Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Raindrops

You know, I had this review half-written, waiting in the wings. It was partially written because I had written out my story with finding and obtaining the product, talking about how I said I wouldn't do nail swatches, and listing the dupes I believed were close based on swatches done by other bloggers and product photos. Now that I have my package, I'm numb. Numb with excitement. Weird feeling but onwards!

I spend my weekends with Ze Boyfriend at his house, so I don't get my mail until Monday or Tuesday. I'm usually pretty meh about coming home and opening packages unless its something I'm crazy about, such as the Doc Martens I bought on Amazon for Christmas 2011. I was afraid that because Illamasqua changed their carrier, I didn't receive a tracking number and according to their shipping information, it would take 15~20 working days. When I order items from the UK, such as a clothing, it takes two weeks. When I ordered my Apocalips lipstick from Illamasqua, it took about two weeks. I was expecting this to be here this or next Wednesday, as I had received my shipping notification on 13th of February. I was surprised to have it here today! I checked the calendar to find it took two weeks and a few days. Perfect.

This poor box! I took out the shipping invoice
My box was battered but Illamasqua takes care in packing items to ship. My box passed through Belgium at some point too. To my joy, I received the I'MPERFECTION booklet in my order. These booklets contain product information, little articles about the collection and brand information. This time, it also included a sort of  interview with British musician Viktoria Modesta. I'm not very up-to-date on the UK music scene personally, so I have no idea who she is to be honest!
I always think these are fancy
I love the simplicity of Illamasqua boxes. Black with cream colored text. One panel has a little blurb about the product, the ingredient on the opposite (I couldn't get a clear picture of this). A little round sticker shows the shade name and is colored close to the varnish. The bottle inside is equally nice. No frills. A square bottle with a black cap that says ILLAMASQUA. On the back of the bottle is a sticker that says the shade name again and nearly the same blurb from the outer box.

Super simple.
Now here's something neat. The bulky square cap that says ILLAMASQUA? That can be taken off. It's a little difficult (I struggled at first) but it reveals a much easier to use cap that attaches to the brush. This cap is admittedly tiny and I was afraid I would drop it. Needless to say, I was just fine painting all ten fingers. I did 4~5 coats, I honestly lost track. I know 3 coats apply with visible nail line still, as this is a sheer jelly and Raindrops is described as such. The color is called a "light gray" by Illamasqua, "light stormy gray" by Christine @ Temptalia and to me, its pale blue-gray with irregular silver-white-gray glitter. The glitter is so incredibly thin, it doesn't make the polish gritty on dry down. It also spreads so nicely on the nail.

The formula! Oh the formula. I have never honestly used an Illamasqua nail varnish, because Illamasqua is limited where I live and I can't go to my local Sephora to get products in person. This applied beautifully. Thin, easy to spread. The varnish is very liquidy and as you're pulling the brush out of the bottle, the excess will easily just drip off the brush and requires minimal wiping for the right amount of varnish. This, to my personal surprise, dried to a very nice, shiny finish. I haven't had many polishes that dry so nicely. Many of them I apply top coat over to get a really good shine.

Nail Swatch with flash, NO TOP COAT!!!
 I will update this post Sunday, to see how my nails have done because I'm not gentle with my nails. Its impossible for me to not mess them up somehow. I'm also going to apply top coat, to get a beautiful shine. If you want a unique varnish, like jelly polishes or just want a pale blue-gray, try Raindrops. Its not available at Sephora (yet!!) so if you're in the US, you can buy it from Illamasqua's website, Illamasqua.com. You can use their store locator to see various stores where you can find Illamasqua but this is limited to the UK, Australia, Croatia, the US, UAE and Germany. Anywhere else would have to buy online.

Update: WOW. This wore like iron on my nails! I'm also not a careful person at all and I only saw very minor tip wear on the index finger of my right hand. It looked like I only messed up when applying the polish because it was so, so minor. You wouldn't notice it at first glance unless you looked closely. Really impressed!


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