Illamasqua – Rampage, Phallic and Milf (swatches & review)

 

My first taste of Illamasqua came in the form of three of their cult nail varnishes: Rampage – a deep forest green, Phallic – a shimmery royal blue, and Milf – a milky mint green.  I had heard so much about the brand and how amazing the formula was, but it wasn’t until I experienced it for myself that I felt truly “wowed”! There has been much said about the provocative names of their range, but in my opinion, it all goes hand in hand with the edgy image of the brand and I like to focus on the product itself, which is absolutely stellar.  All swatches are with a-england ‘The Knight’ base coat & ‘The Shield’ top coat (reviewed here) and two coats of lacquer.

 

I have a few dark green crèmes in my repertoire, but ‘Rampage’ still stands out above them.  This is Hunter green done at its finest, deep, intense and so incredibly glossy. Two coats were polish perfection with zero brush strokes, although dry time was a touch longer than I’m used to — an easy trade-off for a shade this spectacular.

 

I opted to show you two different sunlight views of ‘Rampage’, as it’s interesting to note how the light can play with this colour.  In the view above, even though the shade is certainly dark, its deep green tone is still nevertheless quite prominent.

 

Seen at a slightly different angle, ‘Rampage’ takes on a brooding mysteriousness, giving it a more blackened look, but still noticeably dark green. LOVE this!

 

‘Rampage’ in shaded light becomes slightly cooler toned and no less glossy looking, but this time bearing an almost viridian green hue.

 

Not wanting to delve too deeply into why a dark blue shade would be named ‘Phallic’ (although I believe I may have an idea!), I couldn’t resist a shade as unique as this. A cross between navy and royal, the shimmer is what makes this polish so unique; it seems to float just under the surface when applied, giving your nails the look of a brilliantly lit night sky…..absolutely stunning!

 

The sunlight view (above) perfectly emphasizes the starry beauty of ‘Phallic’, while taking nothing away from the deep blue base, a wonderful compliment to the shimmer deep within.

 

In this closeup view, you can clearly see exactly how much shimmer there is although it’s still interesting to note that it never overpowers the base shade, but blends seamlessly with it.

 

While sunlight might showcase the true colour of this lacquer, I believe that the shaded light view (above) really shows its fathomless deep blue appeal.  I absolutely love that “lit-from-within” look of the shimmer here.

 

And finally, Milf. Getting over the name, this is pastel minty green done so well, it almost applies itself. Wonderfully creamy with a super easy flow, not only was this lacquer streak-free as well but with an amazing mirror-like shine at the finish. I have several other similarly coloured polishes, but nothing comes close to the perfect formula that this one owns.

 

Interestingly, ‘Milf’ seems to almost have a dual personality (attesting to Illamasqua’s credo of “exploring your alter ego”, perhaps?!) looking quite warm when seen in full sun and bearing a slight yellowish undertone, utterly smooth and brush-stroke free.

 

Seen in shaded light, ‘Milf’ takes on an almost silvery cast, looking much cooler toned but still maintaining that fabulous glossy finish.

 

Final thoughts: I absolutely am thrilled with the formula of Illamasqua’s nail varnishes, no doubt about it.  Another plus with the shades I’ve shown here, is that they are part of the permanent range and thus not about to be yanked off the shelves anytime soon — great if you’ve fallen for them as hard as I have! The brushes are well made, flexible enough without being floppy, the formula was thick enough that two coats gave perfect opacity and the finish? Insanely shiny and smooth.  Dry time is slightly longer, but a quick drying top coat can take care of that easily.  Available through their website or at Sephora, Illamasqua varnishes come in a hefty 0.5 oz size and retail for US $14.00.

 

 

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