I've not tried any Illumasqua makeup items yet, as they aren't available in my immediate area and I can't stand going to the nearest mall that carries them. I've heard great things, just not experienced them myself. I may have to re-think that, though, since I picked up a Nail Varnish the other day and have fallen in love.
First off, let me state that I pay little, if any, attention to nail trends. I can honestly say that I don't know what the current trend in summer nails is...I'm assuming it's some rendition of the usual "fucshia-teal-orange" theme that seems to pop up every year. I am bright enough to know that summertime typically calls for brighter and lighter shades. I just don't care. I hold the opinion that, in both makeup and nails (and clothing, for that matter), one should stick with what inspires and flatters, not necessarily what's trending. Don't get me wrong--if a trend works for you, all the better. But please, for the sake of everyone, concentrate on what actually WORKS for you above all else. There's nothing sadder than seeing sickly-looking fingers or toes that have fallen prey to their fashion-victim owners, coated in layers of unflattering color just because it's "hot" at the moment. Lavender hair comes to mind.
Anyhow, back on point, I was at Sephora a couple of weeks ago looking at polishes. This is a favorite summer pastime of mine because I work in a school kitchen for 9 months of the year, where I'm not permitted to wear any polish at all...not even clear. For the record, don't underestimate the lengths to which school system nutrition programs will go to ensure no foreign materials are ever introduced into the food! Hair nets, no nail polish, no jewelry...it's enough to make any beauty blogger cry.
Because of my decidedly un-glamorous job, the first thing I do when summer hits is head to the nail salon and beauty stores for new polish. So when I stood in Sephora in front of the nail display, I was nearly overwhelmed by my choices. Glitter! Duochromes! Creams, shimmers, frosts, sheers! But of all the bright and lovely colors displayed, one caught my eye as the fairest of them all. It was Illumasqua's Phallic, a deep midnight blue with mesmerizing shimmer. Not frosty, not creamy, this polish has the perfect amount of shimmer to catch the eye and prompt deeper inspection:
Oh, the gorgeousness! Even if you aren't a fan of blue polishes, even if you aren't a fan of the color blue, period, I defy you to try to tell me that's not stunning. The blackened blue base, the midnight shimmer--how could I resist? I snatched it up in a red-hot second and headed home to give it a test drive.
On the fingertips, Phallic is just as gorgeous as it is in the bottle. Two coats gave me the intensity I desired. The shimmers are nearly three dimensional, seeming to float in layers on top of one another rather than in a single layer. Phallic has a hypnotic effect on me, and I find myself staring at my tips, moving them this way and that under the light, mesmerized by the play of color and shimmer off of each other.
Up close, the shimmer effect is more evident. It's truly lovely to behold. For those of you who managed to get your hands on Tuxedo from the Dior Blue Tie Collection last year, this is a very similar color. Very, very similar. If you longed for Tuxedo (as I did) but were too late to get it, this is a good substitute. And if you're a fan of dark polish, this is one you need to give a serious look.
Bottom Line: I'm in love with Phallic. The formula is excellent. Wear time was excellent. With Seche Vite top coat, I went 4 days of fairly hard use without a chip. It applied smoothly and evenly, with a well-sized brush that was easy to manage. Dry time was average, and the polish only required 2 coats for full opacity and intensity. Most importantly, the color is devastatingly brilliant. I suppose next I'll be headed into Atlanta proper to peruse the makeup line.