Saturday, 13 July 2013

Review: Illamasqua Liquid Metal in Phenomena & Electrum

Phenomena, Electrum
I'm a big fan of Illamasqua both for their products, and for the positive message they spread about self-expression and accepting all kinds of beauty. So I decided to review a couple of my favourite products by them because although I hear mentions of Illamasqua and their products I never really see these ones in particular mentioned by beauty bloggers or YouTubers anymore.

Electrum, Phenomena
The products I am reviewing are two of the Liquid Metals, which I have in the shades Phenomena (silver) and Electrum (gold). In my opinion these are the shades that fit the name 'Liquid Metal' best, as they are actual metals, rather than, for instance, the blue or green shades. However, do not let that deter you from checking out the other shades because they are very pretty!

They can be found here, and usually cost £17.50 for 8g of product (for reference MAC Paint Pots are £15 for 5g), but at the moment are on sale for a ridiculous discount! I happened to get Electrum from an Illamasqua Mystery Selection box, so it would have worked out cheaper than the usual price, but I think I paid full price for Phenomena. I realise the price may seem steep, but hopefully once you've read my review you will realise (spoilers!) they are worth every penny. Also, they are available in quads, so you are able to sample more colours for a lower price each (though they are 2g each rather than 8g).

Firstly, I love the packaging. In my opinion Illamasqua has great packaging as it is, and I love their symbol (which you can see on the lids of the Liquid Metals), as well as the fact you can see through the packaging, which means you know which shade is which without having to take it out of wherever you have it to turn it over and see the name. Some people may not like that the lids do not 'snap' on, which I understand, as it gives the impression it is not airtight, and could allow bacteria to breed. In my opinion, it is airtight, so do not let this worry, you. If you are still concerned you can always use a clean brush (I recommend a flat synthetic brush) to apply the product rather than potentially unclean fingers then you are helping to prevent bacteria. The size and shape of the containers makes it easy to store these horizontally, or vertically, depending on your preference.

The Liquid Metals have a sweet vanilla scent to them, which I personally love (I love anything sweet), but I wanted to make that clear because I know not everyone enjoys scented products. Once the product is applied onto the eyes you can no longer smell the scent, so maybe if you aren't keen on scented make up that will help make the decision for you.

As they are cream products they are very smooth and highly pigmented, but can be sheered out if desired. I think the texture of them is lovely, and extremely comfortable to wear. They are not remotely dry or sticky, so application is easy and smooth either with fingers or a brush. I have used both to apply, and have experienced no issues. I also have found they can be applied with an angled brush as liner, which has great lasting results.
Close up Electrum

Close up Phenomena
I would not advise using them alone as an eyeshadow, as I feel like they do not set dry enough to allow this without noticeable creasing during wear. When used as liner I did not need to set it, which was a welcome surprise, but when applied on or near the crease it will not stay because it slides around after blinking, etc. With this in mind they make excellent eyeshadow bases, and really enhance the pigmentation and how metallic the shadows are. And when set they will last all day/night, in my experience.

Phenomena, Electrum
Phenomena, Electrum
Top halves: Phenomena & Electrum alone. Bottom halves: silver & gold eyeshadows layered over.
Top halves: Phenomena & Electrum alone. Bottom halves: silver & gold eyeshadows layered over.
If you would like to see practical uses of these, I have used them in tutorials:
Phenomena as angled liner
Phenomena as a base
Electrum as a base

Overall I really recommend these as they are so pigmented, smooth, long lasting (when set) and can be used in various ways. I love the packaging, the scent, and the whole concept of the product. I coveted them greatly for so long before I finally bought them, and despite having used them a fair few times it barely looks like I have at all. They really will last a while - remember, they are 8g each! If I did not already have these two shades I expect I would have bought the quad instead in order to sample more shades. I can see myself buying more in the future, as they really are great products.

To be fair, I will make clearer the only negative I can think of (although for many I'm sure the price will be seen as a negative), which is that they do have to be set, and if you do not have the correct shade of eyeshadow you could alter the original colours, which would be a shame, as they are so pretty alone. Also, I'm being picky here, but it's a shame they aren't lip-safe, though I'm sure I'm in the minority here!

So I will give them 


  1. Saw you on Zoes blog... and can I just say, you are GORGEOUS! and your makeup is amazing.. it's like a work of art! :)
    these look great - the pigment looks so good!! may have to pick one (or both) of them up!

    1. Thank you so much! And I really appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog (:
      I really do recommend the Liquid Metals, at least go and swatch them in-store if you can (: xxx