Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish Review, Photos, Swatches

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
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.

Harem

PPermanent. $17.00.
A+
A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish (with a top coat)

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Harem Nail Varnish

31 Comments

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Anne Avatar

Eeeek. This polish just might be the reason I break into the world of non-drugstore polishes. It looks so luxurious…yum!

Lucy Avatar

Hi Christine, this is a really gorgeous colour! 😀
When will you be reviewing the lipglasses from the Temperature Rising collection?
They’ve been out a couple days in the UK and I don’t know which to get and they’ll go out of stock very soon I suspect. Your lip swatches would help me so much!

tzwiggy Avatar

This is exactly what I expect from an Illamasqua nail polish. No one does cream polishes like they do. Lighter shades like this one seems to be something most brands struggle with, they are often streaky and very hard to apply. I absolutely love how smooth and shiny this is, you can see from the swatches alone that it’s a great formula.

michelle Avatar

Oh I LOVE THIS!!! I MUST have this!!! Some FedEx driver in ATL absconded with my Zoya order 🙁 Maybe I’ll have to order this as one of the replacements. LOL. Zoya has been great about the whole thing, but I’m in serious need of some pretty colors, and this definitely fits the bill!

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