Review: Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise

By Voxy  

Illamasqua is another of those brands I’d wanted to try for a long time, but because they aren’t sold in any brick-and-mortar Sephora stores near me, I haven’t been able to check them out in person. I admit I do like to walk into stores and ask if they carry the line just because the name is so fun to say — the “qu” is pronounced as in “sesquipedalian,” or “hemidemisemiquaver,” or “Quiet, Quentin! I am quite sure I did answer questions and queries about the quiz, so quit quailing and quivering querulously!”

(You can tell it’s a low point in the semester when using “qu” words amuses me — or when I wind up in a corner with my arms covering my head, rocking back and forth and muttering the name of a cosmetics line over and over. If you happen to come across me in such a situation, please send vodka martinis. Vox brand vodka obviously preferred.)

My first Illamasqua purchase was a cream blush (or “blusher,” as they quaintly call it) in shade Promise, which is a cool but bright pink. Illamasqua is probably best known for their eyeshadows and pigments, but you all know I’ve been questing after cream and gel blushes, so how could I resist?

In the land of cream blushes, there is frequently a disconnect between what it looks like in the compact and how it looks on your cheeks. Promise is very much a what-you-see-is-what-you-get color: an exquisitely delicate cool pink. Unlike Tarte cheek stains, which are sheer, this is a true cream blush: opaque, milky, blendable.

While overall I like the product very much, I do have a few … quibbles. Its lasting power is not quite as long as I expect from cream and gel blushes (but I think I have probably been rather thoroughly spoiled by Stila Convertible Colors, which last all day and into the evening without complaint). I also wish they came in a larger quantity of shades: in the US, these are Sephora exclusives, and there are only five shades available — Promise (cool petal pink), Betray (described as “deep plum rose,” but dang, that swatch looks positively purple to me), Libido (bright orange-red), Lies (light pearly pink), and Rude (pinky-coral).

Quality-wise, the product lives up to expectations: it’s easy to apply and blend, though I suspect that people whose skin is strongly yellow-toned might have trouble with this particular shade. The packaging is attractive and distinctive — a stylized square with extra-pointy corners — and while packaging itself [almost] never sells me on a product, I admit it’s part of the allure.

Sasquatch! Swatch!


Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise: $24 at Sephora

Provenance: Acquired by purchase.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Quite good.

Purchase again? Unquestionably!

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted September 30, 2010 at 6:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Heh. Nice review, Voxy. Not at all… loquacious. I have been pronouncing Illamasqua incorrectly (I-llama-ska).

    I quite like their Liquid Metal cream shadows as a base for shimmery eyeshadows.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted September 30, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ha! I was hoping someone would say, “I saw what you did there!” :)

      There are some other products I’m dying to try — some of the new Liquid Metal colors are gorgeous, and they have a few new pigments that look stunning.


      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted October 1, 2010 at 4:38 am | Permalink | Reply

        The Liquid Metals are great but they can crease quite a bit. I find putting them over TFSI and then shadow over the top prevents creasing — ‘Phenomena’ is nice under Dior’s Irridescent eyeshadow


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