Illamasqua did this amazing but evil thing a few weeks ago where, to celebrate their 50,000th Twitter follower, they held a sitewide 50% off flash sale.
Naturally, I freaked my shit on Twitter (and did my bit to spread the news) — but ultimately decided not to partake. Even though there’s probably not going to be a sale like that for awhile, there wasn’t anything I wanted bad enough to warrant the trouble of getting it here. Considering how many posts I’ve devoted to this goddamn haul already (with one more to go), new makeup should definitely have been last on my list.
Besides, I’d had the luxury of spending a good amount of time at the Illamasqua counter at Selfridges. So, I was able to try and think over and consider my purchases carefully — an important process for a recovering shopaholic. And it’s because of this haul that I was able to say no to that flash sale with no regrets.
- Lipsticks in Growl, Howl, Liable, Sangers, Scandal, and Eurydice
- Pure Pigments in Furore, Berber, Chasm, Android
- Cream Blushers in Rude, Brazen
- Powder Eye Shadow in Preen
- Cream Pigment in Emerge
- Under Eye Concealer in 325
- (GWP) Precision Ink Eyeliner in Glister
Lipsticks (£16.50 / £8)
I would say that the Illamasqua lipsticks are among my favorite purchases of the year. All of them. They have exactly the texture I love (super duper matte), come in beautiful colors, and the wearing power is superb. Comparable to the NARS Pure Matte lipsticks? But of course.
I’ll start with the ones purchased from the Easter Egg Hunt at £8 apiece.
Scandal has probably gotten the most wear so far. It’s a gorgeous soft coral-pink and perfect for warm skin tones. It’s also impossible to photograph.
Some looks with Scandal:
Sangers is a “true” blood red (apparently I had a thing for blood reds this haul around) and it is wonderful. I wore this a lot during the day in London, but here I haven’t really worn much red at all.
Used in a look:
I debated getting Eurydice during the Easter sale, and I’m very happy I ended up buying. The wear lasted through a tour of Somerset House, a walk down South Bank, a sudden rain storm that nearly buffeted us past the London Eye and straight into the Thames, and a post-shower recovery at the top of the Tate with some coffee and cookies. (Of course, after that I needed to reapply).
I haven’t done a formal comparison with NARS Carthage, but Eurydice seems more…complex. It’s darker yet brighter, maybe because of the subtle purple undertones.
In a look:
My current favorite shade. In the tube it looks like an indiscriminate brown, but once on the lips – argh, loveliest dark berry ever! Out of all the shades, it “sweats” the least in the heat, but it’s also the trickiest to work it if your lips have the slightly bit of excess moisture. It requires the most maintenance since I have to touch up the center of my lips often (aka the part that’s all slick with saliva, hot).
I feel like it would be most comparable to NARS Volga, but Volga may actually win out as a better matte. Then again, I won’t know for sure until actually buying…
In a look. Here Growl was applied as a stain, then a second layer was applied to the center of the lips and blended outward. It does have the potential to go much darker.
Howl is described as a “deep terracotta red” which suckered me right there as I can’t seem to stay away from shades described as building materials. Unlike Sangers, Howl skews warm with some slight orange undertones. I think this would make a beautiful lipstick for morena skin.
I’m not exactly sure why I picked up Liable, an “orange red”, but I’m glad I did. It’s really more orange with red undertones, and kind of a weird color to work with. It’s the only shade I haven’t worn yet, so maybe I’ll do that this week. Look how sweaty it is.
All the colors together:
From left to right: Scandal, Eurydice, Liable, Sangers, Howl, Growl.
One thing to note about Illamasqua lipsticks: they are probably some of the more drier formulas I’ve come across. While this makes them great with staying power, if you apply from the bullet be prepared for a little bit of drag, so I suggest doing it in small, quick swipes as opposed to one long swipe across the lips.
If your lips are very dry to begin with, or you can’t stand the feeling of a dry lipstick, you might want to test these out first. I have super dry lips but love matte finishes, so these work for me, but YMMV.
Cream Blusher in Rude & Brazen (£18)
Rude is described as a warm peach pink. It’s beautiful and light on cheeks, but on medium to dark skintones it may look a little too light (too pinkish to be nude on me, so it just makes me look washed out when worn alone on lips). I wore this blush a lot during the worst of the heat when I wanted a natural flush but not a lot of makeup on my face.
Brazen is a bright solid blood red. It needs no other description. Do not be fooled by that beautiful, dark vampy red swatch on Illamasqua’s site, this is as red as it gets.
It’s the most intimidating, most exciting blush I’ve come across. Observe:
Part of the reason the swatch is so crazy is that the cream blushers melted a bit in the heat, but there was no hint of this when the blushers were brand new. So when I went in for the swatch, my fingers sank in like Artax in the Swamp of Sadness. The 3 swatches for Brazen aren’t so much a study in intensity and blending, but more like “How do I get this product off my fingers?”
Only the lightest touch needed here. And you can definitely use this as lipstick, though it feels a bit more liquid and less durable when applied on lips.
The sales associate at Illamasqua Selfridges said all their products are designed to be used anywhere on the face, so let loose. I am going to need to be as courageous as Brazen’s name suggests in order to wear this blush out.
Pure Pigments in Furore, Berber, Chasm, Android (£16.50; purchased for £8)
I purchased these during Illamasqua’s Easter Egg hunt sale when they were offered at half off. I’m a huge fan of Ore, and I think even now there isn’t a loose pigment that can compare.
A “champagne peach shimmer” that swatches a lot lighter that it looks in this picture. This is the only one of the four I’ve used so far, usually as a pale wash for a catliner/bold lip look.
Another intimidating color – I have no idea how to wear this yet. It’s a metallic red with gold particles and it’s scary as hell. Someone in the reviews mentioned that this made a great blush — sure, just layer this over Brazen for an everyday sort of look.
Illamasqua in general is not a brand for the timid (though they have several gorgeous wearable colors).
Every time I look at this, I think of Zoolander’s Aveda commercial. Naturally to be used in some marine-inspired look, ideally one in which I can work in a defiant cry of “Merman! *cough cough* MERMAN!” somewhere.
Not the darkest of the range (that would be Zeitgeist) but still dark and smoky and gray in its own right.
The four swatched:
Powder Eyeshadow in Preen (£15.50)
I fell in love with this soft matte purple shade. All my purples now are really shimmery and pigmented, so as I move towards more matte shades of course I had to pick this up. Still haven’t worn it out though!
Poor swatch – glitter is leftover residue from the pure pigments, there is none in Preen.
Cream Pigment in Emerge (£17.50)
People had raved about this product being great for dark undereye circles, aka the bane of my face. Having that orange base actually does work wonders against combating dark circles, but then the problem becomes blending it out. I usually layer this with a “regular” concealer to help blend.
Though it’s advertised as being crease-resistant, it definitely creases in hot climates. I usually have to set this with powder to avoid any embarrassing streaks.
Undereye Concealer in 325 (£13)
Purchased for use as a contouring cream – will update later on how successful this is!
Precision Ink Eyeliner in Glister (GWP; £18)
Another product I haven’t yet used, but I love the pink pearlescent color with violet microshimmer. Fun fact: it can apparently be used for nail art as well.
That is my haul, a haul which is mine. Sorry it took awhile to post – I’ve been trying to reconcile this blog against my new job and right now the new job is winning. I am also working on some changes for TDP, for better or worse…:)