The Illamasqua Celestial Palette Review and Sparkling Smokey Eye Tutorial

So it's pretty common knowledge that I'm a huge make up fan. I've been playing around with it since I was a kid raiding my mum's Lancome stash and as I've grown up over these 20 or so years I've learnt more and more about application, colour theory and product quality, so I think I'm a pretty good judge of a good product by now! 

My tastes change and evolve with the seasons, with my mood, with what is influencing me at the time but I always love something bold and eye catching that makes a real statement. I think this taste for the dramatic is pretty obvious when you look at my two favourite make up brands - Illamasqua and Kat Von D Beauty. Both offer something different, something more theatrical and daring to most other brands which I can embrace whole heartedly. If only I had had access to these two back in my early teen goth phase! I would have been over the moon to have such great quality make up in such unusual and unique colours rather than having to deal with smudgy thin Stargazer lipsticks and eyeshadows with barely any colour pay off.

I own a fair few products by Illamasqua now - several lipsticks, quite a few pure pigments, Hydra Veil, some pencil and liquid eyeliners - but up until now I'd never tried one of their eye palettes. Luckily for me just before my trip to Birmingham last weekend a brand new collection was released called Equinox which just happened to include this baby, the Celestial Palette (£34.00). The top two shades 'Quell' a champagne shimmer and' Solace' a burnished industrial grey offer a satin finish while the bottom two 'Jubilance' a polished warm copper/rosey gold and 'Orb' an iridescent deep gunmetal offer a highly metallic almost foil like finish.

Being a real sucker for metallics and sparkles and a really big rose gold fan I just couldn't resist and snapped it up while I was in Selfridges. I didn't realise until I was admiring it on my way home that this was actually a palette of cream eyeshadow and I must admit my heart sank a little. I've never had a good time with cream shadows, they always separate and crease on me and I had always found it tricky to blend them nicely. I knew I couldn't judge these by my experience with other brands and so the next day I decided to try my first look with this spangly little quad.

I'm extremely pleased to report that I had none of those old problems with these lovely shadows! Even without a primer (I forgot to put one on, oops) they stayed put all day with no shifting, melting or creasing and I was able to blend them with ease with one of my normal eyeshadow brushes. They layered up wonderfully so you could build the colour up to be bolder or use a softer application to get a more subtle wash of colour. As you can see from the photos this palette is serious business offering some of the most beautiful metallics I've ever seen - all these photos were taken in natural daylight with no flash to make them sparkle, attesting to how lustrous these cream shadows are.

I think this look is so perfect for the end of the year celebrations such as Bonfire Night and Christmas. It's the perfect party look and offers a new rose gold take on the classic smokey eye that is bound to impress anyone that sees it. Thankfully with only four shadows it's also tres easy to recreate for yourself, which I hope you will be able to do with no problems with the step by step instructions below!

  1. Take 'Jubilence' and apply it over your whole eyelid and inner corner of your eye, bringing it into a cat like point as shown in the photos above.
  2. Apply 'Solace' into the crease and blend out a little into the shape that suits your eye best - I extended it out from the outer corner a little to add a cats eye like shadow. I also brought a little under my lower lash line to about where my tear duct is to start the smokey effect.
  3. Take 'Orb' and apply it to the outer corner of the eye, blending it slightly inwards over the lid and lower lash line to add definition and more smokiness.
  4. Use 'Quell' to highlight your brow bone and to blend into the inner corner with the point of 'Jubilence' to add extra shimmer and soften the harsh point.
  5. Take a little more 'Jubilence' and apply it to the center of the lower lash line to give a little more sparkle.
  6. Apply your mascara and lashes, do your brows and add a slick of black eyeliner in the style that you like best - I went with my signature pin up girl flick.
  7. If you want an even more dramatic effect darken your waterline with a block or deep grey eyeliner pencil and add the lipstick of your choice - here I'm wearing 'Vampira' from the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick collectio.
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