Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Illamasqua 'Fatale' Palette

Review and Demo

Illamasqua 4 pan palettes spotted in TKMAXX, A 2013/2014 release, though still being sold online, and in participating department stores. A chance to try out their eyeshadow formula -  'Reflection's cream to The 'Fatale's powder; as I hadn't had much luck with the illamasqua cream formula, and since I preferred the colour scheme of the powder (+ it was slightly cheaper), there was only one contender.

Quality street jewel tones, but is it a treat?


A Square, with inwardly curved sides (blunt corners), shiny black plastic compact. Shape synonymous with the brand, they've yet to make a name for it; hence the over-the-top, extra explanation, which is already obvious in the visual. *you're welcome*

Flip palette, with secure closure/clasp and generous mirror. & amount of product - 6g, with 1.5g per shade - same volume as a mac individual pan, albeit here in square pans. A Quad, it does fit into the palm of my hand, but I do find the compact unnecessarily chunky.

By my, doesn't the inside look pretty - Let's see if beauty is swatch deep.

*Brand Claims in grey italics*


At a glance, this is a very sunset themed palette - commemorative background, made autumnal - with 2 cool, 2 warm shades - though as someone who never seems to have chocolate far from their mind, it makes me think of quality street.

'Put your eyes in the spotlight with our Fatale powder eye shadow palette. Enjoy four intense shimmer shades: bronzed gold, sultry berry shimmer, chestnut brown and seductive violet shimmer. Wear separately or blend to create your own bespoke look.

*By shadow: position in palette - the nameillamasquas colour description, then mine*
Top Left - Bronx'bronze gold shimmer' - Fools (yellow based) Gold.
Top Right - Ensnare'sultry berry shimmer' - In the pan and certain lights, Garnet. In swatch and eyes, the pink duo tone shows true through, making it more of a Cranberry.
Bottom Left - Charm, 'seductive violet shimmer' - True Radiant Orchard (Pantene Colour of the Year circa )
Bottom Right - Mystify'Chesnut Brown shimmer' - Grey toned, bark brown.
All softly shimmery, but when blended out, appear more as a sheen.

I would not say they were intense - some would even say weak - in both colour, and finish. No mattes, so not a conventional all in one/stand alone palette, unless you are fan of one shadow looks like myself.
Though I may have different descriptions, credit to the website, I do find there swatches to be realistic. What about their other descriptions?


This unique formula of water resistant eyeshadow provides a silky texture for effortless application and blending. It looks like a powder but feels like a cream, delivering beautiful washes of colour. Contains a spherical fine particle silicone, which ensures ease of use and long wearing hold.

I find the shadows to be consistently smooth (could stretch to silky), and easy to pick up on a brush or finger, but powdery (not 'feels like a cream') - especially with the purple. Do expect fallout, of shimmer more than anything else, which is already obvious in the stray flecks in the palette (despite it having yet to be used, and my repeat attempts to remove wipe clean for photo purposes).

Despite the appearance of the pans - bold distinct colours - and varieties in depth of the swatches, on the eyes, they aren't BAM, they are blah. I don't find there to be enough contrast in the shades, and they end up all seeming mid tone.
I would describe these as soft pigment, sheer - coupled with said powdery texture may make it easy to blend - but to an extreme that blends too much into each other, or away completely. Whether paired with other shades in the palette, or other's completely, it has no cling. Average ability to layer - but that I need to, contradicts 'ease of use'. I feel like I have to build, redip brush, reapply after blending - reapply even after finishing makeup - using a lot of product, for not enough impact. Softer can be exactly what some people want - but I doubt to this extent. Not effortless application for these very reasons.
Hailed as both 'intense' and 'washes' - granted most eyeshadows can be worn softly or boldly, but this is a juxtaposition, and I would only agree with the second.

The palette smells like sweet playdough. Fortunately, the formula doesn't irritate my eyes, though they are prone to watering, and I completely dispute 'water resistant' claim - since the slightest moisture, removes it completely. I don't expect shadows to stay pristine with wear and tear, but this disappears completely - completely contradicting the claim. The ease of which these are removed (be it by/via dry tissue on swatches, on face wash on eyes) reinforces that.

Not only does it start sheer, and not withstand watery eyes, but I see definite fading - even during makeup (beyond blending out edges, but maybe going back to face or break for brows), but significantly by the end of the day. I don't have much of an issue with creasing, coupled with a base - fading and powderyness might explain that.
Long wearing hold? What little is left lingers. Unique formula of spherical fine partical silicone it may be, but I don't like it.

Products in Play

Shown in my review soley in conjunction with each other, with no other shadows in the mix. An eye base is part of my daily makeup routine, but for the purpose of this review, I only prepped my right eye > lefthand side in Photos - Origins cream eyeshadow in vanilla vroom, set with rimmel stay matte powder - leaving the other bare. I tried to show the palette in the best light/make it work the best I could - taking extra care to repeat the same motions on both eyes, there were definite differences.

In order of application.
The brown Mystify is the strongest of the lot (because it's the darkest) but was noticeably less pigmented, more choppy, and overall less impressive on the unprimed side. Used as crease colour, and very outer corner of the lid - this EOTD took 2 brush tip dips per section, in the pan, much more than I would usually need. The gold Bronx performed similarly, but still stronger on the primed side - Inner 3rd, one press into the pan; best method was using fingers or a brush in a press then swipe motion, or it can look chunky/bity, like the shimmer has separated. Can you even tell where the red Ensnare is? Despite the appearance of the pan, and even the swatch - this sucks. Applied last on the main part of the lid, with finger tips to give the best chance for the shade, 3 or so applications with a finger at various times during my makeup, and it's barely even a red wash. Only difference between the 2 eyes is the application was easier on the primed, though the slight patchyness on the left was easy enough to deal with as the shade is so weak.

For the entire lid, blending and overall effect is worse without the primer. There's more definiton to the right, but overall it's all very murky between supposedly contrasting shades, and the colours are hazy rather than rich. With the exception of the lower lashline. Maybe it's because it's a parma violet colour Charm, maybe because of the stiff liner brush, maybe cos it's not blended into other shades - but in general practice, it is the strongest shade of them all. I look like I have an eyeshadow on!

Freshly Applied 

+ 1hr


+ 4hr

+ 8hr

General fading on both eyes throughout the day, though flecks of shimmer decided to stay to see the evening stars. Significant creasing on my left eye/right side in photos, without primer. Lower lashline colour couldn't hold out either.


Still sold online (illamasqua, debenhams etc) RRP for £29.00, is in my opinion too much. Broken down, you're paying roughly £7.50, per shade. With it being my first 'luxury' price point palette, even paying the lesser discounted price of £9.99 - £2.50 each - I was disappointed.

4 shades would have to blow me away for it to be worth the original price, and these don't even impress me. Series of striking looks, look strikingly blah similar - so I also don't think you are getting the versatility a colour palette like this would suggest.

I don't find the weight/materials to be particularly luxe, nor the product inside; packaging does the job, the shadows don't. Was my expectation too high?

In Conclusion

I appreciate the idea of, colourful, but not rainbow bold options - this formula can eliminate risk by making it easier to pull off different shades - and some would say having a fade from one shade to another, and lack of harsh lines was a good thing, but these are water colours of eyeshadows so it's never going to be a waterfall of colour. The Pans look great, Swatches Ok - but this is where my postives end - not OK translated on the eyes, and don't preform as the appearance of the pans would suggest.
I disagree with most of the brand claims! 

'Ensure all eyes are on you with this combination of four colour-intense, long-lasting shimmer shades'

Key Benefits:
1. Water-resistant
2. Effortless application
3. Long lasting hold

Broken down - it's a purple, an unoriginal brassy gold, seen better shimmery browns and a bad red. Even as a regular softer sweep/washes of shadow wearer, these don't deliver.
Some shades need bold powerful pigment, and my biggest dudd shade really is the red - and although I hear these are harder to pull off formula wise, I'm sure this colour would be an appeal of the palette (since it's stands out), and possible deal breaker if it's a bit naff. I have had more luck with all shades on a dense, liner brush, on the lower lashline. But I honestly believe it's because the shade isn't competing with others. Otherwise, it's sheeny mixed mess; difficult to distinguish between shades, limiting variety/series of looks. Granted, I'm not restricted to this one palette and I will get some wear from it, but a palette that needs extra steps, or particular brushes - I simply won't reach for it. 

I was also drawn in by the brands rep (and the prospect of a sampling a luxury product at a affordable pricepoint). Since the eyeshdows aren't as vivid as the pans would suggest - aren't rich - when cheaper can be, it's more disapointing. Certainly not as powerful/punchy as one would expect from the ethos ('makeup for your alter ego') of illamasqua, it also fell short of the concept I was buying into.

The esthetics of this palette may be an eyeshadow junkies dream; Shimmery, colours that stood out - tones more unique to my collection. Autumnal, though it doesn't matter the season.
The reality is, they shallowly stunning, and the quality street palette appearance rang true for the wrong reason - the jewel toned wrapping promise is there, but reality is you are getting less than you think from your price input - you may not be getting fewer chocolates like with qualitystreet, but the quality of it is just as disappointing.

Hope you enjoyed my analagy, annoyingly long review, and the upcoming shrinking Christmas Chocolate Boxes.

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