Review: Illamasaqua Cream Pigment in Hollow
I ordered Illamasqua’s Hollow back in August and I’ve been using it more-or-less daily as a contouring product since then. It took me a really long time to pull the proverbial trigger because:
1. There aren’t a lot of reviews. This is because Hollow is sort of a niche product. Unless you are fair-skinned and cool-toned, this is probably kind of worthless for you. It’s too bland for your eyes and too I-traveled-in-time-to-1996 for your lips.
2. More importantly, Illamasqua made some… questionable racist marketing choices last year. They decided to depict blackface in an advertisement and, when customers rightly complained, they flat-out refused to apologize, claiming that since they didn’t intend to be racist, there was nothing to apologize for. You can read more about the incident here or here.
Unfortunately, I am horrible at sticking to my principles, and my boycott of Illamasqua only lasted until there was something I really wanted. (I’m so sorry, world. I deserve all of your judgement.)
The product itself is a little curvy tub of cream pigment in a cool taupe. Illamasqua describes this as a “toffee”, which gives the impression that it will be a lot more delicious than it actually is. There is no orange to the product at all, which is great for those of us who end up looking horrid when we contour with bronzer.
Weirdly, the pigment was actually a different color when I first opened it; you can kind of see the warm hues in the corners where it looks untouched. As soon as it was swiped, though, the true color became apparent.
I give you permission to use the fingerprints in this tub to clear my name of any crimes for which I am a suspect.
The curvy tub is not very practical because it quarantines some pigment
in the corners, meaning that you cannot reach it effectively. It looks
nice, but it’s not practical.
Because the product is cream, rather than a powder contour, I think it’s easier to end up with a line that is too harsh. To avoid this, I gently tap my fingers under my artificial cheekbone to blend out the product. The consistency is pleasant and easy to work with.
After I put on my foundation, I use this to contour. Then, I set everything with a powder and add in my (powder) blush and highlighter.
Illamasqua Hollow Swatch
I also want to do a quick comparison with the NYX Taupe blush because I imagine that a lot of people considering this product for contouring have either used or researched that product as well. When I reviewed NYX Taupe back in July I said, “I have yet to find a higher end product that is as attractive and easy to use as the NYX Taupe Blush.” This is obviously no longer true. However, there are a few key differences that may be helpful if you are deciding between the two products.
Swatch of Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow on the left, NYX Taupe Blush on the right.
First of all, the color is obviously quite different. Taupe is darker, with some purple undertones. It is also warmer than Hollow. (This is definitely not a dupe!) Despite the darkness, though, Taupe needs to be built up in order to be really opaque, whereas Hollow is opaque in a single swipe. Both of these colors are flattering on my skin tone.
The cream texture of Hollow means that it may be tricky to work with if you aren’t used to cream products. However, it also means that it effortlessly avoids one of the big pitfalls of NYX Taupe: it doesn’t get gunked up. Taupe is one of those blushes that you need to clean every other time you use it because oil builds up on the top of it. My frustration with this problem has gotten to the point where I had to eliminate Taupe from my everyday routine because it is so darn annoying to deal with. Illamasqua’s Hollow filled that void.
Finally, of course, the last big difference: price. Hollow costs $26 for 0.28oz ($92.86 per ounce), whereas Taupe is $5 for 0.14oz ($35.71 per ounce). That’s about 2.6 times the price. That being said, I don’t think that Hollow is overpriced; MAC’s blush in Harmony, another contouring product, costs $21 for 0.21oz, putting it at a pricier $100 per ounce.
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow on Human Face
Overall, I definitely do really like this product. I just wish the damn company would apologize for their fucking pigheadedness!