Illamasqua haul review : matt primer, powder blusher in Tremble and highlighter brush

Review: Illamasqua matt primer, powder blusher in Tremble and highlighter brush

Hi you guys! Long time no see. Sorry, I mentioned that I had some exams going on in my nail tech course, so that kept me busy. I wanted to do really well and I think I did, so now I can relax a bit! Plus my computer decided to pack it up on me. It won’t even turn on. I hated that thing, it was such a lemon. I always tease my hubby cuz he has this knack for picking out lemons. Brand spanking new car off the lot? Lemon. Brand new laptop? Lemon. I always joke that he’s like Powder (the movie). This reference may totally be lost on you, but I swear, everything he touches breaks. Oh well. He’s picked out another computer…let’s see how this one works out. This is a temporary work one for him that I’ve taken over until I can pick out one for myself.

Anywho, moving along. So a long while ago I received some items from Illamasqua. This is huge for me, since we can’t get it here in Canada yet unless you order straight from the Illamasqua website. Sephora won’t ship to Canada (BAH!) and I haven’t had the chance to nip into the Seattle Sephora to do a bit of damage (it’s 2 hours away, not including border wait times, but it’s the closest location to me). I’ve been lucky enough to have received items from them in the past, so I was not at all expecting this package (BIG HUGE THANK YOU!!)

So here is a picture of the Illamasqua haul I received:Illamasqua haul

Left to right: matt primer, powder blusher in Tremble and highlighter brush, plus a little handwritten note which I love. Makes it feel personal…like this little package was made just for me. Well, I guess it was hey?

Let me start by saying that I’ve used these items everyday since I’ve received them. EVERYDAY. I haven’t skipped a day of usage. I love these products. I have put my other blushes, foundation brushes and primers into a box that sits in my closet. I’m not kidding. I’ll tell you why…This may be long winded, but I have a ton to say about these products…

So first up is the Illamasqua highlighter brush:illamasqua highlighter brush

For the first few days I used this strictly as a highlighter brush. That’s what it said on the handle, so that’s how I used it. It is the perfect size to use as a cheek highlighter. I find that most brushes I’ve used in the past make my highlighter look a bit messy (I use powder highlighters). I try to apply it to the tops of my cheekbones and sweep it up towards the area of skin between my eye and hairline, but I find that most brushes I have make it difficult to place the highlighter exactly where I want it. Most brushes are too big or to fluffy and highlighter ends up everywhere. This brush is vegan/cruelty-free (bonus) and it make placement of highlighters so easy. Even when I use it down the bridge of my nose, it applies it where I want it to, not all down the sides of my nose (which would just make my shnozz look massive).

When I went to thank Alex for sending me that package, she mentioned that it makes a wonderful foundation brush. Whoa. Pause. I had just bought the MAC 131 duo fibre brush because I’d heard good things about it if used as a foundation brush, but it just wasn’t working for me (hated it), so I was in the market for a good foundation brush. I quickly ran upstairs, washed it and counted the hours for it to dry so I could test it. I thought, hm, it is like a MAC 109 but with a smaller head and the hairs are a bit longer…could it work? So the next morning I got to test it out and it was love at first buff. Seriously. I think it works better than the MAC 109, it doesn’t suck up as much foundation as the 109 and there’s none of that super, ridiculously annoying hair fallout from the brush. I cannot stand the feeling of little hairs stuck on my face, it makes me scratch and scratch until I have no more makeup, just streaks of red nail marks. The Illamasqua highlighter brush has not shed 1 single hair and it buffs in my foundation wonderfully. There’s something about it that makes my NARS sheer glow foundation seem like it gives more coverage without looking cakey. It blends like a mofo. Like I said earlier, it has a smaller head than a 109, but I don’t notice myself working any harder to buff in my foundation. I actually like that it fits around my eyes and nose better because of its size.

Also, I love that it has a nice, long, sleek handle. I like to hold my brushes closer to the end of the handle (don’t choke the brush!) and this brush has a nice tapered end so it fits in my hand better than most brushes. Next time I go to England, I think I may have to pick up another one so I can have one for foundation and one for a highlighter.

Next up is the Illamasqua  powder blusher in Tremble:illamasqua powder blusher in Tremble

First off, love the packaging. So pretty. And it is really pigmented. Wow. I use the tip of a tapered brush and lightly tap it against the blush once or twice and swirl little circles on the apples of my cheeks and up towards the hairline and that’s usually enough for me for most days (unless I want a strong cheek in which case I do that twice). And you guys know how tanned I am! You really don’t need a lot of product on your brush. It is smooth and very blendable. And I find the staying power is really great. I’ve been finding that with most of the blushes that I own (mainly MAC if you’re wondering), I have to use a cream blush underneath to keep it from fading halfway through my day. I don’t have to do that with blush, nor do have to do any touch ups. Oh and it doesn’t turn orange (oxidize) after a few hours like some of my other blushes do.

I would have to say that the one thing about this blush is that you don’t get as much as you do a MAC blush (Illamasqua has 4.5g vs. MAC at 6g) but that honestly doesn’t bother me at all because I don’t have to use nearly as much of the Illamasqua blush to get the pigmentation I want AND I don’t have to do any touch ups throughout my day, so I’d say that the Illamasqua blush would last me longer anyway. I can honestly say that I have not used a single other blush other than this Tremble blush since I’ve received it and I don’t think I’ll be getting bored of it any time soon.illamasqua powder blusher in Tremble swatch

Here is one swipe of my finger in the blush, swiped once to swatch.

Lastly, is the Illamasqua Matt Primer:Illamasqua Matt Primer
Up until recently I have been using the Illamasqua Satin primer, it is my winter go-to. I have dry skin in the winter and I loved how the Satin primer made my skin look dewy and healthy. But now that summer’s here, I’m finding that my skin is more like combination skin instead of dry, so now I’m looking oil-slicky a few hours.

Welcome Matt Primer. It’s spf 20 (perfect for lazy people like me who don’t have time or energy to slather spf on my face), and it really keeps my face from getting oily. I’ve heard many claims from companies saying that their primers keep you matte all day long, but I’ve never actaully found one that did that for me in the summer, until now. I would say that around the 5-6 hour mark, my skin does start creating oils, but it doesn’t look oil-slicky like before, but more like almost dewy. Does that make sense?

And it keeps my makeup on my face for a really long time. For example…on Sundays, I wake up at 7am, apply my makeup, make the long drive to school, I’m at school from 10am-6pm, then I head home, go out for dinner (I’m too lazy to cook for myself and the family at this point), come home, watch telly for a bit, put the kids to bed and then continue watching telly with the hubby until about 12 midnight-1am. Then I head upstairs to remove my makeup before bed and my makeup is still there. Okay, this is gross but I did this for you guys. I actually wore my makeup for 15 hours, all day, and then slept in it and most of it was still there in the morning. I did this on 3 separate occasions. The only place where there was wear was on my cheeks because I sleep on my side. But I mean, I could still have gone out and been okay with it. (Even more gross hey? I didn’t if you were wondering. I washed my face and reapplied.)

Matt primer in the summer and Satin primer in the winter. I’m set. I don’t think I will ever look for another primer again. I’m in love with these ones.

Now if you asked me which out of the 3 was my favourite…I don’t think I could pick. I really couldn’t. My foundation has been looking better than ever because of the highlighter brush, I love the sweet girly pink of the blush, but the primer keeps my makeup in place all day (even when I spend the day running after kids.) My only negative about the whole Illamasqua experience? Come to Canada already!! Lol. I’m dying here! I could probably support most of the sales if you started stocking in Canada. Seriously.

Haha, so it sounds like a hokey love-fest, but I really couldn’t do without these items in my makeup arsenal now that I’ve had the chance to try them. They just work so well for me. I love that I love them cuz it means that I can just replace all those other “just okay” blushes, foundation brushes and primers. I actually got rid of a bunch of stuff which I’m sure my makeup table is thanking me for. So thanks again to Illamasqua for letting me try these items and I hope that this review helps anyone who has been thinking of trying any of these items.