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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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.
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Ease of Use: 4/5
Recommendation: Love yourself some hot pink? Might like Avenge…
Illamasqua Encounter Lipstick($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, bright true-red with a slight touch of orange in its base. While some of Illamasqua’s lipsticks can be drying, Encounter is about as dry as I’d expect for something this matte–but I noticed it didn’t really dry my lips out after wearing it, which is something I do find can happen with some of the drier mattes I’ve tried (e.g. MAC’s Ruby Woo). It also applies very evenly, despite being a matte texture, and it goes opaque in just one layer. I’m personally not a big fan of matte lips, so I tend to gloss things up. This works really well with Illamasqua’s Lily Rose Sheer Lipgloss, as seen here.
What about you? Would you wear this red?
The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!
Illamasqua Hussy Powder Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, bright coral-pink. It’s smooth, intensely pigmented, and blends easily. It can be applied more subtly by using a stippling brush like MAC’s 187, or you can always tone it down if you’ve over-applied with a light dusting of powder.
It wears well and won’t fade on you throughout the day, and the color is not so cool to be unwearable for warmer skin tones, but it is also more pink than coral, making it easy to wear for cool skin tones, too. Sephora describes the shade as “petal pink,” which isn’t inaccurate, but I just keep seeing a bit of coral in it, too. The best part about this blush is the intensity of the pigmentation, because you definitely don’t have to worry about it not showing up on your skin tone! I’d compare the pigmentation to that of NARS’ blushes.
I’m a bit disappointed in the value of these blushes, though. They’re more expensive than NARS blushes, and nearly double the cost (per ounce) of MAC blushes. They’re priced just under (again, per ounce) Stila and Smashbox blushes. I do think they could have given us a little more product for the $23 price tag!
Ease of Use: 9/10
Recommendation: Have trouble finding blushes that show up on you? Illamasqua’s are richly pigmented making them good choices for those who like to put the spotlight on cheeks!
Fable is an opaque, warmed-up bubblegum pink. I’ve found most bubblegum pink lipsticks to run a tad cool, while I find this one has a definite warm edge to it. I also wouldn’t call it matte, and I’d say it is more of a semi-matte finish, because there is some glossiness/sheen to it that I don’t normally see in matte textures. I do like the way it looks with just the hint of glossiness, because it keeps the lipstick from being too dry (it’s a smidgen creamy) or flat. Illamasqua packs plenty of pigmentation into this tube of lipstick; there’s no building or layering required to achieve the opacity as seen in the lip swatch.
Though a lipstick will cost you $20, the value is still strong, because you get 0.14 oz. for your troubles. Compared to other high-end brands, Illamasqua is just a bit more expensive than MAC ($140/oz. vs. $143/oz.), but not by much. Their lipsticks are priced right in line with other competitors like Cargo and Make Up For Ever, as well.
The packaging is functional and isn’t over-sized (like their eyeshadows/blushes can feel like)–there’s just nothing special to it. I will say I do feel like their labels tend to rub off all too quickly.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you like intense lip color, you may find Illamasqua’s matte lipsticks to be just the right kind for you.
Start buying! Looks like *most* of Illamasqua products are now available for actual purchasing. There are still a few marked with “Coming soon!” and I imagine progress will continue to happen through tonight/tomorrow morning. Happy hauling, everyone! Be sure to share what you couldn’t resist in the comments!