Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish

Fall In Love: It’s the Noble Thing to Do

Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “turquoise blue.” (Sephora has it listed as “robin egg blue.”) It’s a brightened, light-medium blue with a hint of turquoise in it, which gives it that robin’s egg blue hue. It has a cream finish with a naturally glossy shine. Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Faraway is bluer, darker, and has shimmer. SpaRitual Ebb & Flow is more turquoise. Deborah Lippmann On the Beach is bluer, less bright. Zoya Robyn is a smidgen darker, bluer.

Noble is a limited edition, U.S. exclusive shade.  It’s fully opaque after two coats (and mostly opaque after one).  The consistency was just slightly thicker than the usual for Illamasqua.  It didn’t pool along the sides or bubble during application, though, so it did not impede application.  The drying time was about average (maybe slightly faster), but it had a really glossy finish without need for a top coat (photos are without a top coat).  I typically see between seven and ten days of incredible wear with Illamasqua’s formula–the most minor of tip wear and no chipping.

The Glossover

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Noble

A
Another hit by Illamasqua! If you love glossy creams and blue hues, you may fall in love with Noble yourself!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish

I’m Utterly Captivated with Charisma

Illamasqua Charisma Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep raspberry pink.” This is a rich berry-red with fine, ruby red shimmer that’s noticeable but on the subtler side. Dior Graphic Berry is a smidgen lighter and has no shimmer. Essie Size Matters is redder and has no shimmer. Illamasqua Vice is a bit more berry-hued and has a rubberized finish with no shimmer. Dior Apparat is very close, perhaps a smidgen more red and has a subtle golden sheen. Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised is similar, slightly more berry-colored, and has no shimmer.

Charisma was fully opaque in two coats, and almost opaque in one, but it definitely needed two for full opacity. The formula was lovely to apply, because it was just the right thickness to yield rich color without causing it to pool along the sides, bubble, or streak.  There are subtle brush strokes visible under really bright light (like flash photography) but are barely visible under natural light.  This dried on par with most polishes, not exceptionally long or short.  I typically get a full week of wear with very, very minor tip wear and no chipping with Illamasqua’s formula.

The Glossover

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Charisma

A+
The only flaw here would be the appearance of brush strokes at certain angles. They're very subtle in natural light and slightly more noticeable under flash. The color is rich and opaque in two coats and was easy to apply evenly.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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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

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Creator

A+
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.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Illamasqua Swinger Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Swinger Nail Lacquer

Stranger than Gold, It’s Swinger

Illamasqua Swinger Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “platinum gold.”  Yeah, I’d buy that.  To use my own words, I’d describe it as a champagne-gold with a little grit and dirt in it–it’s not a yellowy gold really, but it’s not quite dark and green-tinged enough to be an antique gold. Too gold to be a real pewter, but it’s all somewhere in there.  Revlon Gold Coin is a smidgen lighter and perhaps not as warm-toned, but they’re really quite close. Chanel Diwali is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Superfreak is lighter. Dior Timeless Gold is very similar. The only shade that I think is less similar is Diwali, which has a lot of warm undertones in comparison. Between the others, I don’t think one would really notice the difference if you weren’t really, really looking for them. Dior’s has the least amount of visible brush strokes (next to none), while Illamasqua and Revlon are tied with a few but hardly any really. I think Chanel shows the most out of the similar shades.

Swinger is fully opaque in two coats, and the formula was beautiful to work with.  It’s fluid, not too thick or too thin, and very easy to apply to the nail.  I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the polish along the edges of the nail.  There were a few visible brush strokes, but there were minimal ones overall for this type of finish. Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish is one of my top formulas, because it wears like iron.  When I go traveling, I regularly reach for a shade by Illamasqua, because I can count on them wearing for the length of the trip and not chipping with the abuse that comes from traveling.

The Glossover

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Swinger

A+
Between Chanel, Dior, and Urban Decay, I'd go Illamasqua. If I were on a tighter budget, I'd go Revlon. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of the versions of this fantastic shade of gold. The wear of Illamasqua is what pushes it to the top of my list, though.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “fuchsia violet with a glossy finish.” It’s a rich, vibrant magenta with a near-neon brightness. The closest shade I could think of was Urban Decay Miss T, which is very close but has shimmer and a touch pinker. The next closest would be China Glaze Senorita Bonita, which is much darker, purpler, and has shimmer. Illamasqua Obsess is pinker, less purple. Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee is more fuchsia.

It’s opaque in two coats, and it does dry down to a semi-glossy finish. For a really high-shine result, I’d still recommend using a top coat.  The formula was a little thinner than other shades I’ve tried from Illamasqua, though I would not describe it as thin.  It was neither thick nor thin, so I didn’t have any trouble applying the color to the nails.  I didn’t experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail.  If you’re more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it’s definitely opaque after two coats.

Illamasqua’s formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it’s one of the longest-wearing polishes.  I can wear a shade for ten days without a single chip and very minor tip wear.  I so often reach for an Illamasqua hue before traveling, because I know it will hold up to all the demands of a trip!

The Glossover

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Stance

A+
I didn't experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail. If you're more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it's definitely opaque after two coats. Illamasqua's formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it's one of the longest-wearing polishes.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright jade” with a glossy finish. It’s a vibrant aqua-green with just a little too much green and aqua in it to be a true mint green. It’s like the lightest, brightest jade. China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint is much, much lighter. MAC Peppermint Patti is the closest shade I could think of, though it’s not as bright. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is bluer.

Illamasqua makes one of my favorite polish formulas, not just because the formula itself is excellent with impeccable wear (it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas on me–I’ve literally wore a color for 10-14 days with minor tip wear), but they often set and create trends and do so at a much more palatable price point than some higher-end brands like MAC, NARS, Dior, Chanel, and so forth.  Nomad is no exception.  I wore this shade for seven days with barely any tip wear and no chipping.

Nomad turns opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with–not too thick or too thin.  It flowed fluidly across the nail and yielded even color, though it did take a little longer to dry than the average polish.  The finish is slightly glossy, but I’d still recommend using a shiny top coat for a truly glossy finish.

The Glossover

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Nomad

A+
Nomad is a gorgeous shade that's appropriate for both spring and summer (though, perhaps, an edgy spring shade!). The formula is every bit as lovely to work with as the color is.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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