Illamasqua Glamore Nude

Following on from Illamasqua’s Glamore collection earlier this year, they have introduced 7 new nude lipsticks into the range. The formula is really hydrating, while giving a long-lasting, intense colour. They are so comfortable to wear, and leave a nice sheen to the lips without being too glossy.

The new lipsticks are Minx and Cherub in the Nude Coral section, Rosepout and Starkers in the Rosy section, and Tease, Naked and Buff are more Earthy Nudes. I was sent Minx and Starkers to try out – both of which are not colours I would have picked out myself…. I see myself as more of a Tease or Naked kind of girl – both which are pale and neutral(ish!) looking… how I tend to prefer my nudes. I was pleasantly surprised at how the two I was sent turned out!

Starkers is a true nude – leaning rather brownish on me with a hint of pink. Perfect for the 90s power-lip, or teamed with a smokey eye. A creamy toffee, honey shade.

Minx is so far away from anything I would ever choose for myself, but I know I will be wearing this one a lot! A pinky, rusty rose shade that is equally suitable for day or night.

Daniel Busuttil, the Head of Training at Illamasqua – recommends matching your lipstick to your natural nail bed colour, this way it will match the undertones of your skin. He says “If you have a cooler, rosy undertone to your skin, opt for a rosy nude. If your undertones are more golden an earthy nude is right for you. These colours will flatter your natural lip shade as well as your skin tone.”

Glamore Nude Lipsticks are available from 10th July from www.illamasqua.com and from 31st July at Illamasqua counters worldwide costing £18.50 each.

Illamasqua #Creators Collection

How very exciting the latest collection from Illamasqua is! They have collaborated with four bloggers to create their very own pieces of makeup which together, make up the #Creators Collection – which takes inspiration from four corners of the online galaxy.

Milly from Pearls & Poodles created Culminate lipgloss – a sheer orangey pink with a hint of iridescence and glitter giving it dimension. She says about her creation “Culminate uses metallic copper tones to illuminate the lips and add a futuristic, space-age feel. The iridescent finish is inspired by the stars of the universe and adds new dimension to colour.” It’s such a pretty shade on the lips, and because of it’s sheer-ness, could be used over lipstick.

Yinka from Vex In The City created a nail polish called Fusion. She says “I wanted to create a shade which reflected my vision of the galaxy. Dark, intense and mysterious with the magic of the stars shining through.” It’s one of those magical polishes which looks really different in different lights. Up close you can see tiny flecks of glitter, in some lights it holds some earth-toned colours, and from a distance it looks like a really wet, glossy, metallic (but not frosty) black. I love it!
Munroe from Munroe Bergdorf created Wanderlust lipgloss. Of her creation, she says”Inspired by the majestic beauty of oil on water, Intense Lipgloss in Wanderlust gives the illusion of stars viewed en masse.” It definitely reminds me of oil on water and shows so many different colours within it – it really is beautiful, although not sure how wearable it is for me, personally – I tend to not wear colours this dark unless they are plum toned, but I will have to experiment a little more with Wanderlust. That said, it’s the perfect match for Fusion nailpolish!

The last piece of the collection was created by Suzi from Style Suzi – Perseid nailpolish, which I audibly gasped at when I saw the bottle. It reminded me of a galaxy manicure in just one polish – a predominately black shade which leans purple or green in the light, then chunks of big, sparkly glitters, and smaller ones too – just beautiful.  She says “Inspired by the explosion of colours in the galaxy, I wanted to evoke the mysterious nature of the sky at night. Different sized glitters were used to created a texture as unique as a star”. As there’s so much packed in to this polish, it is easier to apply warmed up – so keep it in between your legs while you apply a base coat, and give it a roll in your hands before you apply to make it more fluid.

The limited edition Illamasqua #Creators collection launches today online and at Illamasqua stand-alone stores.

Illamasqua Paranormal Collection

Next Tuesday (30th April) sees the launch of Illamasqua’s latest collection – Paranormal – where everything is not as it seems. I went along to the launch this week, which was very eerie, and had a look at the new things on offer.

The new range consists of 3 nail polishes which – to the eye look like normal, pretty nail polish, but are secretly UV nail polishes that glow in UV black light – Parnormal UV Nail Varnish is limited edition and comes in Ouija (bright pink), Omen (bright green) and Seance (bright purple) as well as a clear UV topcoat – Geist.

The eyeshadow quad, Paranormal Palette, looks just like a palette of pink, green copper and purple shadows – but when you touch them they are squishy – kind of Moondough-esque.

The new gel liner, Infinity, promises to be blacker than black… and the rest of the things, I was lucky enough to get to take home for a play…

Hydra Veil was one of the most exciting discoveries for me on the night. I rarely get in a fluster over skincare, but this is something else – literally like nothing I have seen before. It’s main purpose is to be used as a primer before foundation, to get rid of those flaky bits we get near the nose (or anywhere!) and to hydrate under the eyes – but could also be used to hydrate the whole face as part of a skincare routine or on a long haul flight. When you open the tub, there is a little scoop spoon attached – and this is where the fun begins.

Hydra Veil looks like any thick, gel-like product. To the touch, it’s bouncy – like a jelly. You use the scoop spoon to get some product out – and the jelly just grows back over and settles back down to a flat topped product again, with no indentations – it really is magic!

I had a chat with David Horne on the night, Illamasqua’s Director of Product Development – and he said that he rejected so many products before this because it wasn’t settling perfectly. This one has definitely hit the nail on the head – I can’t stop testing it!

As for the product itself, when you rub it between your fingers it turns to an almost water-like substance. One scoop is enough to apply to your whole face. It smells divine and leaves skin feeling hydrated and ready for make up. David said it works in perfect harmony with Skin Base Foundation, so I shall be giving that a go tonight.

There are two new matte lipsticks – Posture (as above) and ESP – a darker, bolder purple. Posture is a cool toned purple which can look different in different lights. Sometimes it looks really purple, others pinkish, and sometimes a little nude. If you like MAC Blankety, I think you’d like this. It’s the more purple, matte version. I am wearing it in the photos below.

The new Gleam highlighter shade is a warm bronze illuminating shade. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Seaside – but it’s much more coppery and fluid than Seaside.

As I swatched it, I thought it would make a perfect highlighter for a darker skinned person – absolutely beautiful on black skin… so me doing what I always do – put it on my eyes.

It looked really pretty colour-wise, but formula-wise, the eyes weren’t the best idea as it creased within 5 minutes. I decided, after all, to try it on my cheekbones – and WOW, I’m in love! The Gleam actually worked quite well as a base for a more grungey, smoked out look too.

The nail polish I have is Ouija. It looks bright pink in the bottle, but when you catch it, you see silvery tones to it too. On the nails it looks almost metallic – then in UV light it is gorgeous and luminous (but unfortunately I don’t have a black light to show you!)

My thumb nail shows the colour of Seance polish, which I had applied at the event… and this is Ouija!

It hits stores and online at www.illamasqua.com on Tuesday 30th April. Whatcha think?

Illamasqua Immodest

I do love a pink lipstick – if you came to my house you would see that my personal collection is mainly pinks and nudes, with a few reds and purples thrown in. You’d think there are only so many pinks you can buy without repeating lipsticks, albeit through different brands. Illamasqua’s Immodest is definitely one I don’t have anything else like in my stash. It’s gorgeously bright pink – verging on neon, which is matt in texture.

Because of the matt texture it’s not one to wear when you have dry lips – you really need to make sure the lips are prepped well and there are no flaky bits otherwise it will definitely show up as it’s dry itself (although not drying). The bonus is that it will last an absolute age on your lips. As I sit and type this I have had it on for 3 hours and it doesn’t look any different from when I first applied it!

Despite the massive pop of colour, Illamasqua have managed to make such a wearable shade of neon pink – I love it!

Immodest costs £16 from Illamasqua

Illamasqua I’mperfection Speckled Nail Polish

Nail art and decoration are all the rage – now so more than ever it is acceptable, and even, somewhat the norm, to go out with bows stuck on your nails, nails like sand or even fur. So many trends seem to have come about, then copied by other brands – so it was lovely to see something totally new to me from Illamasqua for their latest range of nail polishes in their I’mperfection Collection for spring.

There are 5 shades in the range of speckled polish – I have two of them – Freckle, and Mottle. The purple polish in the collection (Speckle) reminds me of Mini Eggs, but the two I have take me straight to the beach with a double ice cream cone – one side chocolate chip, the other mint choc chip!

Freckle is an orangey beige toffee colour, Mottle is a pale, cool green – both have the I’mperfection trademark matt black glitter inside. Some of it is tiny flecks, like the scrapings from a vanilla pod, the others are chunky pieces of glitter. The two coats of polish I used meant that the placement of the pieces was totally random. 
I found the polish to be really long wearing and resistant to chips. It dried to a semi-matt finish, but with top coat on it became much more glossy. I found it as easy to apply as any non-textured nail varnish, however you do have to be careful with the placement of some of the large pieces of glitter (see my 4th finger on my Mottle swatch) as it can make it look less neat round the edges, which I hadn’t taken into consideration until my nails were dry and it was too late!
It’s not my favourite polish to remove – it’s far nicer than full-on glitter polish, but it does take a bit of effort to get it off. Be warned – don’t use a dippy nail varnish remover pot with this as you will end up with black dots over your nails for ever more! I can see past that though, as the length of time it lasts on my nails, and how pretty it looks makes up for it!
Illamasqua speckled nail polish is available at Illamasqua for £14.50 per bottle.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher Duo – Beg & Bronzerella

I was very excited to receive some pieces from Illamasqua’s I’mperfection Collection in the post this weekend. The idea behind the collection is that, rather than hiding our imperfections – we should work with them and show them off – be proud and say “I’m perfection”!

The spring line up has 3 new powder blusher duos – I was sent Beg & Bronzerella. To be honest, when I first opened it up and saw the colours I wondered what on earth it would look like on – these are almost the opposite of the blush colours I would normally choose for myself.

Beg is a matt, dusky pink colour, with Bronzerella being a frosted coppery bronze colour – both of them are extremely highly pigmented – the swatches above are taken after just one swipe of my fingers across the pan then on the back of my hand.

My initial thoughts were that Bronzerella was a little scary to wear as a blush, but looked a lovely colour for the eyes – so I decided to use it as an eyeshadow, while using Beg as blush. I know I don’t look very happy in the photo – but I am, promise!

I think Bronzerella is perfect as an eye colour and works great with my brown eyes, even if I do say so myself, and would look amazing with blue eyes. As the blushes are so highly pigmented all it took was one sweep of the colour across my lids to create this look. 

I was a little wary of how Aunt Sally I may end up looking with this powerful blusher, so I made sure I used a large, soft brush to apply Beg to my cheeks – it leaves a flushed finish which is very buildable if you wanted to go more over the top with it than I have.

Curiosity got the better of me, so today I have tried the products the other way round!

I was so scared applying such a brown colour to my cheeks, but I actually really like the finished result of Bronzerella! Although I used a large, soft blush brush, I did have to tone it down by blending it in with a clean brush. 
I used Beg in the crease of my eye for a little definition – I would never normally wear a pink shade on my eyes but I’m pleased I stepped out of my comfort zone for the day as I love the finished look and will definitely wear both the shades in both ways again.
Beg & Bronzerella is priced at £26 from Illamasqua – which, for 2 products you can use in two ways, is  good value in my opinion! 

Holiday Beauty Hits

Seeing as I’ve just got back from ‘Beefa, I thought it was pretty fitting that I did a holiday hits post – my most favourite things to use while I was away. I could make a list as long as my arm, but I’ve tried my best to cap it at a top 10!

one – Urban Decay Naked Palette (£32 from Beauty Bay)
This was fabulous – every colour I could have needed for my holiday. Creep was used for the nights I wanted to go totally smoky, but mostly Half Baked was given a good run for it’s money. I tended to mix it with NARS Orgasm Illuminator to foil it and make it ultra metallic a la…

two Dove Indulgent Nourishment Body Lotion (£5.10 from Boots but currently on offer at £3.40)
After hearing the Dove skin expert at The Only Way is Blogging saying that any moisturiser is good for post-sunned-skin, I decided to use this rather than a general after sun. It has 24 hour moisturisation technology and really left my skin feeling soft and gorgeous, even if I do say so myself! (please note, this was a press sample)

three ES A155 Lashes (£8.25 for 10 pairs from KKcentreHk)
These were a Godsend – despite them being reusable, when we were getting in at ridiculous hours of the morning from a night out, more often than not I ripped the lashes off my face and left them in random places never to be found again, so having a big stash of inexpensive yet effective lashes on hand was ideal! Check out my review of these lashes here. (please note, this was a press sample)

four – EOS Summer Fruits Lip Balm (approx £5 from eBay or available widely in USA)
I loved the look of these ever since first seeing a picture – I just had to have one. I love the quirky shape of it and all my friends adored it too. Perfect for having on hand and giving a bit of moisture to your lips while sunbathing.

five – Sleek Paint Pot in Peach Perfection (£4.30 from Sleek)
This was perfect for adding a slight sheen of colour to your lips poolside – it just gave the impression you had gone to the effort of doing something, without doing anything too much! Check out my review of this here.

six – Compact Mirror (mine is Benefit, but not sure if they’re still in production)
I’d say this is an absolute essential – for checking if any mascara has run, bits in your teeth, all your lotion is rubbed in etc etc

seven – Dove Intensive Repair Regenerating Mask (£3.99 from Superdrug)
This is a hair mask which is designed to be left in for 3-5 minutes then washed out, however this was my rescue hair product in a different way! My hair is very thick, and I have lots of it – so trying to do anything with it after washing it was a complete nightmare. The only way I managed to regain any control was by slathering my hair in this, so I could actually tie it up (normally on the top of my head) and leaving it in until the next time I washed my hair. When I came back to England and gave it it’s first wash, it was in such good condition – something I certainly wasn’t expecting after it being in the sun for so long.

eight – Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in Shade 08 (£25 from Illamasqua)
I really don’t have good skin. Not the kind of skin I would want to go baring, with no make up on. I needed to find something that covered up the bad bits without me looking too cakey. I bought this, and Garnier’s BB cream hoping one of them would be the solution to my problem. Unfortunately the Garnier was just too sheer for me, but the Skin Base Foundation was perfect. My friend commented on my make up one day asking how it stayed looking so perfect (score!) however I know it wasn’t exactly perfect – it does get shiny after a while of wearing, particularly in the heat, and as expected, needs reapplying after getting wet. I am wearing it in all of the photos in this post and loving that because there’s no SPF in it I don’t look like a ghost in them! I think if I could find a way of making it last a little longer without getting shiny, it would definitely be my holy grail foundation.

nine – Exposed Skincare Acne Treatment Serum ($19.95 from Exposed Skincare)
I am currently following the Exposed Skincare plan – I have used it for over 30 days now, so expect a full review of that soon. Although I still got spots, the Acne Treatment Serum helped to dry them out a lot faster than usual, so they were there for a lot less time than they would normally be. The last thing anyone wants on holiday is for their skin to get worse, so this was handy when I had a breakout.

ten – L’Oreal Lash Architect Waterproof Mascara (£7.99 from Amazon or in store at Boots)
I’m not saying this is the best waterproof mascara I’ve ever used – but it did the job; the mascara stayed put all day without any smudges or panda eyes. It seperated my lashes nicely, made them look full but not too ott, and basically, just made it look like my eyelashes actually existed!

Although it’s not really a beauty item the Liz Earle Tote Bag was kindly sent to me just in time for my holiday and is the perfect size for a towel, book (I kidded myself every day that I would get more than 2 pages read!) sun tan lotion, water and make up essentials. It has a magnetic fastening, a gorgeous nautical style, and is very robust. If you take advantage of the Liz Earle Suncare Offer before 31st August, you too can have one of these bags in a slightly smaller size. The set includes Mineral Suncream  SPF20 to help reflect UVA and UVB rays, their Sun Shade Botanical Aftersun Gel to cool and rehydrate and two shimmering treats – basically everything you need to keep your skin looking amazing while you’re away!

So, that’s my top 10 folks. What do you think of it? Would you add anything in?

Illamasqua Hussy Blusher

As promised – here are the details of the Illamasqua blusher I bought while I was in Belfast – Hussy is it’s name, beauty is it’s game. I l.o.v.e. -love it!

On the website it’s described as a bright candy pink, but I think it’s a bit warmer than that, and would go as far as to put it in the coral family – a mixture between hot pink and gorgeous coral. What do you think?

I first tried it when I was trying the Skin Base foundation – the sales assistant put it on and it was the beginning of an instant love affair. I was in Belfast with Stina of Chic Beauty Blog – she kept commenting on how nice it looked… so the next day I tried it on again, and that was that!

It’s very highly pigmented – so much so that a light sweeping of it leaves a lot of an impact on the cheeks which I have to lessen using another brush. You can wear this much stronger than I have done below, but I feel any more is a bit too much for a day at the farm with the kids!

I am really impressed with all the Illamasqua products I got – the lipgloss review will be coming soon. I have to say that the sales assistant that I dealt with was single-handedly the best I have ever visited – so helpful, friendly and *on the level* – I wished I could have taken her home with me!

Hussy is available from the Illamasqua website priced at £16.50 for 4.5g

Do you like it? What of theirs do you own? I really want to explore more now I’ve had good experiences with them!

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

I had a weekend in Belfast with a group of girls a couple of weeks ago. I could tell they wanted to scald me, as I popped from one shop to another checking out the make up. One place I kept going back to was Debenhams, as they have an Illamasqua counter. I have never been to one before – no chances to play, no chances to look at all the pretty colours.

What I had originally gone for was to look at the Skin Base foundation. I fell in love – such a gorgeous finish, I loved that I didn’t look white in photos because of the SPF0, it felt light on my skin, had good coverage…. I’d gone in on the Saturday to try it on and see how it went throughout the day. Popped back to get a sample for later that evening. Popped back again Sunday to purchase it – they didn’t have my colour! Took away another sample, intending to buy it once I got home… yet when I tried it with my normal, everday life, it just doesn’t work. It didn’t stay on past mid day, and despite using a powder over the top of it, it was really shiny on me. Boo.

Anyway, because of all the to-ing and fro-ing to the counter, each time I was there I just had to buy something else. I got the Highlighter Brush – which is AMAZING for applying foundation, a lipstick, lipgloss and a blusher. Today I’m going to tell you about the lipstick, the rest will follow over the next few weeks.

This lipstick is ‘Brink’. I was a bit disappointed when I opened my lipstick at home, as it had somehow come out of the bottom holder part, and was stuck in the lid (hence the squared off top)! I managed to get it out and stick it back where it should be, but that’s not really what I expect from a lipstick I paid £15 for. It hasn’t come out since thankfully.

It is a very pale coraley peach colour, which is matt in finish. I’m not overly keen on the matt-ness, I found it pulls at my lips when applying it, and is quite drying, so have been using lip balm before putting Brink on. If you have any dry patches on your lips, Brink will not be looking pretty – so a bit of exfoliation and balm is key.

Ergh, I hate pics of lips on their own – they look weird don’t you think?!
It is a lovely soft shade, kind of like peaches and cream in a lipstick, which I think is a good way to ease yourself in to experimenting with this seasons brights. It seems to last for a really long time on the lips which is always a winner in my book. Because it’s so matt and dry, I think it would also work as a cheek colour if you felt that way inclined!
I am glad I bought it, as it’s a colour unlike any I have, but I think it will take some getting used to on how to make it work best for me.
What do you think of this lippie? Do you have any Illamasqua lipsticks and what would you recommend?

Nails of the Day – Frosty Nails

Brrrrrrr, it’s freeeeezing so to fit with the weather I thought I’d experiment with my nail polishes to create a frosty look.

First I painted my nails with Ciate Refresher, which was very kindly sent to me by PowderRooms.com It is just like its name – a Refresher, a whitish pastel blue colour which is really pretty and I look forward to using in the summer. Then I painted the tips and dragged the brush down using Illamasqua Harsh polish which is a silver glitter. It’s really pretty as the glitter particles are little dashes rather than specks. I think it makes a great effect although it’s a bugger to get off!