Posts Tagged illamasqua
Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss
As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while. Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection. Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change. I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago. I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash. As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!! I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out. Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.
Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!). I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones. After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.
A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it. I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap. Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone?? I just wasn’t convinced. And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.
When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not. As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH). The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM! Compliments galore!! It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day). It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.
One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price. When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own. Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.
As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!
Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!! The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored. I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’). I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.
All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone. I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience :)
What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?
Transitional. Transitional? It’s a word, I checked, but I’m not sure I’m using it correctly….
ANYWHO. What I’m trying to say is, Illamasqua’s Cream Blusher in Crush, a gorgeous deep berry/wine, is the perfect shade to take you from a flushed, wintery look to a pretty, fresh pink look appropriate for spring. So, it can transition well between seasons. Ahhh, see what I’m sayin’??
Last month (which seems like AGES ago now), I was reading all about Amy’s hankering for a fabulously deep, rich-toned blush, and as you do when you’re a beauty fiend, I got it in my head that Crush was going to be THE dark berry I needed in my collection. Lo and behold, while scoping it out on the brands site, it turned out to be majorly on sale, as was a beautiful cool-toned fuchsia gloss called Divine (which I will review soon!), so I sucked it up and paid the shipping costs to buy the both of them. It ended up only costing me like $37CAD with tax and shipping, so I still saved a bunch (both the blush and sheer lipglosses are regularly $28CAD approx. and shipping $13 approx. on the site).
When my package arrived, I opened it to find delicious goodness – Crush was exactly what I was hoping for!
At first glance, this shade looks intense, I know. And truth be told, the first time I went to wear it, I was like WHOA! It can get pretty hardcore, as evidenced by the swatch below. However, as long as you remember that you only need the *tiniest* amount to get a full-on flush, you’ll be good to go. I tend to be heavy-handed with blush because a) half the time the shades I wear are better suited to fairer skin, and b) because I FRICKIN’ LOVE BLUSH and just want to smear it everywhere. In any case, I just can’t get all slap-happy with this blush, and the results you get from taking a bit more time to get it right make it all very worthwhile.
The consistency of the blush is soft, smooth and sort of gel-like – likely because of the inclusion of petroleum. I didn’t like the idea of that at first, but I have found that this hasn’t made my skin oily or clogged my pores at all, so no harm, no foul (it also contains fragrance, but so far it hasn’t caused me any grief, thankfully!). In fact, this blush wears terrifically, lasting all day at almost the same strength as when first applied, which I think is due to the way it melds and clings to the skin.
This is an intense shade, no doubt about it, but it can be sheered out beautifully – my application method goes something like this: after applying foundation, very lightly dab a stippling brush into the pan, then dot it along the cheek / cheekbone on both sides of the face. Go back and buff it out for the desired look, and then go over the edges to soften with your foundation brush. I also patted right over the blush with my foundation brush to make sure it looked as natural as possible.
Ahh, this blush is just so great!! Love, love, love. And see how it gives me a pinky tone? I think that with a slightly more concentrated application, it could look more wintery/windblown, but with it’s cream-gel texture and by keeping it more subtle, it is totally spring-appropriate too. The sheerness keeps it fresh and happy :)
Ingredients for your perusal!
If you’re in the market for a cream blush and/or a berry blush, I would start your hunt with Crush!!
Have you hit the jackpot on a sale item lately? Do you own a fabulous berry blush?
I spent two hours – TWO HOURS! – last night, researching what products and shades I should to order from Becca Cosmetics (a brand I’ve yet to try and desperately want to). My (totally logical – I swear!) reason for doing this? To avoid purchasing any shades that were similar to ones I already own. I DID come up with a (very) pared down list, you’ll be happy to hear; if you’re interested (and FYI – the blog Shades of BECCA is a good resource for some swatches):
Papaya Beach Tint $30CAD (hot red)
Fallen Angel Ultimate Color Gloss $29CAD (nude spice)
There were a handful of other products I liked the look of, but in checking out swatches, they seemed to be too close to items I already own (though, c’mon, the brand is gorgeous and I could have easily gone for one of everything!). Which brings me to the point.
You’re all familiar with my organizational obsession right? (and…if you’re new and not aware: Hello! My name is Latoya and YES, I have a problem which manifests itself into a bit of compulsive organization. Could be worse!) Anyway, another problem I have is lack of funds; when you own a home on your own and don’t make the big bucks, things can get tricky. However, I have ANOTHER problem (jeez, someone institutionalize me, will ya?), which is that I love shopping – for cosmetics in particular. Smash the three of these together and what do you get? Well…you get THIS:
What ‘THIS’ is, is me taking a good look at an area of my makeup collection – specifically blush/bronzers in this instance – and seeing where I have gaps. By gaps, I mean: what shades do I lack that I can justify buying, in order to round out my stash and also quell the burning desire to shop my face off. Ya dig? This fantabulous idea kills
three birds three mosquitoes (no one cares about those) with one big-ass swat. I get to organize something*, figure out what shades or products I’m missing, and rationally and systematically purchase new items that are on my wishlist and fit the ‘missing’ bill. BOOM!
*Seriously guys, I joke but….I really like organizing things. So much so, that near the end of the month I’m signing up for a Professional Organizers intro course to see if I’d like to become a professional organizer for realz. It’s THAT serious :S
So, as you can see, I’m starting with blush – because clearly blush is THE BEST EVER and deserves the number one spot for allowing EVEN MORE BLUSH. Because clearly 20 (+ 7 bronzer-type things and 2 mini-blush) are NOT ENOUGH.
(I swear I’m not on the sauce tonight guys – I just feel a little peppy ’cause I’m back into running and signed up for the Ottawa 1/2 Marathon in May…wooo! :D)
Even with 20+ blush, I can plainly see what shades I’m lacking: A bright red! (NARS Turkish Red is more of a burgundy) A true orange! (NARS Taj Mahal is kind of a burnt orange and quite shimmery) A neutral pink! (…I literally do not own one beige-y pink blush, for shame) A nice deep berry would be lovely! And also – varying formulations! I have NO cheek tints, and only four cream blush. You see, there actually ARE shades/formulas I do not have despite having far more blush than is probably necessary. And then, there are shades I need NO more of, like medium pinks…I have enough of those, yep. I don’t think I need any more bronzers, especially since I rarely wear them and I’m already kinda *ahem* bronze. I only really have a couple coral shades, which tends to be the one a lot of people go gaga for (myself included), but I’ll hold off till the warmer months on thinking about those right now. Same goes for apricot-hued shades.
Left to right (flash): NARS Desire, Illamasqua Unrequited (discontinued shade*), theBalm Down Boy, Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, Benefit Bella Bamba, Illamasqua Hussy, Bobbi Brown Calypso Coral, NARS Torrid, theBalm Hot Mama
Left to right (flash): NARS Laguna Illuminator, Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzing Powder, NARS Laguna Multiple, MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, Milani Sunset Duos in Sunset Beach, Clinique Bronze Uplighting, Estee Lauder Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands
What I’m wondering is, what gaps do YOU see? Since I only have my stash to compare it to, I can’t get a good idea of what I’m missing. What shades can you suggest that I should focus on buying?
I’m planning on doing this little experiment with all my makeup over the next little while, so be prepared: more lame examples of my organizational obsession coming your way! But do come back anyway, because I need your help :)
Is your makeup collection where you want it to be, or do you have a few gaps you’d like to fill?
Throughout my entire New Zealand trip*, I never purchased one cosmetic save for a mascara in the airport en route, so it was a nice end to my self-imposed purgatory to arrive home to three different holiday sets to play with. I was most excited to play with one of Illamasqua’s holiday Lip Twin Sets ($41CAD), which provide you with a matching gloss and lipstick to wear separately or together depending on your look that day. The set I received contained Obey, a pale peachy pink matte lipstick (reg. $29CAD), and Plentiful, a bright peachy pink gloss (reg. $27CAD).
*note: I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned New Zealand in every single post since I got back – forgive me, I’m just hanging on to those memories for dear life!
The two shades are very close, albeit Obey is lighter, and compliment each other exceptionally.
On a pale complexion, or perhaps someone lighter with less pigmented lips, these shades would be quite pretty. They veer into nude territory without being dead-looking, and the effect would be very flattering. However, because the two lip products are so pigment-rich, the paleness of the colors in their opaqueness do not work well on me.
If blended out as I’ve done here, Plentiful is a nice peachy shade that makes me think of spring. With the makeup I have on in the photo, it actually works well as a more nude-natural lip. The gloss is fairly thick however, and must be applied carefully to avoid it looking milky and obvious (at least on me).
Obey, on the other hand, washes me out completely. If I had a smokey eye here, it *might* work ok, but I would have to sheer it out to be comfortable with the shade. As well, due to the somewhat chalky nature of the color, you MUST have your lips in perfect condition – otherwise flakes and other issues are entirely apparent. I had exfoliated and hydrated my lips for a good hour before trying this again, with the same patchy results. Again, I think if your lips are less pigmented than mine (and you hair a more fair complexion), you could wear this shade well. I don’t think it’s a total no-go, just a complete NO-NO for me.
On top of the general shade issues of Obey, I discovered that the Illamasqua lipsticks contain lanolin, another no-no for me. The gloss also contains linalool and limonene, two potentially irritating ingredients I try to avoid, and both the lipstick and gloss contain fragrance. Neither appear to contain parabens, however. Here is the ingredient lists for both products:
Overall, I love the idea of the twin sets and I think Plentiful would be a gorgeous shade on the right person. I withhold making a full judgement on Obey until I see it on someone with the ‘right’ skin/lip tone, but have my reservations. Even the lip swatches on the Illamasqua site don’t make it look all that appealing. However, if you’re interested in the twin sets, there is another available on the website with the shades Sangers and Succubus, a rich blood red duo (and much more up my alley!).
What do you think of the lip twin sets? Would you wear a matching gloss on top of your lipstick? What lip shades do NOT work on you and why?
Products were sent by PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things. It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old. I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into. And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).
ANYWAY. Enough whining, and on with the show, right? Right. Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two. I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!
Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*
Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*
Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*
(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)
Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set
I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you? I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long). I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!
So – keep your eyes peeled! I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes! I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :) Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.
What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise? Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.
Illamasqua’s Generation Q: Creator Nail Varnish, Opulent Sheer Lipgloss, and Wisdom Precision Ink Review & Swatches
Even though the weather is still warm (though by no means as hot and humid as it has been!), and fall doesn’t officially start for like, 3 weeks, I’ve still jumped the gun and switched around all my makeup and nail polish to reflect cooler-weather shades. What can I say – I love change! :D
Helping me kickstart my shift into fall beauty are a few great key pieces from Illamasqua’s new fall/winter collection, Generation Q. I love the idea behind the collection, that beauty is ageless – particularly for someone who is just moving out of the ‘downtown party’ stage, I like to think that even though I’m not out every night dancing it up, that I can still wear fabulous makeup without feeling I’m now ‘too old’. Truth be told, it’s not something I think of too much – my mom is a perfect model of someone who still absolutely loves to have fun with makeup and manages to still look fabulous doing it!
The three pieces I have to show you today pretty much cover the bases for a great transition between seasons: an antiqued gold liquid liner (Precision Ink in Wisdom); a rainbow beige gloss (Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent); and a magical sparkling black nail polish (Nail Varnish in Creator). All three are crazy-wearable yet still edgy, which is my kind of makeup!
First, the glittering goodness that is Creator ($18CAD).
Creator is a black polish with small glitter particles heavily dispersed throughout. It dries with slight texture that is totally eradicated with topcoat – the addition of which brings out the shimmer that much more. As expected with Illamaqua polishes, this was easy-peasy to apply – easy flowing with good consistency, and you can almost get away with just one coat!
Just a quick comparison between this shade and Orly’s Goth as I’m sure some of you are wondering – and as you’ll see, they’re really apples to oranges.
Obviously, Creator is far superior!! While Goth is nice and shiny without topcoat, it doesn’t make up for the fact that it lacks the density of Creator’s glitter – which helps give the latter it’s fabulous sparkling quality. Add a topcoat to smooth it out and you’re good to go!
Next, we have the ultra-pretty Opulent gloss ($20CAD).
Opulent is a lovely sheer beige lipgloss with pearly multicolored shimmer. It’s wearable on it’s own, imparting a beautiful amped-up nude look to the lip, but it would also be fabulous layered over pretty much any other shade of lippie.
The texture of the shimmer is slightly gritty but only just so. It’s comfortable to wear with a touch of stickiness that helps it wear well for several hours. The only drawback I found to this gloss was the applicator, the bristles of which are somewhat stiff and don’t allow the brush to easily lay the gloss down on the lip. The brush was also slightly splayed from the get-go, so my technique is to use it merely to dab the gloss on my lip then blend with my finger or separate lip brush. Not ideal, but not a deal-breaker either!
I left my favorite product for last – the liquid liner in Wisdom ($34CAD)!
I have another Precision Ink liner, Havoc, which I also adore – liquid liner is my favorite style of liner, and these are some of the best. I find the pointed, sponge-tipped applicator terribly easy to use; if I’m having a particularly challenging day, I can even just hold the wand parallel to my lash line and dab it on and still get a great effect. These liners are also uber-waterproof, and won’t come off ’till you wash them off with remover or cleanser.
On top of the fabulosity of the formula, I mean – check out this shade, dudes! It’s soooo good :) I love that it’s the perfect mix of khaki and gold, which means it’s pretty much wearable all year round, seasonally speaking. And I’m pretty sure it’ll look terrific with every single eye color of life! Gah…I absolutely Love Love LOVE this liner!!!
Here’s a quick face I did using both the liner and lipgloss, and then just adding a touch of Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands on cheekbones:
What I love about these three products is how well they go together; and looking at the entire Generation Q collection, I find it exceptionally cohesive. I also enjoy that while the promotional images for the collection showcase vastly different and sometimes outrageous looks, the actual shades used aren’t hard to use and work for all skintones (and ages!). I feel that this is one of the most enticing fall collections for me – I want to pick up each and every single product in the launch! And I just might do so….but this is a good start, for now ;)
What pieces from Generation Q are you lemming?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.