Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “charcoal with multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a cool color, because it changes depending on the angle and lighting situation. Mostly, it’s a dark, blue-toned charcoal gray base with a bluish-teal flash and multi-colored sparkle. The only shade similar to the general look and feel (and what you see in the swatch) but did not have the multi-colored shimmer of Android was Urban Decay Hijack, which is lighter and less intense.

Pure Pigments are a multi-purpose product that can be used on eyes, cheeks, face, or body (or even hair/nails). Illamasqua says that they can be applied dry or wet (“for bolder color payoff”), but I wouldn’t recommend using them dry. Android applies better dry than some shades, though, but it is very, very sheer and lacks the multi-dimensional shimmer effect. It appears almost brownish-gray with a subtle sheen. I had good luck with this particular shade staying put simply used wet and applied onto the lid, though it started to crease after five hours. I would typically use this with MAC’s Mixing Medium (or an adhesive base of your choice), which would help it bind and adhere and still have the intense look of the damp swatch.

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Android

B+
Illamasqua does some really interesting and complex hues in their Pure Pigment line, and as long as you're willing to use an adhesive base alongside it, they can be great additions to your collection.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment (£15.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a limited edition shade launched to celebrate the brand’s first fragrance, Freak. It’s described as a “blackened plum shimmer,” which is an apt description! It’s a dark plum with a hint of brown underlying all the plummy purple goodness wrapped in a frosted finish. It’s sheerer when applied dry–the brown is more prevalent–and much more intense (and better!) when applied damp. The product binds together better with a little liquid, which yields a much more opaque, smoother color result. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter, less blackened, and frostier–that was the only shade I felt came close, but it’s not a dupe.

Pure Pigments are loose colors that can be applied on the eyes, cheeks, face, or body. It can be used dry or applied wet for a “bolder colour pay-off.” Illamasqua recommends using it over a cream texture to intensify the color and hold the color in place. Queen of the Night will hold in place dry, but it lacks a lot of the intensity, so I’d recommend using it wet to achieve true-to-pan color.

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Queen of the Night

B+
It's just different enough to stand out in a sea of eggplant and plummy purples. I like the softer, frosted finish, which gives it shimmer and sheen without being metallic.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Beguile Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “shimmering white pearl.” It’s a bright, silvery white with multi-colored reflects with a sandy texture. It’s grittier than their other Pure Pigments–the texture is more like a micro-glitter but slightly more refined. It’s reminiscent of OCC Mirrorball, but Mirrorball has a grayish-blue base, so it has a darker appearance.

I love, love, loved the idea of Beguile. Like NYX Ice Glitter Nail Polish, this twinkles and looks phenomenal in person, because it needs movement to really come alive. Unfortunately, the texture makes it harder to apply. It’s definitely not something you could apply dry without some sort of adhesive base; it winds up all over your face and just doesn’t stick without something more.  Even when I used a mixing medium, I still had some fall out during the day. I’d also recommend using it over another color (even if it’s neutral, like a beige), because it doesn’t create a solid base color easily.

With this product, Illamasqua says it can be used dry or wet, but I’d argue you can’t use it dry, which pulled down the product’s score a fair amount.  I tend not to provide ratings for glitters, because they’re less of a standalone product–they do need another product in order to perform well typically.  However, this is touted as part of the brand’s Pure Pigment formula and line, and if that’s the case, this particular shade falls short of those.

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Beguile

C-
It's absolutely gorgeous, and it can definitely add more oomph to any look, but it is frustrating to use on the eye, because of the amount of fall out that occurs. It would be easier to mix in nail polish, lip gloss, and the like.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, October 7th, 2011


Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “shimmering black.” It’s new for fall/winter and available at Sephora state-side, while the full line of Pure Pigments is available at Illamasqua (they do ship internationally!).

Pure Pigments are loose, colored powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products. I find they work best when used wet or with a mixing medium, but shades like Zeitgeist have a more matte base color, which allows it to adhere better without an additional product. However, when used dry, the intensity is lackluster; the shimmer stands out more, but the base black color gets a little lost. It looks sheer and almost chalky when it’s applied dry. I like it better over a primer–especially as a crease shade–and it darkens nicely.

When it’s applied damp (I used just water for the swatch), it’s much more intense–very rich and deeply black–but the shimmer is softer and less apparent. Trade-offs! If you want the intensity and the shimmer, you could apply it damp first, and then pat a little on top dry. This particular shade would work well as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The color reminded me of Lancome The New Black Eyeshadow but less shimmery.

The packaging looks sleek on the outside, and I appreciate that it has a smaller opening inside, but I think even smaller holes with a sifter would be more efficient.  Opening the “pot” can be finicky as well; it’s easiest to lift it up on all sides with the edge of something (like your nail), but it’s not the best.

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Zeitgeist

B+
If you're looking for a really sooty, dark black in loose form, Zeitgeist may be up your alley!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Illamasqua Alluvium Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Alluvium Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Art of Darkness: Alluvium

Illamasqua Alluvium Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is just like Ore: beyond gorgeous when you see it in person, but it just doesn’t photograph quite the same way. It’s a metallic medium-blue with a violet-blue tinge and flecks of multicolored shimmer.

I actually did a look with Ore on the lid and Alluvium in the crease, and it was such a lovely combo, but the photos make it look like garbage. I’ll have to see what I can do about the lighting situation and find a way to capture the brilliance of both of these shades in a photo. Hopefully it stays sunny for the rest of the week!

If these were a better value, I’d try making a nail polish with Alluvium–seems like it be a gorgeous shade for nails. (You can read my quantity/price ratio and packaging griping here.)

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Alluvium

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Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment

You’ll Need to See This to Believe It

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of those products that shocks and awes the minute you swatch it.  Ore is a medium-dark metallic bronze with soft red undertones, multicolored shimmer, and a dazzling sheen.  It’s like a metallic bronze base with Christmas (green, pink, gold shimmer flecks) strewn through it.  The frustrating part about this particular shade is it really needs to be seen to be believed.  It’s so luxe and full of depth, but it looks better in person than it does in photos.

I loved it patted atop a shimmery primer and blended up with nothing else, but it also works well to layer with or use alongside your favorite coordinating eyeshadows.  I had several people stop me when I went out with this look on to ask what I had on my lids (which is not the norm).  Over a stickier base, Pure Pigments can easily be used dry, but I do prefer using them wet, as they hold together and apply smoothly and vibrantly.

There are, however, two things about Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments that I don’t particularly like:  quantity and packaging.  As far as similar products, Illamasqua weighs in with a rather tiny amount (Make Up For Ever wavers between 0.07 and 0.09 oz., while MAC tops in at 0.15 oz.).   You don’t need much, so you won’t be finishing a Pure Pigment any time soon, but it’s still worth noting.

The other thing is the packaging, which I find cumbersome and a pain to open.  If you’re not careful, it’s easy to loose hold of it and see your precious 0.04 oz. pigment soar across the air.  (There is actually a bunch of Ore embedded in my carpet, because it happened yet again to me while photographing.)  My best advice for opening these is to wedge your nail between the lid and base and run it around the perimeter a bit, then pull it open.  This seemed to alleviate a lot of the fumbling.  When it comes to a loose product, I think a screw-top lid might be a lot safer for us clumsy folk.

So why not an A product? Because the quantity is well below average of other comparable, high-end brands and the packaging could be less prone to slipping out of your hands and losing half the product to your carpet, sink, or bathroom floor.  This is one of my favorite shades for fall, and I will be purchasing a back-up because it is that stunning.

P.S. — Sephora has it listed as a new shade, but it shows as “out of stock,” though I believe it just isn’t in stock yet.  If you can’t wait, you can get it directly from Illamasqua.

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Ore

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