Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss

Beyond Black – as Nude as Nude Can Go

Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss (£13.00 for 0.20 fl.oz.) is described as a “creamy biscuit nude.” This is easily one of the palest, lightest nudes that I own. On me, it’s not a shade I like, but I know there are readers who really enjoy a very pale nude lip–and with the right look, it can definitely be pulled off. For those intrigued, it can also be mixed with other Intense Lipglosses easily (since it’s quite creamy), as well as patted on for a sheerer, more muted effect of the natural lip color.

It’s paler and more of a true nude with less pink than other well-known nudes like MAC Fleshpot. Similarly, it is less pink than NARS Madere–and perhaps a touch lighter, but the main point of difference is the pink-tinge of Madere.

my thoughts on the formula: Illamasqua Intense Lipglosses are color-rich glosses that have the feeling and finish of a gloss but the color pay off of an opaque lipstick. The formula itself is non-sticky, though a little thick, and doesn’t dry lips out at all. I usually get around four hours of wear or so. Because of how pale it is, any unevenness is really easily seen.

The Glossover



I thought with a black lipstick reviewed, it would be fun to go to the other end of the spectrum with something very, very pale.











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Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase #50? How much is it?

Illamasqua, £13.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

It's paler and more of a true nude with less pink than other well-known nudes like MAC Fleshpot. Similarly, it is less pink than NARS Madere--and perhaps a touch lighter, but the main point of difference is the pink-tinge of Madere.

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98 thoughts on “Illamasqua Absorb Intense Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. OKay, i can definitely not carry that off at all. I love the green on your eyes christine..pretty!

  2. oh my goodness. i’m thinking REALLY pale girls can pull this off but thats about it

  3. Daniel

    oh it’s my skin colour, I can use it as a foundation! lol 😀

  4. Kelsey

    I could see that being used as a highlight in the centre of the lip… You know, in petrilude-esque fashion?

  5. lauraaaa

    ……………oh lawd.

  6. Grace Chin

    creepy but looks like a very nice texture.

  7. Kylie

    Oh my, I thought it was going to be concealer!

  8. I think it’s cool! Any white ones?

  9. Laura

    Oh goodness, it’s terrible! Is this really meant for everyday wear?

  10. Katie

    Not a big fan…but I LOVE your eyes!! What are you wearing?

  11. Luna

    I think this lip gloss looks very edgy and editorial-ish on you. It kind of gives off a futuristic appeal.

  12. Jessica

    OMG..that is just plain disgusting.

  13. Mariella

    I’ve gotta wonder…WHY????

  14. Syliva

    Holy nude!

    And I thought Myth was nude..

  15. aida

    I have Nars Madere, I like it although it is hard to work with but the pinkish tone helps. This one would be just way to hard to work with. But I love nudes so I might give it a try

  16. Alice

    I like it (I’d sheer it out)
    But I’m intrigued by the wonky cupid’s bow…
    Is that a fault of the application tip (should I use a brush?)

  17. Evelyn

    It’s funny, in that first swatch I could pass for a concealer swatch! I can’t imagine who would look good in this color.

  18. Bit too nude for me. I like how full coverage it is, though. I might have a look at the other colors in the line.

  19. Lissa

    This might be too much to ask, but do you think you could possibly get a sample of a foundation in shade NW15 and NC15 and swatch them next to it? Just so we can see just HOW light it is.

  20. Steph

    Wow, that is the lightest nude I’ve ever seen. Almost verging on white!

  21. Fey

    Oh my goodness. This would be so gorgeous on a pale person. I may have to get it for my porcelain-skinned gal friend. It’d be perfect for an Ice Queen costume, too.

  22. When I first looked at the picture, I thought it was a concealer! :O

  23. DarkGlamour17

    ew! no offense.

  24. Veronica

    It’s a nice colour, but it doesn’t look good on you. Sorry.

  25. Wow, now that’s nude! Even too nude for nude-livin’ me. It looks a bit like nude white out.

  26. Kendall

    If you were to rate the skin tone of this, like on the MAC NC/NW system, what would you say it compares to? I have to order Illamasqua online and I don’t want to get this and find that it’s lighter than my skin tone.

    • It’s not really within either NC/NW, because it’s more neutral, but it’d be around 10/15. My arm is around NC20, my face NC25/NC30.

  27. Aysegul

    I cannot think of anything to make such lipgloss work – looks very unwearable.

  28. Kathylulu

    I’m sorry but I’m LMAO, I thought it was a concealer when I saw the picture than I realized it’s a lipgloss, I really don’t know who can really pull this off, no matter how pale the person is.

  29. it seems like a lot of people here are forgetting that makeup isn’t just for regular, everyday use…there’s stage makeup, editorial, runway, etc. yes this color looks “out there” to most of us, but it’d be nice if people kept an open mind and see that maybe this color wasn’t made for one single type of look.

    • Very much agreed! :) Given Illamasqua’s roots and overall color range, I think it’s appropriate to say that not every color they have is “everyday,” but I love that they do have them available for those who want to go outside the box, too.

      • I completely agree! I love to do makeup looks as an artistic creative outlet, and I think this gloss would be really cool for certain looks. It may look plain crazy on a normal person walking down the street, but I can definitely picture uses for this stuff. 😉

      • yeah…i was gonna mention that too. it’s illamasqua…the brand is known for its outside the norm color range. people shouldn’t be so shocked.

  30. Jennifer

    Wow, that’s the only color I can say I’ve ever seen you wear that doesn’t work for you haha. I can’t see how that could work for many people! Even I’m super pale but you almost need to have that perfect neutral paleness! I bet that’s great for mixing with other colors to lighten them up though :) thanks for a great post!

  31. …. I thought that was a concealer tube. That would be great as costume makeup or on a very pale person.

  32. Camille

    i love fleshpot, madere, i just bought supremely confident (and yes i wear these all sheerly so i dont look like i have white lips)
    but this is ridiculous!! im guessing its not supposed to be used for an everyday look

  33. Rayleen

    Very intersting if someone can pull it off. I just couldn’t imgaine anyone I know wearing that. I would like to see someone doing everyday wear out in public with that on. I just, I don’t..uh, not for me. I’m an NC25 and I cannot pull off a nude lip. subculture + young thing are as close to a nude lip as I can get.

  34. Ali

    why do you go so far out of your natural lip line?

    • I just looked at the images,and I don’t think I did? I mean, my application is certainly not 100% perfect, so of course, it may not be exactly perfect at every turn, but it seemed about the shape of my natural lips to me.

      • Ashley Marie

        I don’t see how it’s out of your natural lip line? Love the eyes, how about a video tutorial for old times sake! :)

  35. Nude lipgloss is definitely not for me. I prefer pinkish tints in my gloss and of course the non-sticky ones are better.

  36. Whoa, this is VERY light! o_o

  37. Susie

    I find this gloss much easier to work with than Nars Madere.. Illamasqua intense glosses are extremely pigmented, so you only need to use a teeny bit. It looks like Christine has applied it the way you would with a normal gloss, which is why it looks so scary!

  38. Zosime

    With a lighter application I’ve seen this work gorgeously. It’s one thing I really enjoy about the Intense Liglosses is the payoff is all about layering.

  39. Lucie

    I’ve seen people on youtube that like to use this really sheerly to tone down pigmented lips, and it works. As this shade is not available in sephora stores, however, I haven’t gotten to play with it and can’t speak for myself.

  40. Alyssa

    I can’t lie. That might quite possibly be one of the ugliest lip colors I have ever seen.

    Your eye makeup looks amazing though.

  41. Agreeing with those who think it looks quite cool for editorial purposes. I’d wear it to a 60s-themed costume party! I’d rather wear it there than to a Jersey Shore-themed party, at least.

  42. Daisy

    That just looks… unpleasant.

  43. Sam

    Hey Christine. I have never purchased any of the Illamasqua lip glosses, but I have many of their lipsticks, and they keep breaking really easily! Have you had that problem with yours???

  44. Lilac

    Thanks for being so brave to wear everything so readers can see how it looks when worn :)
    I hope commenters here who do not like the look (or other looks with similar off-looking colours where I seen the same kind of comments) keep in mind that this is for demonstration purposes and everyone can draw from that their own conclusions about wearability, depending on own skin- and hairtone and make-up-look :)
    No-one is able to wear every colour but Christine tries them all on so we can see how they appear within a complete look and not just as a swatch on skin.
    I could not pull this off either, but I do like the colour really much and also its opaqueness. I wish I could wear this :)

    • Thanks, Lilac! :) I really appreciate you taking the time to say such kind words!

      • Lilac

        and yes, like commented above (completely forgot that aspect) there are many colours that can be used for theatre- / stage / performance-looks, too.. so not everything has to look like “daily office-look” or anything. Sometimes it is nice to use make-up really like “paint”, too =) – this in addition to what I commented earlier :)
        There are also many fans of glam / rock / metal-bands or from the Gothic Scene who appreciate having the option to use nice brands that offer “wearable” (well :D) products instead of make-up that is meant for film. For example there was (I think here on this page) that article on Black Swan and the cake make-up used, great for a movie but probably harsh to skin for everyday, or that theatre-paint with lots of paraffin. So if interested people can have “regular” make-up that is easy to purchase but with interesting colours and good quality for daily use, it is also appreciated =)

    • Gina

      I agree completely! It’s not a color I could wear, but I don’t think it’s ugly or useless. If they’re making it, there must be someone out there who loves it!

  45. ak

    No, the new MAC Gaga 2 lipglass is light enough for me I think.

  46. helen

    You are a brave soul, Christine. Kudos for giving us a peek at a concealer/gloss that someone will find suitable.

  47. Milessa

    I think it would look nice in the center of the lip, or could be used to tone down a brighter or darker color. I actually like the idea of this gloss!! Illamasqua is known for standing out…and I love this. Totally absorbed it! :)

  48. Amy

    Well, yeah, for editorial purposes it might work, but how many people come to this site for that? I’m assuming most people come here for cool eye looks and advice on products that they can actually use on a daily or at least weekly basis for going out at night. It looks like concealer on the lips, like how you would use to make a lipstick look intensely bright. I can’t even see it working on a pale person, like me, on a daily basis without making us look like corpses.

  49. Oh my! I dont care for this at all. lol! Thanks for all your great posts. I was going to do a blog entry on the websites that I visit on a daily basis and yours is definitely one of them!

  50. Christina

    This is such a beautiful nude! I envy those girls who can rock this look.

  51. samantha

    What are you wearing on your eyes? I want whatever green that is!

  52. It’s interesting, and a look I wouldn’t mind experimenting with, although I wouldn’t spend that much on something I’d only play around with once or twice.
    Christine, what would you suggest for a shade of gloss like this where the color doesn’t apply evenly for whatever reason? I’ve seen lip primers but have never tried one. Usually I’ll try to wear a matching lipstick under the gloss but that doesn’t always work.

    • I’d do lipstick or lip liner in a similar color – even your natural color works, too, because it gives the gloss a smoother surface to apply to.

  53. Nina

    i think it looks cool,especially with that eye make up!

  54. Zoe

    I really want to try this! I’m a very pale red head so I already have trouble finding a light enough nude, but on top of that I have extremely pigmented lips so even some of the lighter lipsticks have this odd darkness. This may be light enough to look like a nude lip!

  55. Mahnaz

    this really is veryyyyyy pale! interestingly enough though christine, it just makes me want to look at your eyes more and they look absolutely lovely with the green eyeshadow!!! would love to see you review more of illamasqua’s spring collection

  56. Suzy

    Agree with Mahnaz about the eye colors – what are you wearing? Beautiful shade of green! :)


    ?his is horrible christine! What is the purpose of it’s existence?

  58. Vale

    I have it and it’s wonderful! I am extremely pale and for goth looks it’s fantastic how my lips disappear and their colour “melt” with my skintone! Love it!
    I think it should be remembered that Illamasqua make up is specifically thought for goth/punk/industrial/ecc looks, so it’s normal it is not suitable to more wearable looks!

  59. Sarah

    i can see it’s a good quality product but it’s ugly. flat out ugly.

  60. pixie

    can i ask you which lip brush you recommend? thank you!!

  61. Kathrina

    I wouldn’t wear this particular color but I think nothing compares to Illamasqua glosses in texture and finish. So creamy and smooth! Btw, what are you wearing on your eyes in these pics, Christine? It looks so pretty!

  62. I’m a little taken back by all the negativity, especially considering Illamasqua is practically the poster for dramatic makeup and no one is being made to wear it. But despite the negativity, thanks for reviewing shades of makeup that goes past being ‘work-safe’, really. Bold and dramatic are all I really work with so its nice to see you cater to that as well. :) Oh and I’d wear the heck out of this.

    • It is always fun to see what else is out there! I could see it being bothersome if I all reviewed were the ultra theatrical/dramatic colors and brands, but I certainly don’t.

  63. Eve

    Lol! the only way I would consider wearing that was for Halloween.

  64. Lindz

    How cool! You could make your own color by using a lip liner to fill in the whole lip and then add this on top.

  65. vikaki

    it seems ridiculous!!:D:D
    you are soo brave!!!!!!!!

  66. Sydney

    I love the design of these lipglosses, and some of the colors are amazing… but the tube is just about the only thing I love about this. That color is not for me, even as an NC15.

  67. Marcy

    hideous!!! why do cosmetics companies (aimed at regular consumers, not pros or special effects artists) even bother making colors like this? not even the palest person can pull this off unless they want to look like they’ve been dead for a few months.

  68. PamelaS

    wow it went on pretty evenly. and its def editorial high fashion only 😀 do not try this at home kids LOL>

  69. Mer

    I… kinda like it, tbh. I mean, I wouldn’t wear this shade, but these Illamasqua lip glosses seem to be really nice overall.

    I really appreciate your blog in general, because all of the exposure to so many products (especially ones like this that aren’t typical) and your detailed reviews have made me understand more about makeup in general. So last year if I saw this I’d say “omg ew!”, but now I’m more curious and trying to figure out a way to include it in a look!

  70. Maddi Waddi

    Not for me, but I think some more pale girls could pull it off.

  71. Ida

    Wow! That’s really a lipgloss? I might have to consider getting this one. I’m really pale but my lips are very dark, and I always try to find lipsticks that would lighten them up, but most lipsticks that are opaque enough are so drying it looks horrible. Now a lipgloss that has this much pigments could work like a miracle…

    I guess this could be used, like somebody mentioned earlier, with a very light hand to create a more subtle, more sheer effect. I don’t understand why people judge it with such an absolute “no way ever” attitude. 😀

    Thank you so much Christine for demonstrating all these different and interesting looks and products for us!