Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Illamasqua Alter Ego Mystery Selection - photos and such

I've never tried Illamasqua before, but I've always wanted to - their products seem to lean more "artistic" than "beauty" (and that always gets my attention), and they consistently get good reviews from Temptalia. But I've never known where to start.


The Illamasqua Alter Ego Mystery Selection seemed like either a good place to start or a bad one, depending on how much you like to gamble. It's a box of 10 full-sized products - two of which you know about ahead of time and the rest of which are a grab bag of mystery shades.

Now... I'm a bit of a gambler. I used to love buying mystery grab bags from toy stores (especially the Sanrio store, when I was a little kid), so this box seemed like fun, and since I had no idea where to start with this new-to-me brand anyway, I like the idea of them making "suggestions" for me. (It's a great way for me to sample their line, and it's a great way for them to get rid of random stock, am I right?) The value couldn't be beat - 10 FULL-SIZED products for $60 (even less, since I had a Sephora discount code)? That's $6 an item. Most drugstore products aren't even $6 an item anymore. A quick browse through the Illamasqua section of Sephora.com showed me that every product in that box cost at LEAST $20 except for the nail varnish:

Nail varnish: $14
Two lipsticks: $24 and $22
Intense lipgloss: $22
Sheer lipgloss: $22
Cream blush: $26
Cream e/s: Couldn't find this exact product on the site, but let's assume it was at LEAST $20
Liquid Metal cream: $26
Two medium pencils: $20 each

I figured that even if there were a couple shades or products that I didn't like, I'd still be getting more than my money's worth. As it turns out, I like pretty much everything!

First off, here are the two "known" products in the box:


Nail Varnish in Jo'Mina - I kind of LOVE purples, and I'm not particular about my nail polish. I've seen nothing but A+ reviews on Illamasqua's nail polish, so I'm totally cool with this


Lipstick in Fable - Honestly, this might be the only thing I got that won't really work for me. It's described as a matte bubblegum pink, and it's a little too bright/pale for my complexion, though it may be okay with a lipliner-base or a gloss on top, who knows.

Here are the mystery grab-bag products:


Cream blusher in Devour - NOT for the faint of heart! It's a bright red and VERY pigmented, but it applies like a dream. I will probably be applying this with a light hand, under my foundation.

My fingers slipped while I was prying the lid off! 
Liquid Metal cream pigment in Resolute - Creamy, pigmented, really beautiful. This is what I wanted Maybelline's Pomegranate Color Tattoo cream shadow to be, but it was just too sheer. I'm hoping to get a lot of mileage out of this one as derby face paint. This can be used on the body as well.


Cream eyeshadow in Peak - I'm a sucker for a taupey/beigey color, and like the previous two cream products, this one applies nicely. I'm not sure why I can't find this on either Sephora.com or Illamasqua's website. This will make a lovely base. It has a satin finish (or so I'm told).


The other lipstick I got was Drench, and it's a "matte berry pink." It's perfect - I LOVE it. It's bright and bold, but not scary; it's cheeky. It looks good with my skin tone.


Medium Eye Pencils in Severe (chocolatey brown) and Coax (white). Staple colors, can't go wrong with those. I haven't swatched them yet though, so I have no idea how they apply.


Intense Lipgloss in Indulge and Sheer Lipgloss in Electrify. A bright pink and a baby pink - again, staple colors. I haven't tried them yet either. The packaging is a little different from what you'd get if you bought them individually - I would've liked a wand applicator better than the jelly/rubbery thing, but I'll survive :)

So yeah, not bad, huh? There was really only one item that I kinda felt iffy about (the Fable lipstick, which was NOT a mystery product), and it's not because of the quality of the product, but just the shade. These are all QUALITY products, as one might expect, and for $6 a pop, you really can't go wrong. You could always trade or give away the colors that don't seem to work for you, although you don't have any individual packaging (what you saw in the first photo at the top of my post is what it looked like when I opened the box), so if you care about that sort of thing, then... too bad. Whatever, Sephora has a pretty good return policy. :)

If you've got a gambling spirit and get excited about mysteries and surprises (and you also want a whole bunch of Illamasqua for $6 an item), DO IT. GET THE BOX. It's totally worth it.