Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

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.

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Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

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.

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Illamasqua Jo'mina Nail Varnish

Best of Illamasqua






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?

Illamasqua Magenta Muse Collection for Summer/Fall 2011


Illamasqua Magenta Muse Collection for Summer/Fall 2011

Set to transform perceptions of beauty this summer, Magenta Muse is the daring new color collection from cult British beauty brand, Illamasqua.

Magenta Muse is a fearlessly eclectic blend of textures and finishes, spanning from gloss to matt, metallic to opalescent. Draw all attention to you, on those heady summer nights, with an urbane gathering of cool, alternative hues in grey, mauve, magenta and teal that mix effortlessly with flashes of coral and offset by matt black.

Magenta Muse is available exclusively at select Sephora USA locations and Sephora.com. Embrace the collection that makes you a Muse by midnight.

Cream Pigment ($24.00)

  • Dab Matt lilac
  • Mould Matt grape

Pure Pigment ($24.00)

  • Android Shimmering gunmetal

Liquid Metal ($26.00)

  • Enrapture Metallic copper

Powder Blusher ($24.00)

  • Excite Vibrant coral
  • Hussy Bright petal pink

Precision Ink ($27.50)

  • Abyss Gloss black
  • Glister Opalescent nude

Lipstick ($22.00)

  • Test Matt pinky beige
  • Underworld Iridescent violet

Sheer Lipgloss ($20.00)

  • Electrify Baby pink sheen
  • Tantrum Deep violet sheen

Nail Varnish ($14.00)

  • DWS Cement gray with a glossy finish
  • Jo Mina Electric lilac with a glossy finish
  • Lament Bright coral pink with a glossy finish
  • Muse Deept eal blue with a glossy finish
  • Poke Bright violet purple shimmer
  • Scorn Matt black

availability: Now @ Sephora

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