Illamasqua — Rare (Nail Varnish) Swatch & Review

Got your sunglasses?

Now that we’ve been seeing more sunny days, it’s nice to pull out some brights, and there are not many polishes brighter than Rare. I was lucky enough to pick it up when it was on clearance at Hudson’s Bay, since Illamasqua is pulling out of North America.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Rare

Rare is described by Illamasqua as a “bright neon yellow” with a satin finish. It is indeed a near-fluorescent, highlighter yellow-with-a-touch-of-green cream with that typical slightly matte (satin) neon finish. It is really incredible! Compared to many other neons which dry quite matte, Rare’s finish is very smooth and I don’t feel it requires a glossy top coat for shine and extra brightness.

Neons, like pastels, can be a bit tricky to apply, and Rare does exhibit some issues like an unwillingness to even out nicely on its own. I used three thin coats, and ideally I’d use four, because it’s still not totally even and opaque. However, I think it might work well to use a white cream on the nails first, then put Rare on top.

The packaging is very nice and sleek. The square cap comes off and there is a smaller, ridged, round cap inside that makes application very easy.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Rare, swatch

Illamasqua Nail Varnish retails/retailed for GBP£14.50 / CA$17 and is 0.5 fl oz / 15 mL. It does not contain toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The Nail Varnish is made in Australia. Illamasqua is cruelty-free.

Illamasqua is a private company based in London, England.


9 thoughts on “Illamasqua — Rare (Nail Varnish) Swatch & Review

  1. This is one shade that I passed on… I ain’t got no use for this sorta shade! Unsurprisingly, the Illamasqua counter had tons of this colour left.
    I did pick up a neon shade from China Glaze (Flip Flop Fantasy)… have yet to try it – in your experience with neons, would you recommend to apply a base of white creme polish?

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you get a good white creme (those can be a real PITA, too), then it helps so you don’t need to use, like, 5 coats of your neon to get it nice and even. Of course, in the end, it probably ends up being 4-5 coats total, anyway. Sigh. Love pastels and neons, such a pain to apply 🙂

      I passed on a couple Illamasquas that I figured would look bad on me (Radium, ick on me, and some mattes). Rare is totally my kind of thing, though!

      Flip Flop Fantasy is in my stash, but untried. GASP.

      Liked by 1 person

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