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.
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.
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.
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).
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.