You know how much I love Illamasqua products. I regularly come across messages on makeup forums about how hard their matte lipsticks (which are 90% of the range) can be to work with, which is really a pity since they're so pretty and pigmented. That always break my heart a little! But I do understand that, being matte, these lipsticks can be tricky to use, so I thought I'd share my recipe for making them work.
A first solution that is very classical, consists on moisturizing your lips really well 15 mins prior to application, then exfoliating with a cotton bud if necessary and finally, applying the lipstick with a brush. But if you're anything like me you never have the time to go through all these operations in the morning!
So I found another way, a much easier one: I use another, creamier, nude lipstick as a base. (I would say something like Mac Creme d'Nude excepted I find Creme d'Nude horribly drying on my lips so I wouldn't pick that one, but you get the idea in terms of color). If you pick one that is a bit frosty, the pearl might show through the color and make it more satiny that matte, which can be great for some looks.
So I apply that first base color, I blot slightly, then I apply my Illamasqua lipstick on top and usually I don't blot again since the formula is so dry.
I also find that the non-matte lipsticks by Illamasqua, even though they're dry in texture, are a bit easier to wear than the matte ones. I own one called Melt, which is a gold nude with shimmery finish, and I very often use it under another Illamasqua lipstick, as I love the way the combination turns out.
Another lipproduct category I love is the intense lipglosses.
They are everything their name claims: glossy and very intensely pigmented. They're not really hard to wear, but they can look too much for daytime, and the glossy texture isn't everyone's taste. So what I do is apply a nice layer that I spread with a brush, or with my finger if I'm on the go, and then I blot with a tissue.
This way I get more of a stain that has a high pigmentation level, a slightly moisturizing feel, but that will last longer and will look more dramatic than the freshly applied intense gloss.
This makes dramatic colors like Fume or Petulant totally wearable!
Voilà, guys, you know my little secret, now go have fun with your Illamasqua lip stuff!