Friday, 2 September 2011

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless - Review and Swatches!

I think I always say, "This is the best Collection yet!" but seriously - this is great stuff!!! Illamasqua's previous collection, Toxic Nature, had some real standouts (e.g I still wear 'Delirium' on a regular basis) but somehow there was not the real punch of grim darkness that Illamasqua do so well. This time, there is no compromise: Illamasqua give us the perfection of murky, dark sparkle. Exciting shades and a really expansive mix; a very balanced collection. There are - Two new blushers; three new lipglosses (one, a rosy pink called 'Belladona' is an online exclusive); a new mascara - sorry, Masquara - three new pigments; two new cream pigments; a new lipstick; two false eyelashes, and four new nail polishes!

This is Theatre of the Nameless, the new collection which looks to Germany in the 1920s for inspiration, with Weimar period icons such as Anita Berber, the doomed flame haired scandalously androgynous actress, to the Boot girls who colour co-ordinated their shoelaces to their talents. This dubious source was quickly forgotten as David Horne, the talented and charming artistic brain behind it all (as handpicked by Alex Box) exclaimed as he sprinkled a load of Pure pigment 'Beguile' in the air and all over his lovely dark suit jacket, "I just thought it was hilarious how they colour coded their boots like that." Indeed, seen in the abstract, it is quirky and translates well into the range of rubber finish ("like candle wax") nail polishes. There's 'Taint' (stone brown) 'Kink' (bottle green) 'Vice' (deep cerise) and 'Faux Pas' (blue violet - as seen on my nails below.) Check out the competition to win these HERE (Hurry - competition ends on Sunday 4th!)

The new Precision Ink in 'Havoc' is described by Illamasqua thus: "Havoc lets you scrawl hidden messages across your naked flesh, to be discovered at midnight by your secret lover." (So excuse me if this post is rushed.) As yet at the time of writing I can only attest to its powers as an eyeliner. I wore it all day today, through an unexpected heat wave and a great workout at the gym, and this held up as excellently, as expected. Previous incarnations have been brilliant, and this is actually my favourite so far. It is aubergine but very dark, only a glint of aubergine - too much red purple makes my eyes look very tired. I highly recommend it and it was on my wishlist, so when I saw I'd been given one I couldn't believe my luck!

'Havoc' lined below, contrast it with my top black liquid line.

The Pure Pigments are truly captivating, I have come to realise that Illamasqua pigments are very distinctive and not similar to MAC at all, they are much finer (they do not 'ball up') and they almost remind me of a MAC Reflects pigment but with a heavy pigmented base. I received 'Beguile' and at first, seeing its unapologetic glittery sparkle, I mentally relegated it to 'strictly for inner eye only.' But in the interests of fair experimentation I tried it as a face highlighter. David Horne described it as having a wet, water look to it. But his jacket said disco frenzy. However, on the face I am shocked to report that the glitter is so very fine that it really does take on a wet shine. Wet shine is so hard to achieve with a dry pigment! And unlike 'Static' this eschews a purple duochrome for a green glint.

My only reservation is, seeing the state of my other Illamasqua pigments, how to keep it neat? (does anyone have any tips? My pigment always flies out when I open them.) The other Pure Pigment, 'Berber' is a brilliant - again, David Horne's words: "Rust shot through with Absinth." It's a deep brick red but with very noticeable lime green sparkle. Although red is usually so hard to look good in, I think the green will really help make this a flattering yet showstopping shade. The depth of colour is magnificent. Then there is 'Zeitgeist', a black pigment with tons of sparkle. It is like a true black version of 'Android' (another fave.)

The Cream pigments are 'Androgen', a slightly reddened coral which works equally as a beard cover up or a blusher; and 'Depravity' which I wore today and LOVED. Purple is my favourite colour, and this is my favourite version of purple. Purple eyes can be very old fashioned, especially lilac, but this is a vibrant pinky purple that is very young. I wore it with no base and it faded to a pinker shade, which I still adored, and it didn't crease much at all. I have found that some of Illamasqua's Cream pigments crease very quickly (e.g 'Dab') but others, like 'Delirium' and now 'Depravity' last fairly well even without a base. I will in future probably wear 'Depravity' over a primer to keep it looking its best though. I am even going to break my 'no-matchy' rule and wear this with magenta purple tomorrow.

'Depravity' above, after fading for about 5 hours to a more pink hue

The blushers reminded me of NARS Sin and Oasis or Orgasm. They are both shimmer blushers, 'Ambition' is a neutal tone but very shimmery; 'Morale' was a very attractive wine shade with just the right shine to it. The packaging looks especially good as that big pinched square compact. The new lipglosses are 'Facade', which is like a liquid version of 'Hollow' pigment; 'Violate' which is supposedly in their sheer range but goes on a wonderful deep green sparkle, just the right side of brave. The two eyelashes are 'Grandeur', a sumptuous black flicked design; and 'Weimar', of which only 500 have been made (and this is the only L.E item in the collection.) The Weimar lashes are black and extravagant, with red tips which almost glow in the light. Very daring yet also very wearable. Aside from the dark purple blue lipstick 'Kontrol', everything seems very wearable - and yet still subversive. This is exactly Illamasaqua's forte.

I cannot wait to get myself 'Berber' to add to my collection.

Theatre of the Nameless is out now online, and launches across counters globally on 8th September.

-Full Product details and Prices -

Nail Varnish, £13.50
  • Taint (Stone Brown)
  • Kink (Bottle Green)
  • Vice (Deep Cerise)
  • Faux Pas (Blue Violet)

Cream Pigment, matte £17.00

  • Androgen(Coral)
  • Depravity (Magenta)

Masquara £15.00

  • Raven (Midnight Black)

Pure Pigment, metallic £15.50

  • Zeitgeist (Dark Shimmer)
  • Beguile (Light Shimmer)
  • Berber (Auburn Shimmer)

Precision Ink, £17.00

  • Havoc (Aubergine)

False Eye Lashes, £16.00

The Theatre of the Nameless brings two new lashes to our extensive handmade range of styles and colours – the fluttering, tapered extravagance of the aptly named Grandeur and the thick, long, luxurious Blackened Auburn Weimar.

Shimmer Blusher, £16.50
  • Ambition (Neutral)
  • Morale (Rosed Flush)

Intense Lipgloss, £13.00

  • Fa├žade (Grey Pink)

Sheer Lipgloss, £13.00

  • Violate (Dark Green Shimmer)

Lipstick, £15.50

  • Kontrol (Blue Violet)

~Thank you to Illamasqua for a wonderful preview evening, not to mention the delicious Weimar cocktail!

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