Illamasqua's collection for fall 2011, called Theatre of the Nameless, may just be my favorite theme yet. Illamasqua is a relatively young brand, but in the short time they've been around, they've made a huge impact. Amazing artistry, edgy colors, quality formulas and the ability to transport you to another world just through the story their colors tell are the hallmarks of the Illamasqua brand and something I always look forward to each season.
This year's fall nail colors are inspired by the color coding used by the 1920s-era Wittenberg Platz Boot Girls. The Boot Girls would advertise their services by the color of their boots, and while the details are slightly too NSFW for me to post here, one can easily find the details online if curious enough.
All of the fall lacquers are designed to have a wax-like rubber finish.
Faux Pas. This is a purple creme with a semi-matte 'rubber' finish. Like most purples I photograph, this one appears too blue. Think China Glaze Grape Pop and you'll have an idea of the actual shade.
Kink. A deep blue-toned green creme with a wax/rubber finish.
Taint. A dirty taupe creme with a rubber finish. This one is a color changer on me. It looks brown in some lights, more grey in others, and in between the rest of the time. It also dries darker than bottle color.
Vice. Purple berry creme with a rubber finish. As much as I constantly hate on berry-colored nail polish, this one isn't so bad. I actually like it. Illamasqua describes it as 'cerise'. I think it looks like diluted beet juice.
You know... I'm still not crazy about that half-matte look. I just can't get into it! I get what they were going for, but it still seems so in-between looking to me. So, I experimented.
Faux Pas, Kink, Taint and Vice each with a coat of glossy topcoat.
Faux Pas, Kink, Taint and Vice fully mattified with Essie Matte About You matte topcoat.
The formula on these was excellent. Thin and easy to apply, but not runny. Not thick like most mattes. They all needed two coats and that's what I'm wearing in the pictures. I had some bubbling, but that's entirely my fault. I rushed and put on too thick of a coat too fast after the first one. When I waited a minute in between coats I didn't have a bubbling issue. Dry time is not as fast as most mattes but still faster than the average non-matte polish. I have not worn these long enough to test the wear time.
The full Theatre of the Nameless collection includes more than just the nail lacquers:
I've also received the fall collection's new shade of Illamasqua Precision Ink, Havoc.
Havoc comes in the same sleek black tube as the rest of the Precision Ink liners.
The same firm, pointed felt tip applicator as well.
Instead of doing an eye look using Havoc, I tried it out for some freehand nail art which is quite an accomplishment with my shaky hands.
The Precision Inks are really easy to use for nail art. The thin liquid liner texture is great for drawing since it's not thick and doesn't start getting dry and gooey right away. The fine point is another feature that makes the liner good for nail art. Once you coat it with topcoat it looks just like nail polish, otherwise it has a rubbery look like the polishes from this collection.
Illamasqua included this little swath of red velour in my package that I just couldn't help but pose with- it's the same one seen on the model above. And I just have to mention... It smelled unbelievably good. Really! I know that sounds so weird, but when I opened the package, this amazing woody spicy floral scent filled the room. They spritzed the fabric with perfume! Illamasqua really knows how to set the mood. Oh, and that perfume? I WANT IT. And pretty soon I think I may be able to have it...
This collection is now available at Sephora (US) and Illamasqua (UK).
(These were sent to me for review.)