Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described simply as “bright fuchsia pink.” It’s almost neon; it’s exceedingly bright and vibrant, but there’s something in the finish that holds it back from being a true neon. Obsess is a bright fuchsia pink with an underlying hint of violet with a cream finish. Urban Decay Miss T is similar but appears purpler. It’s purpler compared to Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee, though.

Illamasqua’s formula is three-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, or toulene), and it wears a full week on me with very minor tip wear (and no chipping). The consistency of Obsess is phenomenal; perfectly balanced between thin and thick that it flows to the edges of the nail with ease and does so evenly. It’s opaque in nearly one coat (I used two for swatches).

P.S. — I have no idea why the stickers on some of my Illamasqua bottles are wonky; I’ll take that minor inconvenience because of the stellar formula, though.

The Glossover

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Obsess

A+
Illamasqua's formula is one of my favorites, and Obsess is absolutely superb. Great color payoff, perfect consistency, and easy application make this a must-have polish!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011


Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “cement grey” with a cream finish. It’s a gorgeous shade of gray that doesn’t lean brown–it’s that perfect shade of gray skies. There’s a tinge of blue in it, but it’s very subtle and only picked up in really bright, direct light. Zoya’s Dove was the closest shade I could think of, but it leans browner–less blue.

The formula was exactly what I expect of Illamasqua: excellent. It’s thick without being goopy, so it delivers amazing color coverage–almost opaque in a single coat, though I did two here. It flows evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking. I typically get a week of wear without minimal tip wear with Illamasqua’s polishes.

The Glossover

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DWS

A+
It's a permanent shade in their line-up, but it would work so well for fall, as we gear up for cooler weather, cloudier skies, and settle into some of the more muted but lush shades of the season.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011


Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright violet purple” and has a shimmer finish. It’s a vibrant violet with a hint of fuchsia both in the base color as well as in the shimmer. The formula was a dream to work with–so pigmented it was nearly opaque in a single coat. It spread evenly across the nail, and the consistency was right on the money, because it wasn’t too thick or thin. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Illamasqua’s nail polishes.

I couldn’t think of any really similar shades! The closest I could come up with was Illamasqua Jo’mina, which has a similar brightness but lacks shimmer and is less pink.

The Glossover

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Poke

A+
Such a beautiful color but an even more standout formula -- definitely one of the easiest polishes I've worked with. The color coverage is excellent while the consistency allows the polish to flow evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, August 1st, 2011


Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep teal blue.” It’s exactly that–at first glance, it’s more blue than teal, but it’s not just blue. There’s teal, blue, and enough depth to call it deep. The finish is creamy, and the color is opaque in two coats (but nearly opaque in just one). I had an easy time with the formula, because it wasn’t too thick or thin, so the lacquer flowed evenly across the nail and didn’t bubble. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Illamasqua’s nail polishes.

It reminded me of Cult Nails Let Me Fly without the shimmer. It was a little bluer and darker than Orly Viridian. It is darker compared to Butter London Artful Dodger.

The Glossover

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Muse

A+
Teal is always an interesting color, because sometimes it leans blue, other times it leans green. Here's a teal that leans a little blue but not too blue.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Illamasqua Jo'mina Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “electric lilac.” It’s a bright lilac purple with a hint of pastel lilac but closer to a light-medium purple with subtle pink-red undertones. It’s opaque in two coats for me, and I didn’t have any issues with the formula–it was creamy without being thick, so it spread evenly across the nail. Despite some of the pastel-feel of this color, I didn’t encounter any streakiness during application.

With a warmer skin tone, I often find that lilacs and pastel-like purples do not work on my skin tone, but I like Jo’mina a lot, and I think it’s the underlying redness around the edges that makes it more complementary against my particular skin tone.  I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–NARS Pokerface is much, much lighter and pinker, while Nubar Treasure has such a different finish that they don’t end up looking very similar.

The Glossover

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Jo'mina

A
It's certainly a solid addition to my stash, since I wasn't able to find anything very close to it, though that doesn't say none exist! If you haven't been able to find a complementary purple for warmer skin, you might like this one!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, July 15th, 2011






Best of Illamasqua

These are the best products I’ve tried from Illamasqua–I haven’t tried every single product type they have, but from what I have tried, I think these are standout products. When you click on the link, you’ll be taken to the tag for the product type, and any relevant reviews for actual shades will show up! :)

  • NAIL VARNISH ($14) is an excellent formula that applies evenly, smoothly, and is typically opaque in two coats (though one is often nearly opaque). They have an impressive shade range with a few scandalous names and lots of creams. Some of my favorite shades have been: Bacterium (for its oddness), Baptiste (for its depth), Phallic (for its depth), Radium (for its brightness), Scarab (for its depth), and Viridian (for its color).
  • INTENSE LIPGLOSS ($20) is a product I fell in love with soon after trying it! There is a large shade range outside of the U.S., while the shades selected for distribution at Sephora is more limited, they’re still lovely shades (just more wearable overall!). Some of my favorites are Frenzy (intense pink), Hermetic (holiday red gone vamp), Move (plummy-pink), and Succubus (rich red).
  • PURE PIGMENT ($24) are loose powders that are multi-purpose–they can be used on eyes, cheeks, and where-have-you.  It’s a very finely milled powder that works wet or dry, and I’ve found that Illamasqua makes some rather nuanced shades.  Some of my favorites are Alluvium, Chasm, and Ore.
  • BLUSH ($24) offers a good range of colors–from typical shades to more vibrant ones. They have buildable color, are blendable, and wear well. Some of my favorites have been Excite (orange-coral), Hussy (pinky-coral), and Lover (apricot).

I like their lipstick line-up, but they’re mostly matte (or matte base colors with shimmer), and they can be harder to apply than the average lipstick because of the drier texture. I know several readers have had some issues with the lipstick breaking at the base, too, which I have discovered in a few of my tubes recently. Their Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliners are lovely, but since the formula of those is now a common theme we have seen in five or more brands, I don’t think it’s a best of worthy product. I haven’t tried their cream blushes, but I will be testing them out soon!

What are your favorite Illamasqua products?