Sunday Swatches: Illamasqua Dusk Collection

Sunday 26 July 2015

Following my last post featuring my Eid Makeup Look which used the new Illamasqua collection, it's only right I follow up with a review and swatches post to show you just how awesome this collection is!
Dusk Collection (minus the Illustrator Pen)
Dusk is inspired by the middle east and the art of skin sculpting and contouring; I love how the shades in this collection compliment medium/warmer skintones perfectly, (but can equally be worn by fairer and deeper tones too). 

My first impressions were of course surprise and adoration; firstly at the wearability of this collection for my own skintone and secondly the new products I'd never seen before by Illamasqua - the Slick Sticks and the Sculpting Palette. I'm used to their colouring pencils and the quad palettes so this was new territory for me and I couldn't wait to dig in.

Sculpting Palette
top: with flash; bottom: natural daylight
L-R: Rush, Cirrus, Heroine, Nimbus, Steal, Create
I had to review the star of the show first - the Sculpting Palette.
It boasts 6 super pigmented powder contour and highlight shades (5 matte, 1 shimmer).. a very light handed single swipe is all that's needed to get full in depth colour.
I was a bit dubious about the one shimmer highlight shade as it looked quite dark in the pan, but it translates into a much lighter champagne gold which I absolutely adore on my skin and have received compliments on wearing it!
top: swatches with flash; bottom: swatches without flash
L-R: Rush, Cirrus, Heroine, Nimbus, Steal, Create
Colour/Shades: The palette contains a few anomaly shades you don't really see in most of the usual contour kits going around these days; the ominous grey looks daunting at first but I tend to use it either to build depth to my cheekbones with the other browny contour shades, or ever so lightly around my nose to give more shadow to the parts I want to push in. I do however like the rest of the shades and was pleasantly surprised how the shimmer highlight translated on my skin much more beautifully than expected.
Pigmentation: Even though the packaging is different, the quality of product remains the same high pigmentation that Illamasqua deliver, if not better than the usual Quads and with a smoother finish.
Price: At £44, it's £5 more than the famous ABH Powder Contour Kit; however I have to say the pigmentation on this is so worth the money as a little goes a looooong way; I apply my makeup very lightly generally and this Sculpting Palette I go even lighter handed with, which means this will last me forever!

FrootiFactor: I can't fault this palette at all, it ticks all the contouring boxes and more; it's worth the splurge for me as a makeup artist as I know it will be better value for money in my kit, therefore it gets a full 5:

Limited Edition Powder Blusher & Lipstick 
Powder Blusher in "Cherish"
Lipstick in "Born"
The next product I was excited about was this gorgeous peachy-apricot Powder Blusher in "Cherish" and then the nude-rose Lipstick in "Born" (both limited edition).
Colour/Shades: On first swatch I thought the Cherish blush was too pastel-y for my skintone (visible at the top of the blusher swatch); it seemed like it would be something for fairer skintones, but on blending it further, it turned into a beautiful peachy apricot shade (bottom of the swatch) which warmed up my skintone, giving a flush of colour. I love the golden flecks in the blush too; they don't translate onto the skin garishly at all.
The Born lipstick looked as though it would be too light for me on first impressions in the bullet, however it translates a nicer warmer colour on my arm; it was however slightly colder on my dark pigmented lips as in the previous blog post.
Pigmentation: As always, both the blush and the lipstick are intensely pigmented.

Texture: The blush has a slightly drier/powdery texture which I imagine is because of the Rice Starch ingredient, however it does serve well to apply smoothly.
The lipstick, although matte in finish, it does not feel too drying on the lips alone; I wore the lipstick with the slick stick underneath for my previous look and felt it was too drying with the combination.
Price: Though these products are limited edition, they remain the same price as a normal blusher (£22) and lipstick (£19.50).

FrootiFactor: I love this "Cherish" powder blusher now that I've figured out how to use it and the "Born" lipstick is dubbed a universal nude so in theory everyone should get it!
I give both products 4.5 as they translate differently on the skin but still look beautiful:

Slick Sticks - Eyes and Lips
Slick Sticks for Eyes
Slick Sticks for Lips
As aforementioned, the Slick Sticks are a new product from Illamasqua; usually their eye and lip liners come in a typical "Colouring Pencil" form, but these retractable crayon style liners are cute and dinky and actually do not budge once set; perfect for humid or wet climates!
Colour/Shades: I absolutely love the wearability of these lip and eye shades; if there wasn't a black eye shade or a red or nude lip shade I would be disappointed but Illamasqua have done good bringing out these basic shades to start with and I hope they bring more!
Pigmentation: The slick sticks have great colour payoff; I found the lip Slick Sticks were more pigmented than the eye sticks.
Texture: These crayons go on very well once warmed up, however there is a slight tug as they are waxy in consistency due to their waterproof-ness and so can be quite drying.
Price: At £18.50 each, they're a fair bit pricier than the usual pencils in their waterproof category, however they are very long lasting and would not wipe off with a wet wipe at all, so in terms of something that won't budge without oil, this is that product!

FrootiFactor: I'd give these pencils a 3.5 to start with as the shade range is pretty good and the longevity is amazing but the texture is quite drying when combined with a matte lipstick and also I'm worried about the products breaking when retracting, so I'm not sure on the packaging just yet!
Lastly, the lashes in this collection are pretty dramatic so I'm not sure how they would fare on my smaller eye shape, but I do love that they have a hint of brown to them, giving them a softer, endearing finish.

All in all, as much as I love how quirky Illamasqua are, I have to say I'm quite loving these easier-to-wear products that are in line with the current makeup trends; as long as they keep bringing out their quirky products to play around with every now and then, I don't see any harm in catering to the demands of consumers, especially when Illamasqua do it ever so beautifully (and better) with higher quality pigmentation!

The collection is out now in selected Illamasqua stores and online.

What are your thoughts on this collection? 
Which products have caught your eye and which will you be purchasing?
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