Tuesday, May 26, 2015

12 Days of Illamasqua Lipsticks - #10 ESP

We've finally made it to the double digits! I admit to having a love hate relationship with this lipstick. When the Paranormal collection launched by Illamasqua I didn't really think much of their ESP lip colour. My purple addiction hadn't really started back then. ESP was officially the first purple lipstick I had tried though and I wasn't won over by it, so how do I feel now?

ESP is a vivid violet lipstick that actually goes really well with my new hair colour. It's a beautiful bright purple lipstick that comes off a bit multi-dimensional due to how awfully patchy it is. Hence, my love-hate relationship with it. It's a huge shame as it's one of the most unique purple lipsticks I own. It reminds me of a deep purple version of MAC's Violetta.

The lipstick tube is incredibly stiff and dry, exert too much pressure and you're guaranteed to snap the bullet. On days when I've not prepared my lips, I get almost no transfer. While a lip care routine certainly improves application, as you can tell from the photos above though, it's still not perfect. The only way I've managed to make the lipstick work is by using a lip primer and applying it with a lip brush.

On the rare occasion where I manage to apply ESP evenly on the lips, I find that ESP easily lasts over 6 hours with minimal retouching. So while the colour itself is stunning and it's long-lasting, I wouldn't recommend it for £18.50. As purples have been trending like crazy over the last year or so, there's probably a dupe out there and if not, one will probably be made.

Monday, May 25, 2015

12 Days of Illamasqua Lipsticks - #9 Pristine

Officially 3/4 of the way through now! Of all the black lipsticks I've owned, today's puts the rest to shame. It's easily my favourite formula of all as I find it doesn't end up a big mess on my face after hours of wear. I picked Pristine up on a whim during one of the many Illamasqua sales for just £7.50. It has a tendancy to be on sale a fair few times, which I find surprising considering the quality but I can imagine black lipsticks don't tend to sell particularly well on the high street, especially for £18.50.

Since I had the one rare day where I have no work and no plans, I did a, 'I'm not leaving the house' makeup look using colours from the Electric palette that match my newly coloured hair. Normally I wouldn't pair a look like this with such a dramatic lip and would just use a nude lipstick like yesterday's Test. With dark lipsticks, I tend to over draw my lips a bit as my natural lips are on the thinner side. Darker lip colours only accentuate the thinness. I find pristine isn't black enough with my medium skin tone so I'll usually pair it with illamasqua's repulse lipgloss.

 Despite Pristine being categorised as one of Illamasqua's matte lipsticks, it's by far the creamiest one I've tried and applies effortlessly. It's finish isn't as flat as certain other Illamasqua lipsticks. It's almost too creamy as I managed to break the bullet while applying the lipstick one day. However it's not so creamy that it disappears quickly/after a meal like Lime Crime's Styletto. Pristine manages to stay on the lips for a good 5 hours and at least 7 with a lip liner.

I can't imagine Pristine being the average woman's cup of tea but if you are into dark lipsticks and are looking into investing in a decent black lipstick, Illamasqua's Pristine is easily one of the best ones in the market. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

12 Days of Illamasqua Lipsticks - #8 Test

I really should have started off with Test as it was the first lipstick I ever bought myself. It's a very off name to have and when I went home with my purchase I was very confused and thought I had a tester in my bag. Within a year of owning Test though, I managed to finish the lipstick and even scraped out what was left in the tube. Unfortunately, Test is currently discontinued so I won't be able to replace it again.

Test isn't a particularly unique lipstick shade. It's described as a soft pink chocolate although I'd describe is as a pinky tan with just a hint of pink. It's a beautiful everyday shade that I almost always pair with heavy eye makeup or will wear when I'm pretending I'm not wearing any makeup. Being a medium skin toned woman, I find certain nude lipsticks that look amazing on others end up looking like concealer lips on me. 

Test isn't particularly creamy or drying but it leans slightly on the creamy side. I've never had trouble applying it unlike a few other Illamasqua lipsticks. Although it's an easily dupable lip colour, I don't actually own an exact dupe to it, although I can't imagine it'd be difficult to find one. I'll probably throw it in my handbag and compare it to other ones in the high street when I'm close to finishing it and need a replacement.

While I've always raved about the longevity of Illamasqua lipsticks, I'm unsure about how long Test actually lasts. As it's essentially a 'my lips but better' lipstick on me. So I struggle to notice when it's actually faded. I'd say it lasts at least 4 hours but possibly 6. As it's slightly creamy, it's more prone to fade after a meal or a drink or two.

If Test wasn't discontinued, I'd recommend it but unfortunately, there's no point. I'm gutted they discontinued it. If you're interested in a nude lipstick by Illamasqua though, it may be worth trying out their nude lipsticks in their new satin finish lipsticks.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

12 Days of Illamasqua Lipsticks - #7 Magnetism

I've finally reviewed over half of my Illamasqua lipsticks. Today's lipstick is one of my more recent purchases so it hasn't received as much love as others. I recall trying it out way back when the Generation Q collection released and liked it but wasn't experimental with lipstick shades to make the purchase. Quite a few years later I spotted it in an Illamasqua sale and made the purchase. 

Magnetism is described as a deep raspberry pink. I'd describe it as a berry, which can be a bit vague. To be more precise, it's a slightly redder and pinker version of MAC's Rebel. I've yet to see anyone this doesn't flatter. I consider it a universally flattering shade. It's not particularly unique though, I own a few similar shades but not an exact dupe. That said, I adore the shade and I'll definitely be getting a lot more use out of it.

Although Magnetism definitely leans on the creamy side the formula is neither as creamy nor as drying as some of the other matte lipsticks Illamasqua offer. The bullet needs some warming up on the lips while applying but glides on with full coverage effortlessly. As with all other Illamasqua lipsticks, I manage to get a decent amount of wear time with it. It lasts around 4-5 hours before needing a touch-up. Even then, there's still a bit of a stain that's leftover.

Ultimately, Magnetism is a rather universally flattering shade and it's not too out there to scare people off either. I would almost describe it as one of Illamasqua's must have shades.
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