The first nail-focused beauty blog


Illamasqua Nail Competition and Pastel Polish News

By on March 1, 2010
in Illamasqua, News with 6 Comments

illamasqua-Nail-Varnish-Competition Thanks to some email issues I’m a little late on sharing the deets about this exciting new contest from Illamasqua and it’s HUGE.  I had my nail polish dreams come true when I had the opportunity to create my signature nail polish and polish collection and now it’s your chance to give it a whirl.  Illamasqua is giving one lucky nail polish lover the chance to make their dream polish a reality.

2010’s hottest new nail colour is in your hands!

Whether it’s the standout shade of your favourite killer heels, your must-have cupcake frosting or the glow of the city skyline, Illamasqua wants to hear what inspires your soul.

The UK’s hottest and most talked about make-up brand, Illamasqua is famed for its unique and daringly different collection of cult Nail Varnish colours.

And now they want YOU to get creative.

Illamasqua is asking finger fetishists the world over to submit a description of their dream nail varnish colour, for their chance to make it a reality.

Run in conjunction with luxury retailer, Selfridges, this incredible competition is giving nail varnish fans the world over the opportunity to push their imaginative boundaries further than ever before and design their very own perfect shade.

Entrants must explain in no more than 50 words what inspired their unique choice, and provide an image or photograph to illustrate their big idea.

The prize? Two winners will see their dream colour created and sold exclusively at and Selfridges in London, Manchester Trafford and Birmingham from October 2010. In addition, they’ll receive a bottle of their winning colour before anybody else!

The winning entries will be selected by a high-profile judging panel consisting of legendary make-up artist Alex Box, nail artist to the stars Sophy Robson and YouTube sensations Pixiwoo.

The rules:

In 50 words or less, submit a description of your dream colour and the thinking behind it – please include pictures to illustrate your inspiration if possible.

Entries must be submitted in one of the following three ways, no later than 14th March 2010:

Via email:

Via blog post: email the link to

Via mail:
c/o Illamasqua
6-8 Amwell St

One entry per person. Competition is open to entrants globally.

I’d love to see one the ALU Fanatics win so put your creative thinking caps on and submit something truly fantastic.

On to the Pastel Nail Varnish news. Thanks to your comments and support of Illamasqua’s spring polish colors, TPTB at Illamasqua have decided to send Blow, Caress, Nudge and Wink our way this MAY!! Talk about the power of blog readers. Well done Fanatics!

The ALU Archives – Illamasqua Phallic

By on January 15, 2010
in Blue, Illamasqua, The ALU Archives with 20 Comments
alu-archives The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.Talking about Illamasqua’s new colors yesterday reminded me that I had never showed you one of my fave shades from their core collection, Phallic.  First of all, you gotta love the name.  Like my blogging pal Mel with her Penis Tuesday series, I love a fun penis reference.  I even won a knit, purple, penis-shaped lip balm holder (link NSFW!) from her site. The fact that Phallic is a stunning blue shimmer makes it all the better.  Check out the gorgeousness after the jump!

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Illamasqua Pastel Nail Varnishes Preview

By on January 14, 2010
in Illamasqua, Spring 2010 with 68 Comments

The latest buzz from the world of Illamasqua is about their Pastel Nail Varnishes launching near the end of February.

The range includes (l-r): Blow, Wink, Nudge, Caress

The Illamasqua Blog has more details and swatch images of the polishes where they describe the formula as being comparable to Milf.

Though here’s the deal Fanatics.  As of now, the colors are set to launch in UK stores and on the Illamasqua website.  If you want to see them make their way to Sephora stores and they need to hear it.  So tell me in the comments… Would you buy these colors if there were available in the US?

Illamasqua Boo! Pantomime Nail Duo Swatches & Review

By on November 25, 2009
in Glitter, Illamasqua, Purple, Shimmer with 38 Comments
illamasqua-boo-hiss-pantomime-duo Happy Anniversary Illamasqua!  What a year it’s been for them.  The brand went from “How do you pronounce that?” to “MAC better watch out!”  To celebrate, Illamasqua is releasing the Boo! & Hiss Pantomime Nail Duos.  Two Limited Edition nail polish sets pairing an existing lacquer with a new LE glitter to layer on top.

I received the Boo! Duo consisting of Baptiste and the new Boo! glitter polish to test out and it is the hotness! Check it out, after the jump!

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A Twist on the Ombre or Gradation Manicure

Have you seen the ombre manicure that was featured in InStyle Magazine? In my post on multi-colored nails we saw CND’s version for the Kai Kuhne runway last February that they called a gradation. Either way I think it’s a fun play on the concept of a gradated manicure and much easier to replicate at home.

You may remember that I wore a gradated CalGel manicure at NY Fashion Week last season and while I loved the style, it’s not exactly DIY friendly. So I put my twist on ombre multi-colored nails with, what else, a green version. Check it out!

The idea here is to custom blend varying shades of the same color, working across your hand from lightest to darkest. However I went a different route than the method suggested by InStyle. Rather than combine pure white polish into a dark lacquer, having to create 4 separate mixes, I chose a light green and a dark green with similar color traits and blended them to create the mid-tone hues. I selected Illamasqua Milf and RBL Orbis Non Suficit because they both have a slightly grayed, dusty quality to them and I wanted a muted look.

Products and Tools:
Illamasqua Milf Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Orbis Non Suficit
Acrylic pigment jars (easily found on eBay or at craft stores)
Toothpicks (for mixing)
Clean nail polish brush. I used one from an empty polish bottle I bought for frankening.

*Have your nails prepped with base coat applied before beginning.
*Apply the polish as soon as it is mixed. Exposure to air will cause it to thicken quickly and dry shortly after.
*Mix the lightest color first and apply immediately before moving on.
*Clean your brush with remover between colors to avoid streaks from previously mixed polishes.
*Regarding my formulas below, I remove the brush from the bottle without wiping it against the sides and the amount that drips off equals one drop.

Note: Because this is a demo I only mixed colors for my middle and ring fingers and left my thumb out. You will want to mix three shades for a full manicure.

Ring finger mix: Start with 7 drops of Milf and add 1 drop of Orbis Non Suficit. For me, the color was darker than I wanted so I added one more drop of Milf.

Middle finger mix: Use an equal amount of both lacquers. 4 drops each of Milf and Orbis Non Suficit.

The Finished Result!
What I love about this look is that it’s much softer than the “Skittles Nails” I’ve worn in the past. It’s not as bright and in your face. In fact you could make the variations much more subtle by choosing polishes that are even closer in tone. Or if you follow the InStyle method, adding white polish, your nails could vary by a single drop.

So what do you think of this look? Is this something you’d be willing to try at home? If you’ve done a similar manicure, what shades did you use? I actually received a message from a reader, Sarah, who blended a gorgeous grayed purple version using OPI Siberian Nights and China Glaze Agent Lavendar. Share your creations in the comments!

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