INITIAL REACTIONS: Illamasqua is an up and coming makeup brand that promotes “makeup for the alter ego.” It is undeniably causing a stir for its bold promo ads and astounding creativity in pushing the envelope. The brand is inspired by the dark 1920s club scene. The hype and stir apart from the uniqueness of the brand is the high-quality of its products, that many are claiming Illamasqua a competitor for the very well-known MAC Cosmetics. While this brand is definitely causing an excitment in me, I don’t think Illasmasqua is going to be able to take on MAC simply for the fact that the former is the cheapest of all high-end brands! An eyeshadow from MAC Cosmetics costs $14.50 in the pot or $11 in the pan whereas the eyeshadows from Illamasqua are by heavy contrast, $20. You can just about get two MAC eyeshadows for the price of one Illamasqua. And the difference in the amount of eyeshadow in their respective pots? MAC – .05, and Illamasqua – .07. The difference is not very much but the cost is drastic.
Despite this, I’m a sucker for makeup… and I have placed an order on Sephora for several Illamasqua products. The brand was originally only available on its own website, and in the UK, but the hype has surpassed its humble beginnings and has finally made it to the U.S. so go crazy ordering! The thing I love about Sephora is that if you don’t like it – you can return it! That definitely makes many of my purchases pain-free (though perhaps I spend more than I should because of it!).
My order looked something like this:
Powder Blusher, $23, .14 oz
Tremble, light warm pink
Panic, cherry red
The price for the blush doesn’t really shock me so much. Many blushes are well into the 20s and even 30s, though with MAC blushes coming in at $18 but for .21 oz. Another monetary blow for the quantity. No colors by MAC, however, strike me as similar just from the swatches on Sephora. I’ll have to compare when I actually receive these.
Nail Varnish, $14, .5 oz
Unnatural, dark blood red
Fern, shimmering bright sky blue
MAC is far from a good example of good-quality nail polish, so I’ll compare it to China Glaze, which is also a bottle with .5 oz and typically between $2.50 to $6 depending on where you get it, and I find the quality most excellent. However, I find these colors to look quite unique and I don’t own any colors like these. I will definitely consider these a high-end treat!
Bronzing Duo, $27, .14 oz
Glint & Burnish, golden tan/golden bronze
The bronzing duo is described as having shimmer, and this worries me! It’s usually preferred to have a matte bronzer but we shall see how it looks! Also, Glint & Burnish is the darker of the two bronzer duos, the lighter one being Glint & Writhe and from videos the light one looks very dark already. We shall see! MAC has bronzers for $21 with .3 oz of product.
Lipstick, $20, .14 oz
Howl, matte terra cotta
It’s true that a great lipstick shade should usually be tried on before purchase but I don’t have that luxury with this brand so I went with a bold lip color that I am very much hoping will look great with my skin tone! And finally here Illamasqua has more lipstick than MAC. A MAC l/s has .1 oz and this one has .14, though MAC charges only $14. As this is a matte shade I will be looking to see how moisturizing this is and whether it will settle into the lines of my lips and bleedability.
Intense Lipgloss, $19, .2 oz
Indulge, neon pink
Oh goodness, what can I say! I’m so tired of glosses that have no pigmentation and only microscopic glitter that no one can see unless they got a little too close and personal. Enter Illamasqua’s Intense Lipglosses! These are extremely pigmented from what I’ve seen so far and I am already in love without every having tried these on.
Sheer Lipgloss, $19, .2 oz
Rouse, vibrant bubble gum pink
I’m very much hoping the sheer in the name of this gloss isn’t too literal. Though I’m very excited to compare the sheer and intense glosses hence why I’m getting one of each. The color I’m getting sounds very pretty. Hopefully these still have a good level of pigmentation.
Powder Eyeshadow, $20, .07 oz
Preen, matte purple
I absolutely love purple shadows, and I was pleasantly surprised that on the Illamasqua website this particular shadow is for sale only to the European public, so it’s nice that it’s available for sale to the U.S. public on Sephora! I am very much hoping to get a lot of pigmentation and good blendability from this! And I know it’s just a “matte purple” very plain and simple – but for the price I’m expecting something great.
Don’t worry, swatches for all the products are forthcoming as soon as my order comes in! VERY EXCITING!! (: