|What is one of the major complaints of UK nail fanatics?? Lack of access to all the amazing colors we get here in the states. Yes, you can order from some US sellers and pay for overseas shipping but wouldn’t you prefer to find some more cool local brands. Well have I got one for you… Illamasqua.
Illamasqua is a new UK makeup brand, influenced by the risque club scene of the 1920s and the expressive makeup of alternative cultures. The line’s products come in a rainbow of colors including the 37 nail varnishes, some with naughty names like Poke, Milf and Phallic.
I tested a few varnishes in very “me” hues, see how they look after the jump!
Being that Illamasqua is a UK based brand all their nail varnishes are Big 3 Free, natch, though they do contain formaldehyde resin (for those of you who check ingredients). The formula is on the thicker side and extremely pigmented. I’m not gonna lie, the metallic and shimmer shades applied better than the creme. The creme was a bit streaky and needed evening out with Seche Vite to appear completely smooth. Also I noticed that, like wall paint, the creme and metallic dried a little darker with a semi-matte finish.
I gave each shade my five day trial run with a base of CND Sticky and Seche Vite top coat, to test its wearability and I was very pleased with the results. Minimal tip wear and no chipping.
DWS is a mid-tone gray creme. It’s got a bit of green to its base, similar to Rescue Beauty’s Stormy, only DWS is lighter. It falls somewhere between Stormy and RBL Concrete Jungle. I’d say it’s more along the lines of MAC On The Prowl from the Hello Kitty collection. Like I said above, the application was a bit tricky but not so much so that it ruined the overall result. You just have to play with it. I’ve shown it with top coat.
Snap is a gunmetal metallic. It’s not super dark so it definitely looks gray in all lighting. It’s a true metal in that respect. I’ve shown it without a top coat so you can see that it dries somewhat matte, not glossy.
And as a random factoid, while removing the polish I noticed that instead of coming off in one fell swoop, the first layer came off to reveal this lighter metallic shade, similar to Chanel Kaleidoscope without the chameleon effect. Kind of cool, no?
Baptiste is the out and out winner of the three. It’s a STUNNING purple shimmer. Similar to Essie Sexy Divide, Baptiste is much richer and vibrant in person. Don’t worry about “almost black” syndrome affecting this one. Even under the odd fluorescent lighting in my office, Baptiste looks purple. What you see is without top coat. Talk about glossy!
These are a few of the Illamasqua shades that I’m longing to try next. I say yay to any brand that carries mulitple greens in their core collection. Ding, ding, ding we “greenies” have a winner.
Fun fact: Nicole Scherzinger wore Fern, a bold robin’s egg shimmer, in an upcoming Pussycat Dolls video for the Oscar winning hit “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. The video isn’t out yet but I found a “making of” video on MTV.com
Illamasqua Nail Varnish retails for Â£12.50 and can be purchased directly from Illamasqua.com. I’m also really intrigued by the create your own eyeshadow palettes so if anyone tries or has tried them, let me know what you think.