Illamasqua is one of those brands that have a massive cult following, and I so desperately wanted to be one of the masses. But for me, things that confuse me get chucked rather quickly, and Illamasqua confuzzled me. Since I’m a foundation hoarder, that’s the thing that I gravitate towards first. Second come blush, but that relatively easy. Shade and undertone, bright or subtle, easily worked with. Their foundations though, take some figuring, reading the descriptions convinced me that they didn’t have an undertone in their huge collection of shades to suit me. The undertones that seemed promising, all were in shades obviously too dark or too light. This is not a new phenomenon to me, as a brown girl that falls squarely in the middle of brown girl things, finding a golden or peachy undertone from anything but luxury brands is feat not to be taken lightly. A few weeks ago, because I fell in love with Wayne Goss’ swatch of the Beyond Powder in Epic, I decided to suck it up, put my big girl drawers on, get a consultation and get to shopping. Lemme tell you, the results were frikkin phenomenal.
I don’t have everything that I purchased to review today, cause I was really experimenting to see what would and wouldn’t work for me and so I did most of my haul as a birthday haul (my birthday was the 25th), but today I have most of the new launches for ya cause they were the first things that I bought.
Beyond Powder in Epic. $45. 6.5g.
So Wayne Goss, that man and Jackie Aina will make me go broke. I’m thinking of starting a new section on the blog called Things Jackie Aina Made Me Buy and Brands Wayne Goss Made Me shop, whadya think?
Anywhoo, the thing that I went onto the site to get specifically was the Beyond Powder in Epic, I’m likely going to pick up the other one in OMG as well because this is beautiful from packaging to swatches to application. I’ve never owned any Illamasqua before, so I just took a moment to appreciate how beautifully artistic the packaging is.
Gorgeous right? When Wayne swatched this in his video is looked like a very dark, golden bronze shade. When I got it it looked significantly lighter, but not in a bad way. Also, considering that he’s super pale, I should have expected it to look different.
When I swatched it, the colour that I wound up with was a very peachy gold, and I was not mad about that in the least. This is a baked highlighter and I’m glad that I didn’t realise that beforehand or else I wouldn’t have gotten it as I don’t like baked products, I usually find them to be a bit too intense and bright. The powder is super soft and finely milled. It’s very subtle and that makes it easy to blend and build, and damn if it doesn’t last all freaking day long. It’s so subtle in fact, that I think it can be used as an all over powder (on dark skin) without missing a beat or looking brassy
It’s a also huge, I’ve been using it for like a month and made no dent in it as of yet.
Limited Edition Lava Lips ($26) in Activist.
The day that I was on the site was also the day that this item launched. The Lava Lips lipstick in Activist is LE, and I got it because OMG look at it,
I was curious about what sort of colour would be the end result of that indigo and teal swirled into a hot pink lippie. I hoped that it would be something at least slightly purple and I was not disappointed. When I swatched it, I wound up with a raspberry pink with a cool blue undertone, that on my skin tone translated to a violet.
As you can see from the swatch on my arm it’s very cool toned, when I applied it to my lips though, it warmed up some. It’s a semi-matte finish that lasts a surprisingly good while even through eating and drinking. Although transfer is a bitch, that’s to be expected unless something a really matte finish, I knew what I was getting into though so no moaning here. One of the things that I like about it is that it goes on a bit different every times. Sometimes it’s pinker, sometimes more purple, once it was almost straight blue, but every time it’s beautiful.
Sketch Stick ($20) in Fly and Trance.
These also launched on the same day and there are seven shades altogether. The Sketch Stick are basically a makeup artists playground. You can do whatever with them. Use them as blush, shadow or lipstick, and they can be used all over the body, not just the face. I chose the two most face friendly colours because I knew that I intended to use them as blush and lippies. But there are two others shades that I may get to use as shadow bases.
They’re decently sized for the price, unless you use them daily they should last a good long while. Fly is a hot pink and exactly what it looks like on the website. Trance is an orange shade and neither as dark or as warm as the website indicated. But that’s also not the only problem for me with Trance. They’re twist ups, and the cap of Trance seemed as if it were too small so I had a hell of a time getting off, it took me almost five minutes to get it off. When the time came to put the cap back on, it wouldn’t do it, so I just sort of slid it halfway on and left it in the box hoping it doesn’t dry up, which I might not even care about because I don’t like the colour much anyway.
These are super matte, if wearing them as a lippie I suggest using a lip balm underneath. I wore both of them that way and while Fly did just fine, Trance, once again the bastard step-child, decided it needed to accentuate every line and dry patch on my lips. I also used Fly as a blush and although it works well in that way, I found out the hard way that it’s very hard to blend out when put directly on the face, when I did that I had little dots of pink everywhere even after I thought I’d blended it all out. What worked well for me was to warm it up on the back of my hand and apply and blend with a big fluffy brush. I have picture of me wearing Fly as a lipstick below, but none of Trance since it just looked terrible. I’m also reasonably sure that I’m wearing Fly as blush as well in the picture below, but it’s been a month so…
Clearly I’m enamoured with Illamasqua, even with the disappointment of Trance, I mean I did a haul on Saturday, which should be getting to me by Tuesday (yes, from the UK!) the latest because when you spend over $90 you’re upgraded to free international express shipping. And really? It ain’t that hard to hit the one hundred dollar mark at Illamasqua, I love them but they’re expensive. Worth it, but expensive.
Everything that I tried here is truly high quality, unique and gorgeous. Illamasqua is one of those brands that have a massive cult following that swears by their products and I wanted to see if in fact the reputation was well deserved or just hype. So far I have to say that I’m liking what I’ve tried, but I’m going to reserve judgement until I my next order. As a brown girl, lipsticks and blush are easy. Foundations, concealers and such are the proof this puddin needs.