Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink oyster.” It’s a milky, warm-toned pink with an iridescent pink-to-peach sheen. Chanel Songe (191) (LE, $29.50) has a lesser duochrome that shifts to more of a green-ish-mauve. bareMinerals Heartbreaker (LE, $18.00) has no duochrome. Giorgio Armani #700 (P, $29.00) is lighter, less pink. Revlon Orchid (P, $7.49) is similar on but has no duochrome. Bobbi Brown Pink Gold (P, $24.00) is similar, less duochrome. Bobbi Brown Firefly (P, $24.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It looks more like a duochrome at times, but often, it just looks like a light pink. I always get excited for these types of glosses but find they have a very limited range of viewing/angles where it really looks as cool in person as it does swatched on your arm/hand (probably because you can really move and angle your arm/hand a lot more than your face!). It has a light-to-medium-weight consistency that feels creamy and comfortable to wear without being tacky. It had semi-sheer color coverage where the natural lip color is visible and will alter how this looks if you have more pigmented lips. It lasts for four and a half hours, and I never felt the shimmer while applying or as it wore away. It was lightly hydrating. The gloss is on the milkier side, so there is a little bit of settling, and if you press your lips together, it can create “lines” as the product moves around.

Again, it appears that Illamasqua is no longer available at any U.S. retailers, which means the only way to purchase their products is through their website. The press release I received for the Once… collection is for the US, and the pricing reflected what we saw in stores, but converting to “$ USD” on their website changes the price on this to $26.77 (but you will pay in £ at checkout). On non-polish and fragrance orders, shipping is free over £50.

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See more photos & swatches!

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Exquisite Sheer Lipgloss

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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder
  • Too Faced Papa Don't Peach
  • Too Faced Inner Light
On eyes:
  • L'Oreal Highlighter Infallible Eyeliner

About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

Compare Any Two Swatches

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It’s very pretty, but I was hoping it would be more opaque. I already own Chanel Songe (AND LOVE IT), so it’s a pass for me. It’s nice to see a few more muted shades enter their main lineup, though.

Yeah I’m pretty sad they aren’t in the US anymore. I’d really like the Melange and Scorn nail varnishes but I’m not going to pay $23 for each item plus $24 shipping.

I just learned that Bloomingdale’s will soon become Illamasqua’s exclusive North America retailer! Sephora–for whatever reason–is phasing out Illamasqua like Tarina Tarantino and Hello Kitty back in 2012.

Bloomingdale’s was as of a year or so ago, when Sephora removed them (it’s been awhile), but Bloomingdale’s no longer carries Illamasqua.

I like the gloss more than I expected to like, but the most striking thing in your photos is the blush! I never paid attention to Papa Don’t Peach but it looks so lovely on you.

this is absolutely gorgeous but i don’t think i *need* it. i feel like i have a victoria’s secret gloss that looks a lot like this aaaaand i’m really trying to limit my makeup purchases for a while and this collection is really tempting me!

So annoyed that the Once… collection is being promoted in the U.S. but isn’t actually carried anywhere in the country anymore. I saw on some other blogs that Illamasqua is promising new things coming for U.S. customers, but I wish we could have an explanation of what happened with them and Sephora and with them and Bloomingdale’s. It was such a quiet exit from both stores, and I just don’t understand why – I really thought they had a cult following here and would want to keep U.S. customers.

ha! yeah, the U.S. prices aren’t applicable anywhere anymore, except for the six or eight Bloomingdale’s stores that still carry their products in those physical locations. but even those stores are dropping the line soon. so why even continue to pretend that the U.S. prices matter? it’s the conversion of U.K. prices that we’ll be actually paying, and with the current conversion rate and shipping prices, they’re extremely prohibitive. I yearn for the day when Illamasqua polishes were $14 at Sephora – sigh.

I’m in agreement with wishing this was more opaque. Its all a moot point anyway as I’ve never seen this brand in NZ and certainly don’t fancy paying the hefty price tag and shipping fees to get it here!

I want both glosses & the blush from this collection, as well as a few other items, so I may as well go ahead and place an order while we’re still able to…

This looks lovely, plus it’s cheaper for me than Chanel Songe. I’m wondering how it would look layered over a dark lipstick ..

It’s pretty, but maybe one should only wear it on sunny days 🙂 I don’t think I’ll buy it as there are a lot of lipglosses i like available for less money. Maybe the other one, can’t remember what it’s called will find its way to me 🙂

This one’s a little bit too far into the ‘milky’ camp for me, but it really does look impressively non-lipliney despite that! 😀 I wish there were really more ‘properly duochrome on the lips’ shades!

Do you have any favourites for lip products that really do the duochrome thing on the ilps, Christine?

I had a feeling you wouldn’t like this one, Sylirael! The milkiness!

They all do it to some degree, but it just doesn’t LOOK like it because most of the time you see your lips pretty straight-on. Like when I swatch ’em, they definitely have the duochrome effect on my arm, but it’s like my eyes and lips can’t see each other at all those weird angles, lol.

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