Monday, 4 October 2010

Illamasqua Art of Darkness (Review)

This is most DEFINITELY Illamasqua's best collection to date. I felt "Sirens" was almost too mainstream to fit in with Illamasqua's self-described anarchy, and "Dystopia", although a fabulous collection with shades that are certainly my personal favourites (greys, blacks, silvers) it also felt a bit like it had been done before... Yet Art of Darkness, with its enchanting name and its complex inspiration, introduced via a cast of characters including a gypsy Queen and an androgynous man, definitely sets up Illamasqua as a force to be recognised. 

The blue lipstick, "Disciple" is a deep navy blue. It sets the tone for a brand who pride themselves as rejecting the mainstream. Your alter ego might look good in this, but I don't think you will... Strictly for goths or very beautiful vampy girls (must be young or you'll look like snake lips.) Also, the dry texture means you will probably need a gloss on top. But, it certainly has great colour payoff! By the way, I tried this on eyes and it does not work at all (creases.) But, I do know someone who will be able to work this, so I'm sending it to her and I just know she will adore it!

I also tried the new Precision ink liner in"Abyss" (£16.50), a dark glossy black. The best thing about this is how very glossy it is! I have never had such a 'patent black' liner before. It lasts incredibly too, in fact it is too trenchant for everyday wear (unless you work in a sauna/ chip shop/ farm) so I am reserving it for days when I know I will be in the great outdoors, or need to have liner last 14+ hours (or for if I ever brave spinning class again.) You will need an oil-based cleanser to get this off neatly. Everyone needs a hard-wearing liner like this in their collection. Recommended!

Then ....... there is the pièce de résistance.


Every so often, a product comes along that is so gorgeous you forgive it being tiny. Last product like that was Guerlain's "Blush and Sun", which is only 5g for £26, but which is so perfect that I'm not even angry. And this new Illamasqua Pure Pigment in "Ore", which is only 1.3g and £15, is just so beautiful and perfect, that I can't even try to compare them unfavourably to MAC pigment sizes. This does remind me actually of a MAC ltd edtn pigment, "Gold Stroke" (another stunning colour)


but the truth is, this Illamasqua pigment is just so much better. Gold Stoke is more warm but it does still really remind me of it.It is perhaps more obviously a bit like MAC "Antique Reflects Gold glitter." A mixture of the two almost. However, Ore's texture is not gritty in the least. MAC Antique Gold glitter looks achingly beautiful in its jar, but once applied to a lid, it loses its base colour and translates as a pile of glitter. I know a makeup pro must know the secret to getting it to apply like its appearance, but mere mortals will never manage.

Yet "Ore" applies just the way I wish Antique Gold glitter would: a taupey gold with flecks of red and green glitter. I was all set to rubbish the Illamasqua pigment as just like MAC but smaller... However the truth is, judging from this pigment, these are literally better than MAC: more complex, a smooth fine texture, and potentially less messy as there is a little pigment hole opening. I am upset now, as it means I'll have to start collecting them!? I have no doubt whatsoever that I will use Ore all up (more than can be said for my MAC pigment jars) and what is more, I know I will never want to be without it. I wore this over the weekend and layered up for a really dramatic eye, and then today I wore it as a wash of colour and it was perfectly neutral but very special all the same. I swear I am going to wear this everyday now. I highly recommend this divine pigment!!!! (*N.B I got mine in Selfridges and they still had a few left. Would not be surprised if this sold out - by rights, it should! Grab one right away! You will NOT regret it.)

A must-have from the collection.

There are some new Liquid metals out, and although I planned to buy some, I noticed there is a disparity between the amount given on box and website (8g) and actual amount (1.5g). Although I have no doubt that these are beautiul too, I think I will stick to Estee Lauder's Shadowcremes which have more product inside. Although there is something satisfying about hitting pan, there is something too annoying about buying small jars and seeing product go down quickly. Having said that, I am toying with the idea of buying the liquid metals compact (4 shades, £29.50) simply for the convenience of having all those bases. The new shades are "Superior" (dark blue) "Stoic" (deep emerald green) and "Resolute" (rusty red.) As a travel idea, it might be nice to combine a small neutral palette, and then add this in and instantly have so many more options - these can be used as liners or shadows. 

There are also some new polishes out which look perfect for the oncoming winter! Dark racing green ("Viridian") and deep rusty red ("Scarab") and a bronze red lipgloss which I considered buying but decided was a little too dark ("Hermetic.")

My camera did not do the products justice, apologies for lack of photos - though you can see them in a haul video I made earlier, and the best pictures as ever can be found at Temptalia, check out her review of Ore here.

If you are new to Illamasqua, this collection is its most exceptional to date, and a great place to start! With Illamasqua's new flagship store (20 Beak St, London) and its new makeup school, this season heralds Illamasqua's position as ringmasters of the alternative beauty scene.


  1. Thanks for your link to sokolum:) I had a bit of a play with Disciple last week, did one post seeing if I could wear it normaly....definitely a hard colour to pull off. Love the idea though.

    I have a couple of the liquid metals and really like them, would still like to get my hands on Alluvium though.

  2. Hi, yes just seen that post! It actually quite suits you!? But the trouble comes when you try to wear it for talking and smiling... Anyhow, no doubting that in editorial photoshoots this will be awesome! Sokolum is an amazing and punky makeup artist isn't she xx