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Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish


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.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish DWS
DWS
DWS
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish


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.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Poke
Poke
Poke
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

NARS Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Galion Nail Lacquer
NARS Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Fall 2011: Galion Nail Lacquer

NARS Galion Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “stormy grey.” It’s a rich, creamy navy-tinged, blackened gray. I achieved opaque color in just two coats, and there was no streaking, bubbling, or difficulty in applying the shade onto my nails. The formula flowed evenly without being too thick or thin. This shade looks really crisp on the nails, and despite my nails being too long, it still seems to work on me.  I typically get a week of wear with NARS’ nail polishes.

It’s a little bluer-based (but still very similar) to China Glaze Concrete Catwalk. The way it looks is reminiscent of Zoya Kelly, but they are not dupes–Kelly is much lighter but of the same hue.

NARS Nail Polish Galion
Galion
Galion
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
98%
Total

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Illamasqua Muse Nail Varnish


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.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Muse
Muse
Muse
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
99%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Illamasqua Jo’mina Nail Varnish

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.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Jo'mina
Jo'mina
Jo'mina
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection


China Glaze Nail Lacquer: Concrete Catwalk, Loft-y Ambitions, Midtown Magic

China Glaze Metro Collection: Downtown

China Glaze Downtown Collection ($2.99 to $5.99, depending on retailer, for 0.5 fl. oz.) contains six shades: Concrete Catwalk (steel grey crème), Loft-y Ambitions (burgundy shimmer), Midtown Magic (burgundy base with flecks of gold shimmer), Skyscraper (sparkling, glitter blue), Trendsetter (mustard yellow shimmer), and Westside Warrior (camo green crème).

  • Concrete Catwalk is a dark gray cream that was opaque in two coats. Zoya Kelly was the closest I could think of, but it is very blue-based, so it looks different when worn.
  • Loft-y Ambitions is a deep, burgundy with very subtle micro-shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised with shimmer, and perhaps, a touch cooler-toned.
  • Midtown Magic is a blackened, chocolate brown with multi-colored shimmer that is dominated by gold and copper. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks a lot like Dior Czarina Gold.
  • Skyscraper is a translucent blue-violet color base with lots of silver glitter. I used two coats in swatches, and it was mostly opaque. I couldn’t think of any dupes from shades I’ve reviewed in the past.
  • Trendsetter is a mustard yellow with a hint of chartreuse in it, accompanied by a gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s bolder and yellower compared to MAC In the Buff–actually, it reminded me of Sun Blonde eyeshadow initially.
  • Westside Warrior is a dusty army green with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s greener (and less yellow) compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War and Zoya Dree.

The glittery shade (Skyscraper) will be difficult to remove, like any other glitter-based polish, if worn alone and as densely as shown in the swatches, so I recommend soaking a piece of felt in remover and pressing against the nail for 15-20 seconds, then pull to remove. The creams and shimmers will be much easier, as is the norm. Like Uptown, these had a good formula with nothing being too thick or thin. The polish spread evenly without streaking and drying time was about average. I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for base/top coats for all swatches. I typically get a week of wear with China Glaze’s polishes.

China Glaze Metro (Downtown) Collection

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

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