Illamasqua Review – Part One

Illamasqua foundation

From L to R: Illamasqua under-eye concealer, foundation base & Nars primer

I’m new to knowing the Illamasqua brand of make-up. I first heard about it when the buzz hit make-up blogs about a new collection launching in September called ‘Generation Q’. The publicity was generated as they ran an open casting call for non-professional models to be the faces of the range. It’s a good choice on Ilamasqua’s part as a selection of people across different age ranges still stands out as a rarity within the cosmetics industry.

Last month they had an online sale, I decided to try out some of their sale and non-sale products. These were selected for a very specific make-up project I’m planning; the products under review may not be the colours/every day look that everyone would choose. The reviews will be based on ease of application, coverage and consistency and staying power.

As with all reviews on Imagination is spicy, these are solely my opinions based on personal experience.

To aid with the review I’ve made an outline of my skin type and facial skin tones.

Caro's skin tone swatch

Ilamasqua Skin Base Foundation- SB01 (Matte White)

The make-up look I aimed to achieve needed a matte white foundation. Having read previously that some people have experienced difficulties with Illamasqua’s foundations applied without a make-up primer, I had two Nars ones on hand (oil-free, pore-refining and multi-purpose SPF30). I split the application of primers to one half of my face each, to test for different reactions with the foundation.

Application: Having tried application by sponge, foundation brush and clean fingers; the smoothest application was by foundation brush. Once dotted on it blended well although compared to my usual foundation (Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation) it did need blending quickly in case of streak marks.

Coverage and Consistency: The base foundation was oilier than expected. This is where there were some problems; it rapidly sank into some pores, creating uneven coverage. It’s possible this could be avoided with a heavier duty silicon primer though. The overall coverage sat as an oily layer for fifteen minutes. On touching my face with clean finger tips, as a test, it smudged off. After thirty minutes the oiliness was absorbed. Further applications to build another layer resulted in some streak marks before powder coverage was applied and blended.

Staying power: An hour after the base foundation was applied it was looking patchy, having disappeared off my cheekbones and jawline whilst pores remained clogged on my cheeks.

Overall: Unfortunately, Illamasqua’s skin base foundation seems too oily a formulation for direct application to my skin. I have also tested this as a lightener by blending it with my usual foundation. Here it worked better; the foundations blended well, the oiliness was less but there was still some amount of pore clogging. Would I be tempted to buy another base foundation in this range? If the consistency is the same in all bases, no, I don’t think this product is best suited to my skin type. For the price, £25.00, I’d prefer to work with a full coverage foundation without additional layering products.

Illamasqua swatches

Illamasqua swatch samples: Under-eye concealer (L). Skin base (R).

Illamasqua Under-Eye Concealer in 105 (White)

To go along with the foundation I chose a matching under-eye concealer.

Application: I always use a brush for under-eye concealer, so I have only tested this method. I used the Nars multi-purpose primer first over my eye area. The concealer applied easily with only a small amount on the brush needed for blending purposes.

Coverage and Consistency: Again, this was oilier than expected given the solid matte look of the product. The coverage for blending was good but it sunk into fine lines rapidly. I didn’t really like the finish for this as it was too glossy-looking.

Staying power: I checked the concealer fifteen minutes after application and, apart from the remnants in fine lines, it had been absorbed.

Overall: As this item was priced at £5.00 in the sale, I wasn’t expecting a miraculous product but it’s fair to say I did think it would stay in place longer. For the purpose I bought it for it’s not really useful. As with the foundation base; I think this formulation is unsuited to my skin type.

In Part Two of this Illamasqua review I will be looking at cream and powder eyeshadows in the Complement and Liquid Metal palettes.

One thought on “Illamasqua Review – Part One

  1. Pingback: Illamasqua review – Part 2 « Imagination is spicy

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