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Wintery Holiday EOTD with Illamasqua Decadence Lashes

I love fabulous looking over the top lashes but I could never justify purchasing them because I could never imagine a situation where I would actually wear them. That’s when having a beauty blog comes in handy because it allows me to rationalise these type of purchases. I can just say ‘I’m buying it for my blog’ and then proceed to use whatever it is in a post and no longer feel guilty even if I only use it once. 

 
  
This is basically the thought process that was happening when I bought the Illamasqua Decadence lashes. They captured my heart the first time I saw them and the fact that they came in a pack with a Precision Ink in Abyss only served to sweeten the deal. I’ll save my review of the liquid liner for later though because I wanted to compare it with some of the others in my collection.
Look how beautiful these lashes are! I actually ordered the Opulence lashes which have the antique gold diamantes on them but this pair got delivered instead and I still love them so it’s all good. I wanted to try them with a look so I came up with an icy retro inspired holiday look using silver and blue.

 
I pulled out some products I’ve been neglecting. I used (from left to right) MAC Bare Study Paint Pot, Sugarpill Tako eyeshadow, Sugarpill Afterparty eyeshadow and Sugarpill Tiara loose pigment. The last two swatches are of the same product except the first is Sugarpill Tiara swatched dry and the last one is the same product swatched wet.

To get the look you need to:
1. Apply Urban Decay Primer Potion all over the lid
2. Apply MAC Bare Study Paint Pot all over the lid
3. Apply Sugarpill Tako eyeshadow on to the lid and around the tear duct and blend out the edges
4. Apply Sugarpill Tiara loose pigment wet to the lid and then pick up some of the same product dry on a blending brush to blend out the edges
5. You then need to use a very soft hand to apply some of the Sugarpill Afterparty eyeshadow into the crease so that the end result is a very soft cut crease.
6. Apply the Illamasqua Precision Ink liner in Abyss to the top lashline
7.  Apply Rimmel Kohl pencil liner in White to the water line and work it into the bottom lash line.
8. Finish up the look with a coat of Avon Supershock Mascara.

Here’s the same look as above with the Illamasqua Decadence Falsh lashes applied.

It’s a bit over the top but I think the effect is quite cool and would look awesome as part of a costume. I just don’t know how long you could wear them for because they are so heavy and uncomfortable to wear and I actually had a bit of trouble seeing since the diamantes start very close to the tear duct. They do photograph beautifully though and it was such an effort cutting down the images to the ones I’ve chosen to include.

I love how they almost look like delicate rain drops on the end of your lashes.

 
The lashes are quite fragile and I lost a diamante after this little photoshoot so they’ll be staying in the box for a while I think. By the way, the included lash glue is amazing! I think it’s actually better than Duo adhesive and I’ll probably end up purchasing a full bottle of it.
I purchased my set of lashes and liner from ASOS but it seems to have sod out there but you can still get the Decadence set from the Illamasqua website for £25.00 although that set comes with a different coloured liner.
What do you think of these lashes? Do you own a pair of fabulous lashes? If so, what look do you pair them with?
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Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

I’ve been wanting to check out Illamasqua’s Skin Base foundation since it came out so I decided to use my birthday last week as the perfect excuse to pick up some Illamasqua goodies. I’ll be posting some of the other items from my mini haul soon.

Illamasqua describes this foundation on their website as:
“The Ultimate ‘Skin Realism’ Foundation
Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.”

Most of the time a brands description of its own foundation is pretty spot on but I can’t help but feel that Illamasqua got it wrong with this one! I’ve never tried any Beauty Balms since their shade range is often very limited but the description by Illamasqua had me expecting a very fluid lightweight foundation. I was expecting something that would meld with my skin and be virtually undetectable but that’s not what I found.

First up, this foundation is not watery at all despite being water based. I thought the texture would be similar to MAC Face and Body foundation since it has a similar squeeze top but this is substanitally thicker. This is actually thicker than nearly all of my liquid foundations and when I squeeze this out on to my hand and then turn my hand over, this foundation doesn’t run like other liquids.

Illamasqua describes it as being ‘easy to blend’ but I found that the thick texture is a bit difficult to work with so I find myself using more of this than I usually would with other liquids (2 ‘pumps’ versus 1). I’ve tried applying it lots of different ways but have given up on brushes for this product. Even my trusty flat top kabuki from Sigma hasn’t worked since it seems to apply too much. I’ve found that the best application method is just to use my fingers to apply since the heat from my hands warms up the product and makes it more fluid.

The picture above shows my face without foundation on the left and with Skin Base on the right. I couldn’t get the picture any bigger so click if you want a closer look. This foundation covers really well as you can see but I feel like it’s too easy to get a heavy coverage with this foundation. This is fine if that’s what you’re after but I wasn’t and so I’ve been very frustrated with the fact that I haven’t been able to find a way to get a sheer application of this. This foundation is most definitely a medium to heavy coverage foundation so I’ve had to mix it with a moisturiser or very liquid foundation to get the applciation I want.

Despite the above issues, I don’t think the foundation feels heavy on the skin. It gives you a natural satin finish but it tends more towards the dry side. I would probably skip this if you have dry skin because I’ve noticed that it can pick up on dry patches and emphasise them. I have normal to combination skin and I find that my oily areas get oily after about 3 or 4 hours of wear but it isn’t too noticeable.

I purchased my foundation online so I used the comparison shade guides provided  by Illamasqua on their site which allows you to find your shade in Skin Base by comparing it to your shade in MAC or NARS foundations. My MAC foundation shade (NC42) was noted as requiring a mix of 2 Skin base shades (10 + 12) whereas my NARS match (Syracuse) was just noted as shade 12 so I decided to try my luck.
Shade 12 is an ok shade match but just slightly too orange. Just as a side note, I went to the Illamasqua counter the other day and the MUA told me she thought I was actually a shade 14 and was surprised I had bought shade 12. This happened to me at 3 different counters at David Jones the other day with MUA’s at different brands trying to convince me that foundations that were significantly darker than my skin when swatched on my hand were my right match since ‘your hand is different to your face’. Yeah I know except that my face is not 4 times darker than my arm so the result when applied to my face would still have been really bad! Uggh, can you tell I’m a little frustrated?? This is why I just colour match myself. 

Anyway sorry for the mini rant! Above is a swatch of Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in shade 12 swatched heavily and then rubbed in. Below is a shade comparison between (from left to right) Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in Shade 12, Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 153 and MAC Pro Longwear foundation in NC42. I would have included NARS Syracuse except I’ve run out.

In terms of this products HD properties… the only other ‘HD ready’ foundation I own is Make Up Forever’s and I love that one since it photographs fantastically in both natural light and direct flash. Skin Base foundation doesn’t contain SPF so the mask effect shouldn’t occur but I feel like, because the foundation has a heavier look, it isn’t my favourite for photos with direct flash. I, personally speaking, would skip this foundation for important events where I’ll be photographed and use it more as an everyday foundation. Below is a picture of me taken in natural light on the left and direct flash on the right.

While I don’t love this foundation, I also don’t hate it. My disappointment with this foundation comes more from having expected something similar to MAC Face and Body and receiving something more like MAC Studio Fix Fluid. If this had been marketed as a heavier coverage foundation I would have written a different review. My recommendation is to definitely try before you buy this foundation as it seems like people are split over how they feel about it.

Also, be warned that this product contains 30 ml of product so don’t expect a MAC Face and Body size bottle like I was or you’ll be sorely disappointed! This product will run you £25.00 on the Illamasqua website, $65 in Australia. It’s quite pricey in comparison with MAC foundations which will run you about $50 in Australia which is another reason I say try before you buy!

What are your thoughts on Skin Base? Have you purchased it or will you be purchasing it? Let me know below!

By the way,

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment swatches & EOTD

Illamasqua’s Ore Pure Pigment is one of the most beautiful pigments I’ve ever tried. I always describe it as sophisticated glitter which some of my more glitter-phobic friends tell me is an oxymoron but I think the description fits.

I love the little container it comes in but it took me so long to figure out how to open it! FYI, you need to basically get your nail under the lid and pop it open. Be careful though because, as a loose pigment, it tends to go everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE! I open this baby up and I can see a cloud of fine shimmer floating in the air.

 

The shade is a beautiful bronzey taupe which has red and green flecks running through it. It was love at first try for me when the Illamasqua MUA applied this over the gold eyeshadow I was already wearing.

I tried to swatch it but the beauty of this product is really hard to capture. It’s really metallic but is also such a rich and complex shade and it leans more cool or warm depending on the light it’s under.

You can also use this shadow applied wet but I don’t like the end result as I feel like it becomes one big metallic blob and loses some of its depth.

This last picture is blurry but it really picks up the reflective quality of this pigment.

I decided to try out a quick EOTD for you using Illamasqua Ore applied over Chanel Illusion D’Ombre in Illusoire. I took this picture a while ago and can’t remember exactly what I used but I’m assuming that I also applied some MAC Cork eyeshadow into the crease.

Even though it looks super shimmery in the pot, on the face the effect is really subtle and no one would ever look at you and think you were wearing glitter. I like to use it on its own on top of a cream shadow but I’ve also used it as a finishing touch to my bronze and gold EOTD’s with much success.

I purchased mine for $39 AU but it’s £15.50 from the Illamasqua site and $24 US from Sephora. I was on the online waiting list for this but it was taking so long to restock that I just went and bought it instore… only to get an email literally 3 hours later telling me it had restocked! Doh!
You get 0.04oz worth of product in the container versus 0.15oz in a MAC pigment which is a substantial difference considering they sell for the same price in Australia. At the end of the day, while I think the Illamasqua pigments should be cheaper for such a minimal amount of product, I don’t have issues with the size itself because I’ll never get through a whole container. I still recommend this shade and think it’s worth checking out.
What do you think of Illamsqua Ore? What’s your favourite way to apply it? Let me know below!


Liquid Liner Art for FunnyFace Beauty’s Dare to Wear Challenge #4

It’s Dare to Wear Challenge time over at FunnyFace Beauty and this time Alicia has picked liquid liner art as her challenge of choice. Many of the inspiration images are from Illamaqua’s Theatre of the Nameless collection and I can see why because they’re stunning. Then again, Illamasqua rarely fails to deliver beautifully gothic imagery with their collection releases.

When I first tried the look, I decided to just go for it and went the blocked out brows route but I looked so strange as my brows weren’t very expertly blocked out that I couldn’t bear to post the images. I’m sorry, next time I’ll take one for the team and show you my look with sadly blocked out eyebrows included. 😀
Now, I tried to capture the feel of the Illamasqua imagery when taking my pictures and well… I failed! Lol, this whole posing thing is much harder than it looks! I will no longer be an armchair judge when watching ANTM because now I can see why it’s so hard to get that perfect shot!
I didn’t go too creative with my look and pretty much used the Illamasqua image above as a template. Enjoy the awkwardness that is my face 😉

Lol I swear I don’t take myself too seriously even if the pics above indicate otherwise!

I don’t foresee myself walking around with this type of eyemakeup on or black lined lips but I did discover a new lipstick combo that I’ve fallen for. To get the colour I applied MAC Diva lipstick and then topped it with MAC Style Curve lipstick and the end result is this really pretty burgundy that I’m loving.

I realised after I’d finished that I forgot to add lashes so I popped on a pair on one of my eyes to show how they’d look. I decided to use a pair of lashes I was sent by KKCentreHK a while ago for consideration. The liquid liner I used was the Eyesweep Liquid Liner I was recently sent by MeMeMe Cosmetics and which I’ve been testing out. So far I’m really liking it.

 
The look is a little rough around the edges but really fun to do and I highly recommend a day of pulling out your liquid liner and just going nuts all over your face. I think there’s still time to send in a look to Alicia so get lining! Just make sure no one sees you with it on or they may start to worry about you like my mum did when she walked in and saw me…

There’s no way you’ll look ill with Illamasqua Powder blushes!

Pavlov’s dog may have salivated at the sound of a ringing bell but I have a similar reaction whenever I see the postal truck arrive. For anyone who does alot of online shopping, you’ll be all too familiar with that feeling of anticipation and excitement that seeing the delivery truck brings and the possibility that it’s carrying whatever products you just had to have and have waited so patiently (or not so patiently) for.

That’s exactly the way I felt today when I saw the postie arrive and was delighted to see that he came bearing my much anticipated Illamasqua haul! Just as a quick FYI, I discovered quite conveniently a few weeks before my birthday that if you register with the Illamsqua website and include your birthday they email you a 15% off coupon code for orders placed the week before and after your birthday. I thought I’d make use of this code and excitedly placed an order for 5 blushes and then promptly forgot to include the code and placed my order. Doh!

It’s ok though because my rationalisation was that it still worked out cheaper than buying it in Australia so really I saved money… yes, I know I’m deluding myself but hey, it was my birthday present to myself ok? Just as a quick side note for any Aussies that are interested, I believe the blushes are selling for $42AUD in Myer so that would have equated to $210 but I paid $145.48 AUD (without the discount)on the website and that included shipping. I ordered on the 27th of November, my order was dispatched on the 29th of November and I received it on the 9th of December which is quite a reasonable length of time for shipping considering it came from the UK.

Anyway, back to the review. First off can I just say that I was so happy that the order came packaged nicely in a black cardboard box and that the items were placed nicely inside. They also included an Illamsqua catalogue and it’s so pretty that I’m going to hang on to it. It’s printed on really high quality paper and has gorgeous images inside. Here are some pics:

I’m going through a major bright makeup phase and especially bright blushes which is why I purchased the colours Tweak (pink/red), Excite (vibrant coral), Panic (cherry red), Sin (deep violet) and Thrust (magenta). Here’s swatches of the blushes. My flash has bleached the intensity but the colours are quite true to life.

Let me say that I love NARS blushes but I have to admit that Illamasqua seems to have them beat in the pigmentation department because these blushes are crazy pigmented! I have to be so careful when applying these because you can go from zero to crazy clown looking with one swipe of a blush brush. The intensity and vibrancy of these blushes makes them absolutely perfect for women of colour and I think that all of the colours I have swatched would look amazing on really deep skin tones. For those of lighter complexions, you can still rock these colours but just be super careful with application or go for the more muted blushes that Illamaqua offer.

I can’t make any observations on how long these last because I pretty much went from having these delivered at my house to do doing swatches and posting about them in the space of an hour but I’ll update later. The Illamasqua blushes are 4.5g versus NARS at 4.8g but considering the Illamasqua blushes go for $42 in Australia and the NARS blushes go for $62 in Australia you might want to consider going for the Illamasqua blushes. They feel really smooth to the touch and they seem to blend quite well and seriously a little goes a long, long way so one blush will last you forever!

When I was placing my order on the Illamasqua website I pretty much relied on the colour descriptions on the Sephora site when choosing what colours to buy. I had an idea in my head of what I thought each colour would be similar to but none of the blushes I purchased have a dupe in my collection.

I thought the blush in Thrust would be similar to Smashbox Radiance blush or the MUFE HD blush in Truth or Dare but it’s deeper than both of them and has a noticeable amount of purple in it. The MUFE blush is a blue based pink and the Smashbox blush is quite a clean, fresh pink.

I was worried after putting my order through that either Panic or Tweak would be a dupe for NARS Exhibit A but Tweak is an unusual red colour which has a pink almost fluro tone. Panic is definitely red whereas NARS Exhibit A has an orange tone to it which I never noticed that much until putting it up against such a true red shade like Panic.

While Excite is not an exact dupe for MUFE HD blush in First Kiss, it is really close. Excite is brighter but I don’t think the difference is very noticeable when you wear this on your cheeks.

I was thinking that I may have made a mistake by ordering both Sin and Thrust as they both seemed very purple but they are definitely two different colours. Sin is a straight up purple while Thrust is a pinky purple. I don’t have any dupes or remotely similar colours to Sin which is why I chose it. I wanted a purple blush that I could wear with my Up the Amp lipstick and any other purple based lip products.

Phew! We have finally reached the end of this mammoth post and I applaud you for sticking with it! Hopefully this post was useful to you and helps you in your decisions over which Illamasqua blush is right for you or if you even need to add these blushes to your collection. If I have inadvertently created a lemming then I apologise but I promise you won’t regret the purchase if you decide to take the plunge!