My thoughts overall on the line are positive, although I do wish the foundation and powder didn't have that sweet vanilla smell - it does get a little sickly! However I know some will adore that vanilla, and indeed reviews on Makeupalley attest to that.
So, the Loose Powders.... (£17.13)
I have the loose powders in White (010) and Pink (005). The white is translucent but be sure to blend it right in or it can leave a white cast. The pink can also leave a light pink shadow but this works on pale pinkish skintones to look remarkably natural, or can effectively used to spot highlight desired areas. The powders are extremely finely milled, so will finish makeup beautifully. However do not expect lasting oil control - these do mattify the skin, but not for long. Also beware the ingredients which contain talc and zea mays (corn starch) which can occassionally lead to breakouts (but not in me I must add, so seems fine!)
These powders are excellent for the ultimate poreless face and a great addition to your makeup routine. Probably best used with an oil controlling base. Illamasqua do have one in their lineup but I have not tried it.
The foundation: Rich Liquid Foundation... (£19.57)
This foundation will astound you: when Illamasqua call this maximum coverage, they are not kidding. This gives a thick opaque coverage that will perfectly conceal any flaws imaginable. Has a gentle vanilla scent (not as strong as the powders) and comes in a 30ml squeeze bottle with a hygenic and practical nozzel and a tight fitting cap. The shade range is incredible - from literally white to darkest black, you are certain to find your match with ease. Different undertones are provided for and Illamasqua are certainly leading the way on that front. Probably the best ever foundation container, top marks for that too.
If you do not need full coverage, this will be too much as an everyday foundation. It is long lasting and water resistant. An excellent foundation but understandably feels somewhat heavy on.
The Eyeshadows... (£14) - 2G size
I have Drama, a dupe of MAC's Plummage (a beautiful dark teal). This shade is striking, heavily pigmented, blends with ease, works with a multitude of shades and is a great find. I will be having this one on heavy rotation!
I also have Fatal, a matte version of MAC Violet pigment. This one is marginally less pigmented than Drama but still very pigmented and blends wonderfully. A wonderful pure lavender shade that no purple lover can pass up!
I have one of Illamasqua's cream eyeshadows (£13.70), a base shade called Touch - an ecru warm skintone shade. I find cream eyeshadows usually disappoint and this one fared little better; even over UDPP it still creased. I will persevere but so far not much luck with this one...
The Pencils... (£12)
I have Spell, a vibrant practically neon red; a very fun red that will wake up any face. Goes on smoothly and lasts and lasts. Perfect as a base shade or as a lipliner.
I also bought Vow, a matte pale beige, which works as an effective and natural looking accent to the cupids bow, or inner eyes, or even waterlining. A brilliant pencil that I am certain will become an absolute staple! Already I cannot do my eyes without using this, and red lipsticks will never again make lips look smaller, with the aid of this on your cupids bow! Highly recommended to all. For darker skintones, go for Hex to get the same effect.
The Intense Lipgloss... (£12.50)
I have Femme, an exact dupe of the striking Popster Hello Kitty tinted lip conditioner from the sold-out MAC collection. This smells of refreshing berries and is never sticky. It imparts a strong colour, not as strong as Guerlain lipgloss (they do the most pigmented glosses I have ever tried) but almost. A vibrant coral pink that is hugely flattering and will work on many different skintones. Probably my favourite Illamasqua item so far!
I also got false eyelashes, £11, which come beautifully packaged in a presentation box. I got no.17, a thick yet still just about natural, pair.
I also tried the eyeliner brush (£14.68). All Illamasqua brushes are synthetic and the brand is vehemently cruelty-free. For a felt tip like thick line, this brush is very effective but slightly on the pricey side.
The Illamasqua range has many gems to be uncovered, and certainly has opened up a niche for itself. Check out the entertaining Illamasqua blog for more details.
A far as going in in person, I have found some of the artists slightly overbearing and sadly it is not a counter where you can browse undisturbed. However it seems the age when a makeup customer could do that has all but died.
The staff are all very knowledgable though, so one can take advantage of that. Illamasqua even offers a one hour transformation service, which sounds good and I am sure I'll do that soon enough!
It is refreshing to have a range which eschews limited collections in favour of a strong permanent lineup of strange and exotic shades, with a mix of textures and an emphasis on matte colours, which are notoriously difficult to find.
If you have not checked them out, you can't call yourself a makeup addict!
Pictures all taken from Illamasqua website,
Have YOU tried Illamasqua???
& If you can brave it, check out my huge video series (!) here...