Illamasqua Vanitas Palette
Illamasqua Vanitas Palette

There’s so much right with the Illamasqua Vanitas Palette but also so much wrong. I’m always impressed with the historical references that Illamasqua translate so well into their products – the Vanitas collection is all about 17th Century still-life paintings. So think Girl With A Pearl Earring kind of art. The Dutch totally had this style of painting locked down in that period with intense and rich pigments – much of the still life art of that period used subjects that we’d never want on our walls now – skulls in a bowl of fruit with a side of dead rabbit sort of thing but it was an important time for experimenting with colour.

Illamasqua Vanitas Palette
Illamasqua Vanitas Palette

So, yes I get the lavish pigment and the rose gold surround. I can’t fault the intensity of pigment either that has been infused in a smooth, non dusty formula. BUT, the palette is cardboard and feels bumpy, with loose and wonky colours. It’s a great idea badly executed.

Illamasqua Vanitas Palette
Illamasqua Vanitas Palette

However, when you see the richness of the colours, maybe it’s forgivable. Actually, no, it isn’t – but it might not put you off as much as it might in a less exciting palette.

Illamasqua Vanitas Palette
Illamasqua Vanitas Palette

See what I mean? The shades are a mix of sheen and matte with a common thread of intensity. There are so many looks out of one palette here so you can go delicate or go all out dramatic and anything in between.

Illamasqua Vanitas Palette
Illamasqua Vanitas Palette

At £44 though, the execution needs to be perfect and it’s not. The Illamasqua Vanitas Palette launches on 7th July.

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