illamasqua makeup
Fact one: I have a love affair with Illamasqua. Fact two: I haven’t worn makeup for over a month (while recovering from eye surgery).

With the all clear on cosmetic application and a birthday party rolling ’round, it only seemed sensible to pop into the Victoria Quarter’s Illamasqua store in Leeds for a play.

After being taken upstairs to their ever-so-glamorous makeover room, my appointed MUA – Charli Butterfield (Charlixo, to fellow Instagrammers) – got straight on to stealing my heart with ‘holy grail’ recommendations and her general loveliness.

Over the hour, we harped on about tattoos, the magic of Illamasqua’s Furore pigment (used in the finished look), our shared girlcrush on Alex Box, and the woes of looking ten years younger than you actually are.

When the final look was revealed, I made a personal vow to return to her chair for every and any big event ahead. Then took an unreasonable number of selfies.

Every time, Illamasqua. Every time. :’)

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illamasqua makeup
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illamasqua
Matte lovers, hide your wallets: it’s time to review Illamasqua‘s Summer 2014 releases.

Velvet Blusher in Flirtatious

Once again, Illamasqua’s velvet wonders tug at my blush-hating heartstrings with new shade, Flirtatious. This peachy pink is a perfect match for pale skin (potentially too sheer for medium-dark skin tones) and offers a demi-matte, long-wearing finish.

Matte Veil

Since the Hydra Veil’s release, Illamasqua junkies have begged for the arrival of this product. Now – with an unusual number of scorching days on the horizen – this exceptional matte primer’s unveil is making a lot of women very happy. As I prefer to use primers with my hands, I adore that the Matte Veil pot comes with a hygiene spoon on the inner cap. A small scoop of the light and water-based primer  keeps your make-up in place throughout the day and breaks down the oil in your skin without drying it out.

Skin Base Mixer

While the skin base mixers are available exclusively at Illamasqua counters, they are worth the trip out of the house. The Mixers are colour correction cosmetics at their finest. On offer, we have White (a badass highlight), Amber (excellent to counteract redness), Terracotta (warmth in a tube), and Chesnut (a heavy and long-lasting contour). As the cherry on top, even the tiniest brushstroke of product goes a very long way. Swatches below.

Matte Lip Liquid

I couldn’t imagine these formulas budging even if you had the sweatiest lips in the world (side note: poor you). While liquid lipsticks are renowned for drying uncomfortably, Matte Lip Liquids dry to a ‘moisturised lips’ feel in no time at all. Then stick around through smooches, cocktails, et al. I mean, bravo. Currently, you can get your hands on Surrender (a warm peach), Exotic (a deep, vivid orange), and Forbidden (a sensual violet-pink that looks incredible on dark skin tones). Swatches below.

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illamasqua glamore
You guys know I love Illamasqua. Each collection is like an aesthetic holiday for my brain, and the Glamore collection is no exception.

Having played around with four of the products for some time now, I am review ready.

The Nail Varnishes

I am not a ‘nail girl’ by any stretch of the imagination, but these chip-resistant micro glitters (meaning instead of just throwing some glitter in an existing varnish – something a lot of brands do – you are painting actual glitter onto your nails) are amazing. I have been wearing Trilliant (a very pale silver/pink) all week with Marquise (a gold-flecked coral) as an accent nail. Though they haven’t budged, they are really easy to remove if you soak the nail in remover for a few seconds.

The Lipsticks

My bread and butter. As the campaign imagery shows, they have released three colours that suit every skin tone you could imagine. Luster is a Barbie-looking pink and garish until you get it on the lips. Because of a rather blue undertone, it actually warms up the skin and stays on the wearable side of becoming too pink. Soaked – on the other hand – is a deliciously bright coral red. Behold, M’Orange wearers…this is the orange obsession you’ve been dreaming of.

I wouldn’t call the texture of the lipsticks moisturising but I am really pleased with how comfortable they are to wear. They also get brownie points for fading into a stain rather than peeling and smudging as so many other lippies do.

Thankfully, I’ve been given the heads up that Illamasqua plan to develop a full, non-limited edition collection of Glamore lipsticks for release later this year. Time for a make-up bag clearout to prepare.

Tip: I’ve been putting Luster on my top lip, Soaked on my bottom, and rubbing them together quickly to make a gorgeous burnt pink colour.

illamasqua glamore
illamasqua glamore
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illamasqua sacred hour
The Sacred Hour: I can’t remember the last time I got so excited about a make-up collection. (Then again, this is Illamasqua. I should have expected it, eh?)

As you can see, both the products and campaign imagery are absolutely stunning. Inspired by two pivotal times of day – dusk and dawn – The Sacred Hour collection has been dreamed up to capture the celestial beauty in those “spiritual hours of empowerment” (Alex Box’s words).

The epitome of dusk, for me, is best executed with their new nail polish in Hemlock (a pale opal green), which has a beautiful nude iridescence. That and their new eye shadow palette, Reflection, which features features Precipice (a soft lemon), Acute (an ash taupe), Graphica (a graphite grey) and Dart (a toasted bronze) in a creamy and brightening formula which shimmers without being glitter-heavy.

For colour lovers, Illamasqua have also released a deep red/violet matte lipstick called Shard and a dusky coral cream to powder ‘Velvet blusher’ called Sleek which, thanks to mineral mica, is extremely long-lasting.

For make-up artists and playful preeners, the most exciting releases follow the ‘best til last’ rule. Firstly, new va-va-voom false eyelashes in Lush (though they are super voluminous, they are actually feathered at the bottom which helps blend them in to your natural lashes) and secondly, their Skin Base Lift in White Light. Though these concealers all have skin-lifting peach tones, the white acts as a hyper brightener when used under your normal concealer. Like light in a tub.

The Sacred Hour launches exclusively in Selfridges today (August 9th) and will be available to purchase on Illamasqua.com and in stand-alone Illamasqua stores from August 19th.

(Not pictured: Velvet blusher in Peaked and Nail Varnish in Facet.)

illamasqua dawn spirit
illamasqua dusk warrior

neon heels 1
As much as I adore my digital SLR, the iMac “Photo Booth” has a peculiar draw to it when it comes to snapping a quick picture. Thus, what you’re reading right now is a webcammed outfit post.

I wore this neon heel-injected housewife ensemble to a few meetings earlier in the week. After kissing my bubbaroos goodbye (see below), of course.

Shop The Look: Neon green heels (Nelly.com), orange tweed skirt (Jaeger), black shoulder-padded dress worn as a top (vintage), and “Liable” red lipstick (Illamasqua).
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