Illamasqua spotlight

Spotlight on llamasqua: The anti-conformist brand on a mission to empower everyone “to express their true selves”

10th November 2022 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

UPDATE: Ahead of Black Friday, Illamasqua has knocked 25% off a huge number of its bestselling products as part of its Black Friday deals. What’s more, we’ve got an exclusive discount code you can use to get an extra 5% off these sale prices.

This means you can get its brilliant mini Beyond Veil Primer for just £8.50 among other savings. Simply enter the code ILLAXX5 at the checkout to qualify.

You can see more our of exclusive discount codes here, or check out the other Black Friday deals here.

Shop the Illamasqua BF deals

Original Illamasqua spotlight article continues below

There are an increasing number of beauty brands that claim to put individuality and expression at their heart but few have been so committed to this mission as Illamasqua.

A portmanteau of the words “illusion” and “masquerade”, the brand was founded in 2008 by Yorkshireman Julian Kynaston. Joseph Corré – the co-founder of Agent Provocateur and son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren – joined and invested in the brand two years later.

Since its launch, Illamasqua has expanded internationally and is now renowned for its “edgy” approach and inclusive, colourful makeup lines.

From day one at mamabella, we’ve been shining a light on brands that represent and align with what we stand for – brands that offer great products without the BS; brands that champion inclusivity and diversity; clean, sustainable, and ethical beauty brands, and brands that are challenging the beauty industry hierarchy.

We’ve previously profiled e.l.f, Sundry, Nimya, and MAC. We’ve also highlighted skincare brands such as The Ordinary, a fantastic brand doing amazing work in the science of skincare, as well as Balance Me and PSA Skincare.

Now it’s the turn of Illamasqua.

FURTHER READING:Foundation samples UK: How to get free foundation samples online

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Why we love Illamasqua

Illamasqua eyeshadow paletteIllamasqua

Across all of Illamasqua’s social accounts and marketing is a dedication to individuality and allowing people to use the Illamasqua products to express themselves. As the brand describes: “At Illamasqua we are on a mission to empower all with the confidence to express their true self.”

It says “its passion for artistry” is in its blood and at the heart of everything it creates and its “anti-conformist attitude and irreverent style rejects the conventions of the beauty industry and emboldens the brave.”

Aside from how vehemently we share this mission and believe in the power of expression through makeup – you can read more about our mission here – we’re also huge fans of just how good the Illamasqua range is. From its Skin Base foundation to its vibrant eyeshadow palettes, you pay a bit extra for each item but the payoff and results are more than worth it.

Shop the Illamasqua site

The best Illamasqua products

Illamasqua sells a wide range of products and we’re working our way through testing as many as possible, in the meantime here are our Illamasqua staples. We’ll be adding to this list as more products make the cut!

♥︎ Unveiled Artistry Palette

£39 | Buy now

Illamasqua Unveiled Artistry PaletteIllamasqua

This is one of the best eyeshadow palettes we’ve ever used. It’s our go-to palette for subtle glam – the kind of glam you want for a work event or a brunch – and it’s incredibly flattering and versatile. Within the 12-pan palette are twelve highly pigmented powder shadows in satin matte and metallic shimmer.

A little goes a long way and one of our favourite looks is to apply the white “Spirit” shade across the whole lid, a sweeping of the light orange Muse, black eyeliner (again, Illamasqua…see our mini-review of it below!) and a deep red lip.

Illmasqua Expressionist Artistry Palette look ideasmamabella

The palette comes with a full-size mirror and the shades are as follows:

Top row left to right: Vivacity, Bold, Distinct, Chutzpah, Zealous, Fearless

Bottom row left to right: Empower, Honour, Muse, Poise, Assured, Spirit

Sadly it seems like the stock of this palette is running low. We found it on Amazon but it’s been sold out on Illamasqua and Lookfantastic for a while now so it may have been discontinued. We’ll update this when we know more but if you’re keen on this palette, be quick!

Alternatively, we’re also big fans of the Expressionist Artistry Palette.

There are some shade overlaps with the Unveiled palette, but the colours on the Expressionist version are more vivid and deep, meaning you can create even more versatile looks.

The image on the left was made using the Expressionist Artistry Palette.

It has the white shade, Canvas Primer all over the lid, with the pink matte Deeestorted in the crease. Again with a red lip.

FURTHER READING: Here are our favourite eyeshadow looks for different eye shapes from the cut crease to a smokey eye

Buy now from Amazon

♥︎ Illamasqua Liquid Eyeliner 

£22 | Buy now


We were first introduced to this liquid eyeliner from Illamasqua in a beauty advent calendar and we’ve never looked back. It’s the perfect mix of pigment, brush shape and firmness. It’s not too thick and hard, it’s not too thin and flexible. It glides jet black pigment in clear and bold strokes. This makes it perfect for creating winged liner looks (like our image above).

This is particularly great for people with hooded eyes. When you have hooded eyes, you have to run the liner through the crease and this soon becomes messy if the pigment isn’t strong enough or the brush is too bendy. You can read more about this in our What eye shape do I have? guide.

It’s also a good liquid eyeliner for beginners because it’s so precise. In summary, we can’t rate this eyeliner high enough.

FURTHER READING: Best eyeliner: Our pick of the best liquid, gel, pencil and powder eyeliners

Buy now from Illamasqua

♥︎ Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

£33 | Buy now

Illamasqua Skin Base FoundationIllamasqua

Available in 26 shades, the Skin Base Illamasqua foundation has become a cult favourite. It manages to create medium-to-full coverage while feeling incredibly lightweight on the skin. You can build and blend this foundation without it ever looking cakey, all while conditioning your skin.

Illamasqua helps you find your shade using its AI-powered Shade Finder, which includes matching your existing foundation from a different brand with a shade in the Illamasqua range. Or you can try Illamasqua foundation samples.

FURTHER READING:How to find your perfect foundation match online and in-store

Buy now from Illamasqua

♥︎ Illamasqua Hydra Setting Spray

£20 | Buy now

Illamasqua Hydra Setting SprayIllamasqua

It’s rare for setting sprays to so perfectly mist the face gently while providing such staying power, but that’s what the Illamasqua Hydra Setting Spray achieves.

One layer makeup methodmamabella

It’s fragrance-free, which is welcomed among a sea of setting sprays that smell, well, odd.

We recently discovered the one layer base makeup method which, as the name suggests, means that you apply your concealer, foundation, contour and blusher all at the same time, in one layer.

Instead of layering it, this creates a more even base and prevents cakiness, heaviness and avoids it clogging your pores.

Again, we’ve put a rather unflattering photo of ourselves showing this technique, left.

Once this layer has dried down, we like to mist each side of our face in turn with the Illamasqua Hydra Setting Spray before using a damp beauty blender to blend the different elements together.

Not only does this help create a dewy finish, but it also helps the base last for hours.

FURTHER READING: Setting spray 101: What is setting spray and what does it actually do?

Buy now from Illamasqua

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