Expounding upon their Cabaret flavor, Illamasqua’s Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection, The Theatre of the Nameless, inhabits its own lush and fully realized underworld. The collection doesn’t rest on its dark glamour to do the selling; several of their products pull double and even triple duty in the name of stark theatricality.
I watched Andrea Helgadottir, the lead US makeup artist for the company, create a two looks on a model using some of the new products, as well as some old standbys. For the first more wearable ‘day’ look, she started by mixing the Rich Liquid Foundation with the Nameless Collection’s Pure Pigment in Beguile (a shimmering white) for a lit-from-within quality, and worked it into the skin with a brush. Then she used the collection’s Intense Lipgloss in Facade (a greyish pink) to contour the cheekbones with even more shine, then patted it on eyes to continue the glowy theme. Helgadottir then smoothed on lipstick in Kontrol, a surprising blue-violet (all the Illamasqua lipsticks contain vitamin E, so even those they dry to a matte finish, they still glide on smoothly.)
Before: Artificial Light
After: Artificial Light
Before: Natural Light
After: Natural Light
To take the look into the next realm, Helgadottir whips out the Precision Ink, most commonly used as an eyeliner. This collection includes Havoc, an of-the-moment burgundy shade, but she also uses a traditional black liner to start drawing a flowing pattern on the forehead and temple, then filling sections in with cream pigment and other shades of Pure Pigment.
While all this goes on, Kim Anderson, a makeup artist for Sephora, gives us running commentary on the many other uses of these products. The Pure Pigments can be mixed with gloss, clear nail polish, or Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel, to line eyes, blush cheeks, and stain lips. Anderson also notes that by using the pigment mixed in Sealing Gel as a gel eyeshadow, then following it up with a swipe of the dry pigment, you can create a crease-proof look for even the most oily of eyelids. (Also, to test a product’s true crease-proof mettle, swipe it on your inner wrists, then bend the wrist back and forth a few times. The quality of the product will tell quickly.) The Precision Ink, while a knockout eyeliner, also works as a nail-art pen when covered with a clear coat of polish, and because the cream blushes dry to a semi-matte finish, they also work great as lip stains. I started to get a little dizzy recording all these multi-uses.
I usually stay safely in the world of nudes and pinks and brown smudged eyeliner, so this collection is a departure for me. I got to try out the Shimmer Powder Blusher in Ambition, which is a rose-gold that’s well within my comfort zone, and the Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist, which is well without. Swirling on the blush with a fan brush is easy, then I blended it for good measure. I thought I’d throw caution to the wind in the spirit of the collection and attempt a cat-eye with the sparkly black pigment. Okay, a baby cat-eye. I wet an angled liner brush and carefully drew the line across my top lashes, keeping it modest, even though for me, it’s kind of wild. I might not wear the eye as a go-to, but it’s a nice trick to have in an arsenal, and the sparkly pigment sets it apart and keeps the retro look fresh. As for the blush, Ambition, it felt like a no-brainer transition piece from summer bronzer to fall blush.
The full collection is available at Sephora.com starting September 8th, and in Sephora stores on September 15th. It retails from $14-$27.50 and also includes four shades of nail varnish and a Masquara, so head to sephora.com to check out the full line and start dreaming up alternate uses. I personally want to get my hands on the blue lipstick, Kontrol, and pat it around my eyes, but I’m sure that’s just the very tip of the richly pigmented iceberg of uses for these products.
– Katharine McKenzie
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