Illamasqua Throb Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Throb Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “blood red.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly cool-toned red with a cream finish. There’s a pink tinge to it, and it’s bright but a little dusty, too. Revlon Bordeaux (P, $4.99) is darker. Tom Ford Beauty Trophy Wife (LE, $32.00) is lighter, brighter. NARS Lost Red (LE, $19.00) is brighter. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Stage Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is similar. Chanel Suspicious (P, $27.00) is pinker. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.
Recently promoted for Valentine’s Day, Throb is a worthwhile option for anyone seeking a more muted, darker red cream. It’s intensely pigmented, and you really only need one coat for full color coverage. I’ve included two sets of photos; the first set is a single coat, and then I have a couple more that shows two coats, so you can see how there’s no real difference in color or opacity. To me, the noticeable difference is just that two coats gives it a thicker, glossier look and finish. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it flowed evenly and smoothly across the nail without bubbling or streaking. Illamasqua’s formula typically wears seven to ten days on me with very minor tip wear but no chipping.