Illamasqua Lipstick in Box

When interviewed by Sephora, Illamasqua’s Creative Director Alex Box said that in the event of a fire, Illamasqua’s Box lipstick would be the one product she would save from her burning house, and I can see why.  It’s a stunning lipstick.

Rather than just provide a swatch of Illamasqua ‘Box’ I thought I’d firstly compare it to a few other reds in my collection:

I would say that my Guerlain Rouge G lipstick in ‘Greta’ is the most true red in my collection, even though it leans a little brown in the photo above. Whilst Illamasqua ‘Box’  is scarlet with a dash of pink in it (though not as much as the Guerlain ‘Exces de Rouge’ ) it still looks very classic on the lips.  Incidently, I love the ultra-moisturising formula of the Dolce and Gabanna Sheer Shine Lipstick in #130, but I struggle with the colour.  I think this shade of orange-based red is meant for a warmer skintone than mine.

You also get a sense of the different lipstick finishes in the photo above: the Illamasqua lipstick is the most matte of them all, although it does have a slight sheen to add some life to the lips when applied.

Illamasqua ‘Box’ applies easily to the lips.  I use Guerlain Lip Pencil in ‘Rouge Cassis’ to line my lips (a fantastic lip liner, but buy it online to get it at a cheaper price) and fill in with Illamasqua ‘Box’ straight from the bullet.  I then blot with a tissue, and I’m good to go.  I’m sure I would do just as well to apply with a lip brush, but mine has met an untimely end, and I found that I could apply the product reasonably accurately without one anyway.

It is a drier formula than the others in my collection, but that’s to be expected from a more matte lipstick.  On the lips it doesn’t feel terribly drying, infact the creamier-to-apply Guerlain Kiss Kiss ‘Excess de Rouge’ is more drying on my lips than the Illamasqua.

Here is the lipstick applied:

Wear time is very good.  The lipstick will start to fade on the lips after the second coffee of the day, but the stain it ultimately leaves on the lips will last all day.  However, when initially applied, it does seem to transfer everywhere, no matter how diligently you blot after application.

I bought Illamasqua ‘Box’ from Modesty Brown‘s recent blog sale.  Illamasqua lipstick in ‘Box’ is available from Illamasqua counters at Myer for AUD $39 or online at for £15.50 plus £8.50 shipping to Australia (around AUD $38.40 in total). You can also buy it from for £12.77 plus £5.95 shipping to Australia (around AUD $29.95 in total).

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12 Responses to Illamasqua Lipstick in Box

  1. Jen W says:

    Sarah, that looks STUNNING on you! really works with your skintone.

    That D&G lippy looks really gorgeous. I might have to go and swatch it next time in the city. I find it hard to believe it wouldn’t look good on you though…

  2. Bug says:

    I love this colour on you! I love reds and anything even remotely related to Alex Box gets a big tick in my book 🙂 The only problem I have with Illamasqua though is that their customer service at their counter really sucks! I’ve been there 3 times now and left without buying because I was not impressed and just went and purchased online instead.

  3. Dempeaux says:

    @Jen Thankyou Jen! The D&G is lovely, and the formula is sublime, but it just tends to look a bit off on me. There might still be a way it would work – I do love an orange-red 🙂

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Bug Thankyou! Yes, you have got to admire Alex Box’s work and conviction. I’ve never been to an Illamasqua counter, but after reading your comment I’m glad I haven’t! Online shopping is my preference too 🙂

  5. olivia says:

    I like the matteness of this red. Definitely need to look into this one. Love the red on you, goes nicely with your glasses. 🙂

  6. That looks so good on you! The Illamasqua lipstick texture is so different from anything else I use. The transfer with this one is testament to how pigment packed it is!

    I really enjoy looking at your other red swatches. The Guerlain lipliner looks like a really useful colour. Thanks for sharing and thank you for the mention 🙂
    Jane x

  7. Jade says:

    It looks amazing on you 😀 I struggle with reds but you’ve shown a nice selection in the swatches – Greta looks like a gorgeous colour too 🙂

  8. Dempeaux says:

    @Olivia I usually struggle with mattes because they can be very drying indeed, but this lipstick is quite comfortable to wear. Thankyou!

    @Jane Thankyou! Yes, the texture is quite unique, and it’s amazingly pigmented! That Guerlain lipliner is such a handy colour. It works with so many reds!

    @Jade Thankyou! Greta is a lovely colour. Next time you go past a Guerlain counter you should give it a go! It’s very flattering on a variety of skin tones 🙂

  9. Claire says:

    ‘ Box’ definitely photographs better then the others and more of a brick color. It looks lovely on you too 😀

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Claire I think it’s the texture that gives it a lovely finish in photographs. I really enjoy wearing it! 🙂

  11. those lipsticks look great on you! Illamasqua just came to Melbourne actually, noted down all the prices for everyone, do check it out if you’re keen 🙂—Melbourne-Australia-Prices-14648586

  12. Dempeaux says:

    @Roseanne Thanks for that! Very useful info indeed 🙂

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