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Of course I couldn’t get through April without wearing at least one pastel.  Illamasqua Purity (Toxic Nature, Spring 2011)  is a pastel peach creme:

Picture taken in sunlight. This applied well; the formula was nicely thick and pigmented. It looked okay at two coats, but I was bothered by some streakiness so I added a third for total evenness. Not that I’ve tried many of them, but I find this to be the perfect pastel peach! Great formula aside, the color is lovely. It’s just the right shade that peach should be, falling in between orange and pink without obviously leaning either way. It’s also stark without looking chalky-white. (Stark pastels look great against a tan!) It’s another one of those soft-yet-bright type of colors. It’s so delicate and pretty but the starkness really gives it an impact. I paired this with OPI What’s With the Cattitude? on my toes.

<3sarah

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For my first mani of official spring, I wanted to wear something green but was in no mood for soft colors, so I picked Illamasqua Radium (Toxic Nature, Spring 2011), a radioactive acid chartreuse with subtle green shimmer:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (I actually did this mani yesterday but it was too cloudy to photograph properly so I waited until today ’cause this polish deserves a sunlight picture.)  This was nicely pigmented and applied very well in two coats.  This polish is awesome!!  I love the color, it’s not quite neon but with a bright chartreuse green like this I can’t help but describe it as “radioactive” and “acid.”  It’s a perfect fit within the theme of this collection.  The pearly shimmer is subtle but adds a really interesting dimension to the finish, making it look a little glowy and adding to its radioactive look.  I paired this with Sephora by OPI Hell to the No on my toes.

<3sarah

I have several yet-untried taupes to take care of this month, but I think this is the only creme.  Illamasqua Stagnate (Toxic Nature, Spring 2011) is a reddish-brown medium taupe creme:

Picture taken in natural light.  This applied well in two coats, but it definitely didn’t have the very richly pigmented, buttery smooth formula typical of Illamasqua polishes.  For that I’m a little disappointed by it, but only because I judged it against its own brand’s high standards.  As far as the shade of taupe goes, it was quite unexpected.  For some reason I thought this would be a greyish taupe, but on the nail it looked more brown.  I still think it’s a middling, neutral shade of taupe, but I guess it leans more towards the brown side than the grey.  When I looked at it closer in the light, I saw that it was slightly red-toned.  Nothing terribly exciting but it does look good.  I paired this with MAC Cool Reserve on my toes.

<3sarah

I didn’t realize two of my favorite players, Ivan Ljubicic and Fernando Verdasco, were going to meet each other in the third round.  I already did a mani-pedi specific to Ivan’s kit, so I’m due to do one for Fernando’s (even though I was expecting and rooting for Ivan to win, which he did, in straights).  Illamasqua Gamma (Toxic Nature, Spring/Summer 2011) is a light orange neon creme:

Picture taken in sunlight.  (As is the case with neons, pictures do not do this justice.)  This didn’t have the same impeccable formula I’ve come to expect from Illamasqua; it was actually a little sticky, but applied well enough.  I needed three coats for opaque, even coverage.  Despite the less than perfect application, the end result looks amazing.  It’s so refreshing to see a neon orange that isn’t traffic cone orange.  It’s a lighter shade, but it’s very bright, punchy and intense.  And of course it has that lovely neon glow.  I paired this with Sally Hansen Grass Slipper (Complete Salon Manicure) on my toes.

<3sarah

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