Friday, May 22, 2015

Illamasqua Lipstick Review & Swatches

Those of you that know me are well aware of my obsession with Hautelook. I get the majority of my makeup on their website, for a fraction of the cost you'd pay elsewhere. When I saw that Hautelook would be featuring an Illamasqua sale event a few weeks ago, I immediately set my alarm and began doing research on all of the brand's products and shades. I've been hearing rave reviews about Illamasqua for years, and I was not about to pass up the chance to try out a few of their famous lipsticks on the cheap.

So fast-forward to today: my highly-hyped new goodies have finally arrived. Since I'm sure many of you are just as curious about Illamasqua's lipstick quality as I was, I decided to put together a quick review and swatch. Read on to learn my thoughts on Illamasqua's lipstick line!

Left to Right: Corrupt, Sangers, and Brink

According to Illamasqua, their lipsticks are "colour intense" with a "highly pigmented" formula. They promise that their formula glides on smoothly and stays put all day long. For about $30 US retail, they better do all that and more. I paid $12 through Hautelook, so I knew that even if I didn't end up loving some or all of the lipsticks I picked up, it wouldn't be a huge loss.

The three shades I purchased are Corrupt, Sangers, and Brink. My first impression upon opening the box was that the packaging was simply average. Most of the time, high-end lipsticks look very luxe. However, Illamasqua keeps things simple with black plastic and a basic logo on the side and top of the tube.

The packaging may be plain, but it's what's on the inside that counts, right? While swatching the lipsticks, I immediately noticed how smooth and creamy they were. It took a quite few swipes back and forth to really build up the color, which is great if you want a more subtle, sheer look. However, these lipsticks are really in their element when they are as bold and highly pigmented as possible.

Left to Right: Corrupt, Sangers, and Brink

In terms of staying power, Illamasqua's lipsticks are about average. They certainly do not stay put all day or night, as they fade no matter what I seem to do within a few hours. However, with a good lipliner base, you should only need a touch-up maybe once or twice throughout the day.

Shade Reviews

Corrupt is a warm bright pink with a matte finish. It's essentially your classic Barbie pink, and the color is very wearable for everyday when applied with a light touch. Despite the matte finish, Corrupt goes on buttery smooth. It's a great option for nearly any skin tone.

I'm a sucker for a good red lipstick, and Sangers is just that. It's a classic blood red that really doesn't pull much on the blue or orange end of the spectrum. Sangers is incredibly creamy and pigmented, with a shinier finish than most other Illamasqua shades. If you're on the hunt for a signature red lipstick, this is an excellent choice.

Brink is a warm peachy-pink with a matte finish. I don't have a good peach lipstick in my collection, so I was very excited to try this one out. However, it seems there is a reason I don't have any peach lipstick. I am fairly pale, and this shade is definitely not the most flattering on my skin tone. It's a beautiful, highly-pigmented lipstick, but I think it would likely look much better on someone with more tan or olive skin. 

Overall, I am very satisfied with these lipsticks. They are gorgeous colors and great quality, especially for the price I paid. I'm not sure I would recommend them at regular price, especially since you'll probably also end up paying high shipping costs with Illamasqua pulling out of most U.S. retailers. However, if you can find a good deal like I did, I would definitely recommend scooping some of these up. 

Keep an eye out on Hautelook, they generally rotate in brands every few months. I will do my best to tweet about the sale if and when it does happen again!

In the meantime, be sure to like The Beauty Bar on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more beauty tips and tricks!

Sarah Breden | Editor In Chief

Sarah is a full-time college student and aspiring digital strategist with a passion for the beauty industry. When she's not hard at work in the office or the classroom, Sarah enjoys home decorating, vintage shopping, and spending time with family. She couldn't live without laughter, online shopping, mac & cheese, and mascara.

Twitter: @SarahBreden | Instagram: @SarahBreden 


  1. I was wondering what hautelook was, I've seen it mentioned everywhere. But you have to sign up for it, so I was never sure what it was lol. I have to look into that now! :D I have a couple things from illamasqua and they're really good quality! But I also got them on sale too. Those lipsticks are beautiful :) I love the peach and red colors :D

    1. Hautelook has some amazing deals on all kinds of products Miki, I would definitely recommend signing up! They are run by Nordstrom, so they carry a lot of great designers! Here is the link to go through me again, if you decide to try it out:


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