Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright mauve pink.” It’s a cool-toned, light-medium lavender-pink with blue undertones and a creamy finish (almost looks like a jelly, because it has a plush, squishy look to it). MAC Vagabondage is pinker and darker. MAC Saint Germain is pinker. MAC Pinkly Fresh is lighter, grayer. MAC Ice Cream Cake is darker and pinker. Essie French Affair is softer, pinker.

I was totally surprised that I couldn’t think of any dupes for Harem–it pulls very lavender/lilac, but there’s still quite a bit of pink in it, so it’s neither lavender nor your expected cotton candy pink. The formula is excellent; no streaking, pooling, or bubbling. It applied fluidly and evenly, and it was fully opaque after two coats of polish (nearly opaque in a single coat, actually). It dries to a glossy finish, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (just right). Illamasqua really nailed the formula of their latest shade releases–I continue to be impressed (but still sad over the recent price increase!). I typically get at least seven days of fantastic wear out of their formula, but I’ve worn many shades as long as fourteen days with minor tip wear but no chipping.

P.S. — The brush was splayed on this one, but I don’t remember having this issue on any of the other Nail Varnishes I’ve swatched (and there have been a fair number) so it’s either never happened or seldomly happened, so I think this is just a one-off.

The Glossover

P
product

Harem

A+
Illamasqua really nailed the formula of their latest shade releases--I continue to be impressed (but still sad over the recent price increase!). Excellent formula, pigmentation, and wear.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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See more photos & swatches!

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish (with a top coat)

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Sephora, $17.00.

Is it limited edition?

No.

Any dupes?

MAC Vagabondage is pinker and darker. MAC Saint Germain is pinker. MAC Pinkly Fresh is lighter, grayer. MAC Ice Cream Cake is darker and pinker. Essie French Affair is softer, pinker.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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31 thoughts on “Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Anne

    Eeeek. This polish just might be the reason I break into the world of non-drugstore polishes. It looks so luxurious…yum!

  2. Lucy

    Hi Christine, this is a really gorgeous colour! :D
    When will you be reviewing the lipglasses from the Temperature Rising collection?
    They’ve been out a couple days in the UK and I don’t know which to get and they’ll go out of stock very soon I suspect. Your lip swatches would help me so much!

  3. That is a wonderful colour. I don’t wear nail polishes often but it would be a lovely eyeshadow!

  4. Oh yes, me likes!

  5. Lolly

    Really really love this. I didn’t know this shade existed with Illamasqua!

  6. Ah! I actually really love this shade! It’s such a sweet pink with a little extra flair to it. I’m glad to hear the formula is good as well =)

  7. wow, this color is seriously amazing! I need to get this one :D

  8. The color is gorgeous!!!

  9. crissy

    That is stunning!

  10. This is exactly what I expect from an Illamasqua nail polish. No one does cream polishes like they do. Lighter shades like this one seems to be something most brands struggle with, they are often streaky and very hard to apply. I absolutely love how smooth and shiny this is, you can see from the swatches alone that it’s a great formula.

  11. You have the nicest nails ever! love this color!

  12. I don’t want why, but I imagined it to be a touch darker. Still cute, though.

  13. Terri

    So, so pretty!!! I love Illamasqua, their colors are so beautiful.

  14. it looks like mac lipstick in a bottle! lol i love these shades, in lipstick and in nailpolish ;)

  15. It looks so pink in these photos. Maybe it’s just my computer. I have this color and it’s one of my favorite from Illamasqua.

  16. Yvonne

    Love this color! Any dupes?

  17. Chloe

    This looks likes Essie Cascade Cool! Do you know if it is a dupe? Great post!

  18. Reminds me of Revlon Flirt, but this looks better!

  19. Love it! So beautiful! Will get it for sure.

  20. i bought this because of you christine

  21. This looks pretty similar to their discontinued shade, ‘Jan’, but a bit pinker.

  22. michelle

    Oh I LOVE THIS!!! I MUST have this!!! Some FedEx driver in ATL absconded with my Zoya order :-( Maybe I’ll have to order this as one of the replacements. LOL. Zoya has been great about the whole thing, but I’m in serious need of some pretty colors, and this definitely fits the bill!

  23. Avatar of Deb Deb

    Sephora’s website says this is limited edition but it also says limited edition for a ton of the other colors that are listed. Hmmm…..

  24. Avatar of Deb Deb

    For anyone who lives in the UK, Lilac Sorbet by Accessorize is a close dupe!

  25. Ozonemama

    This is almost identical to Essie’s “Under Where?” Perhaps UW is a tiny bit bluer. Love this color!

  26. Malia

    So pretty it reminds me of the nicki Minaj lipstick though