Just Charlie G

When it comes for contouring, I don’t really go in for the full contouring look that’s so popular right now thanks to the likes of Kim Kardashian. I see far too many girls with orange stripes all over their faces since that look has been made popular. That said, I do find that sometimes I want to add a little extra definition to my sagging face! Its not something I do daily, more when I am going somewhere special or find myself with extra time in the morning.

I’m not going to go into how I contour, I’ll save that for another post if anyone’s interested I just wanted to share my favourite product to contour with, and that’s Illamasqua’s Cream Pigment in Hollow. Please excuse the state of my well loved product!



I am not a fan of using bronzers to contour. The simple reason being, the shadows on our face aren’t bronze or orange. I once bought a cream contouring palette and the shades were ridiculous, some really orange shades, it’s no wonder I see girls walking around with stripey orange faces. Don’t even get me started on shimmery contours!

Illamasqua’s Cream Pigments come in a variety of shades and have multiple uses. They are highly pigmented, have a matte finish and crease resistant formula.

Hollow is described as a toffee shade, which is is, but there’s grey overtone to it that makes it an ideal contour shade, well for pale skins like me at least. While it is a warm shade,  it doesn’t look warm on my skin at all, especially not when blended, and my camera hasn’t done a great job of showing this.

P1160828 P1160829


Its a buildable product, but for contouring thats not what you want, you need it subtle and blended out and thats where this product excels. I apply using a traditional foundation brush and then blend out carefully with a flat top foundation brush, its a little stiff in the pan I find, but soft on the skin.

Although this can also be used as an eye product,  I don’t recommend it, despite its claims it’s not crease-proof, as a contour on pale skins though, its excellent and lasts a long time.

It’s £17.50 and mine came from illamasqua.com.




Illamasqua Lipstick Palette Review

Illamasqua has such a devoted following for its non-conformist textures and colours – this lip palette is all things matte, with a very high pigment content and shades that look innocent enough in the palette but transform into dramatic, statement shades once on the lip. Don’t expect any forgiving sheerness here!

Illamasqua Lipstick Palette Review

Here’s how it looks under my lens.. not the same at all really, and very heavily weighted to pink!

Illamasqua Lipstick Palette Review

And here’s how they swatch up.
Illamasqua Lipstick Palette Review

Illamasqua Lipstick Palette Review

Illamasqua’s site have some swatches of it on the lip (I’ll spare you mine!) and you can see that they’re actually quite hard to wear unless you have the smoothest of lips, in which case they will look beyond amazing. I’d advise the night before a wear, buffing your lips with a dry flannel and slathering on the balm before bedtime so that your lips are absolutely smooth and crack-free to get the best from these shades.

See Lip swatches here: http://www.illamasqua.com/shop/products/christmas-gifts/lipstick-palette

The palette is £34.

*Regular readers will know that Charlie is taking some time out to recover from an operation, so this post is brought to you by Jane at Britishbeautyblogger. 

Illamasqua’s Autumn/Winter collection for this year looks phenomenal. It’s the most excited I’ve been about an Illamasqua collection in ages, and I always look forward to them. I’m not here to share any info about the actual products, that will come in due course (although have a quick Google if you want to see what I’m looking forward to so much!).

What I wanted to share with you is Evelyn. The Generation Q collection is a celebration of beauty, beauty for all ages without restrictions and so it is that Evelyn is one of the faces of this collection. The fabulous 72 year old model who looks simply stunning.

Illamasqua Generation Q Launch

This is one stunning image and one stunning lady and here are some quotes from the lady herself I wanted to share.

“I am originally a country gal, born in Dorset in May 1940. I was not academic or sporty at school and would gaze out of the window and dream of the bright lights and big cities. I have always loved make-up; from a small girl using Mother’s lipstick. I loved those beautiful women in the 1930s and 1940s films and tried to copy the looks. I get such pleasure every day from just putting my face on, and even more so now – thank you, Illamasqua!

I was very thrown to hear that I had been chosen to star in the Illamasqua campaign. I had no idea there were so many entrants!

I was very nervous to be modelling at a professional photo shoot. Thank goodness for Kate [my daughter] and all of the Illamasqua team, who were all so friendly and put me at ease. Once I relaxed, I loved every moment.

It was a complete honour to have my make-up done by Alex Box. Very exciting! Alex is so wonderfully warm and approachable and deft with those brushes! To try to take it all in I left my ‘Alex’ face on for 3 days whilst I attempted to follow her lines!

I have always been an advocate of using real women for these campaigns and never imagined it would happen. Hooray for real younger and real older women who give the real picture of how we can be transformed as opposed to model girls and actresses, who are the faces of most trading brands.

I feel definitely that if you love glamour or care about your appearance then be empowered – let’s believe in ourselves and go for it! I never imagined I would be wearing false eye lashes or red lipstick again and am thrilled to re-find the sense of fun that making up can give you with the promise of endless possibilities in new looks.”

Go Evelyn, an inspiration.

The collection launches on 6th September but I hope to bring more info and pictures before then!

I just wanted to share with you some images and information for the newest Illamasqua collection, Naked Strangers.

This is so stunning.

Illamasqua Naked Strangers Launch

Stunning image. Aside from the glitter and gold leaf that is what I wish my make up looked like every single day.

And check out these nails… to die for…

Illamasqua Naked Strangers Launch

Took me a few looks before I realised both hands were different!

So the collection is a gorgeous combination of golds and nudes. In Alex Box’s own words

Naked Strangers
captures inner glows and depths. The deeply and darkly alluring exists
alongside ethereal shimmering brilliance. We are complex and multifaceted
whilst also being naked to the world.”

It’s a nice small collection.

Illamasqua Naked Strangers Launch

Naked Rose Powder Blusher and cream blusher in Zygomatic (£16.50). Intense Lipgloss in Stranger (platinum gold) and Sheer Lipgloss in Intimacy (£13) and three Nail Varnish in Monogamous (creamy flesh pink, matte), Faithful (coppered metal) or Swinger (platinum gold) (all £13.50).

I like the look of everything but am particularly drawn to the polishes, Sheer lipgloss and both the blushers…. what about you?

The collection launches on 31st May.

If you’re a lover of Illamasqua then you can’t fail to have heard about the amazing Human Fundamentalism collection (out now). The ethos behind the collection is becoming who you are and not what society tells you to be. The fundamental human desire to express your inner beauty on the outside. Sounds to me like the ethos of Illamasqua in general! More specifically the collection is a celebration of humanity’s connection with colour both warm and bright, and contrasting finishes. The images that accompany the collection are striking, as can be seen above and below.

I received a couple of the Powder Eye Shadows (£15) from the collection, namely Pivot (yellow Green) and Sex (pure white). In addition I received the sealing Gel (£10.50), which I already own and have reviewed here (I love it).

Illamasqua Pivot Sex

I have to admit, when I got these shades I didn’t have a clue what to do with them. The green in particular.

Illamasqua Pivot Sex

Turns out though, I’ve made good use of both of them! The white I use daily under my brows. Whilst if built up it can be a stark white, when thoroughly blended it’s nice and subtle, and just adds a touch of shape where needed.

Mix them with the sealing gel and this is what you get….

Illamasqua Pivot Sex

So one of the items I most wanted from the collection was the Scribe Precision Ink. A pure white liquid liner…turns out if you have sealing gel or water, and the pure white Sex Powder Eye shadow, you don’t need Scribe. As for that green…here’s how I’ve been wearing it…

Illamasqua Pivot

Whilst somewhat subtler than bright green eye shadow, trust me, you don’t have to have your eyes closed to be noticed in this as a liner. It’s fantastic. It’s a statement for the faint hearted! That’ll be me then! Perfect with a peachy cheek and a coral lip.

The rest of the collection is extensive. There are four more shades of Powder Eye shadow, two Nail Varnish,  two lipsticks and two eye shadow palettes. I’ve surprised myself by finding I have a particular longing for the neutral version.

This is a truly stunning collection with something for everyone, even the neutral lovers. Bravo Illamasqua!

The collection is available from www.illamasqua.com.

*Disclosure – PR Samples*

I’m sure you’ve read all about the Illamasqua Sophie-I technique on other blogs. As did I and I REALLY wanted to give this stunning look a go. It’s everything I love in a make up look but I absolutely fail with liquid eyeliner for a start.

Illamasqua were quick to suggest I tried their cake liner and sealing gel with a brush to see how I got on and I have to admit, they’ve been a great success for me where other liners have failed.

Illamasqua Sealing Gel & Eyeliner Cake

The Sealing Gel is £10.50 for 2x6ml bottles, you can use it in a number of ways, with pigments, shadows or the Eyeliner Cake. For me, I just put a drop of the gel on the back of my hand and then get my brush nice and wet with it before dabbing straight onto the Eyeliner Cake in Mislead (black, which is £15.50), creating a paste and then applying to my eyes. I think the Cake will last forever. Anyway this has truly been the answer to all my liquid liner prayers. I’ve found it easier to work with than anything else I’ve ever used (that is black anyway). Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from perfect but I often think that as a blogger and a blog reader you look much closer at things than you would in normal life, the photos make me cringe close up but I have to say I was really pleased when I looked in the mirror and that is what counts!

Illamasqua Sealing Gel & Eyeliner Cake
Illamasqua Sealing Gel & Eyeliner Cake

So thank you Illamasqua, I’m happy with that.

Now a little bit about the Sophie-I Technique. The technique was created originally using the black Sophie Medium Pencil and is inspired by the incredible Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and in case you weren’t aware, for every pencil bought, £3 is donated to the Foundation. I don’t mind admitting the technique was a big fat fail for me and needs a lot of work before I’ll consider putting pictures on my blog. But for anyone who fancies giving it a go here are the instructions! Let me know if you’ve tried it or if you do, how you get on! (You’ll need to click to enlarge this I think).

*Disclosure – the sealing gel and eyeliner cake were samples provided to me by Illamasqua*

What a collection. This is just wow really and I have to say I think it’s my most favourite Illamasqua collection to date.  First lets look at the (very typically) Illamasqua images.

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless
Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless

I’m so in love with the first that if I could walk around like it every day I would. The second look, well the cold sores effect isn’t for me but it’s striking nonetheless and as with many Illamasqua images it’s not there to make you feel comfortable.

The collection represents a sort of den of iniquity, “a nocturnal den of the dissident leaders of underworld subcultures” is how Illamasqua describe it as they advise you to abandon yourself to the glorious wonders of unfettered night-time make up. Well I like the sound of that!

So the first item I have is the Vice Nail Varnish, there are four colours released in this collection, each with a sort of  rubberised finish.

illamasqua Vice nail Varnish

I love the finish and I absolutely love the colour but alas I can’t say anything else good about this. I found the application incredibly difficult, it was streaky and patchy and not great. I think with a little effort I could make the application work out but unfortunately the wear was diabolical, I applied it at 9.30pm. Went to bed, got up in the morning, got dressed, washed, did the school run, came home and took the picture you see below.

Illamasqua Vice nail Varnish

Tip wear anyone? So you could top coat this and loose the rubber finish…but I wouldn’t want to because I love the finish but without a top coat I can’t make this last at all. Disappointing because it’s such a gorgeous shade and for £13.50 I’d want better wear. All that said, I’ve just read on another blog someone (Scrangie I think) used a matte top coat… thats a good idea.

I was sent another couple of items and fortunately I LOVE them both heaps so keep reading for something a bit more positive.

Next we have the Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist. I don’t know if it was luck or if the PR’s know me REALLY well but they couldn’t have chosen better for me. Dark Shimmer. You know I love my smoky eyes!

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist

It’s black with the finest shimmer. Turquoise and perhaps a smidgeon of silver. It’s so pretty. I’ve worn it in a couple of ways, one as a liner all round the outside of my eye, and then as a shadow on it’s own lightly on my lid. What I’m dying to do is pack it on over a nice base for a really heavy look. For now though, to show you, here it is just on it’s own on my lid.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist
Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Zeitgeist

Love it, very versatile and just my colour. at £15.50  not too badly priced either.

The last item I have is a blusher. I’m mad for blusher. I have billions of the things stacked up in my drawers…but this is the one I’ve worn almost constantly since receiving it. Ambition Shimmer Blush. £16.50.

ILlamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush
ILlamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Zeitgeist Pure Pigment on the left and Ambition blush on the right in the above picture. Works like a charm with the Pure Pigment above and has awesome pigment levels. This is just the kind of colour that I feel suits me best and I’d have to go so far as to say that out of all my blushers, it might not be my prettiest to look at, or my fanciest, but its my new favourite blusher. The dusting of shimmer is fine and subtle. Check it out.

ILlamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush
ILlamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Love it! So that’s it. There are a few more bits in the collection I’d love… Belladona Lipgloss is a definite on my wishlist, as is the Havoc Precision Ink because I’m still completely in love with my Glister Precision Ink. I wear it so often.

So I’ll leave you with a few pictures of me wearing Zeitgeist and Ambition.

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless
Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless
Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless

Did you get anything? Will you? If you only get one piece I especially recommend the blusher. Love it,and it goes with everything.

So there have been a lot of posts about the brand spanking new Skin Base Foundation from Illamasqua so I’m not going to go into great detail about it, but for the benefit of those who’ve not heard anything about it it here’s the low down.

So Skin Base is Illamasqua’s take on the cult Beauty Balm Creams so popular in Asia. It professes to be easily blendable and to create a perfect complexion… as well as providing your base it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin while proving natural, buildable coverage. It can be used as a primer, concealer or foundation and is available in 18 shades, and retails at £25 for 30mls as of now.

Now I was sent three shades to try. 05, 06 and 07.

Illamasqua Skin Base

And this was a little problem for me. 07 was far to dark for my skin.  05 was a good match for my skin, but when applied all over my face I looked pale as a ghost… which left me with 06… which was a good match and at first looked perfect….more on that shortly.

Illamasqua Skin Base
Illamasqua Skin Base
I didn’t find this terribly buildable but generally speaking I did like the finish, it was natural and glowy, certainly no dull finish with this stuff but as the hours progressed I found it started to look a bit patchy and a bit orangey on me…as if I’d applied the wrong colour only in some places of my face, and badly at that! I persevered and  tried applying with fingers, brushes, on primer, without primer, setting with powder, without powder…. it all ended up the same… the other problem I had was one that is almost certainly to do with me and not the product is the horrible clumping and patchiness on my nose. I recently mentioned it in my Shiseido review and I didn’t manage to get any photographs but Lipglossing appears to have the same problem as me and I couldn’t beat her pictures, so go take a look… this is a problem I have with LOADS of foundations, the ones that don’t really do it are powders or heavy foundations, anything light causes me clumping and flakiness on my nose, even if the flakiness isn’t apparent without foundation on.
So…Skin Base… it’s not for me sadly but some reviewers have loved it. Like Lipglossiping I’d recommend trying before you buy.
Available in store or from http://www.illamasqua.com/.
Illamasqua Toxic Nature
“Unpredictable, uncharted and unnat­ural, Illamasqua unleashes Toxic Nature for Spring/Summer 2011, a colour collection born from a visionary concept of nature fighting back against the genetically modified society that plunders it. Illamasqua has created the Toxic Nature collection through a palette of lurid shades, corrupted hues and glistening muted tones that offer intoxicating versions of their original selves.
Like nature itself, it’s not all sweetness and light. Shades of mint, mushroom, plum, orange and rose are distorted with rich textures and pops of acid-infused brightness that command attention and draw you in… “
Firstly these are two images I totally fell in love with when they started appearing on blogs. Stunning!
Illamasqua Toxic Nature
Anyway! If you are a regular reader of blogs you will probably be aware there was a blogger event recently to launch this new collection, I was unable to attend but Illamasqua very kindly sent three items from the new collection for me to try out.
Illamasqua Toxic Nature

Shown are Hollow & Emerge Cream Pigments and Glister Precision Ink.


Illamasqua Hollow


ILlamasqua Emerge


Illamasqua Glister


Illamasqua Toxic Nature
Illamasqua Toxic Nature
Gister (£17) is a stunning liquid liner full of tiny flakes of shimmer, like those in a “flaky” nail polish and please enlarge the following pic to see what I  mean. I’m rubbish at liquid liner, but the tip on this seems pretty easy to manage, and the liner is waterproof and long wearing. Seriously pretty.
Illamasqua Toxic Nature
 The Cream Pigments (£17) are amazing. Not quite the colours I’d have chosen to go with each other as it all leans a little too warm for my tastes but really the shades are irrelevant, I was especially interested these as they are a completely new product. They are indeed highly pigmented, and especially easy to sheer if applied with fingers. They come in 5 shades:
Emerge – Peach (swatched above)
Bedaub – Mint
Hollow – Toffee (swatched above)
Delirium – Rose Taupe
Mould – Grape
Funds allowing I will be looking to get Bedaub as thats the one that really appeals out of the whole lot and I fancy playing around with it and the two colours I already have, to mix things up a bit and take out some of the warmth. I’m also wondering I could use Emerge on my lips, I’m pretty sure I could use it on my cheeks, but will have a play over the next few days. Another thing I’m wondering is if Hollow might be good for contouring or if it’s simply too dark for my very pale skintone. Anyway, it’s nice to find myself inspired by make up, it doesn’t happen often! Having said all that, I have slapped a bit of the two I own on each eye and three hours later it’s crease city. I will try again with primer potion and see how that goes. I doubt I’ll purchase more if I can’t make them work without creasing.
The rest of the collection holds similar appeal to me, there are two lippies (£15) both on my lust list, two sheer lipglosses (£13) and five new nail varnish, all of which appeal and can be seen in my second picture with a YSL style french manicure.
Finally, I’ll leave you with one of the promo images I don’t like at all! But thats the thing with Illamasqua, its about demonstrating the art of make up, and challenging your perceptions, and standing out from the crowd! I don’t like the finished result  but I can’t deny it’s beautifully executed!
Illamasqua Toxic Nature
Out on Thursday March 10th online at http://www.illamasqua.com/ and from Thursday March 17th on counters in the UK, but there is the chance for 3 lucky people to WIN their favourite products from the new collection by adding them to the waiting list at illamasqua.com! Winners  will be picked on Wednesday March 9th.