Illamasqua Lipstick

Still swatching my way through the Illamasqua counter at my local Sephora, my next project was to tackle their lipsticks.

Of the shades available in the U.S., Illamasqua’s lipsticks are almost all satin/matte and very pigmented. They aren’t scented — they may have a vague “makeup scent” when new. For now, they are sold only through Sephora and are $22 each.
Illamasqua, lipstick, swatches, Howl, Box, Drench, Maneater, Tramp, Encounter, Ignite, Blaze, Over, Scandal, Brink, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
Illamasqua has a lot of reds. Howl is deep and “bricky,” a slightly browned red. Box is cherry red. Drench is pink-red (well, it’s red rose, but it’s more pink than the other shades). Maneater is vibrant; warmer and less blue than Box. Tramp is slightly lighter and warmer than Maneater. Encounter is just slightly deeper than Tramp. You’d really have to be a red connoisseur to distinguish between Maneater and Encounter.

Ignite is a very orange red (or a slightly red orange), and a bit more sheer than the other shades. Blaze is orange. Over is coral-pink, as is Brink. Scandal is bright rose.
Illamasqua, lipstick, swatches, Test, Sonnet, Obey, Brink, Over, Fable, Climax, Wanton, Liv, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
I reswatched some of the shades because I was curious how they compared to others. Test is mauve (Climax is more purple). Sonnet is pale peach. Obey is bright peach-pink. Comparatively, Brink and Over are definitely bright coral. I think Over is just a bit more vibrant, a hair more orange.

Fable is bubblegum pink. Climax is mauve rose; Wanton is more purple. Liv is cool, pale pink.
Illamasqua, lipstick, swatches, Fable, Climax, Wanton, Liv, Plunge, Corrupt, Welt, Resist, Underworld, Flicker, Growl, Pristine, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
Plunge is a slightly deeper cool pink than Liv. Corrupt is azalea pink. Welt is deeper; more magenta. Resist is deeper still, and more berry.

Underworld is a sheer, sheeny pink-violet duochrome. Flicker is a sheer golden-bronze sparkly shade. I wondered if these were meant to be worn on top of other lipsticks — and if Europe had more of these types of shades.

Growl is the very definition of “vamp,” a deep dark browned red. Pristine is black.

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16 Responses to “Illamasqua Lipstick”

  • Dea says:

    WOAH! Thats a lot of reds! I can see Box and Maneater would look good on me but surely I am no expert myyself.. will have to swatch it on myy lips. Growl is such a stunner<3

    awesome swatches as always Karla~

  • Rica says:

    Oooh! Thank you very much Karla! I’ve been lusting over Illamasqua lately and this is very much indeed helpful. Thank you for the wonderful swatches! :D Keep it up! :D

  • Rica says:


    Can you do a swatch of NARS Lipstick next time?! :D TIA! :D

  • Shannon says:

    wow, it vaguely felt like very few shades are that wearable…even the shades that are not so crazy looking looks rather bright, and definitely more cool based shades…probably because the brand’s european and caters more toward cool toned western girls lol.

  • amy says:

    I love box. It looks so beautiful on my lips and feels weightless. Just amazing.

  • Andrea says:

    Shannon – what an ignorant comment to make. Everybody in Europe does not have the same skin tone and not everyone here is white. The colours are designed to be bold because that is the whole point of the barnd – not to be your usual run of the mill here are 50 samey nude shades.

  • ak says:

    Karla you gotta try Salacious and Sangers. Sangers will change your life!

  • ak says:

    I cheat on MAC with Illamasqua. I have Salacious, Drench, Resist, Sangers, and Disciple lipsticks, and I want to go back and buy the Fierce and Brilliant lip glosses. I only want Brilliant to wear over Disciple and I really like Illamasqua’s lip gloss packaging too.

  • elena says:

    Thanks a lot for this swatches! you helped me to save money and choose the proper shade :)

  • sw says:

    What about Atomic?

  • Andrea says:

    Atomic wasn’t out when she swatched these.

  • Agothtale says:

    Thanks a lot for this swatches, they’re very useful !

    To answer your question, I have Flicker and it’s really nude on the skin, a sheer golden-brown very wearable, I was a bit surprised to find a nude color at Illamasqua, but love it.
    It does work well on top of other lipstick too, especially if you’re looking to warm up the shade underneath.

    I think we, in Europe, have a few more “dramatic” shades, green, blues, purples, that might not sell at all in a us Sephora ?

  • Carla N. says:

    Droooool …
    These are GREAT swatches!
    I’m pretty sure I’m going to get Salacious, and Drench, Atomic, Underworld,Welt, and Resist look mighty tempting, too.
    The wonderful/horrible thing is that I don’t think I currently have any comparable shades in my extensive lipstick collection, so I’m highly vulnerable.
    Anyone know if Illamasqua is a non-animal-testing company?

  • Carla N. says:

    However, I would have liked to see “Sangers” included. On the Illamasqua site, it’s desecribed as “blood red,” which really appeals to me.
    Has anyone seen it in person?

  • Carla N. says:

    Since my earlier post, I have bought Atomic, Salacious, Box, Magnetism, and Shard.
    And I ordered Drench yesterday!
    My research seems to indicate that Illamasqua *is* cruelty-free, so I’m an official fan of theirs.

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