- Beauty Journalist & proud Montrealer with a passion for beauty in all its fabulous diversity. "Beauty begins the moment you choose to be yourself" - Coco Chanel
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Filed In: Illamasqua
*Birthday Giveaway Week 4 (sponsored by Illamasqua) – full details found here!
Illamasqua’s first fragrance, birthed from the darkling, fathomless night along with the very essence of illicit and forbidden flowers, is finally here. ‘Freak’, a heady and intense combination of the natural and utterly unimaginable, launches on Illamasqua’s website today, and will no doubt meld seamlessly with the heart and soul of this brand, known for taking trends and completely re-inventing them.
This unique bottle stands out on so many levels, it’s difficult to choose just one of its beautiful features. From the deeply mysterious aubergine glass, to the slanted tilt of the shape, and finally the strangely hypnotic silver snail crawling along the side, this is a item worthy of being displayed and almost lovingly fondled, before immersing your senses within its exotic sensations. According to the company:
“Top Notes: Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna – bewitch the senses into uncontrollable lust and passion
The rich and daringly provocative opening notes of Black Davana cast a magical spell of desire across the senses, to celebrate all the night. The compelling Burnt Orange Bloom base is highly prized the world over for its ability to enhance the wearer’s natural perfume. The subtle mustiness of Poison Hemlock, haunts the background tone of ‘Freak’, adding alluring depths of mystery.
Datura, the Moonflower, has an intoxicating scent that has long been used as a heady aphrodisiac. The Exquisitely rare Queen of the Night blooms fleetingly for a single night each year, and completes this daringly provocative concoction with its warm, soft floral scent touched with sweetness.”
The following short video clip is a visual feast of the inspiration behind this boldly provocative new scent…indulge your senses!
Final thoughts: I have never been a dainty, flowery kind of girl; give me exotic, mysterious, seductive, and musky, and I am captivated. Illamasqua has taken an unconventional mix of flowers, and has concocted a lush, intriguing garden of midnight allure, a place I intend to visit and savour with my nose, as well as eyes and touch. ‘Freak’ comes in a 75 ml/2.54 fl. oz Eau de Parfum size, for £59 and is available now through Illamasqua. What kind of “freak” are you?
“Freak is you, Freak is me, Freak is her, Freak is he, Freak is who you are and want to be, Freak’s the door, Freak’s the key, Freak is out, Freak is free. The Freak’s will inherit the earth” – Alex Box, Illamasqua’s Creative Director
*Disclaimer: Promotional information and images provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration
Exciting news for this week’s birthday giveaway, my beauties! I’m so thrilled and honoured to announce that this week’s prize is sponsored by none other than British cult fave, Illamasqua. Known for their avant-garde and beyond edgy looks, as well as their high end professional grade products (that I absolutely cannot live without!), this is a giveaway you do NOT want to miss out on! This contest is open to everyone, and will include the following 5 new items from Illamasqua’s latest collection:
- Powder Blusher with shimmer in Ambition & Morale
- Nail Varnishes in Taint & Vice
- Masquara in Raven
To enter for your chance to win this über-fabulous prize, please visit Illamasqua/ommorphia and fill out the form. Please note that this competition ends online at midnight GMT, Thursday, October 27th 2011, with the winner being chosen at random and subsequently notified on Friday, October 28th 2011. Full contest rules are posted on the above-mentioned link. PS: While you’re there, I urge you to take a stroll through Illamasqua’s incredible site…I guarantee it will blow you away!
Many thanks goes out to the incredible team at Illamasqua for graciously putting this giveaway together…you guys totally rock my world!
*Week 3 Giveaway Winner to be announced shortly – thank you for your patience!
Illamasqua ‘Vice’ and ‘Taint’ Nail Varnishes – Theatre of the Nameless Collection (swatches & review)
From the intensely quixotic minds of Illamasqua, comes their latest release, ‘Theatre of the Nameless’. This is is a deeply brooding collection of shades, with unexpectedly brighter sparks interjected throughout, seemingly at random, but all nevertheless calculated to work synergistically together. When I recently received this package for review from Illamasqua, I was enthralled with its presentation and preparation, and wished to share it with you.
Act I: Upon opening the box, I beheld this envelope, with my name beautifully scripted in gold ink.
Act II: Upon turning the envelope around, I gazed in awe at the Illamasqua seal impressed upon the blood-red wax.
Act III: Reaching through the protective tissue paper, I simply stopped to enjoy this visual feast: nestled lovingly inside were four products from this collection – their new Shimmer Blusher in ‘Morale’, Sheer Lipgloss in ‘Violate’ (both reviews forthcoming), with ‘Vice’ and ‘Taint’ Nail Varnishes rounding it out, the review which I am sharing with you today. Permeating the contents, was a subtle seductive scent, drawing me in even deeper, with the raspberry velour fabric swatch draped languidly among the contents and reminiscent of one of my favourite still images from this series, giving off an exquisite final touch.
For Fall 2011, Illamasqua offers up a new twist to their iconic nail varnish formula: a satiny, rubberized finish. First seen in their cult status shade ‘Scorn’, this launch brings us four new hues, richly jewel-like and/or earthy tones, melding glamorous opulence with an almost hedonistic feel. The final finish takes between 2 to 3 minutes to develop and the resulting look is one of incredible depth and colour saturation. The following swatches were all applied with two coats of lacquer.
‘Vice’, a “deep cerise” shade according to the company, has definite blue leanings in its base, making it infinitely suitable for both warm and cooler skin tones. The formula flowed exceptionally well, and due to its thinner nature, I opted to apply three coats for swatching purposes, although two would certainly suffice. The finish was wonderfully smooth and brush-stroke free, and even though this is an intense magenta hue, there was no staining left behind. For ‘Vice’, I experimented by skipping base coat and applying the varnish immediately to my prepped nails, and found that the rubberized finish took less time to develop overall.
In full-on sunlight, ‘Vice’ appears to take on a deep pink glow, and seems to be almost absorbing the light shining upon it.
Indirect lighting takes this shade into a much cooler realm and brings out the bluish glints lurking in its base tone.
Seen in shaded light, not only does this shade come off as warmer, but now seems to bear a more scarlet semblance.
A final view taken with flash emphasizes ‘Vice’s’ deep ruby undertone, and seems to just glow along your fingertips.
Curious to see how this shade would react with a glossy top coat, sunlight only accentuated this gem-like hue.
Once more, indirect light highlighted ‘Vice’s’ cooler persona,with the intense colour seeming to almost drip brilliantly from your nails….stunning!
While shaded light naturally darkened this shade, I found it also served to spotlight its vivid carmine hue.
A final view taken with flash, gives an incredible luminosity to ‘Vice’s’ cherry leanings, looking just as ripe and luscious.
‘Taint’, a “stone brown” shade, as described by Illamasqua, is more of a creamy milk chocolate hue, with a definite taupe-like bent. This formula was significantly thicker than ‘Vice’, although it nevertheless still applied effortlessly, requiring just two coats for full opacity. Trying out something new, for the following swatches, I applied Seche Natural Base Coat first, and found that while the resulting finish was as smooth and streak-free as ‘Vice’s’, the rubberized look took slightly longer to develop, leading me to believe that a base coat may delay the process somewhat.
I noticed that sunlight seemed to drape my nails with a slight yellowish cast, pulling out any mustard tones in this shade’s base.
A view with indirect light now appears to throw on a silvery aura over ‘Taint’, giving it a more earthen tone and lending it a much cooler countenance.
I love how shaded light darkens this shade to a deep, and rich molten brown hue, imbuing it with an elegant, sophisticated, yet edgy vibe.
A final view taken with flash not only lightens ‘Taint’ to a more mousy hue, but also adds a wonderful depth of tone to this shade.
Applying a top coat and taking this shade into the sun, yielded a surprising overall olive tint, hinting at both the yellow and green tones in its base.
Indirect light not only morphed ‘Taint’ into more of a cool-toned shade, but also provided a paradoxically milky taupe appearance.
The utter gloss factor of this shade when seen in shaded light, is truly unbelievable – appearing like a luxuriant sable pelt across your nails.
A final view taken with flash lightened this colour once more, yet the reflective top coat also served to emphasize a subtle and smooth caramel look to it.
Final thoughts: As with other Illamasqua Nail Varnishes I have tried and worn in the past, these two did not disappoint, continuing this brand’s legacy of an exceptional product for your nails. What I absolutely love about this new finish is that first of all, dry time was excellent and quite rapid, and how you have the option of wearing it “neat” or creating an entirely new look by adding a top coat – two looks for the price of one! Considering how deeply coloured and insanely pigmented these shades are, it was a pleasure to note that no staining was left behind, even omitting a base coat, and clean up was effortless. Available now on Illamasqua’s website, stay tuned for my upcoming reviews on ‘Morale’ Shimmer Blusher, as well as ‘Violate’ Sheer Lipgloss.
*Disclaimer: product samples were provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration
Illamasqua, ever on the precipice of beauty’s leading edge, is taking us into a darkly visceral, but highly evocative ride for Autumn/Winter 2011. Their latest collection, “Theatre of the Nameless”, slated to be launched this September 2nd, is inspired by the Wittenbergplatz’ (a large town square in western Berlin, Germany) famous domineering ‘Boot Girls’, and introduces four “confident new shades, in a brazen display of utter indulgence” nail varnishes, all in a “kinky, rubber-look” hard wearing & chip-resistant formula.
- Taint – a stone brown
- Kink – a bottle green
- Vice – a deep cerise
- Faux Pas – a blue violet
As if these new nail varnishes weren’t enough of a feast for our eyes, Illamasqua will also be introducing their new ‘Masquara’ in Raven Black. Stating that this product will “lengthen, define, and dramatize lashes to extremes“, it bears a unique new brush design, and will be available in a long-wearing, smudge-proof formula.
This intriguing, and highly anticipated new collection launches officially online on Friday, September 2nd, and from now until September 4th, I encourage you to visit illamasqua.com/kinkynails, to enter their contest to win a set of these incredibly original new lacquers.
*Disclaimer: all images and press release information provided courtesy of the company/PR