Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

A Magical Cauldron of Silver Sparkle

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “magical black.” It’s safe to say that’s a very apt description; it’s a gorgeous deep, dark black cream with large silver sparkles–that seem to be in an almost rectangular shape. NARS Night Breed is very nearly the same–I really can’t tell the difference. China Glaze Tinsel town has a lot more silver sparkle/glitter, so it looks more like a silver glitter with a black base than black with silver shimmer/sparkle.

Creator is opaque in two coats, and there’s plenty of sparkle with every coat. It scatters in an “even” way–you don’t have to worry about the bits of sparkle getting clumped up on one side or anything like that. As anticipated, the formula was a breeze to work with. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it spread evenly, easily, and fluidly without pooling along the sides or bubbling. The drying time was average, and the finish was naturally shiny. One of the reasons why Illamasqua’s formula ranks tops in my books is because it wears like iron. I’m always reaching for an Illamasqua shade when I go traveling, because I know it’s not going to chip and even the tip wear is so, so minor. I’ve worn several shades for as long as 14 days!

The Glossover



Absolutely stunning and flawless in application and formula--there's nothing not to like about this product. It's high quality every step of the way.











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Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $14.00 (September 6th).

Is it limited edition?


Any dupes?

NARS Night Breed is very nearly the same--I really can't tell the difference. China Glaze Tinsel town has a lot more silver sparkle/glitter, so it looks more like a silver glitter with a black base than black with silver shimmer/sparkle.

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40 thoughts on “Illamasqua Creator Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Very pretty! It reminds me of Orly Goth.

  2. blueraccoon

    Oh, wow. This is stunning, like a night sky on your nails. So so beautiful. I may have to break my no-polish rule for this and just do a neutral base gel polish so I can cover it with this.

  3. mari

    lol this reminds me of a polish I got for super cheap at hot topic as a teen xD love it :) nostalgia

  4. Caroline

    This is stunning! This nail polish would be great as a base for a galaxy nails and will save time.

    Do you remember which Illamasqua shades you were able to wear for 14 days? Also, was that with or without base and top coat?

    • Swinger, Stance, Raindrops, Force, Obsess, Muse, Radium, Viridian, Scarab, Baptiste. I get the same wear with and without base/top coats (across brands – there is a negligible difference at most).

  5. xamyx

    Yesterday, I was feeling kind of bummed out that the NARS Warhol collection was such a let-down, but now I’m sort of glad it was, since that means I’ll have some money to put toward some items on *this* one. This polish is beautiful.

  6. Neha

    The longevity score is THE factor to gravitate towards Illamasqua polishes. I am a homemaker and mother of two little ones and no polish in this world has lasted beyond 4 days.Illamasqua is definitely calling my name :). Thanks Christine! Have a great Sunday!

  7. Barbie

    holy crap it’s so pretty!

  8. OMG this is so beautiful–I’m obsessed with it! I must have missed the Nars Night Breed one, but I honestly don’t care–this one is perfect and I am definitely going to purchase one asap

  9. Miss J

    One word is all I need: MINE!

  10. Kafka

    Pretty! I have NARS’ Night Breed though, so this will be a pass for me. It’s a lovely surprise to see a review so, so soon after the PR promos/photos and I’m looking forward to the rest.

    • Sasha

      I think that’s been my problem with Ilamasqua polishes so far. I really want to try one (haven’t yet) but I already have colors very similar so I can’t really justify buying another polish in the shame shade/style etc. Like Baptiste looks lovely but I already bought Nars purple rain.

      • Kafka

        Oh, I love Purple Rain!!! I always get compliments when I wear it. My problem with Illamasqua is that 2 out of the 5 I have crackle on me a day after I put it on. It’s the weirdest thing and happens regardless of whether I put 1 coat or 2, base/top coat or not. They’re like little earthquake fault lines that just spread out. “Caress” is the worst one for that. Happens *every* single time! That’s never happened to me with any other brand. But Illamasqua’s colours can be a bit edgier and more intense than other brands (including my favorite which is NARS), so I’m still drawn to them nonstop.

        As for trying Illamasqua for the first time, have you got anything like “Viridian”? It’s my absolute favorite greeny-teal *ever* and truly incredible colour, imo: “Stance” is spectacular, too, and it may not be as dupeable as it may initially appear: (I didn’t have any crackling issues, btw, with either of those two.)

        • maureen

          oh my god viridian is gorgeous. *_*

          I was thinking I would get Night Breed to wear around Halloween but now I’m wondering if I should get this instead. yikes!

          damn my wishlist is ridiculous.

          • Kafka

            LOL, Maureen, I’m all for enabling people. *grin* I’m so glad you liked Viridian. And, you know, in some lights or angles, it looks so dark, it could almost pass as a greeny-teal-black, so it would work well for Halloween. But in other lights, that gorgeous peacock hue definitely comes through. My wishlist is pretty long too, thanks to Christine and all the temptation here, but go get Viridian! lol. I don’t think you’ll regret it. 😀

        • Sasha

          I think I might try to pick up Viridian and Scarab. I’m only just now getting into green-ish colors [I like blue teal, but don’t understand colors like RBL’s recycle]. They seem like lovely standout colors with a lot of dimension.

          I wonder why you get that issue. I just tried RBL’s poppy with their top and base coat and it started chipping on me within 2-3 days. It’s interesting the variation some of these can have for different people.

          • Kafka

            Scarab is at the very top of my Illamasqua list! What a stunning colour. If you get that or Viridian, let me know what you think, okay? 😀

  11. Josiane


  12. Esther

    please excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard. this is GORGEOUS.

  13. Sasha

    It’s pretty, but I’ve been eyeing Cirque Dark Horse for a little while and I think I might go with that one for now and see if I wear it enough to justify buying something so similar. [Dark Horse has holo glitter instead of silver, so they are different, but still pretty similar]

  14. Amanda

    Uhg I love Illa nailpolishes! Can’t wait for the entire collection come out on :)

  15. This is gorgeous!!! Perfect for fall and winter, I need this! :)

  16. Illamasqua has done it yet again: make me fall in love with one of their nail polishes. Too bad I can’t get my hands on it that easily because I live in The Netherlands.

  17. I absolutely LOVE this. I like black nail polish and it’s probably the color I wear most often for fall and winter. This glittery alternative would make a great addition to my collection.

  18. Maryanne

    Such a lovely and unique color! I’m just curious if this shade is a hassle to remove. Any problems getting it off?

  19. Nicole

    This polish is seriously stunning! I have been dead set against wearing black polish on my nails for a long time, but this just might be the turning point for me when autumn arrives. 😀

  20. WOW absolutely stunning.

  21. KF

    Oh man…I never EVER wear any polish that’s glittery or shimmery at all, but Illamasqua might manage to change my mind with this one. So pretty!

  22. Sanguine13

    Hm, I have to wonder if CG Tinsel Town layered over a black polish would yield a similar effect. But this is a GORGEOUS polish.

    • Nicoco Chanel

      I wouldn’t think so. TT has more irregularly sized glitter, whereas this is rather uniform. I think TT is darker than the glitter here as well.

  23. Jay

    Cheaper dupe for Azature’s Black Diamond (the $25 version, not the $250,000 version). Black Diamond has a jelly consistency. Since they’re pretty much identical & I own that one, I’ll stick to that. But I do like Illamasqua’s polishes usually.

  24. Stephanie

    Essie’s Silver Bullions layered over any black polish will give you this look…I’m wearing it right now and it looks identical!

  25. Allison

    this is gorgeous! definitely have to have it!

  26. Rachel

    China Glaze’s Haunting is very similar to this.

  27. Megan

    I saw a L’OREAL polish today that looked identical in the bottle at Walgreen’s. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test it out before I purchased it..not the same thing. If I layer the drugstore polish over a black base, the effect is very similar, and though I do already own a black polish, I really wanted a good one polish dupe. Sigh. I will just have to wait until I get a chance to pick up Creator, I LOVE shades like this. China Glaze’s Tinsel Town is similar like you said, but the effect is not the same. They both have that kind of mysterious smokiness to them, but this one is a just different. Love them both! Thanks for the post!