We heart Illamasqua, a review…

illamasquaIf you’re a makeup lover, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, you’ve been hearing the buzz about Illamasqua. For a beauty blogger, it’s been exciting to follow. News spread quickly of The new MAC (gasp!), a line that had makeup artists everywhere, both professional and self taught, singing it’s praises. And now, what started as a whisper has turned into a roar, as the once hard-to-get UK brand has celebrated it’s second month at Sephora. We heart this were sent a package of products so that we could see for ourselves just what all the fuss is about.

It’s easy to see why the comparisons were made; both are highly pigmented, progressive and fashion forward. Luckily, both lines can happily co-exist. Two beautiful options is a very good thing!

Launched in only November of 2008, the line has quickly become one of the most sought after. And rightfully so, Illamasqua has a great story with amazing products to back it up. And it all stems from one thing, art. The line is an artists dream, whoever the artist may be; makeup artists, performers of all type or an individual wishing to express what they feel. And what do artists crave most? Color! Let me tell you, Illamasqua delivers; intense, true, long lasting color.

As if color pay off isn’t enough to make me, art school graduate and makeup connoisseur, fall head over heels with Illamasqua, there’s their homage to those seen as “alternative” (anyone who falls outside the norm). They celebrate creativity in all forms, take inspiration from anyone who chooses to be different and encourage the bolder person hiding inside all of us to come out and play!

The perfect blend of those two factors (art and the unconventional) is best illustrated by their Art Team, a group of three uniquely talented individuals from the worlds of alternative music, art, and fashion. Chosen “to champion individuality and push the boundaries of creativity and self-expression.” The muses of Illamasqua, if you will. They are make-up artist Alex Box, musician and contemporary artist Anja Huwe, and the most exciting for me, Dave Vanian, lead singer of UK punk forefathers The Damned!

Are you getting what we’re saying? This is not your Mom’s makeup line. And we love them for it.

We got to check out the following amazing products:

Powder Blusher in Katie – a beautiful, light milky pink. Though it’s light and rather demure looking in the package, I hear it goes on like gang busters. Our resident blush addict will give you the skinny in the comments.

Sheer Lipgloss in Tantrum – deep violet sheen. Is there any question that I grabbed this immediately? As the site’s lip gloss junkie, it was my duty. Plus,there it stared at me with all it’s sparkly regalia, looking like Prince in lip gloss form!

Pure Pigment in Involve – violet shimmer loose powder. So much more than just eye shadow! Metallic, high-shine, pure-color powders are made to be played with and mixed with anything.

Nail Varnish in DWS – cement gray. Of course Illamasqua would have the hottest trend for fall, the grey nail. Plus, it’s hard wearing and chip resistant (and only one in a long line of really exciting colors).

Review team-what did you think? Is this beauty worth the buzz? And readers, if you’ve tried the line (or are dying to) let us know!

5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 55 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Written by Stef Andrews

16 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Krista
    Krista

    As a self-confessed blush addict, I was euphoric when I received the powdered blusher in Katie to test. A little background on my coloring—I am ridiculously pale with dark hair and pale hazel eyes. I need blush to look alive. Most of my blushes tend to be in a deep rose or red shade and I blend them down, but even then, it’s probably a little too much color for bolder lips.
    For years, I’ve been searching for a pale pink blush that is a good counterpoint to dark lips, but everything I’ve found was so pale that it didn’t show up on even me or it just didn’t last very long. Answering my prayers is Katie. First off, the packaging is gorgeous. It’s in a light-weight black plastic compact with a clear, beveled window that lets you see the product. It has a little symbol etched in the window that reminds me of when Prince went by “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince”.(Those were fun times :) )
    The blush itself looks like a nondescript pale pink. Looks are deceiving. Once applied with a big, fluffy brush, I had the prettiest rosy cheeks every. It was pale enough to not compete with my other makeup, but had enough color impact that I looked alive and fresh. The best part? I didn’t have to reapply and this carried me through a whole 12 hours before I finally removed it when I washed my face at night.
    I don’t think I can say enough great things about this blush, other than if I could give 6 stars, I would. I can’t wait to try their cream blush now…I can’t be stopped :)

  2. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I was the lucky recipient of the Tantrum sheer lip gloss. The color description, deep violet sheen, is perfect. It’s a bright, yet rich and deep purple with a mesmerizing amount of shimmer. Shimmer, not glitter (very important!) Just looking at it in the tube can put you into a trance, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. It is indeed sheer, but deposits color too. I can’t stand lip glosses that are so sheer you don’t even see them, really-what’s the point? It’s not too sticky nor too slippery and the color sticks around for quite some time. It has a faint fruit smell that’s really pretty. And it’s in a wonderful clear squeeze tube, with a slant top plastic applicator that doesn’t get messy at all.

    So, to sum up, this hits the mark on all of my lip gloss criteria: deposits a good amount of color, doesn’t have an obtrusive smell, great applicator, not too sticky and long lasting. Dare I say, the perfect gloss?!

    I can’t wait to explore the line more and get my hands on some of the Intense lip glosses (the opaque counterparts to the sheer line).

    .-= stef´s last blog ..Dr. Brandt skincare – review =-.

  3. Profile photo of irene
    irene

    If it wasn’t for Stef and Tyna I may have missed Illamasqua, the new kid on the block. Well, I marched into the very lovely Sephora store at SCP and joined in the hubbub! It’s funny how hot things can become – in what seems to be over night success before my eyes! These colors are, “WOW- like” in every sense of the word! Leave it to the Berlin-iacs to come up with this fantastic line of makeup! They definitely focus on vibrant colors and dramatic makeup. I’d say that this line is geared for a very active nightlife. I fell in love with their Rich Liquid Foundation. Better than MAC.. it has nice coverage, just how I like my foundations- without looking heavy at all.. It covered up that age spot on my left check perfectly. I give Illamasqua a big 5 stars too!
    Oh, I loved Enchant sheer lip-gloss- it was gorgeous on.. Now I want to kiss someone, just so I can leave a Illamasqua lip mark.. :)

  4. Profile photo of nouveaucheap
    nouveaucheap

    If I hear one more fabulous thing about Illamasqua my head might explode! I neeeeed to get my hands on at least one of their products asap. All of the products reviewed here sound amazing but I’ve got to say I’m the most excited to try a blush (or five). Good blushes are hard to come by these days (especially ones with fantastic staying power) so Krista, your review has me completely mesmerized. Illamasqua, you will be mine one day…

    PS: And I had no idea about Dave Vanian! How freaking cool is that?

  5. Profile photo of Krista
    Krista

    Nouveaucheap—You really need to give their powder blush a try. I was really amazed at the staying power and the color payoff was gorgeous. I’d say that this is a must have for blush addicts :) I usually gravitate to cream blush, so now I’m wanting to see if it’s as fabulous as their powder version…

  6. Profile photo of sherrishera
    sherrishera

    Yes, apparently I was hiding under a rock because I was oblivious to the makeup revolution taking place. A Illamasqua coup bringing the best and brightest forward to usurp the power of the Makeup Bigwigs.

    I do love loose pigment powders and was glad to receive such a fun color as Involve. Shimmery violet in color, I knew it would look good against my brown eyes. It did. And, like my other favorite loose pigment shadow, it stayed put on my greasy (sorry for the visual) eyelids. A damp brush gives an intense color, and a great smokey eye.

    But use it elsewhere? Where, I thought. I mean, I’ve used some nude or pearl shimmer powders in my moisurizer before, but this? If I did that with Involve I’d look like Grape Ape. So I tried some in my Murad lip conditioner (a clear, glossy pommegranate-infused treatment). What a fantastic result!

    At first I had tapped a little too much pigment (a little goes a long, long way) and had sparkley, shiny purple lips. It looked pretty cool…for a dance club or a drag queen (that’s not a bad thing). But my second try was much more wearable. The tiniest dash mixed with the clear gloss just gave a subtle, purplish tint. It was slightly Goth in a grown-up sort of way (or maybe it was slightly child-like in a grape popsicle sort of way).

    I’m wondering if that pigment would mix with my clear nailpolish? I do love purple toes. That will be my next try.

    So, yes, I give Illamasqua five deserved stars. And Stef, maybe if you got the Involve pigment, you could fix up some of your own Tantrum. I’m telling ya, it looks good.

  7. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    I was giddy upon receiving a bag of goodies from Illamasqua! I had been hearing all the buzz on this amazing line that was (finally!) about to hit Sephora in the states. The day after I heard Illamasqua was in select Sephoras, I ran to the Hollywood and Highland Sephora thinking, “of course, they’ll have it” only to learn they were still anxiously awaiting their shipment. The next day, we heart this was thrilled to be some of the first peeps on the West Coast to check out this coveted, cult favorite. The colors and packaging are as described gorgeous. It’s just one of those lines that gets you excited for make up. For all my love of color and luxury makeup, I’m mostly a neutral color wearer. So, I decided to let some true makeup mavens test out the colors for the face and tested out the Nail Varnish in DWS – perfect for me, as my nails are the one area I have no qualms wearing the brightest, trendiest colors. Or as the case may be, the darkest trendiest colors. The DWS is described as wet cement color – and that’s pretty accurate. Especially in the bottle. On my fair, warm based skin the color looks to be a beautiful slate grey (with a blue undertone). It’s actually, the color I had in my mind’s eye when I painted my bedroom last year. On the nails the coloring is bold and dramatic and flattering to my skin tone. The finish is not a total matte – there’s a soft sheen/shine to it. I think it adds a more fashion forward feel to it then a true matte. (Plus matte polish seems to chip like mad).

    The varnish is packaged in a smart, simple square glass bottle. I found the consistency really nice – not too thick or too thin – and not streaky. Two careful, thin coats created a very pretty, streak-free nail. Normally, the darker the color, the more trouble I have doing a home manicure, so I stick to clears or very soft pinks for DIY’ mani/pedis. I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which this color went on. Nice brush. The chip resistance is OK. In general, it’s much, much stronger than my other matte type colors – and with a cover coat applied every few days, it will last as long as your standard polish. The DWS Nail Varnish is just the tip of the colors too – check out their amazing nail shades. I’m going to try Muse (a dark teal) next. Whee! Welcome to America Illamasqua! 5 big stars!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Etsy Owliday Inn – Special Discount for wht readers! =-.

  8. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    Ok, so I waited exactly one day before I just couldn’t take it anymore and got the Intense lip gloss is Petulant, a hot pink. But not just any hot pink, the brightest, hottest pink you’ve ever seen. Holy Heck, forget about it, this gloss is so amazing. Intense is not big enough word, this color is out of control. It’s really more a liquid lipstick, totally opaque and it wears forever. My god, I am so in love with this line!
    .-= stef´s last blog ..Dr. Brandt skincare – review =-.

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