With the nail polishes alone "Throb", "Load" and "Scorn" describing an average Saturday night reveller's progress, the stage is set for the new Illamasqua Collection: "Throb".
Left to right: "Scorn" polish, "Load" polish,(£13.50) "Succubus" gloss,(£13) "Sangers" lipstick, (£15.50) "Throb" polish. (£13.50)
Mills & Boon have ensured that Throb will not simply mean, despite Illamasqua's intro: "Feel your pulse quicken, your heart throbbing in your chest". But for once, their cheeky product names have a context. I always think of Valentine's Day makeup as sweet and innocent, all about rosy cheeks and a lip stain - but here we have an inspired Alex Box created masterpiece, where the literal heart shape is echoed everywhere from the face to the lips to the nails.
I was sent "Succubus" lipgloss, a great name and the warm blood red in the sleek clear tube oozes a bold glamour that positively dares you to be provocative.
After having bought a few pencils in the fantastic sale going on right now in Selfridges, I feel well equipped to say that Illamasqua pencils and glosses are their absolute strengths. In fact I see no difference between Guerlain's super pigmented glosses and Illamasqua's - and that is not a comparison I would make lightly! The Succubus gloss is not too sticky, yet lasts hours (without staining lips!) and is intense, shiny and smells lightly of berries.
Although as I age I veer further and further away from bold lips (sob) I absolutely adore the vibrancy of this collection and the way it invites Valentine's Day to become a day for female empowerment rather than be meek and pretty in pink yet again.
Might I suggest Illamasqua "Katie" blusher, for delicate Louis XIV era pale pink cheeks? I have worn this with the "Succubus" and it just slightly takes the vixen edge off, without losing the threat altogether. But here is the product list of the official look:
Cream Foundation 100
Rich Liquid Foundation 115
Powder Foundation 105
Powder Blusher in ‘Disobey’
Powder Blusher in ‘Intrigue’
Pure Pigment in ‘Furore’
Powder Eye Shadow in ‘Heroine’ [on cheeks and eyes]
Powder Eye Shadow in ‘Sex’
Cream Pigment in ‘Emerge’ ** NEW for SS11 collection! **
Eye Liner Cake in ‘Mislead’
Sealing Gel [for eyebrows]
Precision Ink in ‘Abyss’
False Eye Lashes '021'
Lipstick in Sangers
Intense Lipgloss in Succubus
Illamasqua Throb collection is available from January 17th 2011 in Illamasqua’s Flagship Store; Selfridges London, Manchester, Birmingham; Fenwick Newcastle; Debenhams Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff - and online at www.illamasqua.com. Plus look out for the Selfridges exclusive gift set, which adds in a blindfold and the promise to "make her throb" all for ahem, £69.