I've been thinking about this for a while and I can't go on.
I want to like, no LOVE Illamasqua. They are everything I believe in, their colour range is amazing and their packaging is beautiful. I want to love them.
But I can't. I have a range of products from their ranges and I only really like 1 of them. That's the Medium Pencil in Sophie. It really is a great black eye pencil.
The other products I own (2 cream eyeshadows, Skin Base foundation, Liquid metal, 2 powder eyeshadows and Precision Ink) vary in terms of how much I like them or they feel good to me. It breaks down as follows:
Cream Eyeshadows: I bought 2 of these in the sale in January, for £5 each. I have Wail (a beautiful pale, lilac grey) and Debauch (a rich, purple burgundy). I cannot make these work. Even when used over primer, and set with powder shadow, allowed to dry, these do no stay put. No matter how much I try, these beautiful colours end up creased or gathering around the base of my lashes. And in my eyes. Which is no good as a contact lens wearer. I don't even have oily eyelids. They are actually quite dry.
Liquid Metal: Pretty much the same thing happens with this. I have Surge, which is the most divine warm pewter shade. I really wish it didn't slide right down my lids into my eyelashes. It does work OK as a highlighter, but it never dries down and threatens to remove my mascara every time I blink.
Precision Ink: I have Abyss. Which is a gorgeous, glossy black. The only problem is that this feels like applying a line of liquid plastic to my lash line and again, it ends up IN my eyes. It clumps in my lashes and when it comes to removing it, it flakes into rubbery balls, again ending up IN my eyes. And not all of it comes off. It is a pain in the arse to remove.
Skin Base: I love this foundation. The texture is beautiful, the coverage impeccable. The shade range was amazing to start with, and I guess is even better now there are new shades added. How I wish that I could use this foundation. But it contains that most evil of all ingredients: Mineral Oil. Mineral Oil makes my cystic acne return with a vengeance, leaving me with raised, sore red bumps. My skin and oil based foundations don't get on that well, but I reckon it would be fine with this, if only the oil came from some form of nut or seed (just not cocoa or Shea butter, they aren't much better than the mineral stuff). Jojoba oil is light and good for all skin types, why cheap out and use horrible horrible mineral oil? It isn't a cheap product.
Powder Eyeshadows: These fair a little better in my estimations. The colour range is really good, and for matte shadows they apply really really well. I have Stalk and Intense and I do like them. I just find that the pigment blends out a little too much and it is hard to layer. Hence they sit largely untouched in the back of my make up drawers, waiting for the days when I have the patience to play with them.
Now, I appreciate that with the cream eyeshadows, and the liquid metal I might be doing something wrong in the application, or there might be a neat trick to it that I'm missing. If so, please please please enlighten me! As I said, I really really want to love this brand. I don't want to look at their colour range and think "oooooo yes" but then remember with a heavy heart that the formula just isn't up to scratch. Please please help me on this.
There isn't anything anyone can do about the Skin Base issue unless Illamasqua decides to change the formula to a non paraffin oil based one, so I think this is destined to be that foundation that is perfect except for one tiny detail, and in this case its a biggy.
I'm not even sure that much can be done about the liquid liner - I hated MAC's Liquidlast range for the same reason, the plasticky finish. I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, which is a shame because I wanted to try Glister and the new shade coming in the Autumn. But it is not to be.
I will continue to ogle the beautiful faces that the Illamasqua team create, and I will continue to lust over the pretty colours, but I don't think I'll be opening my wallet again, even at sale time.
Can you help me love Illamasqua? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.