Illamasqua Phenomena and Involve - Initial Thoughts and Swatches

So last night I mentioned that Colin surprised me with Illamasqua's liquid metal in Phenomena and pure pigment in Involve when he came to see me this weekend (thaaanks <3). Here's the swatches!

These swatches are over GOSH waterproof eyeshadow stick (Love That Beige) - when working with loose pigments I normally prefer a slightly stickier base than UDPP. The swatch on the left is dry, and the swatch on the right is foiled. When I swatched this on the back of my hand a few days ago, Colin adamantly claimed this purple pigment looked a bit brown from certain angles but I couldn't see it - I can now, in the foiled swatch. See it? ^_^; Gorgeous purples like this make me wish I had brown eyes, but I think it actually contrasts quite well with my blue eyes, too. As for the texture of Involve - this one's a winner. Smooth and finely milled like my beloved Furore pigment, with strong, even colour payoff. Static was way off the mark for Illamasqua I think - very sparkly but only really works well layered over another shadow. Involve, though, I'm in love with already.

The first thing I noticed when I swatched Phenomena was that it felt VERY different to Solstice, which I've had for a few months now. Soltice is much firmer and more creamy, and also lays down a much stronger layer of colour. Phenomena, on the other hand, feels a lot 'wetter' and doesn't swatch the same as Solstice - it 'spreads' a little more.. do you see what I mean? I wondered if perhaps Illamasqua had changed their formula, so I looked up the ingredients for both products on the website but the ingredients lists are identical apart from the colour: Phenomena says "ALUMINUM POWDER CI 77000" and Solstice says "BRONZE POWDER CI 77400". I'm quite sure they're not literally using powdered aluminum and bronze, surely that wouldn't be safe for the eye area? Either way, I can't figure out why the textures of these are so different but the wetter texture of Phenomena does have a huge plus point - it works SO much better with a brush than Solstice does. Now I'll be able to use Phenomena as a liner too, whereas Solstice's texture was thick enough that a lot of pressure was needed to transfer it from the brush to the skin, so it dragged and skipped. Unfortunately though, I have a feeling Phenomena might be even more prone to creasing than Solstice due to its texture - although hopefully this can be prevented by setting with a silver shadow.

Here's my EOTD using Involve and Phenomena, and the rest of the products pictured below.

I did find it quite hard to blend shadows over Phenomena, but practice makes perfect when dealing with textures you're not used to, right? And you can see that the liquid metal had already started creasing - I'll try with an even thinner layer next time.


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