Monday, May 2, 2011

Review of Illamasqua Lipstick in Box

I have fallen in love again, with Illamasqua! Illamasqua is a UK cosmetics brand that is bursting with color and quality! Their nail polish, pigments, shadow, foundation primer and lipstick shades are amazing!

If you are based in the US, you can find Illamasqua at select Sephora stores (NYC and Vegas stores to name a couple) and you can also find the line online:

I am always on the hunt for the "holy grail" of red lipstick and I have found it once more in Illamasqua's lipstick in 'Box.' Shrinky Inky of Inkyknits Blog suggested Box to me a while back and I am so glad she did!

While I was in Las Vegas for VLV, I stayed at the Palazzo/Venetian and since their is a huge, huge Sephora attached to the casino/hotel, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to browse this amazing store!

The Venetian Sephora has a great selection of Illamasqua products. I wanted *all* of their pigments and red lipsticks (especially Maneater and Sangers) but due to the fact I have so many reds already, I was 'good' and just got Box ($22.00 USD) and Ruthless nail varnish (a bright, warm vintage red creme) for $14.00 USD.

Box is a bright, vintage red that leans cool. Imagine if Russian Red and Ruby Woo had a baby...the result would be Box. Box has a neutral tinge with a touch of blue-based pink mixed in. In certain lights, the color looks warm and in others, the pink tones can really be seen. Hence, the 'neutral' classification fits aptly.

The Illamasqua lipstick pigmentation is intense. We are talking totally opaque, in-your-face color, gals! The texture is on the heavier side and the finish is matte! I love matte lipstick finishes because they always make my lips look fuller. Now, unlike some mattes, I find that Illamasqua lipstick is not drying. Yes, it is on the dry side formula-wise but it does not chap my lips. I always wear MAC Lip Prep and Prime as a lipstick base. Not only does it make lipsticks last longer, it helps shield lips from dryness.

Here is Box in a vintage tube (I like to re-case my lipsticks in vintage tubes!):
Here is a swatch on my right hand:
Notice the pink-blue tones? Yet, the tube photo above it, the color looks warm-based!

Here I am, wearing Box matched with Make Up For Ever's Aqua Lip pencil in 8C (I typically wear Box with MAC pencil in Cherry but thanks again to Inky, I tried the 8C and it really pairs well!)

I am wearing a faux fur wrap and a 1940s pale blue beaded hat. I felt like "playing dress up" for a bit! (lol!)

So, if you are looking for a true matte, deeply pigmented lipstick that pulls out all the stops, then give Illamasqua Box a try!


  1. I love Illamasqua! In my opinion their lippies are quite drying, some are happy exceptions though. I don't prime my lips, just use balm beforehand so maybe that contributes? I would really recommend you try their blushes, they are so insanely pigmented and gorgeous! I'm addicted.

  2. Oh my goodness, I don't think it would ever have occurred to me to put a new tube of lipstick in a vintage tube (this coming from someone who lifetimes ago had a small handmade cosmetics company, too). Brilliant! Do you run into issues with the tube size, since I know many vintage tubes were a bit smaller? I am really excited about the idea of trying this out sometime.

  3. yay!! I am so glad you love it :) I've been wearing it since Illamasqua came to Sephora and it's always my go-to red (it trumped Russian Red immediately). Maneater is probably my second fav and Sangers is a nice red, a bit brighter but pretty - not as WOW this is a great red like Box. Glad you like the MUFE 8C pencil with it too ;)

  4. Miss Emmi,

    I have heard that applying lip balm before putting on a drier lipstick, ie matte, really does an amazing job with protecting lips! I like my MAC lip primer but I will have to try the balm trick as well for sure!

    I not tried Illamasqua's blushes but I really should! The colors looked amazing in the store!!

  5. Tasha,

    I had no idea either to how to fill vintage lipstick tubes until Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage Blog did this tutorial (it's amazing):

  6. Inky,

    I almost bought Maneater. I mean, it was literally in my hand and then I looked at the swatch I made on my skin and realized that the color is very similar to Julie Hewett's Rouge Noir, which I have. So, I just got the Box and I am so glad I did! It is amazing! Thanks again for the suggestions!

  7. Great color, i heard a lot good things about illamaqua, need to try as they are always having sales here.
    You look stunning in your vintsge hat, i keep forget to tell you have a nicole kidman look to you amor.

  8. La Dama,

    Illamasqua is amazing! Yo adoro their red lipsticks, especially Maneater, Box, Encounter, and an orange called Ignite!

    Gracias for the compliments! My auntie in Croydon tells me I look like Nicole Kidman! Too kind!