Brand Round-up: Illamasqua


brand round up illamasquaJakartan makeup addicts are all abuzz for the opening of Illamasqua in town next week. No more squinting through online swatches or a frantic visit to an overseas counter amidst business trips – now we can ogle the goodies up close in leisure.

Due to its frequent online sales and generous international shipping policy (free for purchases over £50) on the Illamasqua UK website, over the past few years I’ve actually been able to try quite a few items from the brand. My take on all the products I’ve tried is below, listed according to level of satisfaction from highest to lowest (and numbered in the picture above).

1. Precision Ink Eyeliner

My favorite Illamasqua item by far is the Precision Ink Eyeliner, especially the color Havoc, a dark plum which has become something of a must have for me. You’ll always find it in my makeup travel pouch as it is handy-sized, and the color is versatile for both day or night. It is long lasting, non-smudging and very easy to use. Wisdom, a golden olive, is also a favorite.

2. Cream Blusher

Illamasqua makes my favorite cream blush texture: creamy, slippery, easy to blend, sparkling colors and great for the lips too! They are not the longest-lasting cream blush around (Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges or MAC Cream Color Bases last longer on me), but they are such a pleasure to use even on my oily skin. The finish is somewhat dewy but really natural. I have it in Dixie, Rude and Seduce. Recommended!

3. Nail Polish

I only have got 3 Illamasqua nail polish (Boosh, Rampage and Muse), not because I don’t want more, but shipping is more expensive for these. All three colors are fantastically opaque, almost self-leveling, and long lasting. This is probably the item I would most likely buy locally now that the brand’s in town.

4. Liquid Metal

This was the product that introduced me to the brand. I tried a friend’s gold liquid metal and fell in love. The texture is out of this world: thin yet creamy and smooth, and application so, so easy. It’s quite expensive though, but when there was a sale on a palette of 4 liquid metals, I quickly purchased one. I don’t use it often because it’s such a glam product for day-to-day use, but every time I dab my finger in the pot, I’m blown away by the texture and opaqueness of color, see for yourself in the picture below. The name ‘liquid metal’ is so apt. This is really something you have to experience first-hand to appreciate. They’re also great as eyeshadow base though not really extending your shadows’ life by that much, in my experience. One other thing: I must have had this item for at least 2 years, but the creamy-ness is still the same as the day I got it. Ah-mah-zing.

illamasqua liquid metal palette
Liquid metal palette (left to right): Enrapture, Surge, Electrum, Phenomena

5. Fine Pencil

The Illamasqua Fine Pencil is for eyes, lips, face and body. I have it in Peace, a dark brown which is pretty good for brows, dark enough and not reddish. The texture is a bit too hard for around the immediate eye area, so brows are all I use it for, and for this it excels: long lasting, great color, easy to use.

6. Sealing Gel

This is sort of a mixing medium to turn your eyeshadows into eyeliners. And let me tell ya, once you mix the eyeshadow with a little of this Sealing Gel, the shadow won’t budge until you take it off. It also works with other eyeshadow brands. A small but powerful tool for your arsenal.

7. Cream Pigment

The Illamasqua Cream Pigment is designed for use on the face, eyes, lips and body. I have it in Androgen, a cult color it seems, that I mainly use as blush. Such a great color with a ’60s Twiggy vibe that is long lasting and true to color on cheeks. It’s not as creamy as the cream blush and slightly harder to blend, but the result of Androgen is so worth it. It’s also great as an eyeshadow base, though due to its dryness, takes a bit of dabbing to put on.

8. Eyeshadow

I bought Illamasqua eyeshadow in Apex mainly to use as blush. It is a rich orange red with a matte finish, and the texture is so, so soft, even softer than the powder blushers.  If I have a money tree, I’d get more Illamasqua eyeshadows, it’s really very good.

9. Freak Perfume

I forgot to include it in the family picture, but Freak is Illamasqua’s signature fragrance. I have several in tester vial form which came free with my purchases. I love the scent for parties and indoor cold weather use. It’s especially nice because no one else in town uses this, though that may change with the arrival of the brand in town. Oh well.

10. Powder Blusher

The Powder Blusher in my opinion is so-so, not very special. A bit chalky and powdery, and the lasting power is just average. I have tried a few but only kept two colors: Tremble,  a bubble gum pink which looks strangely natural on me, and Lover, an apricot color. Unless the brand releases a color I really, really love the color, I probably won’t be getting anymore powder blushers. I also have to mention that the powder blushers are prone to breaking. My Tremble broke during air travel, though I put it in my carry on bag (with laptop, tablet etc., so I definitely was very careful with the bag). I’ve heard people also experience the same thing, some having the blush broken even at home. I think it’s due to the fact that the blush is not dense enough, so there are pockets of air in the powder, so when you move the blush, the powder also has room to move and that leads to the whole blush breaking in the pan.

11. Skin Base Foundation.

I reviewed this specifically here. It’s an ok product, potentially great and worth looking into if  you have dry skin.

12. Intense Lipgloss

The Intense Lipgloss is one of my first items from Illamasqua. I just fell in love with the color Bella Donna, a rich berry pink. It’s more of a liquid lipstick than a lipgloss. I also have it in Temper, an orange red. They are a bit sticky, though not as sticky as the MAC lipglass, and the lasting power is average. Unless there’s a color you really love, I’d recommend you look elsewhere for your liquid lip color.

13. Masquara

It’s a black mascara. The black color is nice, and you’ll definitely get the thickening effect. But it comes out a bit clumpy from the tube, and you really need to wait until it’s completely dry before moving your eyes, otherwise it smudges. I’d give this a miss.

14. Sheer Lipgloss

Nothing to rave about, a very standard product that I have in the color Divine, a transparent pink which I often use atop pink and red lipstick to give it a bit of a dimension.

15. Lipstick

Now, I thought I still have it but after much mucking around, I could not find Sangers, a rich red lipstick. I must have sold it or given it away. To be honest, the formula was a bit dry, and there was nothing special about the finish. The red of Sangers is quite opaque though, so if you’re looking for that specific shade of red, may worth a look.

16. Cream Foundation

I used to have one, but it really was too heavy and thick for my oily skin. The coverage could be excellent though, and if your skin is dry and you’re thinking of trying cream foundations, might worth a look. But there are better cream foundations in the market at similar prices I think, Bobbi Brown and Edward Bess come to mind. So I sold mine.

17. Light Liquid Foundation

No kidding about the ‘light’ part; given my penchant for full coverage foundations, this was like water to me. Absolutely no coverage. No SPF and not even that moisturizing. What is the point, I wonder. Sold.

There you have it, my round up. Illamasqua, welcome to Jakarta!