Illamasqua Summer 2011 – Toxic Nature Review

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photos: we heart this

The natural world has been ravaged. It’s been plundered, recreated and altered. Humans have masked the natural with the unnatural. We’ve taken what we’ve wanted and conquered the environment…or so we thought. Nature always finds a way to find balance, to overcome, to remake and survive. It will flourish and it will fight back. And the only means to survival is to embrace the colors of this new toxic landscape…

No, this isn’t the plot line to an epic science fiction story; this is the unique inspiration behind Illamasqua’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection, Toxic Nature, an intense palette of new shades and tones that want to be noticed.

It’s no surprise that the ladies of we heart this are fans of this exciting UK company and their high quality products. As a company that draws inspiration from the 1920s club scene, theater, film and alternative cultures, with a mission to celebrate the different and the artistic, Illamasqua encourages everyone to embrace their alter ego. This collection really struck a chord with me. It’s no wonder Stef picked Toxic Nature as the line she was most excited to try this year ! (Go check out the photos on their website! Strange, quirky and beautiful.)

We got to check out the following items from this thrilling collection:

Atomic, Mould

Lipstick in Atomic ($22) a fuchsia violet.

Cream Pigment in Mould ($24) a delicious, deep matte grape.

Nail Varnish in Gamma ($14) : hardcore, chip resistant neon orange. This glossy shade is reminiscent of tangy tangerines, sugary orange Kool Aid and sweet creamsicles…a perfect accent for hot summer days.

Gamma Nail Varnish – gamma, gamma, hey!

I tested the cream pigment and the lipstick and one word comes to mind: WOW. Mould is a warm, rich, velvety purple. It looks intensely dark in the container, but once on is surprisingly lighter. Applied with my finger it was just a whisper of purple. But with a flat brush I was able to build the color to a beautiful deep shade. This pigment is creamy, light and unbelievably easy to blend. Powder eye shadows blend smoothly over this as well and had excellent hold. You can also use it as an accent on the rest of your face and body as well.

It’s water resistant, but came off easily with a little soap and water and it has great long wear. I even tested it on a particularly humid afternoon. I noticed a teeny tiny bit of creasing on my eyelids after a couple of hours walking (and perspiring) in the hot late afternoon sun, but overall it held up really well.

And can we just talk packaging inspiration for a minute?

The Atomic shade lipstick is BOLD and not for the faint of heart! It glides on smooth, has just a hint of shimmer and is highly pigmented. I dabbed it on with my finger and I had a very fun, light stain of color, totally wearable during the day. Full application and it was intense! However, this is a beautifully dynamic, glowing shade of fuchsia and the tinge of violet helps round out this hue so it’s not too red. Great for summer evenings! If bright lipstick shades make you feel like you’re wearing a flashing neon sign that says “EVERYBODY STARE AT ME” then this may not be your cup of tea. But, then again, why not? Isn’t that the point of this collection and company? Stand out! Be noticed! Be different!

Speaking of being noticed, I can’t wait to hear the review on the nail varnish! And if you don’t feel comfortable wearing the more intense products in this collection then check out the gorgeous neutral tones created to coincide with the more daring shades.


• Highly pigmented
• Long lasting wear
• A nice variety of bold shades and subtle tones


• Bolder shades may not be for everyone. (But their neutral tones are just as fun!)
• Price. A little high after the conversion from British pound to US dollar, but the quality more than makes up for it. This is on par with MAC!

we heartsters, is this collection a toxin that you WANT on your body? And have you seen the previews of the fall collection already? We die…

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also may contain an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • kari

    Kari is a Minneapolis based artist who drinks too much coffee and enjoys taking pictures of the strange foods she eats. She's always running 10 minutes behind despite her clock being an hour fast.

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  1. I bought my first Illamsqua lipstick in June, a color called Drench. LOVE IT. I love the consistency and the great build up of color. Their packaging is killer and it makes me want to buy more and soon!

  2. I’m totally in love with Illamasqua now! The quality is outstanding and the colors are so rich and dense. Absolutely beautiful. I think the Atomic lipstick was a bit shocking for my boyfriend the first time I wore it, but he got used to it. I love it though. These are really fun summer colors! 5 stars!

    1. I had not heard that @krista! I think it’s awesome. Creepy, but awesome!

      By the by, did you all know that Dave Vanian is one of the members of Illamasqua’s “art team”. To those of you who know who that is, I bet you think having your makeup done by Illamasqua for your funeral is awesome too!

    2. Dave Vanian, seriously?! That’s crazy… and so cool!

      I’ve never owned anything from Illamasqua and your post has convinced me I should, @kari ! Gamma Nail Varnish has me very intrigued for starters.

    3. oh @melissa – I as thinking of you specifically when I wrote my comment, my punk rock sister!

    4. I DID read that! Totally creepy, but pretty cool, too. That said, something tells me that, knowing Illamasqua’s typical style it wouldn’t be quite me. Oh well! guess I’ll just look like a typical dead person in my casket, haha!

    5. Woah! Funeral makeup?! That is weird and awesome. And totally in line with the entire spirit of this company.

  3. Wow… I clicked on the link to look at the photos for this collection on Illamasqua’s website, and they were very, very strange.

    The only Illamasqua product I’ve ever tried is their nail polish base coat. It had gotten really high reviews on a few different sites, but I found it kind of average.

  4. I’ve been hearing about this brand for abit now. Toxic Nature is perfect for me, the lipstick pops and I’d love to use that cream pigment as a smudged eyeliner. The orange nailpolish is beautiful and a great summer color though I would continue to use it well into winter to brighten things up.

  5. Oh Gamma, how I love you. You have become my go-to summer shade. You brighten my days, you wear forever (forever = 4 days with no chips), your formula is divine (not too thick, not too thin) and you make me happy every time I gaze down at my day-glo fingers.
    5 stars, I heart Illamasqua.

    1. I’m so jealous of how well you pull off Gamma, @Stef ! (I’m assuming that your patented perfect mani in the photo.) I LOVE the color, and I love orange in general but I can’t pull it off unless it’s a burnt orange. It makes me look too jaundiced, so sad! So I’ll just covet from over here.

  6. Atomic and Mould are gorgeous!!! Super shocking but beautiful! I would absolutely give them a go. And that nail polish certainly would brighten your days. The color saturation is stunning in this line. Sign me up!!

  7. Under a rock again.. What the heck? Now I’m in love with these amazing colors by illamasqua! Great review @kari- I can hardly believe it and no chips? Wow- I must get some of that!

  8. Wow, great review @kari! These are definitely bold but really fun, when you want to step out of the box of your daily routine! That nail polish is beautiful!

  9. Thanks ladies! I really want to try the nail polish now too. I’m not sure I could pull off Gamma as well as Stef but it would be worth trying!

  10. Great review…And I love the blog. I have just subscribed can’t wait to see what you have next on the list! Very cute stuff here!

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