Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “opalescent beige” with a shimmer finish. It is a really intriguing shade, and I think those who tend to collect nail polishes may appreciate this shade in particular. It’s just weird–in a good way–it’s this cross of green, beige, and brown with threads of silver and iridescent opal. The base color reminds me most of khaki–brown with this murkiness–but the way the opal shimmers and reflects light adds interest to the shade.

Illamasqua’s formula is richly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply. I did notice very slight brush strokes in the finish under really bright light–the kind common in more metallic finished polishes. Bacterium was opaque in two coats. I typically get a full week of wear with Illamasqua Nail Varnishes with minimal tip wear and no chips.

The Glossover



It's almost office-friendly... but with a little kick. The quality of Illamasqua's Nail Varnishes is excellent--they apply so fluidly and evenly, and the colors themselves are nicely pigmented and wear well.











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Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish (No top coat)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase Bacterium? How much is it?

Sephora, $14.

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

Not that I can think of!

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29 thoughts on “Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. It’s one of those colors that’s so “ugly” it’s pretty. 😀

  2. LOL, I love crazy polish names and all, but this one takes the cake. I literally, “ew”-ed. The color is fab though! I can’t wait to walk in to Sephora and tell them I’m looking for “Bacterium”.

    • Lilac

      I hope you know that there are thousands of bacteria living in and on (on your skin for example) your body, too. They keep you healthy btw. :)

      • Brianne

        Despite the facts about bacteria, which I think most people know, I still have to agree with the fact that it’s a gross product name. It does not bring about pleasant images, which I think would be most people’s knee-jerk reaction to that name. Wish I could say that the color itself does away with my own “ew” reaction to it, but it definitely doesn’t lol!

  3. Olivia

    I have this color and it is very unique and one of my top 3 favorite polishes I own!

  4. Dana

    The name is hilarious! Ewwwwwww Bacterium? I do like the color though :)

  5. I adore Illamasqua polishes! WANT. =]

  6. Emily O.

    I love this np.. I bought it from the last collection because the whole theme struck me as very Poison Ivy-esque. Mutated, unnatural things still of the earth. Just my aesthetic.

  7. I hate the thought that the only way to get this will be to order from Illamasqua at double the price (Sephora doesn’t carry the brand in Canada and the web site won’t allow Canadian customers to order their products), but it’s such a stunning colour! Epic want.

  8. AnGeLwInGz

    I think I received a dud with that nail polish. Mine is so dark and not very opalescent. It looks so pretty in everyone else’s swatches but on me it looks like mud. I’ve tried layering it with OPI Go On Green and Significant Other Color and it looks better.

  9. Jessika

    So into ugly pretty colors lately…im getting this asap

  10. Pawsha

    The name is a little strange.

  11. Heather

    Absolutely love it!

  12. Steph

    Oh hey, I’m wearing this right now! XD It definitely is a strange colour but still so pretty!

  13. Shelby

    I don’t think I could ever wear brown nail polish! Yuck!

  14. Christa

    Disgusting name, but such an awesome color! I love how unique it is. A refreshing change from the typical pink/orange/yellow polishes I’ve been seeing lately (not that those aren’t great–especially for summer–but they’re not exactly subtle or nuanced). This is exactly the kind of interesting & sophisticated color I’d love to contemplate on my nails. Plus, if Illamasqua ever makes an eyeshadow in this shade, I’d be all over it (barring that they have the sense not to name it Bacterium because the thought of bacteria near the eyes, or even on the hands, is a bit gross).

  15. I didn’t like this at first but it is slowly growing on me.

  16. rowan

    it’s unique, i like it

  17. Cam_a

    Not crazy about the color, it’s intriuging and I love the so-ugly-it’s-pretty colors, but the opalescent-ness (I know it’s not a real word, but whatever LOL) just doesn’t do it for me. However, I ADORE the name.

  18. Rachel

    I happen to like the name of this polish 😛
    I’m not a huge fan of the color though, I can’t seem to get into brown polishes at all

  19. Jennifer

    Wow!! that’s awesome!

  20. Kaytlin

    Ohh I love this!!!

  21. Shalimar

    I think the color is lovely in its own way. Totally work friendly for me.

  22. this actually is the color of a bacteria culture! Cute!

  23. TLC

    That color is just down right ugly to me lol. Oh well, to each it’s own!

  24. Daisy

    As much as I love Illamasqua, I’m glad I didn’t shell out the bucks for this one. Zoya’s Pasha is an exact dupe and it saves you 4 dollars.