It doesn’t seem that long ago that I last showed you my Illamasqua Nail Varnish collection but in that time (since August), it has grown by five. No doubt it will grow again (particularly with their impending January sale) but until then, I wanted to show you my collection thus far. In case you don’t read my blog very often/have never met me/you live on the moon, Illamasqua are my all time favourite makeup brand and as I state time and time again, their nail polish is my favourite formula EVER, winning over the likes of China Glaze, OPI or any other brand dedicated specifically to nail varnish.
So here are the colours I own and why you need them in your life;
Baptiste *New entry*
Illamasqua describes this as a deep royal purple with a shimmer finish. I actually bought this thinking it was a dark blue (Don’t ask me why I thought that) and I was a little disappointed to find a purple. I find purple polishes can often look stunning in the bottle but rather flat and dull on the nail. Not Baptiste. I really feel the pictures do all the talking for this one. It is a decadent almost-Cadbury purple with hints of shimmer only noticeable when you look really closely but which lend themselves to creating a gorgeous high-shine finish on the nails. This has definitely elevated itself to become one of my favourites in my collection.
Illamasqua describe it as a bright neon pink with a satin finish and that description does not do it justice. It is the hottest, brightest, most neon you will ever see. While it benefits from three coats for the sake of intensity, this positively screams on the nails. It may be more of a summer colour but you will not regret picking it up now to have in your stash come the season. I received mine in my Alter Ego Mystery Box but I would purchase it myself in a heartbeat.
Illamasqua describe it as a bright candy pink with a glossy finish. One coat gives a my-nails-but-better look so I layer on two thick coats for this strawberry milkshake colour. It is quite muted compared to the rest of the pinks in my collection but I think it still remains an unusual shade. I would actually liken it to Nicki Minaj for O.P.I.‘s ‘Pink Friday’ although I have yet to do a side-by-side comparison.
Muse *New entry*
Illamasqua describe this as a deep teal blue with a glossy finish. Despite sharing a name with one of my least favourite bands of all time, I adore this colour. You probably already know I have a soft spot for all kinds of turquoise and teal and have dozens in my collection but this stands out as being different to all the rest. It is the most beautiful teal and has such a glossy finish. This is one that gets lots of compliments!
Illamasqua describe this as a bright fuschia pink with a glossy finish and is this not the most perfect Barbie pink?! It is quite a blue-based fuschia and I just adore it on the nails. The name is so fitting as that is exactly how I feel about it when I wear it. Although I have three amazing pinks from the brand, I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite as they are all so different!
Illamasqua describe this as a paranormal bright green and it has a UV finish! Yes, really. This was released as part of the Paranormal collection for Summer 2013 . I haven’t had a chance to test it under UV lights but if you Google it, you will find some incredible photos. Even under normal lighting, this colour is insanely unusual – a bright green packed with absolutely tons of microshimmer. This is a showstopper.
Pink Raindrops *New entry*
Illamasqua describe this as a cool pink but there is so much more to it than that. They released a very pale grey colour called Raindrops in 2011 that everybody went completely nuts for (Temptalia called it her favourite nail varnish of ALL TIME!) but it was limited edition and with its disappearance, it really elevated to cult status. When Illamasqua announced the birth of Pink Raindrops, everybody lost it. They also rereleased Raindrops to coincide with it. Given the choice, I opted for the pink one because that’s just the type of person I am but boy, was I disappointed?! This looks so unique in the bottle, a sheer light pink packed with miniature flakes but it is impossible to apply this evenly – as my photographs can attest to. I ended up with three layers and it still wasn’t even. To make it worse, the texture was awful and granite-y to the touch. The biggest disappointment in Illamasqua history.
Illamasqua describe this as a gold glitter with a glossy finish. This is probably the most incredible glitter in my collection. These photographs show three coats of it alone with nothing underneath, however there wasn’t much difference between two and three coats. While – being a glitter – it doesn’t cover the entire nail, there is so much shimmer and shine going on that it is difficult to notice that fact. This catches the light so incredibly and is one of those that will have you staring at your hands all day long. Not only that but it was a dream to apply, spreading beautifully and evenly over the nail. While it feels slightly textured to the touch, it is not rough and not prone to flaking off which was the major surprise for me. Of course, it will take an extra scrub to get off but it is well worth it for this stunning polish!
Illamasqua describe this as a rich, turquoise blue with a shimmer finish. I received this some time ago in my Eyes and Nails Mystery Box but it is exactly the type of colour I would choose for myself – it is a beautiful pearlescent turquoise which leans more blue than green. I have tons of colours like this in my collection, such is my love for the shade, but this beats them all in terms of quality. Sadly, this appears to be discontinued.
Throb *New entry*
Illamasqua describe this as a blood red and it is pretty spot on. This is a gorgeous glossy red that is just dark enough to look pin-up or classic Hollywood. While I usually find red nails a little boring, I adore this shade and found myself wearing a lot of red lipstick to match. Illamasqua actually sell this as part of a web-exclusive nail varnish duo alongside Spartan. While not actually saving any money by buying the two, they come in a cute box that would make a nice gift or a self-gift perfect for the impending holiday season.
Here are the two together with one coat of Spartan over two coats of Throb. How festive!!!
Illamasqua describe this as a dusky grey-purple with a glossy finish. I received this in the same Eyes and Nails Mystery Box I mentioned before and would probably never have reached for it otherwise. I am glad I have it though as it a really unusual muted lavender unlike anything else in my collection. I think it is muted enough to wear every day – even if you have quite a conservative job – while still being that little bit quirky and different.
Illamasqua describe this as a deep cerise with a rubber finish. I won’t lie – it is the rubberised finish, released as a part of the Theatre of the Nameless collection for Fall/Winter 2011, that had me intrigued. When you look at the photos above, I think you can see what they mean but I was slightly disappointed. I imagined the formula would be thicker and feel a little springy on the nails but this is just regular polish with a three dimensional matte finish. Besides that, it is actually a lovely berry colour, perfect for Autumn.
The bottles are an unusual pinched square shape which doesn’t make application any more difficult and the brush is your standard black bristled one which I find quite easy to use. Unless I stated otherwise, they are all opaque in two coats and regardless of finish, last longer than average on my nails. There are so many different colours and finishes available and Illamasqua are always striving to create something unique so there is definitely something for everyone and I cannot recommend their nail varnish enough.
The only downside is the price – €17.30 a bottle which is monstrous, however they frequently have sales, marking them down as low as £5 so keep your eyes peeled after Christmas for that!
What do you think? Have you tried any Illamasqua polishes yet? Do any catch your eye? And do you like these updated collection posts or are they too repetitive?