love the packaging, since it feels bulkier than it needs to be. I do like that the lid is clear, so you can see the color without opening the compact or reading the label. The price point is near similar priced brands, but it is a little higher than I’d expect (or at least, you get less than I’d expect for the price tag), but if you’re like me, you’ll never finish a blush in your life so it’s not a deal-breaker.

More Illamasqua Blush reviews…

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you love yourself some matte blush, try swatchin’ Illamasqua next time you’re at Sephora.

Availability: Sephora

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Friday, February 5th, 2010

Illamasqua Katie Blush

The First Blush of Spring:  Illamasqua Katie Blush

Illamasqua Katie Blush ($23.00) is an ultra pale pastel pink with a matte finish. It has good color pay off, but it is extremely light in color. I don’t think it’s quite as pigmented as several of the other shade variastions I’ve tried in their powder blush line, though. Personally, I found it didn’t work on my skin tone; the paleness washed me out and made me look sickly. I think this is a shade very well suited for those with more porcelain complexions–could see it looking very spring-y and natural (and not sickly!).

Illamasqua’s blushes are nice for matte, pigmented color. The packaging isn’t my cup of tea (too bulky), but I like that the top is clear, so you can see the color without having to open the compact. Illamasqua brushes are a slightly cheaper investment ($23 to $25) than NARS blushes, though you get a little less (0.02 oz. to be precise). So far, all of the blushes I’ve tried by Illamasqua have had matte finishes, so it’s easy to wear them and have them turn out natural-looking. You can always brush on a highlighter if you want a shimmery look–but you don’t have to, which is nice. Everyone needs a few matte blushes in their life!

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Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Cool, Pink Cheeks with Illamasqua Chased Blush

Illamasqua Chased Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, blue-based medium pink. I know Sephora describes this as a lilac pink, but I don’t know if that’s very accurate. Its not so much lilac as it is just a very cool-toned pink. Personally, I found this shade a bit hard to pull off, but I liked it softly tapped onto the apples of cheeks with a smoky eye and a light pink or nude lip.

The texture is matte, so its great for those who find shimmery blushes too much for their skin. Illamasqua’s blushes, while matte, are not powdery or chalky. As with most matte textures, some trial and error is to be expected, but if you keep working with it, you’ll happen upon just the right technique and application method to give you very natural-looking color.

I also like that you can build up the color intensity by applying more, but you don’t have to worry about getting too much with just one swipe, either. I found just one tap of the brush on the powder was enough to give me the color intensity I wanted more often than not. Its always better to start off lighter rather than heavier–easier to add more than it is to diffuse it. But in the event that you feel like you’ve overdone it, use a buffer brush or take some loose powder and blend it out to lighten the color.

I’m not a huge fan of Illamasqua’s packaging, because its bulkier than Id like (or that it needs to be). You get a good amount of product for your money — Illamasqua’s blushes are just slightly more expensive than NARS in terms of price per ounce ($156 compared to $164). Illamasqua blushes come in a good range of shades, ranging from vibrant to soft.

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Monday, December 7th, 2009


Illamasqua Avenge Lipstick

Brighten Up the Winter:  Illamasqua Avenge Lipstick

Illamasqua Avenge Lipstick (£14.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new shade from their winter collection Dystopia. It’s a hot fuchsia pink with cool undertones and a matte finish. It has just a touch of sheen, but it really is quite matte. Illamasqua’s matte lipsticks are some of the least drying matte lipsticks around, but they may be more drying than some are used to (if you haven’t tried out mattes before — most of them can be a smidgen drying). Avenge is easy to apply, goes on creamy and doesn’t stick in places, so it gives lips even, opaque coverage without much fuss.

The only downside? It’s only available in the UK or through the website (which will ship outside of the UK!), but it is still a bit of a bummer.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Love yourself some hot pink? Might like Avenge…

Availability: Illamasqua

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