Days 9 and 10 brought Vintage Metallix in Courtier and Sheer Lipgloss in Exquisite from Illamasqua’s Once collection. These have been out since August 2014 as an Autumn (Fall) product launch, but I’ve been waiting to try them as I just loved the look of the colours.
Vintage Metallix in Courtier: This is a metallic, pink-toned, nude in a cream-gel formulation. I use cream eye shadows sparingly in general, as they aren’t always that beneficial in effect on a mature skin, being prone to collecting in creases and wrinkles. The texture of this one is a little odd, it’s a lot oilier than other matte creams I use and on first application what I mostly got was an uneven spread of the metallic shimmer particles rather than a solid nude colour. (The arm swatch photo further down shows three layers I applied with a foundation brush)
Applied to the eyelid in built-up layers; unfortunately I have to say it’s not great on me. It gives a bit too much of an unflattering wet, shimmery look that exaggerates any eye creases. The colour is good, once it is layered on and it’s a lovely shade but another disadvantage is that it doesn’t stay on for long, even over a base shadow and the Urban Decay eye primer I use. It wore off after about three hours wear, leaving just a small amount of the metallic particles.
However, I have found a way to use this eye cream that avoids a crepe-y look and does last longer: use it as an eyeliner. This does need sealing gel or other silicon product safe for eye area use. Scooping a small amount out of the pot, mixing it with sealing gel on the back of the hand and then applying to upper or lower lash lines with an eyeliner brush has given a much better brightening effect to my eyes and stays in place for about six hours. It gives just a light sparkle without it getting in creases or fading out quickly and goes well with the colours of the Urban Decay Nude Basics palette I reviewed earlier.
Sheer Lipgloss in Exquisite: Another pink-toned product – Exquisite is a nudish pink/gold gloss that actually smells a bit like bubblegum in the tube. If you’ve never tried Illamasqua lip glosses before; they are quite thick and super sticky so if you dislike that kind of texture on your lips it’s not the one to go for. For a special night out rather than everyday wear I don’t mind, but, as with all high shine glosses if you want to drink you need a straw to avoid transfer and it will wear off more quickly if you eat or rub/press your lips together.
Again, it’s a really pretty shade with light tones and sparkle. I didn’t find it that sheer on first application and it’s not as unflattering as you might think when its in the tube. I blocked my lips with foundation first, then used Lipstick Queen’s Invisible Liner to prevent feathering. Exquisite is not difficult to apply, but does need some careful brush strokes to ensure an even application. I found it lasted for about an hour and a half at full intensity and then started to wear off, leaving a faint blush of colour and sparkle after three hours, but as it is winter I do have dry lips at the moment and that probably made it wear off faster. If a base, moisturising, lipstick were applied first I think it could have a longer wear time.
Overall: Both products are lovely shades, can be used to flattering effect and I will be using them over the festive season, but they aren’t super long-lasting like some other Illamasqua products I’ve tried. For evening wear this may not be a huge issue if you’re re-applying touch ups; for daytime wear the Exquisite lipgloss definitely won’t stay in place for a full working day as I’ve tried it, although the Vintage Metallix in Courtier definitely will wear for longer with a sealing gel or other silicon-based fixative.