Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Illamasqua Pink Raindrops Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Pink Raindrops Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Pink Raindrops Nail Varnish (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer cool pink.” It’s a light-medium neutral pink with pale pinkish-white flakes of glitter/sparkle throughout (they seem slightly iridescent). Illamasqua Scarce has a slightly cooler-toned base color (and is, obviously, different with all the black glitter). Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life is a rose gold and has a metallic finish, but it was slightly reminiscent in color. Zoya Pandora is slightly more beige/less pink (and no flakes). Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie is similar to the base color but is a cream.

Okay, well, first things first, this isn’t sheer in the slightest. In fact, it’s very nearly opaque in a single coat! It’s more pigmented than Raindrops, and it seems to have more glittery flakes. I do miss the more jelly-like quality of the original Raindrops, because it was very apropos given the name/inspiration.  The consistency is somewhat thicker compared to Illamasqua’s formula in general and slightly thicker compared to Raindrops.  I normally get seven to ten days of wear with Illamasqua’s formula (it is one of the longest-wearing formulas I’ve tried) with very minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Pink Raindrops

B+

If you wanted the sheer pink as promised, you're out of luck, because this is incredibly pigmented! (Upside for folks who shivered at the thought of sheer polish, though.) I wish this was a bit thinner, though, especially since it doesn't need two full coats for opacity.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Illamasqua Shoot Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Shoot Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Shoot Intense Lipgloss (£14.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “leaf green.” It’s a brightened, medium grass green with warm, yellowy undertones and a creamy finish. It will surprise absolutely no one that I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this shade. That, in fact, I have none to recommend to you. OCC’s Chlorophyll is much more of a teal shade. (And their newer Power Plant shade is more teal as well.)

Shoot is a high-maintenance color, because it’s in gloss form, it has a lot of slip and will move around a lot. I found this particularly problematic in maintaining and achieving opaque color throughout. It just looked uneven more often than not. To get really opaque color, you have to apply a fair amount of product, but with that much on, it is somewhat uncomfortable–just has a thick, heavy kind of feel. Luckily, it is non-sticky, so it doesn’t feel gummy, even with more product applied. I tried applying it from the tube with its brush-type applicator as well as with a separate lip brush. The results seen in photos are used with a separate lip brush, which gave me the best results but not great results.  It lasts well for four hours, and there is still a noticeable green tinge to my lips for another hour or so after.  It had a sweet, fruity scent.  I’m still noticing that every tube I’ve received of Illamasqua’s Intense Lipgloss with the brush applicator has had significantly splayed bristles.

The Glossover

LE
product

Shoot

B-
It's not an easy to use shade; the color doesn't want to stay opaque and ends up looking streaky and uneven for the majority of the time it is worn. It's an interesting, unique color for lipgloss, which is really the best thing about.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled tan.” It’s a light-medium beige brown cream base color paired with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter. Zoya Minka is a lighter, more beige-hued color. It was the only shade that came to mind that might be similar to the base color of Freckle (and it’s not close).

Like the other shades in the speckled family, it was a breeze to apply and work with.  The color coverage was fully opaque after two coats, but one coat still had a surprising amount of opacity.  It flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges, bubbling, or streaking.  I didn’t have any streaking on the first coat with this shade, though it was not too surprising given it is not nearly as light or pastel as the other colors in the range.  I usually find that Illamasqua’s polish wears exceptionally well on me with ten to fourteen days of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Freckle

A+
This is definitely a love it or leave it kind of shade; it's definitely not a traditional shade we see for spring. The formula was great, so if you're in the love it camp, you have something unique and high quality available to you.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled pink.” It starts off with a creamy, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones base layered with small pieces of black glitter and larger hexagon-shaped pieces of black glitter. The way it’s all mixed together makes some pieces appear blacker/grayer. I couldn’t think of a similar base color; Nubar Pink Lily is lighter and cooler-toned, while Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie is more beige, less pink. Deborah Lippmann has shade that has pink with black glitter debuting in April.

It was fully opaque in two coats, but it was very nearly opaque in a single coat. The truly remarkable feature of the formula is how evenly it applies; I found that this shade was almost streak-free on the first coat. A second coat completely evened out what little streaking there was so that the end result was creamy, smooth color. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the drying time was average. I typically get at least a full week of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping with Illamasqua’s formula, but I’ve tested some shades and have had no chipping for as long as two weeks (which is extraordinary, even for me).

The Glossover

LE
product

Scarce

A+

I think it's definitely worth the time to check out one of Illamasqua's speckled polishes. They've been very consistent in quality, coverage, and application--so it's a matter of what color best appeals to you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Mottle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled green.” It’s a pale, pastel green with very subtle yellow undertones with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter pieces. I couldn’t even think of a dupe for the base color, let alone one with both components! I was totally stumped. A few readers have mentioned that Hard Candy has dupes for Illamasqua’s speckled polishes. I haven’t seen Hard Candy’s in person, but from promo photos, it looks like the glitter is smaller and more circular with a combination of white and black glitters (and it seems to vary depending on the base color), but both brands are using pastel base colors with glitter to give it a speckled/sprinkled effect. Deborah Lippmann’s Staccato Collection also features three pastel-hued colors with small black glitter (bottle photos suggest that Deborah Lippmann and Hard Candy’s are closer to each other).  I haven’t seen Deborah Lippmann’s in person either. You may prefer the effect or composition over the other, so pick your poison! :)

Mottle is incredibly pigmented in one coat, though not opaque, I still thought it worth showing and left my pinky fingernail with a single coat, so you could see how much color is deposited in one coat.  You can also see how there’s almost no streaking to speak of, which is always a relief after working with a pastel color!  The consistency of the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied evenly and fluidly. I didn’t have any issues with it pulling, pooling, or bubbling.  It has an interesting finish that seems like a cream, but there’s a slight squishy look to it, too, that makes me think of jelly polishes.  Illamasqua’s formula is one of the longest-wearing polishes on me (as long as fourteen days with minimal tip wear and no chipping).

The Glossover

LE
product

Mottle

A+
It has an interesting finish that seems like a cream, but there's a slight squishy look to it, too, that makes me think of jelly polishes.  Illamasqua's formula is one of the longest-wearing polishes on me (as long as fourteen days with minimal tip wear and no chipping).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fragile Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled blue.” It’s a pale, airy blue cream base with small black glitter and then larger hexagon-shaped black glitter. I don’t have any specific dupes that mimic both the blue base and the accompanying black glitter pieces, but you might have a top coat that’s similar in glitter content, so I’d recommend trying it with these potential shades (that are similar to the blue base color): Zoya Blu and NARS Kutki.

The most remarkable aspect of Illamasqua’s spring polishes is really how well they apply. Sometimes, pastel creams can be streaky messes and a pain to deal with, but Illamasqua nailed the formula here. The consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed evenly and easily across the nail, and there was minimal streaking on that first, initial coat, but a second coat evened everything out. It was opaque in two coats, and the finish is a cross between a traditional cream and a jelly–there’s a squishy-look to the nails. I usually get as long as fourteen days of wear out of Illamasqua, and it is one of the best-wearing formulas I’ve come across.

This shade is currently showing as out of stock online, though you can locate it at your local store through the online “find in store” feature. I’ve been seeing a few shades pop in and out of stock, so hopefully it’ll reappear soon.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fragile

A+
The most remarkable aspect of Illamasqua's spring polishes is really how well they apply. Sometimes, pastel creams can be streaky messes and a pain to deal with, but Illamasqua nailed the formula here.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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