Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” with a jelly finish. I loved this shade from the moment I applied it; this was actually my nail color of choice when I went to NYC for Fashion Week this past September (it had been raining quite a bit, so it seemed totally appropriate). It’s a semi-sheer, light stormy gray with flakes of light gray shimmer. I used two coats for swatches, and as expected, you can see the nail line, but I have worn it with three and four coats, and it is more opaque at that level. I couldn’t think of anything like this shade.

Illamasqua’s formula is one of my top five favorites, because it wears like iron. I wore Raindrops for my trip, which means I was nowhere near nice or delicate with my nails, as I was hauling heavy luggage and heavier camera equipment over a week. I didn’t even end up removing the polish for ten days after I had applied it, and there was hardly tip wear, like just barely. The formula has a great consistency so it flows evenly across the nail bed, and it’s not thick at all, so if you prefer more opaque color, you can easily wear three or four coats without compromising the integrity of the wear.

The Glossover

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Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
It's a great shade to wear during the fall/winter and even into spring, as it's light but stormy, and the name is totally appropriate during the rainy seasons! The wear is fantastic; no chips, barely any tip wear!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Illamasqua Force Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Force Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Force Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Force ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep electric blue.” It’s a really rich, cornflower blue with a creamy finish, and it even has a faint purpleness to it. It almost looks purple in certain lighting–more royal blue than electric blue to me! Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is similar but bluer. Essie Declare Your Denim is a bit darker and bluer.

It’s opaque in two coats, and like many Illamasqua shades, the formula is excellent; the polish flows across the nail easily, doesn’t streak or bubble, and never feels too thick. Illamasqua is one of the longest wearing polishes on me; I can wear their formula for ten days or longer and only have minimal tip wear, which is just barely on the edges. When I travel, I often reach for an Illamasqua shade, because I know it will hold up to the vigors of traveling.

The Glossover

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Force

A+
This is such a vibrant shade of blue that even though it leans cool-toned, it will work well on both cool and warm complexions. It has a lot of depth, even though it's a cream, and the excellent wear makes it even better!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua’s fall/winter collection, Theatre of the Nameless, included four new shades of their Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.), and they’re described as: Vice (deep cerise), Taint (stone brown), Kink (bottle green), and Faux Pas (blue violet). They have a “rubber finish.”

  • Vice is a reddened berry with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It reminded me of Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, which has a shiny finish.
  • Taint is a yellow-tinted brown with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. Barielle Cowl of the Wild is similar but cooler-toned. China Glaze Street Chic is a bit lighter and grayer, plus it has a shiny finish.
  • Kink is a deep forest green with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s much bluer and cooler-toned than Rescue Beauty Lounge ORbis Non Sufficit, which also has a shiny finish. It’s greener and less blackened (and has that semi-matte finish) compared to MAC Jade Dragon.
  • Faux Pas is a blue-based violet with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It is similar to Orly Purple Pleather but appears a bit more vibrant.

If you remember Orly’s Plastix Collection, then the finish to these may seem familiar. It’s a bit like vinyl; it’s not matte because there is a muted shine to the natural finish, but it’s not your traditional cream. This type of finish is tempermental; ensure that each coat is dry before applying the next one, and it’s best to wait as long as possible for the final coat to dry before doing anything else. These will pick up and show texture so, so much if you rush! They dry quicker than your standard polish but not as quickly as a matte finished shade.

The wear on this is less than the average Illamasqua Varnish, because in order to maintain the rubbery finish, you can’t use a top coat on top. I managed seven days with noticeable tip wear but no chips–I would have probably removed it after four or five days because of the tip wear, but I wanted to put it to the full week test.

The Glossover

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Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Because of the reduced wear time (and Illamasqua's Nail Varnishes wear like iron on me with a base/top coat), these seem more like a novelty--like matte polishes, which work well for a certain look but are less durable than traditional nail lacquers.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described simply as “bright fuchsia pink.” It’s almost neon; it’s exceedingly bright and vibrant, but there’s something in the finish that holds it back from being a true neon. Obsess is a bright fuchsia pink with an underlying hint of violet with a cream finish. Urban Decay Miss T is similar but appears purpler. It’s purpler compared to Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee, though.

Illamasqua’s formula is three-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, or toulene), and it wears a full week on me with very minor tip wear (and no chipping). The consistency of Obsess is phenomenal; perfectly balanced between thin and thick that it flows to the edges of the nail with ease and does so evenly. It’s opaque in nearly one coat (I used two for swatches).

P.S. — I have no idea why the stickers on some of my Illamasqua bottles are wonky; I’ll take that minor inconvenience because of the stellar formula, though.

The Glossover

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Obsess

A+
Illamasqua's formula is one of my favorites, and Obsess is absolutely superb. Great color payoff, perfect consistency, and easy application make this a must-have polish!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011


Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “cement grey” with a cream finish. It’s a gorgeous shade of gray that doesn’t lean brown–it’s that perfect shade of gray skies. There’s a tinge of blue in it, but it’s very subtle and only picked up in really bright, direct light. Zoya’s Dove was the closest shade I could think of, but it leans browner–less blue.

The formula was exactly what I expect of Illamasqua: excellent. It’s thick without being goopy, so it delivers amazing color coverage–almost opaque in a single coat, though I did two here. It flows evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking. I typically get a week of wear without minimal tip wear with Illamasqua’s polishes.

The Glossover

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DWS

A+
It's a permanent shade in their line-up, but it would work so well for fall, as we gear up for cooler weather, cloudier skies, and settle into some of the more muted but lush shades of the season.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011


Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright violet purple” and has a shimmer finish. It’s a vibrant violet with a hint of fuchsia both in the base color as well as in the shimmer. The formula was a dream to work with–so pigmented it was nearly opaque in a single coat. It spread evenly across the nail, and the consistency was right on the money, because it wasn’t too thick or thin. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Illamasqua’s nail polishes.

I couldn’t think of any really similar shades! The closest I could come up with was Illamasqua Jo’mina, which has a similar brightness but lacks shimmer and is less pink.

The Glossover

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Poke

A+
Such a beautiful color but an even more standout formula -- definitely one of the easiest polishes I've worked with. The color coverage is excellent while the consistency allows the polish to flow evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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