Illamasqua has Arrived – The Celebrity-adored Beauty Brand Coveted Around the World
There’s a reason such icons as Beyonce, Florence Welch, Rita Ora, and Lady Gaga are fans of Illamasqua. The cult-favorite, cruelty-free British makeup brand celebrates freedom of self-expression through inventive color cosmetics.
“Inspiring you to express who you truly are through the power of makeup”
— Pablo Rodriguez, Illamasqua’s Director of Artistry
From the moment I tried their iconic Hydra Veil Primer in 2019, I was a fan. Not because it was touted by celebrities, and not because it wears its 100% cruelty-free (no animal testing ever) badge like an Olympic medal. This innovative creation was groundbreaking in texture and delivered on its performance promises, which is why this fashion-forward brand has a fan following of not only consumers but revered makeup artists as well.
As a self-proclaimed primer junkie, I thank my car-building father for helping me understand that you need a perfect canvas in order to get a perfect finish. Hydra Veil does far more than prime, though. The combination of microalgae and vitamins B3 and C keep skin hydrated even under sunscreen-heavy, matte foundation. Between the calming plant extracts and the Jell-O-like texture, this water-based primer is beyond easy to love.
I’ve worn this under every foundation I own, including YSL, Lancôme, Bobbi Brown, and Koh Gen Do, and it has enough grip to provide 8-10 hours of comfortable wear without breaking around my nose or mouth. It also has the most entertaining texture ever!
The primer comes with its own spatula inside, which doubles as a handle to open the inner lid. To keep the product sanitary, though, clean the spatula after each use before storing it inside.
Gel Sculpt Silhouette
I was admittedly nervous about this contouring product when I opened the tube. What initially looked intense, intimidating, and far too dark for my skin tone turned out to be surprisingly subtle.
Like Hydra Veil, Gel Sculpt’s water-based formula applies with refreshing coolness and none of the unsavory characteristics associated with some stick formulas. It works equally well under and over foundation, but don’t dawdle with this one. The hydrating tint dries quickly, especially in arid conditions, so apply and blend it in immediately, one area at a time, before it sets. And, if you love a good makeup multitasker, Gel Sculpt’s texture makes it easy to apply as eye shadow as well. I used a densely packed, short-bristled brush to blend it into the crease to create dimension after using the same brush to contour the sides of my nose.
If there’s one product in my beauty arsenal that I’m fanatical about keeping sanitary, it’s mascara. I live by the 90-day rule and pitch products like a Major League Baseball all-star. That said, Illamasqua’s Masquara makes me wish I had lots and lots of lashes because this formula was both buildable and creamy, thanks to lash conditioning vitamin E. The fluffy brush makes it easy to get all the way down to the lash line, but if you have sparse lashes, I highly recommend using a disposable wand, especially for the first coat.
As a contact lens wearer and allergy sufferer, raccoon eyes can be a huge problem for me. Illamasqua’s Masquara didn’t flake or smudge during my 10-hour workday, and my husband – who rarely notices my makeup since I test so many things – told me I looked “more awake” on the mornings when I wore this. That alone seals the deal for me.