Best of - Illamasqua
This is the start of my makeup artist journey, and that’s why Illamasqua holds a special place in my heart.
I was working a reasonably stable paying, somewhat relaxed job when Illamasqua came to Vancouver to open a counter. At that point I had already finished makeup school and was freelancing. It was challenging to freelance because I had very chaotic work schedules that could change at a moment’s notice. When the brand was hiring, I saw that as a sign. With my boyfriend’s encouragement, I left my job of 8 years and dived into this unknown territory. I LOVE this brand. I didn’t quit my job for ANY beauty brand, I quitted for THIS one. I had experience with their products already despite them being new to Canada, I was buying them from Sephora in New York. I love the products and packaging too.
Founded in the UK in 2008, Illamasqua is a brand ahead of it’s time. It is the Instagram style before Instagram, since it is highly influenced by punk and goth and anything subculture, they have strong, loud looks. The creative director at that time was the legendary Alex Box, who created some iconic unconventional makeup that are copied by many (see images above).
Illamasqua encourages self expression, and embraces difference. They support the Sophie Lancaster Foundation through sales of the S.O.P.H.I.E. collection. When the brand started, it was a time not as divisive as today and I love them for contributing a small part in this social justice cause to promote tolerance. They used mature models in one of their collections, again keep in mind, it was years before all the mainstream talk about inclusivity that we have now. As makeup artists on counter, we expected clients of any gender to walk in at any time to be helped, and it was as natural as breathing air. We never looked at anyone differently to begin with and never made a big fuss over acceptance of marginalized groups to earn some kind of sjw points (it wasn’t as big of a thing as it is now) because that was just common sense. Years later, I am shocked that treating everyone with respect needed to be said out loud. Also, they have always been cruelty free and have a good selection of vegan products (again before everyone was hyper aware of this). They are manufactured by a well respected professional brand, Kryolan, so the products perform well. It is owned by The Hut Group. Illamasqua is a brand that checks all my boxes.
Disclaimer - *To get 10￡off your first purchase of 45￡, use this affiliate link or code HEIDI-R1N. All other links in this post are not affiliated.
Onto my favourite products from Illamasqua -
Gleam Cream Highlighter in Aurora (no surprise there, it has been used tons in my work)
Gleam is a lightweight, iridescent cream texture and is the ideal go-to for easy, instant highlighting. The sheer, pearlescent pigments contain skin boosting Vitamin E and Mica Mineral, which provides the translucent silky quality of this cream compact. For an alluring, natural glow that lifts and highlights both face and body.
The multicoloured micro shimmers in it make the skin look so realistically dewy. The texture is amazing that it doesn’t lift the layers under it. SUCH a gorgeous believable sheen.
Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel. Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, creating a healthy looking, balanced finish. Plant extracts also provide a calming and refreshing feeling, leaving skin fully prepped to apply your chosen foundation.
My personal “bulletproof” foundation is half Hydra Veil, half Estee Lauder Doublewear. The foundation on it’s own cracks and melt on my face, but the Hydra Veil keeps the hydration going so my skin doesn’t overproduce oil, and keeps everything in place. I seldom use primers now and this is one of the rare ones that I keep using.
Illuminate, radiate, make your face come alive with the colour and drama of Illamasqua Powder Blusher. Colour-intense and highly pigmented, use it to shade, brighten, enhance and define the shape of your face. Be bold, be daring, be the centre of attention.
This is the perfect healthy flush for my skintone. The powder is ultra fine and the payoff intense. I use quite a fluffy brush with it to not overkill.
Our award-winning Skin Base Foundation is the go-to choice to create a flawless complexion every day. This lightweight, easily blendable foundation smooths, softens and conditions your skin and is is suitable for most skin types. Tested in HD environments, this foundation also provides the ultimate skin realism effect.
My preference for foundations is medium buildable coverage, satin finish. It’s the most flexible base to customize. If I want it more matte, I can add powder. If I want to sheer it out, I can add moisturizer or primer. The Skin Base is awesome since it’s not drying, but easily mattifies down with a bit of powder without cracking. Looks realistic on skin without powder and generally good coverage for everyday.
Pure Pigment is made to be played with. A metallic, high-shine, pure-colour powder that highlights eyes, cheeks and brows. Mix with eye shadow, blusher or use it on its own to intense effect.
Ore is what I use in place of my FAVOURITE Reflects Antique Gold glitter by MAC which is sadly discontinued. Ore is a bit warmer and has more metallic colour payoff (it’s more a pigment than glitter, though still glittery) but I honestly haven’t seen many come close to the RAG glitter. Makeup Geek pigment in Utopia is a closer colour but it’s quite chunky and messy to use, also too much colour payoff so it looks too heavy for my liking.
Beguile on the other hand is quite unique and I don’t think I have really seen a copy yet. The multicoloured micro glitters look SPECTACULAR. If you are familiar with the glitters by MAC, think Reflex Gold, Reflex Blue, Reflex Pearl, Reflects Red all mixed together. It’s very transparent so the colours never seem too much to clash. I wore it once and a model saw it and asked me what it was, she called it fairy dust.
These can be easily used as liner with a mixing medium or Illamsqua’s Sealing Gel.
S.O.P.H.I.E. Blush (peachy) and Eyeliner (black) that are versatile and a portion of the proceeds go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation to help Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere.
*To get 10￡off your first purchase of 45￡, use this affiliate link or code HEIDI-R1N.