Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness: Scarab

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (£13.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is a fiery ruby red with copper and scarlet shimmer strewn through the color. It almost looks metallic but not quite. It’s a very cool shade with depth; I envision flames licking through the ruby red, because it just has on-fire look to it.   This shade was extremely rich in pigment–one coat was nearly enough, but I still wound up with two, just because it feels more complete (to me) that way.

Nonetheless, smooth, even application with no fuss.  The formula itself was of a medium-thick consistency–the norm for Illamasqua’s varnishes.  It has a slight shine in its natural finish, but I recommend a shiny top coat to really finish it.  I noticed very subtle brush strokes in close-ups, but everything looked pretty smooth at a normal viewing distance.  Illamasqua described this as a metallic, but it feels more like a shimmer with only a touch of metallic-ness.

The Glossover



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Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (Natural Light)

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (Natural Light)

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (Natural Light)

Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish (Flash)

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I buy Illamasqua's Scarab? How much is it?

It is currently available through Illamasqua for £13.00.

Is this permanent?

Yes, I believe so; I did not see anything that indicated it was limited edition on Illamasqua's website.

What top/base coats did you use?

Zoya's for both.

Are there any dupes?

The only one that I could think of was China Glaze's Branding Iron, but I think it pulls redder--it's still a brown-based red, but it lacks that fiery glow of Scarab.

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18 thoughts on “Illamasqua Scarab Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Alexandra

    Omgosh beautiful! I SO want this nail polish! Thanks Christine :)

  2. Leenie

    Maybe one day I’ll splurge on high end nail polishes but right now I’ll stick with nail polish that cost no more then 5.00$ To bad for me because you show a lot of pretty colors :(

  3. Melissa (divinem)

    I find that Sephora eventually gets these new shades in. I was so mad that I paid Euros for Illamasqua’s pastel collection, and it eventually came to Sephora where I could have paid much much less. Grrr. I’m willing to wait this time.

  4. Roxanne

    This POST FAQ is THA BOMB! I feel like it will make your life much easier, Christine 😛

  5. Beth

    I picked this up the other day at Sephora. Definitely an awesome buy. Wearing it now and I love seeing it in the light.

  6. Mel

    Gorgeous! I have already had my eye on this one! I’m a BIG fan of Illamasqua nail varnishes. Yes, they are a little more expensive but the quality makes up for that! Right now I’m wearing Phallic constantly, it’s a very deep blue with tiny sparks of blue and purple that are so subtle it looks as though the varnish is glowing from the inside. Very very nice.

  7. Karen

    Oh this looks like an amazing fall/holiday color. I will definitely have to pick it up!

  8. Ashley D.

    Y’know what I’ve noticed, the beauty stuff I see on your website is most of what I buy. I’m going broke, but in a weird way, I’m happy.

  9. Eileen

    Wow …. this is hot. I love what they’re doing with red nailpolishes and the different duo-chromes they’re coming up with. Like this one a lot!

  10. Mary

    So pretty. Perfect fall mani.

  11. Jessie

    its pretty holiday color :) and the FAQ part i laughed so hard !! you work your best way not to get bombarded but girl that ain’t helping you haha

  12. Bryanna

    I don’t know if you know this or not, but Illamasqua is available for purchase at I got Scarab there, there are also a couple other colours on the website for purchase. I don’t have Sephora store near me, but I am sure they would be available for purchase there too.