I never bothered to do a list of my favourite beauty products for 2011… but if I did, this lovely would have been right up there!
Illamasqua’s Raindrops is a truly beautiful polish, which is absolutely true to its name – a bit of a rarity in the cute but crazy world of nail polish naming! A dusty pale blue jelly base with tiny iridescent flakies suspended within, Raindrops came into being thanks to an Illamasqua competition winner who was inspired by a photograph of raindrops on a windowpane.
The effect is astoundingly pretty and rather unique, in my collection at least. The light grey-blue jelly base is the colour of cloudy skies that carry a promise of blue ones to come; the flakies, rather than reflecting a load of rainbow colours, instead just have a shimmery iridescence to them… and the overall effect is almost exactly as you’d imagine raindrops trapped in a nail polish would be!
However, this stunning effect doesn’t come without a price. That dusty blue base is incredibly sheer – it took me three coats to build it up to opacity, although I’ve read of some bloggers needing many more! As a result, it also takes an absolute age to dry and I found myself forever banging and dinting it in the process; the positive to this was that it wore like iron, and I only experienced minor tip wear and no chips over seven days of wearing it. However, whilst that special flakie shimmer looks especially enchanting in real life (especially up-close), in photos, it kind of just looks like I’ve applied a dodgy base coat!
I also have to mention Illamasqua’s brush. The brush itself was fine from what I remember – pretty average, standard size and thickness, and it spread the polish well. However, I found the chunky square cap an absolute pain, difficult to hold comfortably and cumbersome to manoeuvre. Of course, I then realised this square bit pulled off! Like Chanel nail polishes, it reveals a smaller round ridged cap (as shown), which makes easy gripping a piece of cake! So don’t make the mistake I made!
But back onto what I love about Raindrops. Dusty blues slay me every time, and this is no exception! The colour is similar to China Glaze’s Sea Spray (another 2011 favourite) but with that lovely squishy translucent feel of a jelly finish. As for flakies – well, we all know how I feel about them! The combination of the two, plus that charming Raindrops concept brought to life? I’m in nail polish heaven, splashing happily through huge puddles of Raindrops, of course!
Raindrops also reminds me of a story my mum used to tell me. When she was little, she made up a story at school about the life of a raindrop – how it fell from the sky, danced and sloshed about with all its friends, ran down the windows and eventually evaporated away – and her story was so good, she got to read it aloud to her classmates and put it up on the classroom wall. Every time I look at raindrops on my window, I remember her childhood creation – and now I can get a wash of that feeling whenever I look at my nails too! Of course, Illamasqua could never have anticipated that – but I think it just adds to the beauty of this beautiful nail polish even more.
Raindrops keep falling on my head? Keep ‘em coming, I say!
Looks good with: dusty pastels, greys, taking a closer look
Drying time: +10 mins
Coats required: 3
Chips: +7 days
Illamasqua Raindrops, 2010 Competition Winners Collection, £13.50 (£5 in the sale)