Musings of a Muse

A Blog of Musings from a Cosmetic Whore

Aug 6, 2009

First Impressions: Illamasqua Eye Shadow Review and Swatches

Matte is a difficult medium to work with and not one I'm fond of. I admire those who can work with matte shades and create gorgeous looks because honestly I stink at it. If matte is your game you must be over the moon that Illamasqua has made it's way across the pond and now resides at and Sephora Times Square.

Jump ahead for my first impressions and review of a few Illamasqua Eye Shadows I got to test out this week!

I've read a few reviews comparing Illamasqua to MAC but for myself personally I think they are considerably different brands. Packaging, pigmentation, and price are a just a few things that set Illamasqua apart from MAC.

For the most part my adventures in Illamasqua Eye Shadow has so far been a tad on the disappointing side since I'm not a matte girl. The formula of the shadows is weak in pigmentation and a tad on the chalky side. I haven't applied on my eye as of yet but so far they prove difficult to blend just on my arm. The swatches I did take had to be built up with several swipes. I did take note that wet or applied with a base they seem brighter and more intense but without they aren't anywhere in the same vicinity as the pigmentation of a MAC eye shadow. Colors appear buildable which redeems the fact that at first swatch you aren't going to jump up and down in delight at how pigmented the eye shadow is. I tried two shadows out so far which were Moan and CanCan. Moan is an olive green and CanCan is a pretty violet.

I did enjoy the interesting, unique packaging. It's a square cut curved design that's quite chic. This is 2g of eyeshadow for $20 where as MAC is 1.5g and $14.50. Obviously, the design isn't only larger than a standard MAC shadow but it actually proves to hold more product. Remember looks can be deceiving sometimes and packaging can appear large but not contain a large amount of product but these prove to in fact hold a bit more shadow.

So far I can't say that Illamasqua would replace MAC for me. I expected more for the price tag and was a tad shocked I wasn't doing cartwheels around the room as it's been very hyped up by makeup lovers far and wide so I did think I'd fit right into that groove. I do have to try these on my eye before making my final decision. So far I'm not too impressed but I will reserve judgment as I plan on purchasing a few of the shimmer finishes for myself because my current review could be a bit bias since matte really isn't my medium of choice and I don't have the skills to work with it.

So far Illamasqua won't take over MAC for me as the price is higher and the pigmentation so far isn't nearly as up to par. But we shall see....I need to explore and test further. If matte is your finish of choice you'll be thrilled with a majority of the offerings from the line. In a sea of shadows dominated by various finishes, matte is a unique offering in the makeup world especially a collection of cosmetics that caters to such a finish.

Have you tried Illamasqua Eye Shadow?

Do you love them?

Tell the Muse!

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Anonymous Helena/LipGloss Bitch said...

Oh yes, got the poisonous green "Dare" and I love it!
The pigmentation is great and the colour is so vibrant. But I heard that not all the shadows are like that unfortunatly.

August 6, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger the Muse said...

lovely Helena!!!!!

I seen a few shadows that are richly pigmented and others like these two not so great...which makes me think I need a trip to sephora for a swatch-fest.

I was a tad disappointed. but really I'm bias b/c I'm such a shimmer girl and matte is so bloody difficult for me to work with ya know?

August 6, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Kaoru said...

Thanks for the review. I had been thinking of purchasing this brand's eyeshadow to try, but after hearing a number of people talk about how hard it is to blend, I don't know.

Still, CanCan looks like such a nice color...

August 6, 2009 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger the Muse said...

hey kaoru

Matte is always difficult to blend :( I'm hearing that it varies from color to color so I'm kinda looking forward to trying the shimmer ones :-D

If you like matte I imagine cancan will appeal for sure!

August 7, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Vivian here. I know those are expensive.. actually, do you know their pigments? I've seen swatches adn i think I have some dupes from online mineral makeup to that. I might as well just buy fyrinnae or aromaleigh mineral eye shadows and I bet they beat illamsqua out, price and quality. No offence to illamsqua, they're an innovative brand, but the price, hopesfully they won't end up like Vincent longo or Napoleon perdis. i wish them good luck ;)

August 7, 2009 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger the Muse said...

hi vivian!

Aromaleigh and fyrinnae def have some great stuff but sometimes we do have to remember these are higher ends products :-D so it's not really to be compared with mineral makeup in the long run. Many brands have an expensive price tag and don't end up diced :-D since Illmasqua has such a cult following already I imagine it'll do very well on US shores :D

August 18, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

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