In the autumn and winter I, like many others are drawn to darker, vampier colours. But why stop at deep reds and purples? Illamasqua's sheer gloss in Violate is a deep shimmering green, and I think it's perfect for a lip colour that's a little different. I've always found darker unusual colours easier to wear than bright ones (as much as I love Apocalips lipstick, it's not the easiest of colours to pull off!).
Wear time is pretty good for Illamasqua's glosses. I can get a good 4 hours out of darker colours before they need a touch up (dark glosses are notoriously high maintanence). It's also worth noting that their glosses have a sweet vanilla smell. I love it, but it might not be to some people's taste. You can't smell it once the gloss is applied, and it didn't have any sort of taste either.
Whilst Violate is more pigmented than most of Illamasqua's sheer lip glossed, it does fall victim to a problem which is common among darker glosses. Applied normally, it can look patchy and uneven. I found myself adding more gloss to try and even it out, and just ending up with way too much on! Luckily this gloss isn't very sticky, so it didn't feel too bad. But when you're wearing a dark gloss the more you put on, the more likely you are to end up with it smudging (all too often I have had a single hair blow onto my lip and ended up with a stripe of lip gloss on my cheek!).
Fortunately, I also picked up Pristine lipstick, a matte black. I have to admit, I've never been a massive fan of Illamasqua#s lipsticks. The majority of them are a matte formula which I've always found far too drying. However, Pristine lipstick applied smoothly, and whilst it's not hydrating, it's not as uncomfortable as I remembered their lipsticks being. I think the key to wearing Illamasqua lipsticks (or any other matte lipstick) is preparation. I exfoliated my lips the night before, and made sure to apply my No.7 Protect and Perfect Lip Care before bed. I also applied it just before applying Pristine, as the balm sinks in really quickly.
The picture below is without a lip liner. It could probably do with one (when worn both with and without a gloss). I'll probably just use my Illamasqua Sophie pencil.
The best thing about a dark matte lip is that the colour tends to stick around longer than most lipsticks; about 5-6 hours for me if I wasn't eating on drinking. But if you are going out for a meal or drinks, you'll probably find that the center of your lips wears off a lot faster. I may now be an Illamasqua lipstick convert. I already have my eye on ESP (vivid violet), Kontrol (blue violet) and Disciple (deep navy).
As strange as it may sound, I think a black lipstick is kind of a staple piece. In the picture below I applied Violate over Pristine, and you can just see how much better it looks!
I also tried Pristine out under Lime Crime's Loop de Loop gloss. The effect it had on the gloss was similar. It's a darker colour than worn alone, but I didn't feel the need to pile on the layers to make the colour even.
And last but not least I popped Violate on top of Apocalips lipstick. It turns a deeper teal shade, and is really pretty.
Unfortunately my Apocalips has definitely passed it's sell by date now. I guess I should add that to my lipstick wish list too.....