Personally, I think some of the best stuff comes from England. The best accents, the best clothes (hello Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson), and now, some of the best makeup. Illamasqua is a two year old European import that seems like to British equivalent to MAC, with a bit of a dark, theatrical, Cabaret-esque twist. Sephora just picked them up online, and their stuff should be in stores by this Fall (which is way too long to wait, if you ask me). This definitely isn't makeup for the wallflower. It's hardcore, heavy drama, center of attention stuff. Which is totally up my alley, so you know I'm freaking out. Here are the top six products I'm the most excited for:
Sealing Gel, $12 at sephora.com, Powder Eye Shadow, $20 at sephora.com, Nail Varnish, $14 at sephora.com: I think this sealing gel is an interesting concept. You mix it with any powder, pigment, or shadow to create a sort of long-lasting liquid liner. It's not the kind of thing I'd use everyday, but if there was, say, a MAC pigment that you wanted to use as a liner or a specific shadow you wanted to make a cat-eye with, this would be the perfect product. At first I wasn't that excited about the Illamasqua shadows. They're like, 90% mattes, and I immediately wrote them off as boring. But then I realized, matte shadows are the perfect thing for the crease or an intense smoky eye. Sometimes sparkles and shimmer just aren't the right message, and mattes look more like natural contours and shadows than frosts or shimmers. I want Bronx, Forgiveness, Drama, Moonflower, Preen, Tango, and Wolf, they're decently priced, and from what I hear, the lasting power and pigmentation is insane. The range of colors for their polish is insane. There are no pale pinks or corals here, it's all neons and sparkles and crazy awesomeness. My favorites are Baptiste, this deep purple, and Phallic (no comment), this glittery navy, and Whack, a bright orange-poppy. It's not the cheapest polish, but it's so pigmented that you only need one or two coats, which is how I'm rationalizing buying it. It makes sense. In my head.
Satin Primer SPF 20, $28 at sephora.com, Illuminator, $18 at sephora.com, Liquid Metal, $24 at sephora.com: I'm still on the hunt for a good primer without silicone. There are more eco-friendly, low key, silicone free primers out there, but none of them seem to get the job done. I'm excited for this primer because it promises a dewy glow, it's silicone-free, it has SPF, and since it's Illamasqua, it's going to be hardcore (and if your primer's not hardcore, really, what's the point?). It's just as hard to find a good highlighter as it is to find a good primer. I want one that's creamy (it looks more natural than powder), warm, and shimmery, not sparkly. It has a wet-dry finish and comes in a whole color spectrum, so there's one for every skin tone. I want it in Halycon, ivory pearl, or Odyssey, pearly white, and since it's only $18, I may have to get both. For research. You understand. I saved my favorite product for last. Liquid Metal is a cross between a highlighter and a cream shadow. It comes in gold and copper, and it looks insane. The metallic sheen on this is unbelievable. It really looks like metal. But the best part is, you can apply it more sheerly for a subtle pearl or layer it on for gold-plated lids.
I just wish they had Illamasqua in my Sephora. It looks highly pigmented, decently priced, and comes in insane colors. The only downside is that I can't see it in person. I do have to give Sephora props for being one of the first people to carry it in the US, though.
Sealing Gel: sephora.com, Eyeshadow: sephora.com, Baptiste polish: alllacqueredup.com, Phallic polish: temptalia.com, Primer: sephora.com, Illuminator: sephora.com, Liquid Metal: sephora.com