Sephora’s Illamasqua Mystery Box – Video, Review, and Swatches

Illamasqua mystery box!

Illamasqua mystery box!

A little while ago, I noticed that Sephora.com had a new Illamasqua set, called the Alter Ego Mystery Selection.  It’s $60, and contains 10 Illamasqua products – a fantastic deal. The catch is that eight of the products are a mystery (all boxes include Jo’mina nail polish and Fable lipstick).  Since I’m open to a variety of colors and I love Illamasqua, I ordered it.

I decided to do an unboxing video so you could see my first reactions to each of the products:

I know it’s hard to hear the shade names in the video! I received:

Jo’mina nail polish
Fable lipstick
Drench lipstick
Brazen cream blush
Crumble cream eyeshadow
Stoic liquid metal
Severe medium pencil (I thought this was brown, but it’s actually burgundy)
Adamant medium pencil
Tantrum sheer lipgloss
Mistress intense lipgloss

And, here are photos and swatches of all of the items. I’m currently testing out Sally Hansen insta-gel nail strips (you can see them in the video – I’m wearing Amazing Lace), so I haven’t swatched Jo’mina yet.

Illamasqua Alter Ego Mystery box contents

Illamasqua Alter Ego Mystery box contents

Adamant pencil; Severe pencil; Brazen cream blush, Crumble cream eyeshadow, Stoic liquid mental Drench lipstick, Fable lipstick, Tantrum lip gloss, Mistress lip gloss

Adamant pencil; Severe pencil; Brazen cream blush, Crumble cream eyeshadow, Stoic liquid metal,
Drench lipstick, Fable lipstick, Tantrum lip gloss, Mistress lip gloss

I’m really happy with my items – especially Brazen cream blush.  However a lot of people haven’t liked their items – Sephora.com has several negative reviews (scroll down to the bottom and sort them from low to high ratings) from people who either were not happy with the colors they received, or thought the items seemed old.

I checked Illamasqua.com, and it looks like both of my medium pencils have been discontinued, as well as the entire line of cream eyeshadows.  Brazen blush, Stoic liquid metal, both lipsticks and both lip glosses are still available.  Nothing I received seems off – it all looks and smells fine.  So, I personally don’t mind the older stock – but if it matters to you, I’d skip this box.

I’ll be reviewing each of the items (hopefully!) individually later, after I’ve had more of a chance to play with them and test them out.

Is a mystery box something you’re interested in, or would you rather pick exactly what you want?

UPDATE: After playing with the items more, I gradually became more and more disappointed. I love the colors of everything I received, and I love Illamasqua as a brand, but I felt like the quality of these items was not up to par.  Adamant pencil was so hard that I couldn’t get it to show up on my eye; the cream eyeshadow and liquid metal both creased.  I’m not sure if liquid metals are intended for the eye or other areas of the face/ body, but since mine was teal, the eye area was the only place I tried it. Fable lipstick was also unacceptably dry – though Drench, as well as the other Illamasqua lipsticks I own, are fine.

So, I ended up returning the box; I don’t have $60 to spend on sub-par products. When I bought the box, I promised myself I wouldn’t return because I didn’t like the shades – that seems to go against the idea of a mystery box. I knew I would return if the products were rancid / too old. They didn’t seem to old, but since they were nowhere near the quality I expect from Illamasqua, I didn’t feel bad returning, and I explained to the Sephora SA exactly why the box didn’t work for me. 

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