Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Illamasqua Toxic Nature Review:
Cream Pigments

Today Illamasqua officially announced the US launch of it's Spring/Summer 2011 collection; Toxic Nature. With it comes a new permanent product: Cream Pigments. According to Illamasqua, Cream Pigments are:

"Six neo-toxic colour mutations create the ultimate in textures on your face, eyes, lips or body. Apply with an Illamasqua brush or simply use your fingers for a buildable, water resistant, highly pigmented finish. Layer under Powder Eye Shadow and Pure Pigments for intensity."

Illamasqua was gracious enough to send me a couple of the new Cream Pigments to try out:

Mould (deep, bruised grape) and Dab (pastel lilac)

Illamasqua's Cream Pigments are designed to be highly pigmented, water resistant, blendable and buildable- and indeed they are. However, they're also not quite what I expected.

These creams are fairly dry yet slightly tacky in consistency. I found they applied easily with just about any tool available. Pat them on with a finger or a sponge for full, opaque pigmentation, or use a brush for easy blending or to apply a sheer wash color (great if you're using the cream for contouring or blush).

On the lips, the color feels quite light, but very dry- there's no mistaking this for lipstick. Having said that, I was able to get non-streaky, opaque coverage fairly easily with these two shades. Considering the fact that very light and very dark shades like the ones I tried are basically the toughest to get even coverage with, I consider this a win. Of course, if the cream is simply too dry to be comfortable, I found that the addition of lip balm on top created a creamy, ultra-pigmented lip that still managed to cover well without separating or settling into the lines in my lips.

Applied with a thin brush (for body painting, eye liner or lips) the cream pigment creates nice, solid lines that glide on well without tugging or skipping. When applying color to the lid, the slight tackiness was more apparent, and I found it more comfortable to pat the color on with my finger, then blend out the edges (if desired) with a brush.

Speaking of eyes, I have to admit: my first round of on-lid tests was slightly discouraging. I suppose when I heard the term "waterproof" I assumed (hoped?) these product would dry down into a crease and smudge proof finish. This is not the case. While the Cream Pigments may be water resistant- in that running them under a tap did nothing to dissolve the color- the product stays moist and easily smudgeable, wiping away fully with a swipe of paper towel even after an hour of drying time. So, water-resistant, maybe, but that claim shouldn't be taken as an implication that these are stay-in-place (at least, not straight from the on!)

Undaunted, I started phase two of my trials- and therein found the glimmer of hope I was looking for. When I applied the Cream Pigments to my eyes for the first time, I was not at all surprised to find that they creased almost instantly, even with a primer underneath. Not great- but, as I found, super easy to fix. All it took was a dusting of loose powder and the pigment became not only crease-proof, but incredibly long-lasting!

Next, I tried it as a base underneath powdered shadow. After all, if a face powder set it, shouldn't a shadow? I was delighted to find that, in fact, it did. Better yet, in side-by-side comparisons, this kicked butt as a base up against the champs. Since the Dab pigment I used was similar in shade to the pigment I tested it with, where as UDPP is invisible on my skin, I expected the increase in vibrancy. What did surprise me was the degree of the difference- the Dab side was probably a good 3 times more intense!

Another trial- this time Illamasqua's Mould up against MAC Paint Pot in Blackground- showed that not only did the Illamasqua pigment side wear better and crease less, but the micro-shimmer in Sugarpill's Stella loose shadow that I applied over the bases stuck better to Illamasqua's tackier texture- it was apparent almost immediately upon application and undeniable by night's end.

So all in all, though these were not exactly what I expected, I would definitely recommend them to those of you that like multi-use products and cream shadow bases. When applied properly (with sealant and powder) these proved much more transfer-resistant on the body as well, making them an option for body painting and tattoo cover.

So what do you think? Is a little setting powder a small price to pay for great pigment & wearing power, or are you holding out for a product that does it all?

The products featured in this post were submitted for review consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for it. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed in my product reviews are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the review influenced by the featured company.


TGW said...

I've also got both of these recently and can't wait to try them, thanks for the tips to use sealant and powder with them :)

Musing on Beauty said...

I think the issue is that these products are too versatile for average use, they suffer from their professional quality! What an irony!
Of course I can dust some powder on top, thos colors are so pretty!

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