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.
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
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.
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!
£39 | Buy now
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.
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.
£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.
£33 | Buy now
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
£20 | Buy now
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.
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.
Not only does this help create a dewy finish, but it also helps the base last for hours.
Victoria is founder and editor-in-chief of mamabella, freelance journalist and Mum. She has a passion for empowering people to feel beautiful whatever their age, size, skin type and budget