When Illamasqua had a 15% off sale last month, I finally had to give in a pick up a few items. At the least, I knew I wanted to get a blush and a nail polish, as they’re both so highly regarded in the beauty world and I wanted to be in on that fun! I picked up Tweak, a ‘deep hot pink’ blush with a matte finish – I’m loving bright, bold color for cheeks lately – and after looking at a few swatches of polishes online, I settled on Baptiste, a ‘deep royal purple’ polish with a fine shimmer finish. It’s not an extraordinarily unique shade, but somehow I don’t have anything like it so it seemed like a good choice. For good measure, I also bought Havoc, part of this seasons’ ‘Theatre of the Nameless‘ collection – an aubergine liquid liner that is sorta brown, sorta burgundy, and all kinds of awesome.
These three li’l items have TOTALLY been rocking my world the past few days. I can’t recall being this happy about a haul for a while; every piece I purchased is absolutely amazing. Let’s go through each one by one so as not to miss anything!
Illamasqua Tweak Powder Blush
Tweak is a majorly pigmented fuschia blush that leans more warm than cool, noticeably when compared to the other hot pink I have in my stash, MAC’s Madly Magenta. As such, it looks much more natural and flattering on me than MM (though I still dig that color too!), and packs a serious punch with very little product. The powder is soft and picks up easily on my blush brush, and a light dusting leaves me with flushed cheeks that definitely demand attention – I don’t know if I’d be comfortable wearing a whole lot of other makeup with this blush for fear of overdoing it. However, I’ve seen photos of celebs rocking the bright cheeks and smoky eyes or strong lips together, so I’m sure it can be done – it just needs to be applied correctly!
Wear of this product was beyond any other blush I own, hands down. It was still going strong after a full day at the office and an hour cat nap afterward – that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Majorly impressive. It retails for $26.50CDN.
Illamasqua Baptiste Nail Varnish
Baptiste ($22CDN for Illamasqua varnish) is a lovely violet polish with a hint of shimmer, that isn’t too apparent in regular lighting, but comes to life in the sunshine, with flecks of hot pink and blue throughout (click on the pics below to view the multicolored shimmer better). Even though I can get a tad irritated with these ‘hidden shimmers’ that a lot of polishes have lately (because ummm…we just don’t have enough sun here in Hali to showcase it properly – and also, c’mon, I work in an office!), I’m enjoying the color of Baptiste so much in this instance that I’ll be forgiving this time around.
And now, a million (give or take) photos:And ok, the application for this polish? Pure pleasure. The two coats flowed more easily than any other polish I own, I’m fairly certain. Absolutely no issues at all – it didn’t dry so fast that it pulled or caused patchiness, but it didn’t take so long to dry that it smudged at all, despite my easily distracted brain. And note: in these photos, there is neither base nor top coat. I really wanted to put it to the test due to hearing so many rave reviews about the formula, and so far I’m extremely pleased. The most minor of tip wear after four days, and I suspect it could have gone a full week with just the same if I hadn’t gotten adventurous and done this:
As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of nail art of any kind, but I was feeling creative this week (Halifax Pop Explosion, what!?) and thought this would be appropriate for rocking out at a bunch of shows. I’m actually liking the effect quite a bit, what do you think?
One thing I will say is that after doing the half-moon, I did apply a top coat and I love the intensity of Baptiste with a glossy top coat on top – brings out its gorgeousness so much more!! Love, love, love it.
Illamasqua Havoc Precision Ink Eyeliner
New favorite liner! Perfect color – not brown, not black, more of a dark brick red – and it totally offsets my brown eyes.It applies SO easily, slicking on with hardly an effort for a liquid liner, and DOES. NOT. BUDGE. Like, holy smokes this liner didn’t move an inch all freakin’ day (again, even after my power snooze!). Check out the proof in these photos taken after wearing the liner for almost 12 hours and after a nap:Yowwwww. How’s THAT for staying power! Looks like I just applied it! And note – this is with absolutely no primer or anything else on my eyes to enhance the wear – what you see is the liner worn entirely by itself. It’s not at all cheap at about $27.50CDN (does it seem weird to anyone else that it’s [a tad] more than the blush??), but considering that everything else about this liner is a major pro, I think it’s extremely worth the cost.
For my first foray into the dark and sensual world of Illamasqua, it was quite the experience and (unfortunately) they have made a serious convert outta me. It’s a real problem that we can’t get the brand here in Canada, because the shipping costs and the higher price tag of the product causes it to be quite prohibitive to purchase for all of us North of the border. If you’re living in Canada (or elsewhere that doesn’t have Illamasqua), and a beauty aficionado like myself, I say give in and go for it at least once, just to check out the line – from what I’ve seen so far, it’s SO worth a temporary dent in your bank account. Otherwise, I’d say keep it on the mental backburner for now – but if you’re in the States anytime soon (or somewhere where they sell the brand, ya lucky dogs!), high-tail it to a Sephora/Selfridges/Debenhams/etc. and check it out!! You won’t be disappointed