On several previous blogs I have owned, I have shared my Illamasqua nail varnish collection but I felt it appropriate to review them again for new followers or those who are still tossing up between which shades to buy. I currently own twenty three shades – half of which are no longer available to buy on the Illamasqua website but I decided to include them anyway. If you fall in love with a discontinued shade, I’m sure you’ll find it somewhere online. What did we ever do before the internet?!
Firstly, allow me to introduce my largest colour collection – the pinks and purples.
Pink Raindrops is described as a cool pink.
It is a very light, grey-toned pink full of sparkle. Several years ago Illamasqua released a cool grey called Raindrops that became a cult favourite. When they discontinued it, fans caused uproar online resulting in them rereleasing it alongside a new version; Pink Raindrops. The reviews were incredible and so I excitedly picked it up.
Disappointing isn’t the word. The formula is chunky and difficult to apply. The colour is light so applies very streakily and the sparkles in the polish leave it very uneven in texture. It was fluke that I managed to get a fairly even looking result with two coats in the above photo! So many people wax lyrical about this polish but it is one of the very few by Illamasqua that I would actually advise you to avoid.
Loella is described as a bright candy pink with a glossy finish. Discontinued.
This is a medium strawberry milk pink. This is another that I seemed to spot a lot of good reviews of online. Usually if I gravitate towards a pink, it is a bright neon or fuschia but this is such a girly milkshake colour that I couldn’t resist.
It applies beautifully and has a real glossy finish. This is not your grandmother’s type of pink. It is bright and fun while still being subtle enough to wear to the office.
Jo’Mina is described as an electric lilac.
This is a really bright lilac purple. It sounds strange to describe a pastel shade as a bright but this is really unique. The website doesn’t state what kind of finish this is supposed to have but it is a bit like a satin. It definitely isn’t as glossy as some of the other shades I own.
I do wish this had more of a glossy finish but that is just personal preference. This is a stunner.
Velocity is described as a dusky grey-purple with a glossy finish. Discontinued.
It is a cool grey-toned lavender. I received this in an Illamasqua Mystery Box several years ago and I’m so happy I did because it is a shade that I definitely would have overlooked otherwise. This is another gorgeous unique twist on a lavender. I would rarely fall for a lavender or lilac but both this and Jo’Mina are so different and really stand out on the nails. This is one worth scouring the internet for.
Collide is described as a bright neon pink with a satin finish.
It is a very bright highlighter pink. This is another I received in an Illamasqua Mystery Box but one I probably would have picked out on my own anyway. I went through a phase of buying all of the bright pink polishes I could find.
This one in particular is definitely the brightest in my collection. This is a screaming neon pink and I think you’d have a hard time finding one brighter. This is the ultimate summer nail colour.
Ouija is described as a paranormal bright pink.
This was released as part of Illamasqua’s Paranormal Collection for summer 2013. I cannot believe that release is three years old! The four polishes in that collection are all UV reactive (although I haven’t tested them out) but are all beautiful polishes in their own right too. This is a fuschia pink chock full of sparkle but without any sort of texture. This reminds me of Barbie and that isn’t a bad thing.
Seance is described as a paranormal bright violet.
It is another from the Paranormal collection and again is a UV polish. This is a purple-toned pink full of sparkle but without a gritty feel. I do sort of regret picking up both this and Ouija as they are very similar but this is a pretty polish too – not to mention this is fully opaque in only one coat!
Obsess is described as a bright fuschia pink with a glossy finish.
This is a purple toned fuschia pink and another that is utterly girly. As I mentioned already, I did have a penchant for the bright pink shades and although my taste has changed more recently, there is no denying how pretty this is. I can see this one appealing to the masses.
Vice is described as a deep cerise with a rubber finish. Discontinued.
This was released as a part of Illamasqua’s Theatre of the Nameless collection for Autumn/Winter 2011. At the time, I had never heard of a rubber finish and was utterly intrigued so had to try it out. In reality this is sort of like a satin matte and there is no rubber texture to it which I expected to feel to the touch.
The colour is a pretty winter berry shade but I am not a fan of the finish at all. This does little for me and I have seen several brands replicate the finish more recently (such as Essence) so if this is your thing, it should be easy enough to find something similar.
Baptiste is described as a deep royal purple with a shimmer finish. Discontinued.
This is the most delicious blue-toned Cadbury purple and I cannot believe it is discontinued. I love the idea of purple polishes but I often find after a few hours of wear they can go rather dull and lacklustre on the nail. I think it is something to do with purple pigment as I also find it hard to find good purple eyeshadows. This is none of those things. It is mesmerisingly glossy and such a beautiful rich colour. It is one of my all time favourite nail varnishes and one I fall hard for every single time I wear it.
You need this.
Blue has been quite a popular nail choice in recent years, particularly coming into summer, yet it rarely appealed to me. With turquoise being a favourite colour of mine, I instinctively gravitated towards that instead. However, these Illamasqua polishes have actually changed my opinions on blues. Here are my collection of blues and greens.
Cameo is described as a cornflower blue. Discontinued.
This is the shade every brand releases for summer and while people ogle it on Instagram, it never appealed to me. That is until I picked this up in TK Maxx and tried it on. It is such a beauty. The photographs pick up on the fact that it is still a little streaky after two coats (although I didn’t notice in person) and the glossy finish is just stunning.
This is discontinued and I presume very dupeable but there is something about this polish in particular that set off my love affair with blues.
Noble is described as a turquoise blue with a gloss finish.
This is the most beautiful bright blue that just screams summer to me. I actually forgot how incredible this colour was until I took these photographs. The second I was finish swatching, I applied this again and have it on my nails at the moment.
If you like blues, you need this. Just look at that shine!
Strike is described as a rich turquoise blue with a shimmer finish. Discontinued.
This is another shade I received in an Illamasqua Mystery Box but it is as if they knew me. This is me in a bottle. I am obsessed with the colour turquoise and this high shine metallic finish is mesmerising.
My one issue with this is if your nails are damaged in any way, the metallic finish will show up any dents, cracks or imperfections. That is just the way with that sort of brushed metal finish.
Muse is described as a deep teal blue with a glossy finish.
This is another one coat wonder and another polish that is just me in a bottle. This is muted and subtle while still being a true beaut of a colour. Just check out that opacity in a single coat! It is love.
Viridian is described as a peacock green with a metallic finish.
This is a stunning After Eight blackened green. It is very dark on the nail but once the light hits, it reveals that majestic rich green. This is one that will have you distracted by your nails every time you attempt to do something with your hands.
MILF is described as a bright mint with a gloss finish.
This is a pastel pistachio shade and no, I have no idea where they got that name from. I am not usually a fan of greens but this colour is unique in my collection and screams spring to me. It isn’t streaky or difficult to apply which is no mean feat for a pastel. This could well be the next shade I wear.
Omen is described as a paranormal bright green.
This is another from the Paranormal collection with a UV finish. The fourth and final shade in the collection is just a UV top coat which I don’t have. This is an intense neon green packed full of glitter but with no texture to it. This is the most out there neon green that I have seen and the sparkle makes it even more intense. This is one for the brave but if you like brights, this is an essential.
And finally, let me present my other six polishes which don’t really fit into a colour category.
Blizzard is described as a snow glitter with a glitter finish.
This is a snowy top coat which being a winter/Christmas/snow obsessive, I just couldn’t resist. It is made up of different sized white and silver glitter in a clear base. As with most top coats, this doesn’t look like much worn alone and in my opinion, it is a little too chunky to try to attempt to build up to full opacity.
I love pairing it with blues as I did here for a real winter wonderland theme or with blacks for a snowy night sky. I love this polish and it gets bonus points for not being too difficult to remove.
Spartan is described as a gold glitter with a glossy finish. Discontinued.
This is simply a gold glitter top coat which is made up of really densely packed miniscule gold glitter particles in a clear base. The opacity of this is incredible. In the first photo, I applied two coats to my ring finger and achieved full opacity. There was no faffing around trying to fill in gaps, this is just two simple coats. You can see how dense the glitter is in one coat in the second photo. This is a stunner.
Throb is described as a blood red.
This is a true red with a high gloss finish. I rarely opt for reds as I think they can be a bit same-y. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I don’t know why I feel like that when I adore red lipsticks and have a vast collection! This is a real beauty though. It is almost opaque in one coat but I added a second as my nails are in bad condition at the moment. That shine really makes this shade stand out though and while reds don’t usually excite me, this is an eyecatcher.
Glitterati is described as a raspberry glitter.
This is a really unique polish which I originally thought was just a top coat. Instead it is made up of different sized multicoloured glitter in a berry coloured base. One coat is pretty abysmal but the second coat adds a gorgeous gloss and true colour pay off.
This isn’t sold separately but can be bought in a duo alongside Viridian.
Creator is described as a magical black.
This is a black polish densely packed with silver glitter. Despite that, it isn’t too gritty or textured on the nail. I love a black polish so adore the fact that this adds a different twist. Sparkly black is a classic combination and for good reason, this is really pretty.
I can’t find a description online of Scorn but it is a matte black. My nails are in a bad way at the moment so they don’t do it justice but this is one of my most worn nail varnishes. Being matte, it doesn’t last as long as most other polishes but I love the finish. This gives an almost leather look to the nails. Again this is now discontinued.
Illamasqua nail varnishes have a very standard black bristled brush which I find easy to use. I am quite bad at painting my nails inside the lines but this brush actually makes it quite simple. The formula too lends itself well. Simply three sweeps of the brush coat the entire nail in a thin smooth coat and most polishes only require two coats.
I used to opt for the cheapest polishes going – favouring quantity and a vast scope of colours over quality but after trying Illamasqua polishes, I can’t look back. This is my favourite formula of all time and the best part is, I can sometimes get seven days of wear out of these which is no mean feat. Most polishes chip on me after a day!
Of course, being a prestigious brand, these polishes don’t come cheap. They are available on the Illamasqua website for €18.95 each which I think is outrageous for a single nail polish, even though they’re my favourite formula. Illamasqua hold a summer and winter sale which is always amazing and you will always find polishes on sale for only £5! I usually hold off and stock up bi-annually during sale time. More recently, several people alerted me to the fact that Illamasqua polishes were available in several TK Maxx stores for €5.99 and €6.99. There are also quite a few discontinued shades to be found in TK Maxx!
Overall I couldn’t recommend these any more. My all time favourite formula, incredible wear time and so many amazing shades.
Have you got any Illamasqua polishes?
Which one catches your eye the most?
Disclaimer: No press samples were featured.
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