Wednesday, September 2, 2009

High on Illamasqua: Lipstick, Intense Gloss, & Sheer Gloss (Review & Swatches)

(Above Pictures from

So I was supposed to post this weeks ago but here it is.. I heard that the Illamasqua brand was coming to Sephora back in mid July (I think around the time when "V.I.B" was introduced.) When I viewed the products (online), I was overwhelmed with excitement. Sadly, none of the products were in stock yet so I had to wait a week or 2. So after a long, long, looooong week or so of waiting, I placed an order for 6 Illamasqua products along with theBalm's Shady Lady Palette, Urban Decay Liquid Liner in "Smog," and MUFE Face & Body Liquid Foundation (using my 10% off V.I.B. coupon.) I had to hold myself back from going overboard since Illamasqua is pretty expensive (at least for my budget) at $19 and up per product. I've been really into lip products lately so all I bought from the line were some lipsticks and glosses. I'm not going to get into the other non-Illamasqua products in this post since you all probably know about them already. Anywho, here are swatches for what I got:
Sorry for any blurryness =( My camera has just not been cooperating with me lately. I noticed that up close NON-flash pictures are appearing to be blurry. Hopedully you can see the swatches on my hand.. just squint! The other pictures were taken with flash though so not to worry....
From left to right are:
1. Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in "Fierce"
2. Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in "Rouse"
3. Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in "Petulant"
4. Illamasqua Lipstick in "Fable"
5. Illamasqua Lipstick in "Tramp"
6. Illamasqua Lipstick in "Liv"
A Deeper Look....
Let's review the Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss:
My Personal Rating:
-Formula: 10/10
-Value: 7/10
-Packaging: 8/10-Overall: 9/10

I thought nothing could rival my beloved Smashbox Lip Enhancing Glosses ( let alone ever make me fall out of love with them. The formula for these Illamasqua glosses is moisturizing while the colors are rich and pigmented. They all appear on the lips as they do in the tube. The swatches on Sephora's site were pretty much spot on so that was good. The lasting effect is pretty good and lasts a while (few hours) but it doesn't last all day like most glosses.It even smells nice.. kind of like vanilla and something else. I rated the value a "7" because it is so pricey. The tube only contains 7ml (0.2 Fl. oz) but then again my Smashbox tube says that there's 6ml for a dollar less. So why does the Smashbox tube look like there's more? Anyways, I just think these glosses should be a tad larger for nearly $20 a pop. The packaging is standard. I think it's a doe foot tube.. correct me if I'm wrong. Overall, I love these glosses. I've never had anything like them. Everything about them is amazing and I urge everyone to at least try one of these.

Pictured above is Fierce. It's actually a little more purple than in the picture. I noticed on other peoples' lips it turned a very vibrant purple but on mine it was more of a vibrant pink/purple. I really love this stuff. If you're looking for a perfect purple gloss, one that isn't pink, plum, wine-colored, etc, get this one.

Above is Petulant. This is my favorite of all 3 glosses that I purchased. The Sephora website describes this as a "hot magenta" and they are right on. The gloss looks so bright in the tube that it looks like it's almost going into "red" but it is a true magenta. I don't think I'll be wearing this much yet but I will in the Fall/Winter. I wear a lot of grays, blacks, and neutrals during the colder months so this will give everything a nice "pop."
Illamasqua Lipstick:
My Personal Rating:
-Formula: 8/10
-Value: 8/10
-Packaging: 7/10
-Overall: 8/10

The formula is great when it comes to the darker colors. I thought the lighter colors would be just as phenomenal but sadly they're not. I like that these do not feel dry on my lips but as with most pale, matte lipsticks, the colors make your lips look so dry and gross. I thought that this would be "the One" but sadly, it wasn't. I thought hat I could actually wear pale lipstick without having cracks on my lips -but I was wrong. These did not meet my expectations. The darker color I purchased, "Tramp," is amazing. It's the best I've ever tried because of the rich color and non-drying texture. It goes on so smoothly and easily and the end results are great.. I wish I could say the same about the lighter shades. The packaging is OK and very average but it's prone to finerprints.. which I can't stand! ! !

Above is Fable. I somehow managed to color outside the lines (I was in a rush!) This color is a brilliant bubblegum pink that looks super girly -but not tacky. It reminds me of Malibu Barbie's lips (in a good way) and makes me look tan. The only problem is that it's so drying! You can't see all the cracks in the picture but trust me, there are tons of them. I love the colors but hate how my lips looked so dried up when wearing this stuff. I even tried wearing some clear gloss over this to see if it would make the cracks disappear (but it beats the purpose of a matte lipstick.)

Here is Fable with clear gloss over it. Again, you can't really see the cracks but in person, you can definately see them. I guess they're not too noticeable but if you're up close and personal, you can tell. I can't stand the look of "cracked lips" so I feel like not even wearing this lipstick (with or without the help of some clear gloss) was better in general. Love the color, hate the dryness.

Pictured above is Liv. I'm so in love with this color. It's a pale, milky lavender that I've never seen in any other lipstick before. You can see all the cracks better in this picture. It was just so drying. It doesn't necessarily feel dry but it looks dry and I rather have it the other way around! =( Maybe this would work on a person with ultra smooth/soft lips but that person is not me.

Pictured above is Tramp. This is the reason I gave the lipstick a high overall (8.5) score. I didn't even fill in my lips all the way (oops.) Sephora describes this as a "matte true red" but I noticed a sort of sheen (as you can see in the picture.) It's mainly matte but there is a slight sheen which is nice. This goes on so effortlessly and looks beautiful. I love the formula for the darker colors and I hope they improve the lighter colors in the future.
Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss:
My Personal Rating:
-Formula: 10/10
-Value: 7/10
-Packaging: 8/10
-Overall: 9/10
Above is Rouse. This is a basic pale pink/almost clear gloss but it's better than all the others I own. Sephora describes it as "vibrant bubblegum pink" but it's not very vibrant and pretty much almost clear but you do see hints of pink. I love the formula and the nice sheen though (I don't see any shimmer.) This is a very basic gloss and easily dupable but I think this formula's the best. It feels and looks nice but it's not a must-have.
The Illamasqua lipsticks are $20 each and the glosses are $19. Check Sephora for more swatches as they are pretty accurate. I would love to try Illamasqua's blushes and eyeliners next. Have you tried any Illamasqua products? How'd you like them?

*Note (March 27, 2010): I've re-read this post and wanted to update on how I feel about these products. I've since returned both lipsticks -they started to feel drying. They are definitely not the dry for a matte lipstick (pretty much the oppostite) but for a lipstick in general, they are. I don't like dry lip products whatsover because I have dry lips to begin with. I would still recommend them for their high pigmentation and overall good formula though. I've updated the lipstick rating to an 8/10 -just .5 less than my original rating. (I don't use this rating system anymore though.) I still like the glosses although I just don't use them muct. Petulant is a bit bright for me and Rouse wasn't so special (I ended up passing this one on.) Rouse is nice for a basic gloss though -the formula is great! However, I don't really like clear/sheer glosses much.

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