In today's post I am going to talk about my four Illamasqua must-haves, that everyone (and their newborn puppy) should know about. We have a blush, primer, countouring stick and highlighter to go through, so without further ado, please keep on scrolling!
My Illamasqua journey started back in 2013. Let me tell you something about me a few years ago: I just got a masters degree plus my first job and in my free time I was pretty much going through a stage of being obsessed with makeup (a world I knew so little about before).
"Obsessed" is not a popular word in my vocabulary, but I guess I've reached my peak when I excused myself during a date, only to go to the nearest makeup store to get myself a few new limited-edition products I spotted on the way to the restaurant. And look, I had no shame in my eyes when I came back from the "powder room", holding a bag with 50$ worth of makeup in it.
These days I am much wiser when it comes to selecting both men and makeup - but one thing remained the same - I am still loyal to brands I have discovered early on. Illamasqua being one of them.
Hydra Veil Primer
In case you are on a hunt for a hydrating primer, Hydra Veil might be right up your makeup alley. If you are a friend to this blog (welcome back!), then you know my skin is as dry as a dehydrated lizard crawling across Sahara. As I got older, I have figured out how to battle texture with my AHAs and BHAs, however, there are times when I need a little extra help. I am a swimmer, so naturally my face is dunked in chlorine for 3-4 hours a week [minimum], which makes things even worse.
Whenever I feel like I am having one of those (potentially dry and flaky) skin days, I scoop out a pearl-sized amount of the primer and gently apply it on top of my moisturizer. This way Hydra Veil Primer will visibly smooth out any of the dry bits that I might have, as well as give me that extra slip for foundation and concealer to just glide on.
On a side note, this primer does contain Algae, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin and a lovely mix of natural plant extracts, which is a fabulous thing in my book; I love it when makeup products have actual skincare properties to them. There is no silicone here either, which is something I like; as much as I love a bit of Dimethicone in my pore-filling primers, I do prefer a watery consistency when it comes to hydrating my skin.
Now, having said that - this product's texture is a pure gel (which is why there is a mini "spoon" attached, in order for you to easily get the product out). However, as soon as you start working it in, it almost bursts into water giving you a lovely cooling sensation. Skin instantly feels refreshed and that extra bit hydrated. Makeup applies and blends so easily on top of it and there is no sticky residue or lumps of product left on the skin. No surprise that this is a primer often used on brides; since it is so lightweight and sets to a natural (not dewy) finish, I think it will work for nearly every skin type out there and will be mostly loved by those, who are on a drier side.
Contouring Gel Sculpt-Silhouette
If you are not into contouring, but still want to define features and naturally chisel your beautiful face, then Contouring Gel Sculpt-Silhouette might become your new BFF. I must have tried a ton of contouring products in my blogging years, but never anything even remotely similar to this little guy.
Essentially, this is a stick with semi-sheer, tinted gel in it. I probably don't make it sound that appealing, but hold your KKW horses! This is the best undetectable contouring product out there; one that makes me feel like I am creating or accentuating my actual bone structure, yet in a very discreet way. The trick here is to use it on your "no makeup" makeup days, preferably on top of a light-coverage foundation. This contour stick does mimic a look of a natural shadow really well and will also give you (similarly to the primer) a nice cooling sensation upon application. It does look quite dark in the tube, but make sure to check out my swatches below for a better idea.
My only concern is that Contouring Gel Sculpt-Silhouette only comes in one shade and I am not sure how it would translate on beauties with a deeper complexion. Hopefully Illamasqua will step up their game and diversify the shade range. Other than that - I love it!
This blush and I go way back when. Powder Blusher was actually my gateway drug into the world of Ilamasqua and even after a myriad of other brands I have tried in recent years, when I want a good matte blush, I go back to these bad boys.
It doesn't matter what shade you gravitate towards, the quality is pretty consistent. This formula is a touch powdery, but that also means that these are both: finely milled and uber pigmented at the same time. I typically use a stippling brush, something like this one by Sephora would do. Great thing about a duo-fiber brush is that it picks up the smallest amount of product and blends it to perfection to give you almost a sheer, air-brushed flush. Believe me, with Powder Blusher little goes a loooong way.
Two shades worth mentioning are: Naked Rose and Tremble. The latter one was unfortunately discontinued, but I will still swatch it for you at the end of this post. To keep it short - if you want a natural-looking blush with a skin-like finish - check these out. Good thing is that they will last you ages as you only need the smallest amount; Illamasqua blushes are very long-lasting. This kind of a matte formula doesn't accentuate dryness or texture either. In other words, a keeper!
This might be a very new product for me, but I am already in love with it! As I have mentioned earlier, my skin is pretty damn dry. So any product that can make me look like a bit more like JLo - gets a perminent residence in my makeup stash. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to Beyond Powder (aka "highlighter that will blind 'em haters").
Something, that makes it different from any other highlighter in my possession, is the fact that it is a "baked" highlighter. It looks like a golden cushion, does feel a touch dry to the touch, swatches merely do it any justice. But in real life - oh my word - it is one of the nicest formulas I have had a chance to play with.
Why you ask? It almost gives you a wet, silky smooth glow and does not accentuate pores, texture or even peach fuzz (no tea, no shade ABH). Beyond Powder can be applied dry or wet (the latter technique will certainly send messages to the moon and back) and you can easily wear it sheer or add more product to clap back at them trolls. Also - it does not look metallic.
There are a few shades to choose from and the one you see above is called Epic and it is (indeed) epic. Although it does look like a true gold on my photos, in reality I would say it has more of a rose gold tint to it. It is not a shade I would normally highlight my face with (having a light complexion I do prefer more of a pearl/light champagne colour), but now that I have a bit of tan, it complements my skin so beautifully. I actually find that it adds such an ethereal "bronzed goddess" touch to even the simplest makeup look. Epic will be perfect for those of you, who have a medium to deep complexion.
Please click on images to zoom in
Here are my raw images of Epic. I used natural lighting for both photographs, so that it is easier for you to see what these colours look like in real life.
No matter where in the World you live, if you are curious about a British-born Illamasqua and want to try something new from the brand today, check out Lookfantastic.com. Great thing about their website is that they offer international shipping and give 20% off all things Illamasqua at the moment. Don't forget to check out @lookfantasticus for more inspiration!
PR Samples and my own products; this review is not sponsored - full disclaimer here