Now, after 8 months and reading what seems like a million reviews I finally caved and placed a small order. I often keep my first orders small, as I always want to see how the service, delivery and other things will work out before I am going to 'donate' my precious euros to a new brand and company. They should be worth it!
The company did not dissapoint. I received a sultry black envelope with their goodies within two weeks time. They also added a booklet with product pictures and even more gorgeous makeup pictures.
Let me return to the sultry image of Illamasqua. Illamasqua does not cater for the woman/girl who is looking for natural beauty. Anyway, Illamasqua seems to keep a certain philosophy that they consider natural beauty to be overrated...if you fake it...fake it all the way...
However, being a 'natural' makeup girl, I still believe that Illamasqua has some lovely items that are fantastic for making you look like yourself, but better. At least, the colours that I picked were really natural and the pigment is so fine that you will not have that caky/fakey look.
My small haul consisted of a Duo Bronzer in colours Glint/Writhe, a cream blush in Pixie and a pressed powder in PP 210.
- Duo Bronzer in Glint/Writhe (Sirens Collection 2009)
Bronzer products are a fave of mine during the summer holidays (see these posts). I have found a couple of bronzers that come very close to HG status, but I like a variety of bronzers for different purposes.
I remember seeing a picture of Illamasqua duo bronzer on cosmeticcandy.com, and they were absent of scary orangy or overtly baked hues. When it arrived I was delighted....
I received a rather large compact with two flattering shades of colour. I compared the size with a Mac blush compact, so you can visualize the size.
The next picture is made in natural light. I especially love the left side of the compact, which gives such a flattering light, glowy colour. The right side (Writhe) is darker, but not thát obviously dark-that-you-look-p##ped-over colour.
This close up shows the shimmers, which are NOT NARS-like and big, but subtle and glowing.
I still have the memory of the J-Lo-era, when bronzy and glowy was the best thing ever. This is a subtle way to achieve the look she was sporting then.
Ugh, the natural light was so cold, so I only have the next swatch pic to share with you (of natural light). I think it only functions to show the glowy texture. The top colour is the darkest colour: I have tried it as a shader with a light hand, and I found it looking flattering in a glowy, bronzy way.
And a swatch with flash....My inner arm is always so much paler than my upper arm and face. On the one side I wish I could have maintained that same paleness as my inner arm, on the other hand, I was able to travel a bit into the world (and consequently tanned during travelling -> sunscreen was not thát heavily applied in the ol' days as nowadays) so I consider my slightly darker face as a token of life-experience/fun.
Overal, I find it a very natural product/colours, which means that Illamasqua caters for both the dramatic makeupistas as the naturalistas.
2. Pressed Powder in PP 210
I always find it difficult to review a foundation or powdered product. What works for one person can be totally off for another person. And what about the swatches? I think it is really hard to make swatches that could be helpful for a variety of skintones.
I will still give it a shot ;D, though.
I haven't looked that much to the packaging yet, so I will take a closer inspection right now. You will receive the powder in a black box, very basic.
Inside, they separated the powder puff from the compact. The powder puff, unfortunately, cannot be put in the compact either. I do not know what to think about that. I do not use powder puffs that often for application of powder, as I find the method with a soft brush to give a better result. However, I usually choose a pressed powder for the reason that I will carry it around with me on the road. So, I think I would have found it more handy to have a powder puff that you can put inside the compact as well.
That was my minor rant. I have showed you the logo of Illamasqua in the beginning of the post, and here it is again. I love the shape of the compact, like a nipped in waist, very feminine.
When opening the compact you will see the standard mirror.
I swatched the product quite heavily to get a good impression of the colour, but it is not that cakey in real life. As I explained earlier, my face is darker than my arm, so the colour is not too dark. Instead, I am really delighted with the colour and it is a PERFECT match for my skin at this moment!!! I love my Japanese and Korean cosmetics, but I find them catering for yellow toned skin often, so I do not receive a perfect match foundation-wise. The Illamasqua PP 210 is cool enough to match my face...so I can apply it without being afraid of skipping parts (and look totally mismatched colourwise).
I still believe that certain Japanese brands provide better texture. For example, I am very enthralled with my RMK powder foundation EX in 102, but although the deepness of the colour is really right, it is still a tad too yellow.
Again, I am comparing apples with pears, because I haven't been able to test the powder foundation of Illamasqua in this colour. However, I hope to receive and review that one soon, as I already placed another happy Illamasqua order...
3. Cream Blush in Dixie
Blush, blush, blush...I have so many of them. Normally, I favour powdered blush over cream blush. That has to do with the fact that I use powdered foundation more often than liquid foundation.
On the happy days that my skin behaves thát well that I can go out without foundation, or at times when I prefer to wear liquid foundation, I prefer cream blush over powder for a more dewy effect.
I have read so many raves on the cream blush of this brand that I was willing to buy another cream blush. The packaging of the cream blush, in contrast of the compact powder, has a window for showing the product and colour. I picked Dixie, as it was described as the most natural, rosy/corally and foolproof of all the blushes.
Compare compare...my dears....It is pretty large, don't you think? (same Mac blush compact as before)Ohhh, I loveeeeeee this colour....Love, love, love it. Have I already told you that I love this colour? Yes yes yes, it is summery goodness of the perfect pinky coral!
It is such a fantastic blendeable blush...it blends like a dream, even on not-so-perfectly-flawless skin like mine. I have some faded acne scars, which are so much less than they used to be, but are still a tad visible. Some lesser quality blush, especially creams, tend to 'sit' in the inperfections. Not this baby.
Moreover, it gives my cheeks such a soft, dewy appearance...I think it is youth in a small compact!
I was so glad with the result that I even made a cheek picture of it...however, I chickened out and deleted the picture. (sorry dears).
Overall, what a delightful haul! I will be waiting eagerly for my next haul to come in. I have ventured on other products this time, but you will read about it soon, if everything goes well.
(oh, and yes...I will be celebrating my birthday in a week from now...teehee...)