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.