Illuminator

by Illamasqua  
Price:
$20 
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Category:
Makeup > Face & Body Illuminating/Shimmer > Face Shimmer
Last Updated:
3/28/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This lightweight liquid shimmer product is housed in a squeeze tube with an angled, plastic-tip applicator. This type of packaging is unusual for a liquid shimmer product and not the most user-friendly option. It's difficult to control how much dispenses as you squeeze, and there's no easy way to return the excess that inevitably oozes out.

Dispensing this product carefully is important because it is so concentrated. Just a dab spread over cheeks produces a wet-looking, shimmering sheen that feels a bit tacky to the touch, but holds up well. You can apply this anywhere you want a high level of shine, but its finish can feel uncomfortable (almost sticky) when used on eyelids.

Three extremely shiny shades (pearl, pale gold, and opalescent pink) are offered and each is workable, especially for fair to medium skin tones.

Pros:
  • Lightweight texture is easy to blend.
  • Concentrated formula means that just a dab does a lot!
  • Unusual yet attractive wet-looking sheen instead of obvious sparkles.
Cons:
  • Squeeze-tube packaging makes it easy to dispense too much product, and there's no way to put the excess back.
  • The finish can feel sticky when applied to eyelids.

Illamasqua is a London-based makeup line created by makeup artists whose stated mission is to get women and men to "express themselves through makeup and to discover their bolder, sexier side." This urbane sentiment is similar to other edgy color brands like Urban Decay, Too Faced, and Make Up For Ever, so we wondered if Illamasqua would bring something new and exciting to the table for those looking to enhance their makeup wardrobe. After a thorough look at this brand at our local Sephora store (where it is retailed in the U.S.), we must state that, unfortunately, it is an unimpressive "been there, done that" group of products with relatively high price tags.

Rather than bringing innovative, exciting products to those seeking to get experimental with unusual makeup colors and textures, Illamasqua's products tend to be hit or miss. And there are enough misses to make this brand one you can safely pass up in favor of color collections whose palettes are more approachable, user-friendly, and just overall better in quality. If you're still curious about Illamasqua, there are some outlier products to seek out, including their Bronzing Duo, jet-black Masquara, the Lipstick, and, if you need full coverage and have the time to blend it well, the company's Concealer is definitely worth checking out. Beyond these there lies disappointment after disappointment—and even the average products prove to be a letdown due to their high prices, plus the fact that competing lines at Sephora offer better versions of most Illamasqua products.

For more information about Illamasqua, visit www.illamasqua.com.

Note: The products we reviewed are representative of what U.S. and Canadian consumers will find at Sephora stores that retail this brand. The full range of Illamasqua products may be viewed on their Web site. Illamasqua does not publish a phone number on their products or on their Web site, and we always caution you about shopping an online cosmetics company that doesn't offer up-front and direct access to the customer service department.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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