Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Illamasqua Hemlock Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Hemlock Nail Varnish

Hemlock You’ll Want to Wear

Illamasqua Hemlock Nail Varnish (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pale opal green iridescent.” It’s a pale pink-red at one angle, then it turns into a pale, yellowed green shimmer at another angle, while the base color is a pale beige with a hint of pink overall. It’s definitely duochrome, and it is a strong one at that. There are a few green duochromes on the market, but I don’t have one that shifts pink-green (or such a yellowy green at all).

After two coats of Hemlock, there’s still some visible nail line.  With three coats, you should get fully opaque color, if that’s your aim.  It’s sheer enough in one coat to work as a layering polish as well.  I appreciate the versatility of the color in that respect, but since this is definitely less pigmented compared to nearly every other Illamasqua shade I’ve come across, I wish they’d mention that it was sheer (or semi-sheer) in the description.  There are nearly no visible brush strokes, despite the threads of metallic shimmer running through the base color.  It also has a strong, obvious duochrome in a shift I don’t think I’ve come across before.  Illamasqua’s polishes typically wear seven to ten days on me without chipping–just very minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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Illamasqua Hemlock Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I appreciate the versatility of the color in that respect, but since this is definitely less pigmented compared to nearly every other Illamasqua shade I've come across, I wish they'd mention that it was sheer (or semi-sheer) in the description.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Top 10 of 2012: Best Nail Lacquers

I really don’t know how I managed to keep this list to ten, because I feel like I fall in love with a new polish every week. There were SO many more amazing polishes that aren’t on this list, though. I tried to go across brands and put together a list of ones that really struck me or were more original.

What’s was your favorite nail lacquer of 2012?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Blushes & Highlighters

Asking me to choose my favorite highlighter, by the way, is akin to making me choose favorites between (fur) children (if I had more than one). There were some seriously ga-ga-glowing highlighters launched this year, too! On the blush front, there were some great shades and formulas I tried and tested, but it was easier to narrow those down.

What was your favorite blush/highlighter from 2012?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Top 10 of 2012: Lipglosses

These are ten fantastic shades of gloss that I reviewed and tested in the past year.  You’ll notice that there are a few from Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer range, and let’s just say it was hard not to include more!

What was your favorite lipgloss from 2012?

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss

A Gold Lipgloss for the Season

Illamasqua Stranger Intense Lipgloss ($22.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “metallic gold.” It’s a dirty, antique gold with a green-ish tinge and warmer, bronzy gold shimmer. It’s probably a shock to no one that I don’t have a laundry list of dupes for this shade–in fact, I couldn’t think of anything all that similar. MAC Liquid Lurex had a similar coloring in the tube, but it’s very sheer and glittery. OCC Triptych is warm, yellow-y gold. It’s different, and it’s certainly not a shade for everyone, but I’m really glad I picked it up. I think you can lightly dab it over various lipsticks/glosses to add a metallic shimmer if wearing it on its own isn’t your style.

It has mostly opaque color coverage, and the color applied evenly overall.  The Intense Lipgloss formula is designed to give rich color with a high shine finish.  It’s supposed to have a non-sticky texture, and there was no tack in the gloss to speak of.  It delivered a lot of color (and a ton of shimmer), and the finish was a bit glossy but very metallic.  Stranger lasted five hours on me, which is longer than average for a gloss. While worn, it was neither drying nor hydrating. The only downside is that ever since Illamasqua switched to brush-type applicator, nearly all of mine have had wonky, splayed brushes.

The Glossover

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Stranger

A-
For those who longed for a metallic, antique gold lip color, Illamasqua has your number. If you want to make it more wearable, mix it with your favorite red gloss or pat it lightly over a red lipstick.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish

Coming in February: Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” and has a jelly finish. It is my all-time favorite nail lacquer. It’s a semi-sheer, stormy gray with a hint of blue with flakes of pale silver-gray shimmer. The jelly finish makes it look squishy on the nail, and it really gives it a cloudy, rainy day vibe. I still have no insight as to a dupe for this shade.

It was discontinued sometime ago, much to my dismay, but Illamasqua is bringing it back in February (2013). I don’t have any details about exactly when in February or if it will be made permanent once again, but I know it will be returning.  Though it is sheer after two coats (exactly as described), it has a lovely consistency that isn’t too thick or too thin, so you can still apply a third coat and get mostly opaque color. The flakes of sparkle spread evenly and don’t get clumped together.  I’ve worn this shade multiple times, especially when I travel, and it lasts ten days easily without chipping (just very minor tip wear).

The Glossover

LE
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Raindrops

A+
Long-wearing, beautiful consistency and application, and something I can't easily dupe make Raindrops my favorite shade for a reason.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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