Filed In: Illamasqua

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, Once… Collection

Illamasqua Exquisite opener

 

The Once… capsule collection recently released from British cult-fave brand Illamasqua (find my previous review here), also includes 2 Sheer Lip Glosses and I have Exquisite to show you today – a milky pink hue (the other is Opulent, a ‘rainbow beige’ shade). Perfectly in line with the faded romance theme of this entire collection, this pink shade – a traditionally girlie hue – is made modern and edgy by the contrast of [still soft] tones that it holds. Confused yet? Read on …

 

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Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, Once… Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once… Collection

 

Illamasqua Exquisite boxed

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite ingredients

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, ingredients

 

Illamasqua Exquisite label

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite

Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss (US $24.00) | Described as ‘pink oyster’, Exquisite is an interesting mix of delicate petal pink and pearly hues filled with an ultra-fine pink shimmer (non-gritty) – all in a formula that is at once sheer AND somewhat opaque. Can be easily worn alone or layered over any other lip colour, making this a very versatile shade.

I’m not sure how Illamasqua managed to pull off all these contradictory factors, but it might be due to the underlying milky tone which appears to add good coverage to what would otherwise be considered a very light shade. The texture leans on the thicker side, but is non-sticky in feel and there’s a fruity-berry scent that I detect upon opening – which seems to disappear rather quickly (or perhaps I just stop smelling it), while any initial settling into lip lines smooths itself out within a few minutes of wearing. The brush is a little longer than I’m used to and I wasn’t all that keen on it at first, but after playing with this gloss for a while now, I’ve come to appreciate how easily it picks up the product from the tube, while the density and flexibility of the bristles makes application quick and effortless. Lasting power (not including eating/drinking) is pretty good, averaging about 3-4 hours before any significant fading, and even once the majority of shine wears away, your lips are still left with a light veil of colour – more of a sheen, really – and feel nicely hydrated overall.

Going through my collection of pale pink glosses, I was surprised to find that Exquisite has no match; the closest I own, is #191 Songe (LE) from the CHANEL Fall 2014 Collection – which bears the same shimmer, but is definitely more sheer and with a light grey base, and #542 AMC Lip Gloss from Inglot (now discontinued) which has a similar pink flash, but without the shimmer and milky factor (see comparison swatches at the end of the post).

 

Illamasqua Exquisite macro

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite 2

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite 3

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite brush

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite brush 2

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite swatch arm

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite swatch blurred

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, blurred to show the shimmer

 

Illamasqua Exquisite swatch

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss

 

Illamasqua Exquisite swatch 2

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, alternate view/lighting

 

Illamasqua Exquisite and comparisons

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, CHANEL #191 Songe (limited edition, Fall 2014) & Inglot #542 AMC Lip Gloss (discontinued)

 

Illamasqua Exquisite and comparisons 2

Illamasqua | Exquisite Sheer Lip Gloss, CHANEL #191 Songe (limited edition, Fall 2014) & Inglot #542 AMC Lip Gloss (discontinued) – alternate lighting

 

I make it no secret that I love pale lip hues and even though I tend to lean towards beige-y neutrals, I find myself attracted to pale pink shades as well; finding one that won’t clash with my colouring, however, is a whole other matter and thankfully, Exquisite seems to fit that bill perfectly. Neither too warm nor cool leaning, this is a shade that will work on everyone.

I’m so sad to hear that Illamasqua is phasing out their North American retail outlets, because this is a brand that deserves to be fully explored in person – and it feels like it only arrived on Canadian shores just yesterday. Still, they do offer international shipping (which I’ve heard from fellow bloggers, is quite good) and decent sales every so often (who doesn’t love a beauty sale?). You know what this means, right? Yup … travel plans!

Available now, find more information:

 

Illamasqua Exquisite closer

*Disclosure: Press sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix

 

The Once… Collection from Illamasqua, is a study in faded beauty, but in the best way possible: Alex Box, Creative Director for the brand, was inspired by the “gentle and exquisite point when a flower starts to fade and becomes impossibly beautiful in its complex decline” – the theme of which is so perfectly and sublimely captured in the photos for the campaign. Calls to mind the opulence and textural beauty of pre-revolutionary France, courtesans, brocade, and mysterious dark chateau hallways. A beautiful example of the essence of this collection can be found with the new Vintage Metallix shadows (available in 3 shades, US $25.50) with their unique cream-gel formula, which are at once rich yet ephemeral – like trying to capture the feel of a memory … but so much better, because you can wear them.

 

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Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

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Illamasqua | Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix boxed

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix ingredients

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection, ingredients (click to enlarge)

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix labels

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix closed

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix new

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix macro

Illamasqua | Vintage Metallix in Embellish & Bibelot, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Embellish

Embellish Vintage Metallix (US $25.50) | Described as a “rich cocoa”, Embellish is so much more than that; the warm chocolatey base is also filled with the most impossibly fine bronze/gold shimmer that seems to almost hover above the colour when applied with a light hand, but as though it comes from within when worn more intensely. The texture is unlike any crème shadows I’ve come across; gossamer-light and totally weightless in feel and which takes a couple of minutes to set completely, giving you enough time to blend, smudge, or feather out. There’s also a faint Play-doh like scent (that I love & brings me right back to my childhood), which I can’t detect once the shade is applied – good to know for those with sensitivities. Lasting power is UNREAL; even without primer (something I never skip as I have oily lids), I was able to get a solid 12 hours of wear, without any creasing, smudging, flaking, or fading. These shadows can be easily applied with a finger, but I prefer using a synthetic brush for more precision and and easier spread (plus I hate getting makeup under my nails), and then going in with a natural bristle brush for blending.

NOTE: Worn layered under a matching shade will not only give even longer wear time, but provide more depth of tone. Applied on top of a matching hue will help amp up the metallic factor, but don’t expect mirror-like shine; these shades are all about “faded gilt layers“.

 

Illamasqua Embellish closed

Illamasqua | Embellish Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Embellish label

Illamasqua | Embellish Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Embellish 2

Illamasqua | Embellish Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Embellish swatch

Illamasqua | Embellish Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Bibelot

Bibelot Vintage Metallix (US $25.50) | Described as a “rustic golden teal” (with olive, khaki and forest green added to that as well), Bibelot holds that complex brooding vibe that I absolutely adore, with the same gold shimmer as Embellish as well as ease of application. An amazing alternative to traditional greys & blacks for creating a unique smokey eye, there’s a decadence and overall lushness to this hue, while the texture once again holds court in its awesomeness – even by touch, you can immediately tell that something wonderful is going on, as the colour seems to literally glide along the skin, and yet closes to a powder finish. Even the shine factor can be adjusted to suit one’s tastes; applied densely yields a more metallic shine, while sheering the colour out will give the most intense shimmer. A beautiful paradox, no?

NOTE: One way to tone down the shimmer, if desired, is to apply the shade – wait a few minutes for it to completely set – and then go in with a clean brush and buff. This will eliminate most of the shimmery bits, but will keep the colour intact.

 

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Illamasqua | Bibelot Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Bibelot label

Illamasqua | Bibelot Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Bibelot 2

Illamasqua | Bibelot Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

Illamasqua Bibelot swatch

Illamasqua | Bibelot Vintage Metallix, Once Collection

 

I am beyond obsessed with everything about these new Vintage Metallix shades, and from my understanding, they are to become permanent. With hybrid cream/gel finishes becoming more and more prevalent amongst all brands these days, it’s becoming hard to reinvent the wheel – but somehow Illamasqua has managed to do just that with both Embellish and Bibelot, creating shades that have complex yet totally wearable colour, as well as impressive longevity and overall feel. Then there’s the entire concept behind Once … I am captivated by the doomed romanticism …

Available now, find more information via:

 

Illamasqua Vintage Metallix closer

*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Illamasqua Hussy Blush

Illamasqua Hussy opener

 

Makeup is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ category, but every so often a product comes along that literally fits that description, such as Hussy Blush (CAN $26.00) from British cult-fave brand, Illamasqua. The fact that it also happens to be part of the permanent range, makes it even sweeter – I can’t stand it when I fall for a colour that’s either limited edition, or suddenly gets yanked from the lineup. Major pet peeve.

Housed in the brand’s signature black lacquered compact with its clear top (no guesswork needed to see the shade, thank you) this pink/coral powdered blusher is exceptionally finely milled, leaving no powdery residue behind at all while the pigmentation is insanely colour saturated – you literally have to take the scantest amount on your brush to begin with. There’s enough pink in the base to match those with fair skin, with the underlying coral tone giving it a warmth to suit those with darker skin as well. One of the advantages to the high level of colour, is that you don’t have to worry about any fading issues – AT ALL – and if you find that you’ve overdone the application, it’s nothing that a touch of translucent and/or face powder on top couldn’t fix.

All in all, a universally flattering shade, not quite matte but no overt shimmer either, bearing a ‘soft satin’ finish that lends the skin a gorgeous flush of colour, with its superior blendability leaving absolutely no demarcation lines behind.

 

Illamasqua Hussy closed

 

 

Illamasqua Hussy ingredients

 

 

Illamasqua Hussy

 

 

Illamasqua Hussy 2

 

 

Illamasqua Hussy swatch

Illamasqua Hussy Blush swatch

 

Illamasqua Hussy swatch 2

Illamasqua Hussy Blush swatch, alternate lighting

 

Perfectly in line with the mood of the season, Hussy is that blush you’ll turn to over & over again for a bright, yet totally wearable spot of colour. The intense pigmentation means that a little will go a long way, and as there is no expiry date on blushes, this one compact should last you a long, long time, making the investment well worth it. The superb quality of the powder places Hussy more in line with luxury brands, but at a much more wallet-friendly cost (especially when you consider that drugstore brand blushes now command much higher prices).

In Canada, Illamasqua products are available through Sephora and The Bay, the latter which has the entire range at significantly better pricing.

Find more information via:

 

Illamasqua Hussy closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo opener

 

The Sculpting Powder Duo from Illamasqua, is one of those products that once you begin playing with it, makes you wonder how you ever completed your makeup without it. The hues are straightforward and universally flattering: the highlighter provides lustre without appearing garish, and the contouring hue is one of the easiest to apply I’ve ever come across.

Then again, I’m not surprised; it is, after all, from the brand that has elevated makeup to an art form.


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo box

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo ingredients

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo, ingredients listing


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo closed compact

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo logo

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo – absolutely adore this logo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo compact

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo label

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo 2

Sculpting Powder Duo (CAN $36.00) – A two-tiered product which features a highlighter (Lumos) on the top half and a contouring product (Heliopolis) on the bottom half. This oyster/champagne coloured highlighter has a hint of peach in the base, which serves to provide a beautiful warmth and even though this is a powder product, it buffs easily into the skin for a gorgeously believable glow. The contouring shade is a mid-toned earthy hue, neither too tan nor orange leaning, and the finely milled powder helps it blend effortlessly into the skin without appearing muddy or dirty. Lasting power is about 6 hours for the highlighter (until it merges with your skin’s own natural oils) with the contour going easily a full 9 hours (especially if you don’t rub at your face excessively). Those with darker skin tones will most likely not see much colour payoff with the contour, although it will work well on those with fair tones, provided it is applied with a very light hand.

I’ve only been contouring and using highlighters for a few years now (when you’re younger, those 2 steps are the LAST thing you ever think of), but I’ve come to rely on the finishing touch each gives to my completed makeup look. Highlighters are not a one-size-fits-all type of product and depending on the occasion (not to mention you personal preference), you may want to have more than one type in your beauty drawer – I confess to having amassed quite a collection, from silvery hued to golden toned, and in varying formats as well: powder, cream, stick, and lotion.

The Lumos (highlighter) shade of this duo is a hue that should suit a wide variety of skin tones and as it’s not overly shimmery, it is a great product to wear during the day. There is some powdery kickback when you swirl your brush in the pan – nothing a good solid tap can’t solve. Heliopolis (contour) is a light sienna hue and quite pigmented; a little really does go a long way, so I suggest starting with a scant amount on your brush and increasing to your desired intensity. This shade provides enough contrast to contour in a natural-looking way, and with thorough blending, will help “sculpt” your face – thus giving your features a nice definition.


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Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo macro

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo – Lumos (highlighter, top portion) & Heliopolis (contour, bottom portion)


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Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo 4

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo 5

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo swatch

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo swatches (in sunlight)


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo swatch 2

Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo swatches (natural light)

 

I’ve been experimenting with various types of contouring and highlighting products lately, and while crème versions offer the simplicity of not needing anything more specific than your fingers for application, I also happen to like the feel of a brush sweeping along the planes of my face. It doesn’t hurt that from the many powder versions I’ve tried, the Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo ranks supreme among them and considering the fact that you’re getting 2 generously sized products in one compact (so convenient for travel as well) at such a reasonable price, it’s well worth looking into.

Available through Sephora (and Sephora.com) and The Bay (Canada). Find more information via:


Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Illamasqua Maneater Lipstick

Illamasqua Maneater opener

 

Finding the perfect red shade, whether for lips or nails, can turn into a lifelong hunt. Well, maybe nothing so dramatic, but this is a colour that can either elicit spasms of envy from those around you, or cries of fear. Ok, maybe the last part was a touch dramatic as well – but suffice it to say that beauty lovers the world over are always on the lookout for that.perfect.red.

Maneater (how empowering does that sound?) from Illamasqua (don’t you just love saying this name?) is guaranteed to make an impact. I can personally vouch for that.


Illamasqua Maneater box

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick


Illamasqua Maneater ingredients

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick, ingredients


Illamasqua Maneater tube

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick


Illamasqua Maneater label

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick


Illamasqua Maneater

Maneater (CAN $24.00) – Part of Illamasqua’s permanent range, Maneater is a richly pigmented red hue that leans neither too warm (orange based) or cool (blue based), but falling perfectly between the two, in a matte formula. I can’t even begin to describe how colour saturated this shade is and while the finish is matte, it’s not moisture-sucking at all – but neither does it hydrate. Wear time is incredibly long, breezing through the 8 hour mark and even lasting fairly well (without the dreaded lipstick ring) through both drinking and eating, although you’ll definitely need to touch up at that point. What makes Maneater truly stand out, is the finish which resembles plush velvet – luxurious, luscious, and decadent.


Illamasqua Maneater 2

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick


Illamasqua Maneater 3

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick


Illamasqua Maneater swatch

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick swatch


Illamasqua Maneater swatch 2

Illamasqua – Maneater Lipstick

 

Historically, whenever I’ve wanted to feel über-sexy, empowered, dramatic, or just simply noticed, my go-to has always been a vibrant red lip. With the plethora of shade variances and finishes to choose from, I’ve learned through experience that not all “red lip moments” are created equal and it’s nice to have options: gloss or stain is great for those who don’t want to commit to the full deal, and even in lipstick format there are offshoots – from satin, shimmery, or shiny finishes (and don’t even get me started on the degrees of red. Oy). For bonafide presence, however, nothing says RED like Maneater does – this is not a shade for the weak-willed, but rather one that will leave people begging for mercy. Or at least want to know what lipstick shade you’re wearing.

Illamasqua products can be purchased through The Bay & Sephora (Canada) – find more information via:


Illamasqua Maneater closer

*Disclosure: Product sample provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration