Monday, 1 June 2009

Illamasqua Swatches

Ever since I heard about new cosmetics brand Illamasqua, I've been dying to get myself to the nearest counter. Described as being "for the bolder person hiding inside all of us", Illamasqua boasts a range of highly pigmented makeup in dramatic colours. Indeed, so dramatic that its foundation shades include stark white and coal black.

I managed to get myself down to Selfridges (Oxford St, London) and check out the goodies in person last week. Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the products, although as yet Illamasqua's range is somewhat limited when compared to, for example, MAC.

I ended up buying a palette of 4 lip colours, which turned out to be a great purchase. For £16, you get 4 lip colours of your choice in a custom palette. Granted, on cost-per-gram basis you pay a premium compared to buying a full-size lipstick, however I thought this was a great way to be introduced to the brand and also have something I could take away on summer trips. I ended up choosing 4 matte shades in Abandon (cool pale pink), Corrupt (highly pigmented medium pink), Brink (coral peach) and Encounter (warm red). I've posted up some comparisons of the colours in the palette to MAC & NARS lipsticks so you can see (sorry about the slight blur - the darn camera wouldn't focus!).

What I like about the product: The colours are lovely and very pigmented. They're quite longwearing - I wore Brink yesterday in the summer heat while sipping a Coke Zero and it lasted for hours. And as I mentioned, it's a great way to try out several products from Illamasqua for a small price.

What I dislike: The compact is nice but it's quite bulky, as you can see from the size comparison to the MAC blush. Also, the pans were stuck in with a material similar to double-sided tape. I'm not quite sure whether I can replace individual pans as they run out.

Overall I'm happy with my purchase, as I now have some beautiful bold mattes for summer / travel / evenings out. If you're lucky enough to live close to a counter then definitely check it out, otherwise Illamasqua DO ship worldwide.


  1. so jealous of you being near an illamasqua counter! loving the look of brink. Thanks for the swatches!

  2. No problem, hopefully I'll get to go back again soon! Looking forward to seeing some pics of your MAC quads :-)

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  4. Hmmm ..I may have to swallow my words! I really like those lippie swatches. I'm not keen on the e/s and still believe there the brand is overhyped but I must admit that those swatches look nice.

  5. Cool review, thanks for the info! Illamasqua is coming the the US via Sephora, so everyone here is saying it's going to give MAC a run for it's money.