Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Illamasqua: Makeup For Your Alter Ego

I've only recently discovered the brand Illamasqua and I'm already in love.

Where has Illamasqua been all my life?! It's like we were made for each other. I adore everything about this brand- the packaging, the colors, the website, the names of the products, the formula of the polishes, just... everything.

By taking a minute to browse their website, you'll see why I like them. They're not some frilly, foofy pink pom-pom girly-girl cosmetics company. They're sexy, dramatic, mysterious, edgy and a little dark. Needless to say, that really appeals to this girl.

They are mainly a cosmetics company, but they do a range of polish shades as well. Just wait until you see them!

In the polish ('Scratch') portion of their website, you can see that they have a small but strong collection of polishes. I love the names- Obtuse, Boosh, Unnatural, Ruthless, Milf... And for such a small collection, they have a high concentration of awesome polish colors. I see what looks to be about five greens, five blues, oranges, yellows, purples, metallics and glitters and just a splash of pink-and-red to please the less adventurous polish consumer.

Here are the shades I tried:

Hectic. A drab olive creme. YES!!! I don't know what else to say about this other than... WOOHOO!!!! It's great. Straight off my "Nail Polish Wishes" post!

Rampage. A rich forest green creme. You've already seen this but it's worth posting again because it is UTTER PERFECTION. I have already made a significant dent in my bottle and I've had it for less than a month.

Phallic. Rich, starry dark blue shimmer. What a name for a polish. Fantastic. The polish itself is pretty amazing, too- it's one of those dark blue vampy shades that look lit from within. Dark around the edges and light in the center. It's rich and sparkly, like a starry night sky. Tons of depth in this one.

Spartan. Antique gold glitter. This is a cool one. It seems to be multiple shades and sizes of glitter that create a soft antique gold look. They aren't really your traditional uniform circular glitter particles. They're more like flakes and shards. They are pretty fine but buildable and the end result is very smooth. With one coat of Seche Vite you can't even tell you're wearing glitter. I love the names of all of them, but this one especially. I think they may have been going for this type of Spartan:

But of course, it makes me think of this type of Spartan:


Here's one coat of Spartan layered over Rampage:


Now that I've raved about the colors and the names, I'll touch on the formula briefly. It's perfect. The polishes are thick and opaque. I did two coats of all of them. The formula is extremely smooth and easy to apply. It's comparable to Rescue Beauty Lounge's formula, which is pretty much the gold standard for me. The polish dries quickly and wears well. I had no bubbling and after two days of wear had almost no sign of tipwear (that second shot of Rampage- the indoor lighting one- that was taken after two days of wear).

Now, these polishes aren't cheap- they're £12.50, which comes to about $19 in US dollars. Cheaper than Chanel but with much better formula and color selection. They are one dollar more than Rescue Beauty Lounge. At least they have great formula. If a polish is going to cost this much, it better apply itself!

The brushes are good, I did not encounter any wayward bristles or application problems with them. The bottles are really pretty- they're a solid bottle that's not going to get knocked over easily and they're a little bit Gothic in design. Beautiful to look at. I especially love the logo and the shape of the cap:

So, overall, the only think I don't like about this brand is the price. Everything else is freakin' awesome. The style is finally something I want rather than something I have to settle for. I hope they release more colors because I have faith in them to create things that appeal to me. Even if they don't release more colors, their line is pretty strong as it is. That also impresses me. The number of good colors outnumbers the safe colors by a lot. Love it.

Illamasqua can be ordered directly from their website. They are a UK company, but they will ship to the US.


  1. Rampage looks very similar to RBL's Recycle.

  2. Very awesome colours, and love both greens. Your review is terrific, as well. I can't justify the dollars right now, but you know when the no-buy is over, this might be one of the brands I go for. I am pleased to hear the quality is outstanding as well!

  3. Hectic is just the olive I've been searching for! Years ago I had a Revlon Street Wear polish that I loved. I can't remember the name, but it was an olive drab. I keep looing for a color just like that. I think I found it. Bless you Scrangie. I don't know if I'll buy it now but at least I know it's there. RBL's No More War still wasn't the olive drab I was searching for. Love the other two colors also. They all look gorgeous on you.

  4. Those are all just beautiful. Spartan looks very versatile and I'm glad you showed it layered, I was wondering about that. I have some of their cosmetics but perhaps I should expand with some of their polishes! Nice review, thanks.

  5. Heheheh Halo. I like Phallic, browsing the site there is a lot of gorgeous choices and I love the way it is presented.

  6. Phallic is GORGEOUS!
    That being said, I wouldn't pay that much for nail polish!
    The most expensive bottle I've ever purchased is OPI's Kinky In Helsinki for $8.50. (before that I think I paid $8 a bottle for some Nfu-Oh's).
    I'm sooooo spoiled by Head2toebeauty and TransDesign and Sally's, because I can't stand to pay over $4.50 for a bottle of nail polish.

  7. Hectic is way more gorgeous than RBL's No More War. Phallic is looking more and more appealing. Are there any close 'dupes' for Phallic? I have so many dark "only I know it's not black" colors, though I can always go for more "lit-from-within" polishes.

  8. I looked for Hectic once on their website and it was out of stock. Glad to see it's back because olive green is my fave and so hard to find! That Hectic is perfect!
    :c) Look's great on your nails too!

  9. How much did you pay for shipping? =]

  10. Anonymous, if you look a few posts down, I compared them :)

    Melli, thank you! Yeah, the price is *very* steep but the colors are unique :)

    Lucy, oh, the Street Wears! Was it Drab? I threw mine away years ago and I have regretted it ever since!

    Mary, I am very impressed! Thank you! :)

    Clockwork, :) Glad someone knows what I'm talking about, LOL!

    Phyrra, oh, I know exactly how you feel! I never pay retail for my 'regular' brands but I do splurge on a Rescue or Lippmann every now and then :)

    Crotchfairy, I think it's easier to wear, too! Might not clash with as many skintones. I'm going to go through my dark-almost-black blues to see what I can find, Yoga-ta Get This Blue is the first polish that comes to mind but I don't know how they actually compare :)

    Lacquer Laine, thank you! :) Looks like they're selling quite well, see what happens when you have cool colors (are you listening polish companies?!) lol

    Anonymous, Worldwide standard shipping is £5 which is about $7.50 :)

  11. Do you have any tips on where to pick up Piggy Polish for less than retail?

  12. These are all too gorgeous for the eyes!!! I can't stand it! I'm not at the breaking point of buying. But I'm sure darn!

  13. I love, love, love this brand just from what I've seen of the website. Totally know what you mean about the gothic fabulousness and I wholeheartedly agree - it excites me.

    I placed an order about ten days ago only to receive a (nice and friendly) email from the Customer Service Dept saying that all the shades I wanted are out of stock since they recently started shipping to the US. But I don't begrudge you...much...!! Hehe :0)

    I do have a couple of other polishes on the way, plus I went for a couple of creme eyeshadows and some of the pure pigment eyeshadow that looks amazing. I'll be reviewing it as soon as it arrives - hopefully any day now seeing as I'm in the UK and postage shouldn't take tooo long.

    I can't wait to get to London to a stockist and see it all in the flesh.

  14. I think you're talking about a streewear called drab, I have it and have also some picks if you would like I can send it to you. I find it on UK ebay, it was cheap and arrived here in Brazil in just one week!
    Hectic is fantastic and I do agree that Illamasqua is fantastic, I love it, I would love to buy these two greens , the phallic and even a mint one . Great, Scrangie!

  15. Scrangie, what to you think about comparing RBL no more war and Illamasqua hectic? Thanks

  16. Those colors are amazing!! Especialy I liked Phallic and Rampage - I have to get these shades :-)

  17. I really like the way the dark green looks like. Really creamy, woohoooo!

    Btw have you ever tried mixing your own polishes? Like a drop of this one, a couple of drops of that one and some glitter?

  18. **Drooling over Hectic**

    Love it. IMO worth the price tag.

  19. You know Scrang, when I see pretty gold sparkles now, the first thing I will think of is Master Chief.

    I bet he wouldn't be too thrilled to know that.

    Ooh they ship worldwide without need for a mule? I'm so in.

    *whistles innocently and flicks no-buy angel on shoulder on to the floor*

  20. Love the colors but can't bring myself to pay 19 a piece plus another 19 for the shipping.

  21. Whats not to like about Milf?

    Hectic is kinda whamo camo, too. Me likey likey.


  22. May i know which topcoat that you are using? its so shiny!

  23. Scrangie, unfortunately all the good polish is expensive here in the UK. You can expect to pay around £10 for an OPI polish! £12.50 is a lot for a polish but I'm stil really tempted to try these!

  24. Oh I have a dress that would look perfect with a Hectic mani. Ha! I have skin that would look perfect with a Hectic Mani. I may be breaking my nail polish price cap soon.

  25. totally love that dark blue!! :D

  26. I ADORE ADORE Illamasqua cosmetics! I have about 8 of their nail varnishes [yes its excpensive shipping so me and a few girlfriends placed a big order together, one of us is obsessed with Eye shadows and another loves her bold blushers!] and then it didnt work out to much each in the end.

    Love the packaging and the consistency is great - I am not a fan of sheer. Try DWS - its like a concrete colours and MILF is amazing, its a matt [as is DWS] light powder green. Lov-ing!

    I also had a work with the customer services girl as some products were out of stock. She is really nice though and as an apology for the delay sent us a free mascara! It's the little touches and good customer service is sooooo rare in the cosmetics industry, lets face it.....

  27. All their stuff looks amazing and you've definitely made me want the nail polishes.
    I wonder if they ship to New Zealand...

  28. I went to Selfridges a couple of weeks ago to check out Illamasqua's makeup line, but ended up walking away with Hectic & Phallic. I looked at the rows of bottles and right away chose Hectic. The male MA demonstrated some shades for me on his nails and I was blown away by the finish. I chose Phallic as my 2nd polish, and am now kicking myself for not getting at least 5 more shades!!

  29. Phyrra, ah, I'm sorry! I've only ever seen them at Ulta, but they do go on sale and end up in the clearance bin often!

    Velvet, hahaha sorry! They are super hot!

    Helen, that's so awesome! I love everything so far, it fits me! Glad to hear this!

    Alice, I bet that's the one!

    Anonymous, will do!

    Tuli, they are really awesome :)

    Tamara, I have! It is super fun! There's even a whole blog about doing it- check my link bar for Dr. Frankenpolish :)

    Gerry, I would be inclined to agree, even though I hate to admit it :)

    Mazoo, LOL! :D Yep, international shipping, a first!

    Anonymous, shipping isn't $19, it's $7.50 :)

    Scott, lol, rock on!

    Jennifer, I use Seche Vite topcoat :)

    Andi, aw, I'm sorry, that's so lame! They need to make it less expensive so people can buy more of it!

    HoneyHoneyNY, careful cause it's a slippery slope, learned my lesson with Rescue Beauty Lounge LOL

    Sandra, totally!!

    Aksaiyo, me too :)

    Anonymous, I completely agree. Good customer service is hard to find but it's extremely important to me!!

    Makeupper, they are all hot! I think they do but I'm sure they'd let you know for sure if you emailed customer service :)

    Rachel, wow, that's awesome! I wish I could see them in person, and a male SA wearing polish, I love it!!!

  30. Love the polishes, especially Phallic!

  31. Alexlyndra, doesn't it look like velvet?! So beautiful!

  32. Llamsqua is coming to Sephora and they goign to cost must less than ordering from the website directly!

  33. I don't know if you've seen but now sells Illamasqua.
    They are selling there for $14. :)

  34. Illamasqua Nail Varnish is only $14 on the Sephora website. Although they don't carry ALL the colors(such as Spartan and Hectic) but they have a lot.


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