Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush
Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush

Illamasqua Morale Powder Blush ($27.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering magenta pink.” It’s a cool-toned, medium pink with a frosted finish. NARS Gaiety is more matte. MAC Peony Petal is darker, less frosted. MAC I’m the One is darker, less frosted. See comparison swatches here.

The texture of Morale is very soft but, as a result, somewhat powdery.  Luckily, the powderiness did not translate on the skin as dry-looking or chalky.  The high frost content of the finish did emphasize the texture of the skin and pores.  Morale blends out beautifully on the skin and can be worn as a subtle pink or layered for a more intense look, as it is incredibly pigmented but still buildable and blendable, so a sheerer application is possible.  There was minor fading after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

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product

Morale

A-
The high frost content of the finish did emphasize the texture of the skin and pores, which is the biggest drawback of this product. It had great color payoff and was blendable and buildable.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Illamasqua Disobey Blush
Illamasqua Disobey Blush

Illamasqua Disobey Blush ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “matte bronze.” It’s a medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is warmer–more orange. Burberry Summer Glow is warmer, richer, and has a satiny finish. Urban Decay Naked Flushed Bronzer is warmer. MAC Nude on Board is shimmery but similar in color.

It has a soft, finely-milled texture that applies smoothly and evenly onto the skin. It doesn’t look powdery applied, and it blends out easily because of how soft the powder is.  The pigmentation is very true-to-pan, and it is also buildable and can be sheered out, so it’s a matter of preference whether you want the color to resemble the pan or something softer.  The color on my medium complexion is warming but subtle, so it may be a better bronzer pick for lighter complexions.  However, this has only a subtle warmth to it, so it could also work as a contouring shade.  As a light contour, it is quite nice and shadowy enough to work as a contour.  Disobey wore for eight hours on my skin without fading, and after nine hours, there was some minor fading that was visible.

The Glossover

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Disobey

A
The color on my medium complexion is warming but subtle, so it may be a better bronzer pick for lighter complexions. However, this has only a subtle warmth to it, so it could also work as a contouring shade.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush
Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Delightfully Subtle Rosy Cheeks

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as as “soft neutral pink.” It’s a light-medium rosy pink with a mostly neutral undertone (against my warmer complexion, it seems to pull just barely cool-toned). It has a mostly matte finish and true-to-pan color. MAC Crew is lighter, yellower. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is lighter, more yellow-toned, a bit brighter. MAC Stunner is more yellow-toned and has a strong sheen. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit cooler-toned. MAC Dame has a smidgen of plum in it.

The color goes on as it looks in the pan and in any variation lighter than that; it is, obviously, not a dark pink or the like, so the effect on deeper complexions may be subtle. There’s enough actual product and pigmentation for it to show up on a wide variety of skin colors, though. What’s nice about this shade is it works throughout the year and with many different looks. It can be used to complement a soft, barely-there face, but it can work to add color without overwhelming a more dramatic eye/lip (or combination thereof).

It has a soft, blendable texture that’s finely-milled.  Not dry nor powdery, it applies easily to the skin, and the color is buildable.  When I trialed the blush on my cheeks, it lasted a solid eight hours with very minor fading along the edges of the color. Had I not been looking, I don’t think anyone else would have noticed, it was that subtle.

The Glossover

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Naked Rose

A
This is the type of blush that I keep close by, because when in doubt, it almost always works with whatever I'm wearing. I love neutral pinks and soft beiges and browns for their versatility.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher
Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher

A Blendable Blush is Key

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “dusky rose pink shimmer.” It has a just barely softened appearance to the color–it’s still rather intense, because it’s on the darker end of the spectrum–but “dusky” is an apt description. The color itself is a rosy red with flecks of gold shimmer.  The shimmer doesn’t really transfer to the skin–it looks mostly matte when applied. MAC Hidden Treasure is darker, redder. MAC Ring of Saturn is warmer and has more golden shimmer/sheen. Tom Ford Savage is browner.

The texture of this felt soft, fairly finely-milled, and it returned excellent color payoff that applied smoothly and evenly when swatched. It had a drier overall texture, consistent with Illamasqua’s formula.  When I applied it to my cheeks (and I used MAC’s 116 blush brush), the results were less impressive.  It was difficult to blend, and with the intensity of this color, that made for a rather frustrating application. I’d apply the barest amount of product, and then the color would blend and disappear but blend unevenly.  This kind of hue needs to be blendable and apply evenly, otherwise it gives cheeks a ruddy or sunburned look–not at all attractive.  I tested the wear, and it lasted eight hours with only a smidgen of fading.

The Glossover

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product

Allure

B
It's not a very blendable, easy-to-use blush. It will take some patience, a deft hand, and an excellent blending brush to get even color that flatters rather than accentuates any natural redness/unevenness in the skin.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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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, October 31st, 2011

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush
Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “neutral pink with shimmer.” It’s a muted pink-plum with golden sparkle. The color is soft and light but buildable enough to provide true-to-pan color as well. MAC Pink Cult is pinker, while Estee Lauder Radiant Berry is plummier. Burberry Cameo is a touch more neutral.

I thought the color was pretty as it could be, but the texture is dry, which may be a nice feature for oilier skin types, but on normal-to-dry skin, it’s not my favorite texture in a blush because it emphasizes skin unevenness. The sparkle could be finer; it seems to sit on the surface of the blush, so it translates as more of a sparkle than a real shimmer-sheen. I found the formula wore well, though, so that it was still visible after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

product

Ambition

B-
If you have oilier skin, I think this could definitely work for you--and it may wear longer than the average powder blush. If you have really dry skin, I'd skip this in lieu of a softer, less dry-textured powder blush.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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