illamasqua Makeup Reviews
Illamasqua "To Be Alive" | Shine Lipgloss in IridesceWednesday, April 29, 2015
Illamasqua. A brand I was so unbelievably hyped up about when they first launched many, many moons ago. Their bold, brash colour...
A brand I was so unbelievably hyped up about when they first launched many, many moons ago. Their bold, brash colours and the tagline "Unleash your Alter Ego" appealed to everything I wanted to be. I'm a huge fan of the teal 'Apocalips' lipstick and their 'Infinity' Precision Gel Liner, not to mention their equally beautiful cream blushers.
However last year saw me turn away from Illamasqua. It felt like they were turning their back on everything they knew and chasing those neutrals. Let me be clear, there's nothing wrong with neutrals, but when everyone has their own line packed full of them, they become pretty tedious, pretty fast. So naturally, I lost interest in Illamasqua thinking I'd lost them for good.
And then I saw the delightful Sheenie Sheikh post photos on Instagram of their exciting new collection 'To Be Alive', and my heart began to beat just a little faster - could it be the Illamasqua of old was returning? A bold blue lipstick, a multi-dimensional blue nail polish, an intensely coloured eyeshadow palette and last but most definitely not least, the jewel of the collection - an iridescent lipgloss!!
It was like I'd died and gone to heaven, truly. Illasmasqua were back. And maybe there's something in the name actually, maybe Illamasqua realised the error of their 2014 ways and wanted to announce to the faithful that they had returned, like a phoenix from the eyeshadow palette (or something or other!). They were Alive!
The lovely (and generous) Safiyah kindly sent over the new Shine Lipgloss in Iridesce to me, along with the Prismatic Nail Varnish - I'm just itching to get that on my nails - but when I saw that Iridesce, my eyes lit up. It just looks so stunning in the tube, I quite literally screamed when I first laid eyes upon it!
I'll have to admit here, that I'm not a big fan of lipgloss. I've always felt there's so much more that could be done with them, other than add a little bit of shine, and besides it's all about the mattes for me. But an iridescent lipgloss promises to deliver that little bit extra, to add something to my look and that's what I've always been waiting for. It just has to be mine, and now it is. *evil cackle*
Swatching it reveals a clear lipgloss with tiny little flecks of blue iridescent glitter held within, I was even more excited now! I applied it ontop of my purple lipstick, but it didn't really show. Only when I stood beneath fluorescent lighting could I see little flashes of those tiny blue flecks peering through. Honestly, I was so disappointed. For something that looked so good, I genuinely thought: "What is this shit?"
So I slept on it, let myself cool off after such an almighty disappointment and decided I'd try to apply it over my Lime Crime Velvetine in Black Velvet the next day. WOW. The iridescence was no longer being shy and meekly peeking through. It was positively loud, proud and leaping through, showing it's true beauty!
Illamasqua's promotional material says this stuff glides right onto the lips, which is correct, but I have to say the brush that it comes with is dreadful. For starters, it's far too stiff for a lipgloss brush and secondly it's tapered. I've no idea what the thinking behind this was, it's just problematic all round. A doe-foot applicator or a softer, more fanned out brush would work much better. The stiffness tends to take your lipstick along with it, so I just applied Iridesce on to my own lip brush and applied it that way.
From a distance my lips look piano black with hints of blue, but it's up close where the magic comes to life. Overall, I'm fairly happy with Iridesce. It's definitely a step back in the right direction from Illamasqua, but the execution is lacking a little. On normal coloured lipsticks, it's difficult to notice and borderline impossible to photograph. Inglot's AMC 541 alternative is far superior, showing up on almost any colour.
That being said, Illamasqua are back doing what they do best. The blue lipstick in the 'To Be Alive' looks vibrant, bold and brave, just like it should be. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out again for Illamasqua's future collections, hoping that the colour will keep on coming. 'To Be Alive' is out in the UK on 1st May, and I'll see you there in the queue, elbowing people out of the way to make sure I get my paws on that blue lipstick!