Illamasqua, I Think I’ve Met My Matte

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

illamasqua makeup lestat powder eyeshadow
Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Lestat

After several years dominating makeup counters, shimmery eyeshadows are letting mattes (viva MAC Matte2!) have the limelight for a while.


UK freshman Illamasqua has even gone so far as to make most of their Powder Eyeshadow singles ($23 USD before shipping) mattes.

I bet that pleases a lot of professional makeup artists who do work for photography; that’s somewhere I see mattes getting lots of use.

illamasqua makeup goddess powder eyeshadow
Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Goddess

I think Illamasqua’s decision to make mattes their priority is a bold decision on the consumer end. Seriously, ladies love their shimmer shadows, so I can’t help but wonder: will Illamasqua’s gamble pay off?


Last weekend I sank my teeth into two of their matte shadows, Lestat (a chocolaty black) and Goddess (a turquoise blue).

Both were full of surprises. 🙂


illamasqua makeup lestat powder eyeshadow

Lestat pays homage to his namesake, Anne Rice’s character from Interview with a Vampire. It’s a dark black with a pinch of warm, chocolate brown, and with all the talk about Twilight and Edward Cullen, it comforts my vampire-lurvin’ heart to know that the folks at Illamasqua have an appreciation for old school fang fiction. 🙂

Surprise: Lestat applies semi-sheer, which I didn’t expect at all. The other Illamasqua products I’ve tried applied with soooo much pigment, so I expected Lestat would, too.

My bad.

At first it put me off, but after playing with the shadow for a few minutes, I changed my tune.

For me, heavily pigmented deep black mattes can be tough to use. All it takes is one wrong swipe with an overloaded brush and that subtle smokey eye turns into an epic fail, so I love Lestat’s sheer color.

It allows me to build color slowly, maintaining control the entire time. Plus, because it is so sheer, I don’t feel like I’m wasting a lot of eyeshadow diluting it before application.

In terms of texture, Lestat feels soft and fine to me, like MAC Matte2 eyeshadows.

All that, and it’s super easy to blend, layers quickly and doesn’t irritate my eyes. Love this! Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A


illamasqua makeup swatches goddess 2

It’s time for a spontaneous ’80s singalong (vintage Bananarama jam)! 🙂

Goddess on the mountaintop,
Burning like a silver flame,
Summit of beauty and love,
Venus was her name, WHOOOOOOOOO!

When it comes to rich color, yah, baby, she’s has got it.

Goddess applies as a full coverage color shadow in a vibrant turquoise blue.

Like Lestat, I think she bears a similar texture to the MAC Matte2 shadows, blending and layering with ease. I can already see her as the perfect partner for the shimmery bronzes and golds I’ve been wearing a lot so far this summer. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

A few more thoughts…

Swatches from left to right: Goddess, Lestat

How do you feel about Illamasqua’s packaging? Elegant?

I think the cases feel sturdy, snap tight and open easily. And I like the little design flourishes like their beveled edges and clear windows on top.

Being able to read the name of the shadows on the back is also a nice touch. In my advancing age (LOL!), I need all the help I can get (where the heck did I put my glasses?!).

We want the funk!

I had fun at dance class last night, yea! It managed to help me out of my funk. Teacher had us dance to a Busta Rhymes song, Touch It. The lyrics aren’t particularly moving, but I think that killer drum beat is.


I always crack up when Busta yells in the chorus… Dude, why r u so mad? CHILLAX!

How’s your Tuesday been? I hope you’re having a good one.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 35 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. ines says:

    edward is way cute although he gets pretty boring after a while (way too perfect). but you could make a brown topaz lustre (like mac lustre) shadow! that would be awesomely gorgeous with bronzed skin ((sniffles* i won’t be able to pull it off but you will!)…

  2. Ok you crack me up with the eyeshadow in your teeth mold, LOL!

    I am madly in love with everything Illamasqua. They speak to me like no other makeup brand since I discovered MAC 15 years ago has. LOVE Goddess!

    Now they need to make a super *hot* one called Louis!
    .-= Vampy Varnish’s last blog post… Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vampy Varnish,

      Yah, they definitely have a pull that speaks to me too. I *love* all of the crazy looks they post on their site. I probably wouldn’t wear any of ’em but it still amazes me.

  3. redhead says:

    How do you pronounce the name of this brand?! At first I misread it as ill-ahm-us-ah-kwa, but now I realize the name ends in “squa” and not “asqua”. Arg!
    Goddess is SO pretty 😀

  4. Lina says:

    OMG – you always make me laugh, your posts are hilarious! I nearly died from the teeth.

    These look interesting and from pictures the product looks amazing! I’m not too keen on the packaging though, yes I know I’m boring, but I don’t like the curved edges, would have rather preferred straight edges.
    .-= Lina’s last blog post… Color Focus: Smokey Eyes Part 4 (Mauves and Plums) =-.

  5. Caitlin says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried many matte powders, but I sure plan to! And when I still love playing with matte lips on occasion. BTW – Love your use for the teeth mold! Too funny!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caitlin,

      They add a lot of depth and contrast to eye looks. 🙂 Maybe start off with a few good browns for your crease and mix ’em with your favorite shimmers.

  6. Tali says:

    ^^ Pronounced IllamasKA 🙂

    Love lestat..its always (and i mean ALWAYS) sold out in store!!
    .-= Tali’s last blog post… By Terry & Dentist woes! =-.

  7. Tali says:

    ps. Illamasqua comes from the two words Illusion and MAsquarade mixed together! lol.. makeup geek I know!
    .-= Tali’s last blog post… By Terry & Dentist woes! =-.

  8. Connie says:

    so beautiful! I’ve learned to appreciate mattes better as I get deeper into makeup. They’re not cheap but I can see that the quality is amazing!
    .-= Connie’s last blog post… Review: Revlon ColorStay Liquid Foundation =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Connie,

      Yah, and with the added shipping it’s not exactly budget. At least the pans are big and the quality ROCKS.

      Do you have any mattes that you absolutely can’t live without?

  9. Paris B says:

    I can’t quite work matte eyeshadow but I laughed at Lestat. So reminded me of Anne Rice – perhaps I should go re-read some of them 🙂
    .-= Paris B’s last blog post… MWS Exclusive – REN Skincare Workshop : If Your Skin Can Talk =-.

  10. Sexy Sadie says:

    Matte is coming back, and I adore it.

  11. Karen B says:

    Again, my mouth is watering at all the Illamasqua goodness.

    I was in the centre this morning to find a book but the store wasn’t open yet so I wandered to the departmentstore to look around the makeup and fragrance.
    OMG, you have to take a sniff at Dior’s new Escale à Pondichéry. It is divine! I think I’ll beg my mum to buy me some, too mouthwatering good!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen B.,

      Noted. I gotta go by Dior this week so hopefully it’ll be there. What does it smell like on you? I know we like similar rose scents so I’m hoping it’ll be rose inspired.

      Did you end up finding your book?

  12. gio says:

    I love matte eyeshadows and these look gorgeous!

    the shadow in the teeth mold cracked me up! So funny!

  13. Nicole15 says:

    Teeth chomping on e/s = HYSTERICAL!!!

    These seem like gorgeous shadows. That blue reminds me of Electric Eel or Clarity from MAC, but maybe I’m totally off. Illamasqua is def a brand I wish we had on our side of the pond.

    BTW – Bananarama?!?!?! Love them. To this day, when I hear Cruel Summer, I lose all control of myself no matter where I am & sing & dance to my heart’s content.

  14. Dao says:

    What’s wrong with your teeth? You need a dentist? I can refer you to my cousin 😛

    The colors look so gorgeous, I’m trying to embrace matte but most times I failed 🙁
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… Adorned with Grace Ingénue Sleek Dual Fiber Brush: So 188 of You! =-.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dao,

      Eh, I have gum issues. And I grind my chompers at night. I need to start doing more yoga or something to reeeeelax.

      Hmm, maybe try doing a mix of mattes with shimmers? It’s definitely easier than doing an all matte eye.

  15. Karen B says:

    I didn’t find the book but I ordered it. It’s a particular version of A winter’s Tale by Shakespeare. It’s the play my subgroup will be working on in summer school at London.

    Surprisingly it isn’t rose-based at all. This is what says: a spicy blend of jasmine, sandalwood, black tea and cardamom which creates a crisp, summery cologne.
    I do think it’s more an EDT than a cologne, it stayed all the way to around 7 p.m. on my wrist so the staying power is pretty good.
    It’s a tad similar to Coco Mademoiselle in ambiance but it remiinds me more of this limited edition Dior Star fragrance I once had quite some time ago.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen B.,

      Hey, I’m wearing Coco right now! I got a tube of lotion in a GWP and keep it on my desk for “emergencies” (LOL!). I hope I can find that scent… it sounds yummy!

      What is your fave Shakespeare play? Mine is Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  16. Bomi says:

    That color is just so pigmented!!!

  17. -NBLACK says:

    I imagine being a Vampire in these times is really difficult with the whole indentifying yourself to the goverment all the time thing (unless your some identity theft wizzard)but mascara that gives the same sexy effect is good enough especially for me. BITE ME!

  18. Stef says:

    Karen, your haaaay’s and wassup’s never cease to crack me up!
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… Benefit Smokin’ Eyes review =-.

  19. I am intrigued to try out some of their products!
    .-= the makeup blogette’s last blog post… INs and OUTs (June 09) =-.

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