Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

A Gold Lipgloss for the Season

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss ($22.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “metallic gold.” It’s a dirty, antique gold with a green-ish tinge and warmer, bronzy gold shimmer. It’s probably a shock to no one that I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this shade–in fact, I couldn’t think of anything all that similar. MAC Liquid Lurex had a similar coloring in the tube, but it’s very sheer and glittery. OCC Triptych is warm, yellow-y gold. It’s different, and it’s certainly not a shade for everyone, but I’m really glad I picked it up. I think you can lightly dab it over various lipsticks/glosses to add a metallic shimmer if wearing it on its own isn’t your style.

It has mostly opaque color coverage, and the color applied evenly overall.  The Intense Lipgloss formula is designed to give rich color with a high shine finish.  It’s supposed to have a non-sticky texture, and there was no tack in the gloss to speak of.  It delivered a lot of color (and a ton of shimmer), and the finish was a bit glossy but very metallic.  Stranger lasted five hours on me, which is longer than average for a gloss. While worn, it was neither drying nor hydrating. The only downside is that ever since Illamasqua switched to brush-type applicator, nearly all of mine have had wonky, splayed brushes.

The Glossover



For those who longed for a metallic, antique gold lip color, Illamasqua has your number. If you want to make it more wearable, mix it with your favorite red gloss or pat it lightly over a red lipstick.











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Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $22.00.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

I couldn't think of any!

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette, bareMinerals 6AM Eyeliner, DiorShow Mascara. On face: Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation (#5.5 and #7 mixed), Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette, Illamasqua Zygomatic Cream Blush.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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73 thoughts on “Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Gina

    Whoa! This looks awesome! I don’t know if I’d wear it, but it’s just so pretty to look at.

  2. This lip gloss is stunning, but I wouldn’t dare to wear it on its own (except maybe for a costume party or something similar). I think it’d look great dabbed on the middle of the lips for that extra shine though, especially with a red lippie!

  3. Miss_Silk

    whoooaa, I had to do a double take….thought it was a liquid eyeliner O_O

  4. t_zwiggy

    Am I the only one who don’t get the point of opaque glosses/lipsticks in unusual colors? I’d understand if it was sheer and intended for layering, but this seems kind of pointless for anything other than editorial looks.

    • Amy

      People like me screams with joy when it’s finally a fun color that’s opaque xD different strokes for different folks I guess :3

    • Quinctia

      The point’s just that it’s A GOLD LIPGLOSS. No holds barred, no ducked punches, it’s GOLD.

      As long as the brand’s comfortable launching the color, why not? Illamasqua’s pretty daring in its shade selection, so I would hope no one would pick this up without testing, just because they would be a brand to release a color like this on both ends of the spectrum.

      A lot of people wouldn’t wear this, but it’s a subjective thing–I’d never wear a red this opaque, either.

    • Well, you can sheer it out and layer it (though it isn’t as glossy then, obvs – looks really nice though!) and people who want to wear it opaque can wear it opaque and everyone’s happy.

    • Ruca

      Personally, I find nude glosses and lipsticks that make your lips look like “lip” color to be a pointless waste of money. I call them “overpriced Chapsticks.”

      • Amy

        Omg! Me too! xD I never understood spending big bucks on those and just to make your lips a bit darker, browner, or “nuded”. I would understand if the person’s lips are two-toned though.

  5. Cat G

    Wow intense is right!!! Lightly over a deep red might be amazing though!

  6. Amanda Tetreault

    it looks really neat. i would like to see it applied more sheer over a red or different colored lipstick to see what effect it would give.

  7. Fuchsia

    Do you think pale neutral-to-pink complexions can pull this off?

    • I’m pretty pale (somewhere between Mont Blanc from NARS and NW20 for Studio Fix Fluid) and I loooove this on me. It’s really eyecatching, and it kind of takes a while to adjust to seeing yourself wearing it, but it does look really nice afterwards.

      • Amy

        I’m very fair (NC/NW 5-10 or Graftobian in Porcelain if you’re familiar with that) with neutral undertones and black hair and dark eyes, I hope it looks great on me too! I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT! xD

  8. Laura

    Ooh, I love this! I bet it would look ace over black lipstick. I might actually go and order this right now…

  9. Oh my gosh, I adore this color. I can think of so many ways to use this product. It wouldn’t be my most practical purchase, but it’s tempting. It’s so unique (I always love when it’s a not-easily-duped product – I feel like, if Christine can’t dupe it, probably no one can ;)) yet there’s also a classic-ness to it.

  10. I think it’s terrible on it’s own. Or maybe I’m just a prude when it comes to lipstick 😉

  11. Wow, this one is so unique! I agree; it would be absolutely gorgeous over a red lipstick. (Or maybe mixed with NSFW lip tar?)

  12. I do love this lipgloss. Find it a bit awkward to wear out though, because of fading (and that damned applicator! WHY). More than a little tempted to dig it out for xmas though!

  13. blueraccoon

    I really want this even though I have nowhere to wear it and no idea what I’d do with it. But it’s just so cool.

  14. Patricia Souza

    It may sound silly but I would love to see this color on a cream glossy eyeshadow! Do you think it is possible to use it on the eyelids? for an editorial or something… :)

  15. Amy

    Of course I would wear it on it’s own! 😛 Seems so fun and editorial-y. Pop that on and I won’t have to do much to make myself look expensive during the holidays xD

  16. Kat

    So pretty! It would be an awesome layering gloss.

  17. Katie

    I LOVE this! Obviously you wouldn’t wear it that intense, it’s all about learning how to use a product. This would look fantastic patted over a red lipstick.

    • Nudes, too! But I do love it opaque – either with really bright/light eyes, or really matte ones.

    • Alex

      Obviously you wouldn’t? Like, in general? Because maybe YOU wouldn’t, but that generalization kinda sucks. I mean, I would, and I can think of a lot of people who would, *obviously*.

  18. I think this color would make a fantastic eyeliner, I’m just not too sure about using it as a lippie, and I’m no lippie prude! I won illamasque lipgloss in fierce and that blue one.

  19. WOW. I mean, I’d never be able to pull that off, but WOW.

  20. Kimberly

    I love the color, but I personally would never be able to wear it, I’m much more…traditional I guess. It’s just so intense! Too much for me

  21. Quinctia

    I don’t think I could pull off that shade of gold, but it looks awesome.

    Odd about the repeated wonky brushes…I prefer that kind of applicator, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that problem repeatedly from any brand, DS to high end.

    • I’m not in LOVE with the applicator – I think the bristles could be finer/softer, because on some shades, they seemed to create lines/streaks. The wonkiness, though, is a problem, and I don’t know why it’s occurring!

  22. I don’t think I can pull this off

  23. Ruca

    You may want to compare this to Lime Crime’s Golden Ticket. GT is much more orange-ish to my eye, but I don’t have this one to compare side-by-side. This looks a lot, in color, to Illamasqua’s Trash (discontinued), but that one seemed very tinny to me so I gave it away. I’d love to see this swatched next to Golden Ticket, honestly. I have GT, but I prefer Illamasqua products, and I’m looking for a more true gold color.

    If you ever decide to snag GT for the test, nevermind the label of “limited edition”; virtually all LC lippies are marketed as LE, but I call BS on that one. I bought my “LE” glosses and lippies about 18 months ago, and now some have just had the LE tags removed.

    • I don’t work with or use Lime Crime products after the brand gave out my personal email address in their mailing list in reaction to a less favorable review, unfortunately! They’ve also used my images without credit – and refused to take it down. I was only able to get them removed by dealing directly with Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.

      • Ruca

        If it makes you feel any better, Doe Deer has one of the worst reputations in the industry–especially because all her loose eyeshadows are nothing but TKB Trading loose shadows repackaged and sold at a markup. I’ve even heard some suggest she’s trying to rip of MAC’s lipsticks because of the bullet cases and the vanilla scent. I’m not a huge fan of the products, and I’ve given away most of the few I had, but I don’t know a single person who would EVER buy her eye products.

        I’m so sorry to hear about the vindictive, childish behavior of Doe, Christine! That’s just dirty and low… but “dirty and low” sort of embodies her reputation among thousands of makeup junkies and makeup artists alike.

        I just love the idea of a gold lipgloss, and Golden Ticket is NOT it. The color is completely off, which is why I was curious about the side-by-side. I’d much rather buy my products from a respectable company like Illamasqua any day–it’s just a pain, since I have to place all my orders directly through the London store to get my discount, and they only have free or lowered shipping promos on special occasions. :(

        • It’s definitely a bummer that it’s a reputation that has been earned over a long period of time (the act against me was a couple years ago, the use of my image very recently).

          You’ve seen OCC Triptych, yeah? Not a gloss, but a very pretty orange-toned gold with a metallic finish – a little clear gloss on top would give it the glossy effect.

          I think I’ve only purchased directly through Illamasqua once, just because the exchange + shipping usually makes it hard to do so. I’m like, “Ahh! I don’t need it that bad!”

          • Ruca

            LOL! I only get a 20% discount on the OCC, so I’ll try and find that through a local Sephora. Tars are not too pricey anyway. For Illamasqua though, if you’re buying a stack of blushes and such for yourself and for your kit, then that 40% off really makes a huge difference. I also do not have any local Sephoras that carry the products, so I either guess & buy for full price online, or guess & buy for 40% off through the London store. I am rather disappointed the discontinued Panic recently, so maybe I’ll just order that from Sephora when I get the Tar!

            As for Doe… I do believe you have legal recourse, as all images you publish online that you can prove are your images are automatically copyrighted as your intellectual property, so if you had the gumption to do so, you are well within your rights to sue her for copyright infringement. I just don’t know exactly how you would prove damages, unless she is still bad-mouthing you while using your images. That girl is seriously lacking in people-skills, and her customer service has been reputed to be atrocious, too. She’s nice… so long as you’re not asking for your money back, or complaining about a problem with her products. She has a small cult following, and I doubt she’ll ever get past that due to her reputation and her attitude. Shrinkle will blow her right out of the water. 😉

            Good luck with spoiled brats! If I ever make my own products, I promise I’ll take a C to F review like a big girl! :*

            • I hope you can find a way to get your gold lipgloss of your dreams, one way or another 😉

              I worked with Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr to remove the images, who all did remove them, thankfully!

        • Fyrinnae has a metallic gold Lip Lustre called Isis that may or may not be what you’re looking for. It’s not a gloss, though, more of a balmy stain of some sort? Application requires a slight learning curve, but it’s been worth it for me. They sell it in trial size for $2 if you’re not ready to fork out for a full size yet. Hope that helps!

      • Katie

        If they’re copyrighted images you can sue them.

      • Marrian

        She also said she had ‘proof’ that your review was ‘far from impartial’. How could she even have proof like that? Unless you e-mailed saying ‘I love your products but I’m going to write a bad review haha’, I don’t know what she thinks she has on you.

        She’s so strange.

  24. Katy

    Reminds me of David Bowie… Looks a lot better than that nasty gold lipstick from those Lady music videos.

  25. Sophie

    I don’t think I’d ever have a reason to wear this, but DAMN it is pretty!

  26. Okay FINE! Twist my arm why don’tcha! I’m obviously going to have to buy this… right now :)

  27. WHOA–that really IS intense! Kinda cool looking…it almost reminds me of nail polish!

  28. Jules

    You should do a swatch and layer a bit of that lipgloss over a red lipstick. I really want to see how it looks! DO IT.


    Okay… so I just ordered this and the other glittery one. I plan to layer it over reds, pinks and nudes :) Thanks for the review. I never would have bought this otherwise. xoxo

  30. Lark

    First – a gold mouth is a thing right now. Sorry, A Thing. Second – you can NOT put anything green, or teal, even tinged, over pink red or purple. Look at a color wheel. Red is opposite of green and you’ll get a strange muddying of your lip color.

    Gold laying rocks, but you need a straight up gold to do it. No green. There’s plenty of gold out there too.

    Id buy this in a heartbeat! Gorgeous. But I have a rack of gold lips and another is just absurd.

  31. Nic

    Not something I’d probably reach for very often, but the pigmentation and texture look really nice and it is a pretty cool color.

  32. VickyM

    The stranger is indeed a little strange…but I kind of like it. The idea of gold on lips is very interesting. However it might be too opaque for me, I would like something more wearable.

    • Amelia

      I had the same reservations but if you pat on a thin layer instead of using the brush to apply it, it is a lot sheerer and a lot more wearable

  33. Faiza Qaiser

    Nah not my cup of tea.

  34. numra

    whoa, you wore it outside..that was bold.

  35. Dinitchka

    I LOVE this colour! It’s as if you were kissed by a golden fairy or ate a golden burger or both. I would love to test it as a layering gloss. I think the brush would kill me though. I’m a bit OCD on splayed brushes … Ask my polishes *LOL*

  36. Tamara

    That would be a gorgeous eyeshadow color. I love the color but on the lips?…looks too dark.

  37. Anna C.

    OMG this lipgloss looks awful! It looks costumey… And Imagine how yellow yout teeth will look with this!

  38. The wonky brush would be super annoying. It is a gorgeous and very unique color. Probably better for cool photoshoots than every day wear :)

  39. At a quick glance I thought this was their Halcyon illuminator, and then I saw it was on your lips and I was like WOWZA. Not my personal choice for every day, but super cool.

    I love that Illamasqua will release these kinds of colors, even though they may not be as marketable as something more conventional.

    That brands wins me over more and more all the time.

  40. LC

    “Stranger” certainly is an apt name.

  41. Terri

    this would be AWESOME in the center of a red lip or mixed with a deep plummy lip.

    I do a lot of lippie mixing so I love this.

  42. Nikki


  43. Amanda

    NOPE. I don’t think even Lady Gaga herself could pull this one off

  44. Jenn

    Christine, do you know anything about Sephora not carrying the lip products anymore? I went online and none of the Illamasqua lip products are listed anymore. And most of the smaller free standing stores don’t carry Illamasqua. :-/

    • That is really odd! I haven’t – but my only guess would be they’re going to redo the packaging? because that is odd. If they weren’t going to sell the glosses, I’d expect then to see less products, period, but it looks like everything else is there.

  45. Jennifer L

    I have ‘Stranger’ and it is stunning over other colors! Today I wore a fushia/gold and put a little dab of this in the center of my lips and WAM! It creates the most beautiful color. I would go as far as to say this is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE COLORS! It’s so gorgeous layered over reds, fushias, pinks, even coral. Just wow.