As I was picking out my first Illamasqua nail polish, I was pretty torn between their wide selection of colors. Their palette has a very edgy vibe: plenty of purples, blues, greens, vampies, screaming pinks. And yet, I went for the typical fivezero color: Alarm, a vibrant red cream with an underlying tone of traffic pylon red-orange. For some time now, I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement for my all-time favorite screamy red, Maybelline Wet Shine in Juicy Tomato. Alarm just about fits the bill, though Juicy Tomato is more of a jelly and Alarm is super pigmented. I suspect that if Alarm was diluted with a clear polish, it’d be very close to Juicy Tomato. The other polish I have that appear similar in the bottle is Zoya Maura (which is less orange-toned). I’ll have to do a comparison for all three!
Anyway, as I was trying Illamasqua for the first time, I was delighted to find that the formula is really superb. It applies so evenly! And, as I mentioned before, the pigmentation is very strong. You can nearly get away with one coat, but I preferred two just to get perfect coverage. Wear time, however, was not exceptional, and I had chipping within two to three days. I will add that I did not use a base coat nor my favorite top coat (I have a bottle of Color Club’s top coat to use up), and I am pretty hard on my hands these days. I won’t hold the wear time against Illamasqua, for now. Overall, this polish is a big yay and I hope to try more soon.
Illamasqua Nail Varnish, 0.5 fl. oz. / 15 mL. MSRP £14.50 UK, $17 CA. It does not contain toluene, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde gas, and added formalin (liquid formaldehyde).