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Illamasqua: Once


posted by on Blushers, Eyeshadows, Illamasqua, Make-Up

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There are two things to be happy about: it’s Friday and Illamasqua’s new collection Once* is out today.

Three new products define Once with a blusher – Naked Rose reissued from the 2012 Naked Strangers collection but there isn’t a lipstick in sight. Instead the main focus is on the eyes (always my favourite part which Illamasqua caters for spectacularly) with a subtle nod at the lips, cheeks and nails.


There are two new shades of their Sheer Lipgloss (£16.50) to coo over – Opulent (rainbow beige) and Exquisite (pink oyster). They shimmer beautifully and smell like candy.


One nail colour also features and it’s a stunning antique teal with very fine old gold glitter called Melange. It’s my second favourite from the collection, pipped to the post by the debut of three Vintage Metallic Eye Shadows (£16.50) in perfect autumnal shades.



Courtier is a dusky rose, Embellish is a rich cocoa and Bibelot is a rustic golden teal. I would best describe the Vintage Metallics as a cross between Illamasqua’s cream pigments and liquid metals as they give a fantastic shimmer yet have a cream-gel texture.


The packaging is identical to the Precision Gel Eye Liner pot, which enhances the look and feel of the product. In fact it looks premium with the rose gold lid, which perhaps is a sign that Illamasqua is moving in that direction.


Evidently these are my pick of the bunch and I have strong hopes this will be the start of a new line for the brand. I can picture a rich jewel colour like a deep purple or garnet – those would have me keeling over.

I won’t dwell too much on the blusher Naked Rose (£21.50) because for a brown girl like me, it’s wasted as it’s far but pale beauties like Do Not Refreeze and Tales of A Pale Face will love it.

Once is a thing of beauty and I believe it will have longterm lovers of the brand flocking towards it. Mind you, it’s not too obscure to frighten newcomers, I’d say it’s a gentle collection to lure you into the world of Illamasqua. And with that thought, I’m going to leave you with these incredible images.

Once_promo1 once_promo2 once_promo3 once_promo4Once is available online and at all Illamasqua counters nationwide as well as the flagship store on Beak Street.


posted by on Illamasqua, Make-Up



When it comes to pushing boundaries, Illamasqua knows how to do the dance. Hell, they created it. And normally I will follow their lead but on this occasion I think I am ready to accept defeat with their new Matte Lip Liquid.

Illamasqua’s summer 2014 collection welcomes three new shades taking inspiration from the 80s – Exotic (a vivid orange), Forbidden (pink) and Surrender (warm peach). Out of the three, I have Exotic and Forbidden to share.

Firstly if you hate lipwear that is glossy, sticky, glittery or simply comes off easily, Illamasqua’s Matte Lip Liquid definitely won’t budge or fade from your pout. It also doesn’t dry your lips out. (I can confirm this from wearing it for several hours.) A clever formula, the Matte Lip Liquid applies like a liquid and dries to a matte finish.

Secondly these colours look different on every skin tone. Forbidden is a girlie, bubblegum pink which I imagine will be very popular with the fairer skin toned girls whereas Exotic is tropical madness for the ones feeling very brave.


In the interest of reviewing these products honestly and sincerely, I tried both shades. One looks absolutely shocking on me…and that honour goes to Forbidden. It is proper Nicki Minaj pink and while she can carry off the blow-up doll look, I blatantly can’t and feel very conscious it looks odd on me. Having said that, I just know Priya from Beautywowza and Sharmin from PinkSweetz will both look hot wearing Forbidden.


This brings me nicely onto Exotic, which I can’t make up my mind about. It’s impressive, isn’t it? Very flattering.


However when I look in the mirror I’m convinced I’ve been sucking the ink out of an orange neon marker pen. I think that’s why I am frightened to wear it in the day time and that perhaps it’s best reserved for a night out. With the lights off.

Actually I wanted to wear Exotic to work on Monday (thinking it was a different shade in my head) but I swiftly scrubbed it off before leaving the house, convinced my colleagues would have needed to whip out their sunglasses…or point me in the direction of the nearest housing development site with the workmen in their high-visibility jackets. And ‘scrub’ is no exaggeration because the Matte Lip Liquid is A BITCH to wipe off. Bioderma had a tough job on its hands. There is your proof this stuff locks itself to your lips.


Another factor to take into consideration with the Matte Lip Liquid is it requires layering to achieve complete coverage or you’re left with patchy bits. I am putting this down to its particular formula because unlike other matte finish lip creams and lipsticks, Illamasqua’s doesn’t form a plasticky film on the surface of your lips. (FYI, I actually prepped my lips with foundation for an evenly coloured base.)

With regards to the applicator, I am very surprised Illamasqua has chosen a brush because I have struggled with it. I have a few lip glosses that come with a brush applicator and that works perfectly well for a gloss. For a matte texture, a sponge applicator makes more sense as it applies and distributes the product evenly and accurately. Due to its properties, Illamasqua’s liquid formula dries very quickly and I mean, very quickly, leaving patchy streaks caused from the brush. Fed up of this, I ended up using a lip gloss wand instead.


I also found it difficult to neatly line my lips with the brush, leading to a few messy mishaps. The sponge gives more control. As for the matte finish, I’m afraid it crumbles and flakes horribly even during layering, which makes the task of applying it altogether quite cumbersome.

I wanted to like the Matte Lip Liquid but I’ve been left somewhat disappointed with the formula. It needs more tweaking! I’m also a little scared of the colours. Illamasqua, please don’t get the hump with me – I still love you unconditionally, it’s just the Matte Lip Liquid isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be (no pun intended).

Illamasqua’s Matte Liquid Lip is priced at £18 each and is available from all Illamasqua concessions, their flagship store on Beak Street and online.

*PR samples