Pure Pigment

by Illamasqua  
Price:
$24 
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Category:
Makeup > Sensitive Skin Products > Illuminating/Shimmer
Last Updated:
3/28/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This glittery, loose powder is touted as a highlighter for cheeks, eyes, and brows. We found it difficult to apply in a controlled manner anywhere on the face—powder spills onto the skin below wherever you apply it, and the glitter doesn't cling to skin well.Although there are some pretty colors that could be used as eyeshadow, Pure Pigment is so sheer that you would have to do quite a bit of layering to see much color saturation—and the more you layer, the more the glittering shine intensifies and the more pronounced the flaking, which is probably not what you're after.

As far as a highlighting effect, there are some shades that could work, but only if you want a glittery finish rather than a subtle glow. This much glitter absolutely magnifies wrinkles and sagging around the eyes (and is painful when it flakes into the eye itself).

Pros:
  • Some pretty shades if you don't mind(or if you want) glitter.
Cons:
  • Difficult to apply in a controlled manner; powder spills onto areas of skin where you don't want it.
  • Glittery finish isn't conducive to a subtle, lit-from-within glow.
  • The glitter particles don't cling well to skin.
  • Goes on very sheer so you'll have to layer to see much color saturation.
  • Expensive.

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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