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Illamasqua Scarab & Viridian from the Art of Darkness Collection

By on October 22, 2010
in Fall 2010, Green, Illamasqua, Red
illamasqua-art-of-darkness-viridian-scarab In case you haven’t heard, the Sephora Friends & Family Sale started yesterday.  You get 20% off your online order with the code FF2010.  If you’re still contemplating an order you might want to think about including one of my fave UK brands, the Sephora exclusive Illamasqua.

The Fall 2010 Art of Darkness collection is out and it includes two new nail colors, Viridian and Scarab.

Application & Formula: Illamasqua is a 3-Free brand based out of the UK that sells their products exclusively at Sephora in the US.  The bottle has a removable outer cap that reveals a small ribbed inner cap that can be used for application though I prefer to just leave the outer cap on while polishing.  The brush is thin and round and reminds me of the OPI brush pre-Pro Wide.

Both of the polishes in this collection are well pigmented requiring only two coats.  The because there is a bit of metallic pearl to them the finish does show slight brush strokes but nothing as major as a traditional metallic.  It’s more like the pearl coat on a car.  The polish is of an average viscosity flowing on the nail with ease of control.  I had no trouble getting perfect coverage with three strokes.


Viridian is a mysterious hue in that it looks like a dark peacock blue-green one second and emerald green the next.  It’s quite unique and unlike anything I own.  I know that seems absolutely absurd given my green obsession but I really don’t have any colors like this.  Not that I’m complaining.  The finish looks velvety thanks to the tonal pearl shimmer.

illamasqua viridian-swatch-art-of-darkness-fall-2010

The best comparison I could come up with is China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald which has that same blue undertone though EF is a bit deeper and more blue to my eye.  The finish is also different in that EF has micro-glitter that Viridian is missing.


Scarab is a rich burnt red shimmer with the same velvet finish as Viridian.  It has a blackened base but it dries light enough that you can tell it’s red and that makes it pretty unique in my book .  Now I don’t know if it’s Steff from Short N Chic’s influence but I’m having a red moment right now.  Steff is also from Cleveland and recently moved nearby so we went to dinner last week and her love of red seems to be rubbing off on me.  Someone take my temperature, this is so not me!


Even though I’m not typically a red nail girl I do own way too many reds and I couldn’t find anything comparable to Scarab due to the warm of its base color.  In the bottle I thought it might be a twin for OPI Changing of the Garnet but that one has more berry in it and I threw in China Glaze Foxy just to give you an idea of how it looks next to something more current.


FYI: This comparison pic was taken post nail trauma so the lighting is a bit different than when I took the first three.


Bottom Line: If you love Illamasqua polishes you’re going to adore these.  The formula and pigmentation are spot on and the finish is rich and luscious, perfect for Fall.  I’m digging both these colors so they both get the thumbs up from me.

Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness collection is on sale now at (£13) and ($14).  For additional store locations check the Store Locator.

What do we think of these?  Is anyone including Illamasqua in their Sephora F&F order?  What else are you getting during the sale?  What’s your favorite Illamasqua Nail Varnish?

Disclosure: Product samples were furnished to me by Illamasqua. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 43 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lauren says:

    I’m sure they’re not that similar but scarab is reminding me strongly of opi cuckoo for this color. I like Illamasqua polishes, but these aren’t the most original colors imo. I like the colors from the blogger contest a lot better.

  2. Stephanie says:

    How do you think Viridian compares to OPI Cuckoo For This Color?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Viridian is more green and has more black in its base, like OPI Jasper Jade, though JJ is more mossy. Plus the finishes are different since Cuckoo has a touch of micro-glitter sparkle like Emerald Fitzgerald

  3. Emily says:

    oh wow! pretty! that green is does it compare with Zoya’s Suvi? come to think of it, is the red similar to Zoya’s Isla?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Suvi isn’t as vivid and has a mossy tone like OPI Jasper Jade which I mentioned in another comment. I’ve always thought of Suvi as a JJ substitute. Not quite the same but definitely cheaper than any bottle of JJ you’ll find on eBay. Isla is blackened in the same way as Scarab but Scarab has a warmth from the golden red shimmer.

  4. Jamie K. says:

    great comparisons :) i can live with such differences in colour cuz i cant get any of such polishes here! and it is pricey i must say! :(

  5. Julie says:

    I’m not a huge fan of red either, but something about Scarab is making me want it! It seems darker and richer.

  6. Marla says:

    I’m not a red fan, at all. But I love that red…

  7. rozie says:

    I caved for these recently after being severely disappointed by the various swatches I saw of it, and only because there was a nice discount at (ships NP to Europe only…). Yet I’m so happy I did!! Viridian is close to essence All Access and Barry M’s Racing green (both not so easy to get in the US) but has an extra oomph, and Scarab is indeed quite unique! I has the feel and lit-from-within quality of Zoya Isla, but it much more brown-hued. Both are keepers in my illamasqua football team! (or should I say soccer?? but I’m well over 11 of them -aaaargghgh I need serious help :D
    great swatches btw!

  8. Jenn says:


  9. greenCerulean says:

    I bought Viridian and Baptiste using the coupon, but I really wanted to get Raindrops too, but it wasn’t listed on sephora. That and Phallic are the only two left that I want to get.

  10. Ping says:

    Hmmm, these are nice colors, but not that original, so I think I will skip. Illamasquas are a bit pricey, I don’t have any in my stash, but of the ones I tried at Sephora, I really like Muse. I do think though that their formula is amazing.

  11. Penemuel says:

    I grabbed up Viridian the moment I saw it was available. Such a gorgeous colour. I’m in love with Illamasqua’s formula, too – I can’t think of any other nail polish I’ve tried that’s so pigmented and so easy to apply.

    How does Scarab compare to Zoya Blair and… Colbie? I think that was the other red shimmer from a couple of years ago. I have a feeling it may be closer to one of those, but I really don’t know.

  12. melina bee says:

    funny, I recently read a super positive review of this brand’s eye liner. I love scarab, the name and color are very evocative. I love how dark it is, maybe it is halloween that is rubbing off on you?

  13. Kitty says:

    Nice colors but nothing different. With all the choicees out there, I have to rethink if I want to get this.

  14. Anna says:

    I love that bug infront of the Illamasqua packaging :) Anyway… I love both of those colors.. Scarab is soo beautiful, but I already have something similar to it… thats why Viridian caught my eye immediately :) Unfortunately we dont have an Illamasqua here where I live :(


  15. Violet says:

    Can you compare Scarab to OPI’s Royal Rajah Ruby?

    • Fermi says:

      Was going to ask the same thing. I have RRR on the toenails right now, and it seems like it looks very similar.

  16. Winnie says:

    I added both of these to my F&F order, thanks for the great pics and comparisons!

  17. Lisa says:

    Scarab looks like it could be a close dupe for my all-time favorite color (and now discontinued), Chanel’s Metal Garnet. A gorgeous brown-red with golden flecks. It’s the only bottle I’ve even used up. Ever.

  18. I placed my order last night, and got Baptiste, Phallic (extra excited for this), and Rampage. I didn’t get Veridian, but now I kind of wish that I had. *sad horns*

  19. I LOVE the packaging on these! The beetle is such a cool and modern touch.
    - Liz

  20. LadyMorrgian says:

    Not that is a red I could get behind….hmm another lemming. gah some times I hate you, ya know that, but yet I return to read the awesome reviews and torture myself with more lemmings,

  21. sarah says:

    Ohhhh – when is payday. Those are gorgeous. Thanks!

  22. Debbie says:

    I think scarab on post trauma length nail looks even more lush than on pre-trauma length! I just love short, dark and glossy! And I really want both of these!

  23. KatieM says:

    I’m not a red fan either, but I’m nuts for Illamasqua. Sadly must wait until after the 1st to buy.

  24. josie says:

    Do you know how Viridian compares to Nicole by Opi’s Faux Fir?

  25. Cai says:

    Scarab reminds me a bit of China Glaze Branding Iron, though I think it might be darker – any chance of doing a comparison?

  26. Lois says:

    wow, these are both so amazingly pretty! I just bought my first Illamasqua laquer, Muse :)

  27. Anastasia says:

    WOW! I am really impressed! These colors are really beautiful! I am going to have to check these out. I am with you on not being a red wearing girl, and on my nails at the moment is the hottest red I own! I am obsessed with the color on my nails at the moment! Ha!

  28. Amanda says:

    Scarab reminds me very closely of OPI’s Romeo and Joliet. Could be a dupe

  29. GwenSA says:

    I ordered these two on Thursday with the F & F code along with four other shades. Some of the colors I wanted were not available @ Sephora, and are only at the Illamasqua UK website. It’s nice that Sephora carries the brand though. I already own one color called Snap, and it I really like it.

  30. reene says:

    I went to Sephora after seeing your swatches to try out Illamasqua polishes for myself, and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed with these two colors. They apply sooo smooth! I love Scarab, and I’m not a red nail girl at all. The only red nail polish I have came in a set, and I was going to give that one away lol. And I think thanks to you, I’m slowly going green. ^^ Thanks so much for the review!

    • kirsten says:

      I did the same thing! Well I was also out of toner and needed to go for that and a Sultra Bombshell Curling Iron, but the day this was posted the first thing I did after getting off a plane in Orlando was run to Sephora and pick up these two beauties! Did the boxes yours came in have the scarab beetle design like the one posted on here? For some reason mine don’t and none of the ones in the Florida Mall Sephora did. The makeup from this collection did, but not the polish. Oh well I’ll live, but I love that packaging!

  31. Brittney says:

    Hey did you ever do a comparsion of Scarab and Royal Rajah Ruby?

  32. Cristina says:

    I have been drooling over viridian for so long now. I hope I get it for Christmas or something… So beautiful.

  33. Caroline says:

    I layered Viridian under OPI Catch me in your net, and it gives a real depth to the sparkle, without it getting too blue. Just a thought.

  34. Chris says:

    Have you thought about comparing Scarab to OPI Royal Rajah Ruby?

  35. Michele says:

    How does Scarab compare to Mommy Kissing Santa from the China Glaze Tis the Season… collection?

  36. Su says:

    Does anyone know where I might still be able to get this? I found the set on, but they only ship to very few countries. :/ A quick search on eBay didn’t turn anything up either…

  37. Steph says:

    How does Scarab compare to OPI’s Tease-y Does It?