Illamasqua – ‘Human Fundamentalism’ Collection Spring/Summer 2012 (swatches & review)


Turning the beauty world on its head, is what avant-garde cosmetics guru Illamasqua does best, and the ‘Human Fundamentalism’ collection for Spring/Summer 2012 does exactly that, but in a very sly way; yes, there are the uncommon colours (white eyeliner, blue lipstick) but it’s how this brand takes the more accepted colours and presents them to us in such a creative new light that is the true genius. According to the company:

“Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside”

  • I absolutely love this sentiment, and wish more people would take the time to really “hear” it –

“Human Fundamentalism is the unique spirit and fundamental human drive for individuality. It’s a belief, a movement and an emotion. A connection with the spirit of the age and its global motifs. You are your own human hybrid, a unique nomad of street cultures and global trends”

Alex Box, Illamasqua Creative Director

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I had only just begun hearing about this new collection from Illamasqua (they keep their cards glued to their chest!), when this package arrived in the mail; holding my breath, I opened it up carefully and this is what awaited me inside:

the “golden” note!

a literal explosion of colour

how did Illamasqua know that I love tie-tye?

et, voilà! Have you ever seen anything as delicious?

‘Nomad’ is described by Illamasqua as a bright jade, and it’s all that – and more. An exceptional formula, it is made even more impressive by how easily it spreads across the nails, levelling off perfectly smooth and leaving behind nothing but an ultra-glossy shine. Two coats were all that were needed for perfect opacity, and once it was dry, I couldn’t stop staring at its vivid surf green hue – a paradoxically modern/retro feel, which I totally love! All swatches are with base and top coat.
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in sunlight

in sunlight/alternate view



in shaded light

with flash

‘Vernau’, described as a “yellow ochre”, is actually more of a buttery deep butterscotch shade. Intensely pigmented, I was surprised to find how delicately it applied and how easily blendable it was, able to be built up or faded out, while the finely milled powder of this shadow had absolutely no powdery kickback or residue. This shade is so versatile and will compliment basically any colour you pair it with, as well as perfect for a light wash all on its own.

‘Burst’ – a brooding teal hue, is so colour saturated, and yet the finely milled powder means a light hand in application can give the barest whisper of colour, but once more, easily buildable to a higher intensity. While not as versatile as ‘Vernau’, I have a total weakness for blue-green shades and love how even a hint of this gem can add such a lift to a look.

Precision Ink in ‘Scribe’, is a white liquid liner in a felt-tip pen format bearing a long and chiseled end, which makes for effortless application in creating the finest of lines. I like how the formula does not dry instantaneously, giving you a few precious seconds with which to work, but once it sets, it’s literally budge & flake proof for hours. I admit to being rather hesitant in using a colour as stark as this, and yet, it has such a “swinging 60’s” vibe to it, that I can totally see this working as a “Twiggy” tribute look … yeah, baby!

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swatches from left to right: Burst, Vernau & Scribe (in natural light)

with flash (all on unprimed skin)


I was curious about trying out the new precision ink in ‘Scribe’ from the minute I saw it, but as I’m not that adept with these things, I hesitated … anyway, the following attempt, while not perfect, was fun just the same! please be kind!!!

Colours used: ‘Burst’ and ‘Vernau’ on lids and lashline, with a dusting of ‘Burst’ along the brows


Using the same shadows in a much looser application style, I wanted to show how these colours can also be used to create a “softer”, less defined look (minus ‘Scribe’, of course!).


Final thoughts: Playing with Illamasqua products, I feel like I’m in art class all over again, and just as excited to simply “create”. The quality of this brand is something one needs to experience first hand, and I love how they don’t cater to any one look, style, pattern, expectation, or even gender.  Anything goes and all you’re really expected to do is … enjoy! The ‘Human Fundamentalism’ collection which officially launches today through the Illamasqua and Sephora websites, and consists of several brand new products, is well worth looking over to draw forth your own “human” inspiration!





*Disclaimer: Product samples provided by the company for my unbiased consideration

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