New Brand Alert: Illamasqua

Something happens to me when I am confronted with potential greatness – the tightening of the chest, the butterflies in the stomach. My head gets fuzzy and my brain does some figures to calculate just how much yen is going to leave my bank account.

Confronted by potential greatness. It’s like (being a man and) spotting a blonde, pert bottom and glossy hair, wondering what beauty lurks on the other side, only for you to speed past and sneaking a glance to find out that she resembles Brigette Bardot, circa 2005. She lied. She lied with her hair.

039_18543.jpg (JPEG Image, 339x425 pixels).jpg
57157105.jpg (JPEG Image, 2180x3108 pixels) - Scaled (18%).jpg

Yeah, yeah I know she’s a lot older in the second picture, in her 70s but for comparison, look at Jane Fonda (71)* :

Jane Fonda-74627.jpg (JPEG Image, 300x337 pixels).jpg

*A reader has quite rightly pointed out that Jane has had the chop chop and Brigette hasn’t which of course, means Jane is cheating. So I have been really trying to think of someone who is older and looks great and hasn’t gone under the knife. I can think of:

– My Nan (amazingly un-wrinkly, the same amount of crows feet as my 28 year old friends, very smooth skin, no turkey neck.)

– Dionne Warwick (68)

Dionne_Warwick_20030603.jpg (JPEG Image, 345x420 pixels).jpg

And now I’m stuck. If you can think of anyone 65+ plus who looks good without the help of the knife let me know (and don’t say your Nan – only my Nan gets to be famous here, ok?)

Back to the program –

Sunscreen. Use it! I don’t personally apply it everyday as I have moisturizer, primer, foundation, powder on my skin but I make sure there is some SPF protection in there.

I will stop digressing now:

is the first time in quite a while I have been excited about a new brand. It’s so hard to compete in the cosmetics industry since there are so many hardcore, established brands around, mainly owned by the giants of L’oreal, Shiseido and Estee Lauder.

I was browsing on the Selfridges website a few months ago when I noticed it was launching Illamasqua – it looked like a dark, heady brand, reminded me of a vampireness and a dirty 30s German strip club.

Illamasqua - UK make-up brand for your alter ego.jpg

Illamasqua is the product of a heady mix of influences. Its roots stem from the dark and illicit 1920s club scene and combines a rich heritage in the manufacture of make-up for film and theatre. It also takes inspiration from members of the ‘alternative scenes’ for whom self-expression is paramount. Alternative cultures have always dared to be dramatic. They have an emotional attachment to making up. It’s an expression of their darker side, a release for their alter ego.

Illamasqua is for the bolder person hiding inside all of us. It is an act and an attitude. A symbol of tolerance. A celebration of idiosyncracies. A confident statement of self-ownership.

Illamasqua - UK make-up brand for your alter ego-1.jpg

You know I love colour and pigment, pigment, pigment. This could be the collection for me this spring, since I am not a fan of sheer pastels and unpigmented chunks of glitter.

I nearly died when I saw the colour selection over there. There are tons and tons and tons of colours to choose from – slight criticism though – the swatches are those paint like swipes, not actual photographs of the shadows and since the brand is new and there aren’t many photographs of the real things about you are buying a little on the blind side.

I am sort of overwhelmed at the moment looking at the products availble:


# Powder Eye Shadow
# Cream Eye Shadow – Sounds good
# Pure Pigment – need to try this!
# Eye Liner Cake & Sealing Gel
# Liquid Eye Liner
# Volume Mascara
# Eye Brow Cake
# Brow and Lash Gel
# Sealing Gel
# False Lashes


# Lipstick
# Intense Lipgloss
# Sheer Lipgloss


# Matt Primer + SPF 20
# Satin Primer + SPF 20
# Light Liquid Foundation
# Rich Liquid Foundation
# Cream Foundation
# Powder Foundation
# Concealer
# Under-Eye Concealer
# Loose Powder
# Pressed Powder
# Powder Blusher
# Cream Blusher
# Illuminator

Pencils (I love pencils!):

# Fine Pencil
# Medium Pencil
# Fat Pencil
# SOPHIE Pencil

There are also accessories, nails and palettes. I will definately get round to buying the quad palette (you pick your own four shades – I will probably end up with four completely clashing shades):

Illamasqua Store - Gifts and Palettes - 4-Colour Powder Eye Shadow Palette.jpg

It’s £33.28 so not bad for a quad customizable palette (the Bobbi Brown one would be over £50). Infact, considering how slick it looks, I’m surprised by the prices (£19 for foundation, £12 for lipsticks) – highly reasonable – the same as or less than MAC (since let’s face it, this is what people will compare it with, even though I see more individuality and passion from this brand than MAC).

I also want a cream eyeshadow, some pigment, intense lip gloss, the sealing gel…the list goes on and on.

Don’t tell me how I will pick my shades though. I guess I will have to go with the ones that match up to my personality?

Illamasqua Store - Lips - Lipstick.jpg
Illamasqua Store - Eyes - Cream Eye Shadow.jpg

Unfortunately, Bitch is out of stock

Illamasqua Store - Lips - Lipstick-1.jpg

You can buy this from Selfridges Oxford Street or the rest of us plebs will have to buy it from their site. I can’t bear to look at it at the moment because I am getting make up potential overload.

It just so happens I have a little envelope with some Illamasqua goodies in it – Will it be as hot as Brigette in her youth? Or will I be disappointed, like…well, like normal.

Tune back in later this week to find out!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Chica says

    Ohmygosh Row, this stuff is gorgeous , I already have a couple of shadows and a gorgeous blusher. I’m scared of going on the website – I could easily drop £250 in a heartbeat :o)

    • Row says

      Hey Chica

      I KNOW!! If i were shopping without abandon – £100s for sure. If I am sensible, I reckon I’d realistically drop about £150 :o/

  2. Jessica Gearhart says

    Well, Jane has had a hefty dose of nips, tucks, injections et al too and Bardot’s lack of surgery is a foregone conclusion, no?

    Love the blog by the way.