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Most of the blues and greens I’ve tried so far this month have been really spring/summer-appropriate shades, so I’m trying one that’s a little unexpected for the season. Illamasqua Venous (Spring 2013) is a medium greenish teal creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight (Please pardon the injury! I hope it heals fast so it won’t appear in many more of my NOTDs.) The formula was smooth and applied well in two coats. At first this struck me as a more fall-appropriate shade, since it wasn’t light and bright like the polishes I’ve been wearing recently. The more I look at it, though, the more I see it as spring-appropriate. It’s dusty, but not very muted. It’s kind of like a springy version of Essie School of Hard Rocks (both remind me of chalkboards.) It’s not the first shade I picture when I think of teal, but it just fits under that category, as one that has more green than blue. The name intrigues me; I normally wouldn’t think of this as the color of veins, but when I looked at my wrist, the shade seems like a match! I paired this with OPI Wooden Shoe Like to Know? on my toes.
Naturally, I had to follow up my previous NOTD with Illamasqua Harem (Spring 2013), an orchid pink creme:
Picture taken in natural light. This applied smoothly and was solidly pigmented, but had a streaky appearance, being a light color and all. I needed three coats for even coverage. This isn’t exactly a pastel, I’d just call it a light yet bright color, but it has the same quality of creme finish like Caress, with those sort of powdery particles. It’s something you notice more while painting than in the finished mani. I love the color, especially because it’s really pigmented. It’s a delicate, springy shade but its starkness gives it a strong look on the nail. I immediately thought of Crayola orchid when I saw this. I paired it with OPI Did It On ‘Em on my toes.
After a whole week of orange/coral/pink polishes, I switched over to something cooler in tone. Illamasqua Superstition (Spring 2013) is a fuchsia creme:
Picture taken in weak sunlight. This applied well, though it wasn’t one of those solidly pigmented cremes, so I needed three coats for full coverage. On the first coat, it looks really pink, then takes on more of a purple tone with additional coats, and it ends up looking fuchsia. This is pretty, but not unique; it’s in the same family as Grab and Obsess. There’s not much to say about it, but it’s still worth getting, particularly if you don’t already own the other two. I didn’t really need this, but I just liked getting all three polishes from this collection. I’m not exactly sure which collection this belongs to; it seems to go along with Harem and Venous, but unlike the other two, which are also available on Illamasqua’s site, this one is only available through Sephora. I paired it with OPI Fly on my toes.
This doesn’t fit in with the bright, springy theme but I have just a couple of black polishes I really wanted to try sooner rather than later in the fall. Illamasqua Creator (Generation Q, Fall 2012) is a rich black base loaded with short silver bar glitter and some holographic hexagonal glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; I used two coats with touchups in between for full coverage. When I first applied this I thought the silver glitter was of the tiny, broken irregular flake variety, but I was surprised to see that it’s actually very short bar glitter! I normally loathe bar glitter but here it’s so small that it doesn’t immediately register as being that kind. There are some hexagonal holographic pieces in there but they’re so sparse that I wouldn’t count on getting one on your nails (I managed to get one on my thumb, though.) This has definitely jumped near the top of my favorite black with silver glitter polishes. Despite being loaded with silver glitter, the black base never appears charcoal-looking; it stays this very dark, obsidian-like shade. It’s the best of both worlds, dark and sparkly. I paired this with Chanel Nouvelle Vague on my toes.
For Easter tomorrow I’m wearing the last of these speckled polishes I have (I didn’t buy the tan, Freckle.) Illamasqua Fragile (I’mperfection, Spring 2013) is a pale pastel sky blue creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied very well like the rest; I used three coats for really solid, opaque coverage. I really like how the finish gets smooth with just one coat of topcoat, even though the creme base is full of glitter. It’s hard to pick a favorite from this collection, but if I absolutely had to, I’d pick this one, just because I adore pastel blues. This shade looks so light and airy. It’s pale, but also perfectly stark, and not too whited-out. It’s such a sweet and dreamy blue! I own a couple of similarly-colored creme polishes, so I appreciate the unique addition of the black glitter. I really love this speckled look; Illamasqua did a great job with making these polishes truly look like speckled candy eggs. They make for delicious-looking nails, too. I paired this with Illamasqua Caress on my toes.
The next speckled polish I had on my list is Illamasqua Scarce (I’mperfection, Spring 2013) a light, dusty pink creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. (The sun is washing out the color a bit; it looks a little darker in natural light.) This applied well, needing three coats for full coverage. With this one I did experience some wrinkling at the tips after applying quick-drying topcoat. This is such an intriguing shade of pink! I wouldn’t call it a true pastel because it just doesn’t seem stark or whited-out enough. It definitely doesn’t look like pastel pinks I’ve tried before. It’s a warm shade, and slightly dusty. Even though it’s not a traditional pastel, the black glitter totally makes it look like those speckled candy eggs. I love how sweet it looks! I paired this with Illamasqua Nudge on my toes.
Up next in this line of speckled polishes is Illamasqua Mottle (I’mperfection, Spring 2013), a pastel sage-mint creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. The formula seemed thick but still applied well in three coats. I tried doing thinner coats this time and I didn’t experience any wrinkling at the tips after topcoat. The color reminds me of a more pastel version of Milf, so I described this shade of green similarly. It’s not a typical shade of mint, which has a more aquamarine tone, but I do still think of it as one. The more I look at it, the more I love it! It has this really retro vibe. The pastel shade also really works well with the black glitter. In addition to looking like candy eggs, it also reminds me of mint chip ice cream. Once again I’m left wanting to eat my nails. I paired this with Illamasqua Wink on my toes.
Easter comes early this year, so to close out the month I’m getting started on some of this spring’s new pastels. Pastels for spring is nothing new, but I’m excited to see some in an interesting new speckled finish. I’ll start with Illamasqua Speckle (I’mperfection, Spring 2013), a pastel lilac creme with black hex glitter and fine black glitter:
Picture taken in sunlight. This applied smoothly, particularly for a pastel, and a pastel with glitter at that. I needed three coats for full, even coverage. The glitter does not feel rough; one coat of topcoat should suffice to get a smooth feel. My only gripe was that soon after I applied topcoat, I experienced some wrinkling at the tips, but I feel that can be avoided by doing thinner coats next time, or just waiting longer before applying topcoat (I’d say total hardening time is relatively long). This pastel lavender is so pretty! It’s nice and stark without looking too whited-out. I’ve not tried many polishes with this speckled/sprinkle finish, but I love the look already! In this polish, the black glitter works so well against the stark, pastel base. Some of the hex glitter looks grey as it lies deeper underneath the surface. The hex glitter looks great, but what I feel makes this polish truly look like those candy eggs is that small glitter. I just want to eat my nails looking at them! I’m looking forward to trying the rest of these in the coming days. I paired this with Illamasqua Blow on my toes.
To change up my color palette for a new month, I have a few more dark colors to try before winter’s end. Illamasqua Rampage is a deep hunter green jelly:
Picture taken in sunlight. (This was actually taken on the second day of wear, but at least I got the clarity from a sunlight photo.) This applied very well, needing three coats for full, even coverage. True to jelly form, you see the true base color on the first coat, then the shade deepens significantly on the second and third. Although the jelly formula always requires at least three coats, the über-glossy finish is absolutely lovely. The sunlight has really lit this up and reflects more of the base color, but in natural light it looks proper vampy. It’s like a slightly less blackened version of NARS Zulu; it’s still very dark but its green-ness is easier to see. I normally like to photograph my manis right after doing them, to capture it in its most pristine moment, but photographing this after wearing it for a day shows me how well it wears; I don’t even have any tipwear! I always thought I’d wear this with short nails, like I saw in a promo image, but I’m really enjoying growing my nails out at the moment (plus I’m really lazy about filing them anyway. ) I paired this with Rescue Beauty Lounge Film Noir on my toes.