Illamasqua – Limited Edition Nail Varnish in Gothiqua, 3rd Blog-Aversary special



Three years ago today, I began this blog – little realizing at the time what that undertaking really meant, or what direction this adventure would take me. You might think that the best part of being a beauty blogger, would be the perks (product samples) and invites (press/media launches), and while those are definitely totally amazing, I feel that the best part is actually the connections I’ve made with like-minded souls from all over the world, and the opportunity to have a constant & ongoing discussion about this passion we all share: beauty products.

So, here’s to going where no other beauty blogger has gone before! (*shameless & cheesy Star Trek rip-off)

I raise a glass makeup brush to you all & send giant panda hugs your way – thanks for sticking it out with me! 


Illamasqua Gothiqua opener


Everything happens for a reason – or at least, that’s a theory I’ve always subscribed to. Take for example, the polish featured in today’s post; I had sort of forgotten that Illamasqua products had finally become available at The Bay here in Canada, and last Saturday when I was at the Montréal downtown store for an exclusive interview with Rebecca Restrepo, Global Makeup Artist for Elizabeth Arden (full post coming soon!), I passed the newly opened Illamasqua boutique there, and stopped to take a quick look.

The varnish that I initially wanted from the new collection (Facet from Sacred Hour) was sold out, and as I turned to leave the store, the SA pointed out something even better: a limited edition colour – a shade made specifically for and exclusive to the brand’s launch at The Bay – AND part of the new Sacred Hour Collection, no less. I didn’t even blink — just forked over the cash and raced out of the store like a mad woman.

Moral of the story: never look a gift opportunity in the mouth (seriously weird expression) – had I not been invited to THAT particular store for THAT particular interview, I probably wouldn’t have even known this shade existed, let alone how unique it was — and absolutely perfect to celebrate my blog’s 3rd birthday with!

See? Everything happens for a reason …


Illamasqua Gothiqua

Gothiqua (CAD $17.00  15 ml/0.5 gl. oz) – a deep eggplant shade with a grape/purple base and blueish undertones in a medium opaque formula and filled with fairy dust. No, not really … but it might as well be; the inner shimmer flashes a luminous green, blue, silver, pink and some random red specks, but it is so finely ground that it only makes a sly appearance in direct sunlight or under bright light. Otherwise, it stays pretty much in the background, although it does lend this colour a beautiful depth of tone just the same.

True to Illamasqua form, the flow is ultra-creamy and self-levelling, making application ridiculously easy, while the finish at the end is nothing short of glass-like. As this beauty quite pigmented, I wouldn’t skip base coat – but I didn’t find it to be staining. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


Illamasqua Gothiqua 2

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illamasqua Gothiqua 3

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illamasqua Gothiqua macro

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illamasqua Gothiqua swatch

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illamasqua Gothiqua swatch 2

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illmasqua Gothiqua swatch macro

Illamasqua – Gothiqua

Illamasqua Gothiqua swatch 3

Illamasqua – Gothiqua


That this shade is drop-dead gorgeous, is undisputed, but the sad part is that it’s not only limited edition (boo) but available ONLY in Canada and ONLY at The Bay stores with an Illamasqua boutique (double boo). On the plus side AND for Canadians, this shade is available online through The Bay’s website – useful if you don’t have a flagship store nearby. Truthfully, as far as uniqueness factor goes, I’m fairly certain that I have a few bottles in my stash that could probably come close, but as I’m in the middle of re-organizing my personal collection, a comparison will have to wait. Still, it’s good to know that while those of you outside of Canada may not be able to get your hands on this baby, you just might already own something similar. That’s something positive, right?


Illamasqua Gothiqua closer

44 Responses to Illamasqua – Limited Edition Nail Varnish in Gothiqua, 3rd Blog-Aversary special

  1. Merima says:

    Any progress on the comparison post? This color is beyond gorgeous, I’m so upset I can’t find it anywhere! Love your blog by the way!

    • Eugenia says:

      I wish I had better news for you, Merima….but I’m sadly still far from being organized. I’ll bookmark your comment as a reminder to get back to you! Thanks so much for the kind words – I appreciate it! xo

  2. Vienne says:

    Been lurking on your site for awhile now – your swatches are fantastic 🙂 Happy belated blog-aversary! I adore Gothiqua and am so disappointed The Bay doesn’t ship the US. Still crossing my fingers they expand the release one day. Also, have you seen the 2 new Illamasqua polishes – Fusion & Perseid? Perseid reminds me of Deborah Lippman’s Across the Universe but with purple glitter and more teal undertones. They’re both pretty and very holiday-appropriate, but personally I prefer Gothiqua!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you so much for your wishes, Vivienne, and welcome! I sure hope that Gothiqua does get released everywhere sometime down the road, cause I know how frustrating it is to see a shade you like, but can’t get access to. I actually saw the 2 new shades today and you’re right about Perseid — it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?!

      PS: You’re welcome to “lurk” anytime!

  3. Happy anniversary, my friend!! You’re absolutely right – the best part of beauty blogging blogging is getting to know such wonderful people. 🙂

    In regards to Gothiqua, I must say that while the colour is lovely, I do wish it showed more of that gorgeous iridescence. Thank you for the swatches though, it has helped me decide on ordering Facet. 😉

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks so much, Maggie! Look at us; event & travel buddies, lol! I know what you mean about the iridescence and while a part of me wishes it showed up more clearly as well, I do still like the colour as is. Facet…now THAT’s a real beauty!

  4. Happy anniversary my dear! Good grief time flies. Here’s to many more years of seeing your beautiful work in action 🙂 I’m not a fan of this shade AT ALL, but I’m a fan of Illamasqua a lot as a whole so – I’ll forgive ’em ;0) Also – new boutique!? SO JEALOUSSSSSSSS

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Toya Love! And for what it’s worth, I think this shade would actually look divine on you! 😉 I couldn’t believe my eyes either when I saw the boutique — totally drool-worthy!

  5. Carina says:

    Beautiful shade! Happy 3rd birthday to your blog. 🙂 My first one (for this beauty blog, that is) is coming up soon. I can only imagine how blogging about beauty and cosmetics for three years feels like!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you, Carina! I can’t believe 3 years have gone by already, but at least the zest for doing this is still there! I wish you much success with your venture as well!

  6. Chantal says:

    Happy 3rd blog birthday! 😀
    And oh my GORGEOUSness!!! This polish is to die for!
    I’ve never tried Illamasqua polishes before because I just can’t bring myself to fork out that much cash for one bottle. 🙁

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Chantal! Even though the shimmer doesn’t translate onto the nail the way it looks in the bottle, the colour is nonetheless stunning! If you live in Canada, you should know that The Bay sells Illamasqua polishes even cheaper than Sephora does ($17.00 vs $22.00) and if you order online (from The Bay), I believe the polishes are then $15.50 — so all in all, they’re not so bad price-wise!

  7. Sonia Martins says:

    Happy Blog Birthday Eugenia 😀 I wish more and more posts for the future 😉 With regards to the colour, it is gorgeous! Stunning, to be honest! As soon as I read this post I e-mailed Illamasqua to ask if the UK fans can dream of grabbing this beauty any time soon. I hope you can get Facet, it’s an unique colour too, just as Illamasqua makes them 😉 I hope you are doing well! Take care***

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you, Sonia! I hope that Illamasqua grants your request so that everyone can enjoy this shade. As to Facet, I do believe I’ll be grabbing that as soon as I can!

  8. Snail Polish says:

    And how rude of me – happy bloggiversary! Love reading your work!

  9. Snail Polish says:

    Awww treble boo from this UK fan. It’s fab!

    I’d definitely recommend Facet for your return trip. I used it for the first time last night and (if light allows) I intend to review this weekend. It’s such an odd colour – smoky grey-brown base and subtle copper shimmer. Love it!

    • Eugenia says:

      The SA at this Illamasqua boutique was a real doll; she brought out the store sample bottle of Facet for me to try & I ended up doing a full mani with it on the spot, lol! Even though I rushed it & did a crappy job, I loved it just the same — think I’ll need to cave & order it online for sure! Like you said, it’s absolutely stunning!

  10. Happy anniversary! Woohoo!! 😀

    I was just at the Illamasqua counter at our Bay tonight and am seriously obsessed with EVERYTHING there. The SA was also awesome and we had the best chat ever about all their products. I noticed this polish but didn’t take a close look. But here I am examining it up close thanks to you. It’s a terrific shade for the season. I’m totally back on the nail polish train again. 😀 😀 😀

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Liz – my fellow blogging buddy! As to the Illamasqua boutique, I KNOW, RIGHT? RIGHT?!!! If I win that lottery, I do believe I’ll buy at least one of everything from this brand! 🙂 And it makes my polish-loving heart so happy to hear that you’re back aboard — you just needed a bit of a break, is all!

  11. Nancy Dines says:

    Wow, three years already! Happy blog-anniversary, and best wishes for many more!
    Your photo skills have really evolved, I think you have some of the best swatches on the web, Eugenia. 🙂
    I love this shade, Gothica. I would seriously love to go into an Illamasqua boutique, it must be so fun!
    Thank you for another great nail-centric post! :-):-)

    • Eugenia says:

      Awww….thanks so much, Nancy! Even old dogs are never too old to learn new tricks! 😉 This was my first time in an Illamasqua boutique and I felt like a little kid again — everywhere I turned, there was so much beauty to take in — it’s almost overwhelming, lol!

  12. Jess says:

    Just ordered this one today! Congrats on the blogging anniversary! You obviously put a lot of work into your blog and I’m glad to hear that you are reaping what you sow! Looking forward to future swatches and reviews.:)

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Jess! I really do appreciate all your kind words & support – it’s people like you that make keeping up this blog, that much more enjoyable! Congrats to you for ordering this little gem!

  13. Theo says:

    Congrats on your anniversary! I also picked up this polish, but I really liked it as one thin coat. It goes on so smooth and you can really appreciate what an interesting polish this is. If you have the inclination, I’d love to see one coat swatches, since there’s no other swatches of Gothiqua around. 🙂

    • Eugenia says:

      Than you, Theo! If I get a chance, I’ll give it a 1-coat swatch & post that on my social media feeds — thanks for the idea!

      • Jess says:

        Camille from Pshiiit did a post a while ago about how to coax the shimmer out a bit more from the a england Gothic Beauties collection: you paint your first coat of polish, let it dry, paint a second coat, let it dry, then dip a q-tip in acetone or polish remover and lightly rub it over the nail. Could be interesting to try with this one!

      • Eugenia says:

        Ooooh….sounds odd, but I’m willing to give it a shot for experiment’s sake! Did she then apply top coat after that, or leave it as is?

  14. Danisha Pop says:

    happy third year!! I was pretty excited about that nail polish but I’m desappointed, it looks better in the bottle 🙁

    • Eugenia says:

      Merci, Danisha! The bottle does make it seem more complex, I agree & that’s what drew me in the first place, but to be honest, it’s a really gorgeous colour just the same & the formula is divine!

  15. olivia says:

    Congrats on your 3rd Anniversary!! May your blog have many more!! Is the 3rd beauty blog anniversary lip pencils or blotting papers? 😉

  16. Happy Anniversary Big Sis!!! YOu know I’ll always love you and your blog! xo
    Gorgeous polish! I almost ordered the other shade-the whitish one-did you get that too?
    I’m so happy that they are here in Canada finally! I wish there was a counter in Edmonton is all!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Lil Sis & you know how much I love you too! I didn’t pick up anything else that day, but my Illamasqua wish list just keeps on getting longer, lol! Hopefully they’ll open a counter near you soon – fingers crossed! 🙂

  17. Happy third anniversary, I love following your blog.
    Gothiqua looks so stunning in the bottle. On the nails, the shimmer doesn’t look transferring or maybe it is just the photos. Thanks for letting us know about that one, such a pretty name it has!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks you, Sara! I’m happy to count you among my readers! 🙂 This is one of those shades that while deep, vampy & sexy, is not very “in your face” with its shimmer – which I don’t mind all that much, as I prefer my shimmer on the understated side. I totally agree about the name – it’s perfect!

  18. Linda says:

    Happy Anniversary to you! I enjoy your blog and getting to ‘know’ you!

    I love a good purple and will check my local Bay store to see if they are carrying it! Looking forward to your Elizabeth Arden post; they seem to be really stepping it up lately!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thanks, Linda — as I wrote, I feel so blessed to have come to “meet” so many amazing people too … like YOU!

      Definitely check you local Bay & I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! As to Elizabeth Arden, the entire range has undergone a “makeover”, and so far they’ve been rather under the radar, but something tells me that it’s on the brink of changing!

  19. Pinkpamalamma says:

    Oh it’s gorgeous!! Happy Blogaversary!

  20. Elektra King says:

    Happy Blog-aversary!! 🙂 I always enjoy your posts very much. Your style of writing is exceptionally inspiring. For example I love your post about the China Glaze Let It Snow Collection which I discovered about a year ago. I think I read it at least 7 times 🙂

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I appreciate your kind words, and it makes me so happy to hear that you enjoy my posts – I always experience a hint of anxiety before I publish a new review, hoping it’ll be well received – reading this really helps!

  21. gamingnails says:

    Yet another reason to boycott Illamasqua (as if they needed it!) BOO indeed. Bad customer service is not something I can forgive!

    • Eugenia says:

      Ummm….”bad customer service”? Who said anything about that? If anything, I’ve always found their customer service – whether it’s buying online or in person, as I just learned – to be far superior to many other high end brands. Launching their boutiques in Canada was a pretty big risk & came at great cost; creating a shade to commemorate this joining, was not only a smart thing to do, but a beautiful way to thank Canadian consumers for their patronage. Where is the issue? Brands release limited edition products all the time that I don’t have access to, yet I don’t take that as a reflection of their customer service. It’s called marketing — and it works.

      Sorry, to sound off, but I think you may have misunderstood my review to some extent.

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