October 4, 2013

Illamasqua- Swarm [Swatch]

Illamasqua- Swarm was just released as part of the 2013 Limited Edition Halloween collection.

It's described as 'matte black glitter,' but the overall finish is more satin, if anything.  It's a grey-tinged (not quite clear) jellyish base filled with medium sized black hexagonal glitter amid a matrix of much smaller black glitter/ microglitter.

The glitter composition is very similar to what's found in the Imperfection Speckled polishes, except with a jelly base instead of a cream. It does indeed look like a swarm!

Artificial light, one coat over Sally Hansen CSM- Eel Skin:

The rest of the swatches will show two coats over Sally Hansen CSM- Eel Skin + 1 coat of INM- Out The Door topcoat.

Artificial light:

Window-filtered daylight:

In the bottle, some of the black glitter catches the light in a very interesting way, hard to describe- like the light is only touching the middle of each hex, and the effect is very much like a swarm of ants or something!  This effect was present, but less pronounced, on the nail.

Outside, shade:

Finally, I swatched Swarm over a plain white swatch wheel to show the density of the glitter:

It's not very nice over black, but will probably make a cool layering polish over pretty much any other color.

Formula: The base is jellyish, which is nice with a glitter, I think.  It carries the glitter well without feeling gunky or too viscous.  The density is just right for layering.  You can probably build this up to full opacity on its own, but it would take 4, or probably 5 coats- too many coats, in my opinion.

It's slightly bumpy-looking until you add a topcoat, but it's not a 'hungry' glitter.

I have to say that I'm not blown away by this Illamasqua (a rare thing!). It looks so much more interesting in the bottle.  I'm sure it will come in handy to have a black glitter layering polish though...

Swarm can be purchased alone at Sephora or Sephora.com, or on Illamasqua.com alone or as part of the 'Bat Lash Duo,' which comes with some awesome bat-shaped falsies!


  1. That seems to be a rather boring polish for Illamasqua, so odd. Maybe my feeling is a supported by the fact that I don't like those all -black-glitters though...

    1. Yea..it is a little strange...I am used to little quirky surprises from Illamasqua.

  2. I'm not loving it, either. And anymore, the vision of a chunky glitter puts an immediate vision of removal of said chunky glitter and a big NO in my head. I'm kind of surprised by this addition to their collection because it's so uninspired, really. Wouldn't a more expected Illamasqua have something unexpected in here? Micro purple or something? And wow, really bad over black! Over orange it could be fun for Halloween, I guess. However, I have a pumpkin polish for $3 that is way more fun with black glitters and silver moon glitters in it. The silver moons ARE inspired!
    Surprised by this one.

    1. Well, I never worry about removal anymore- I just use a peel base or glue base.

      Yea, black glitter would've been OK if maybe there was some additional microshimmer or something? I'm not sure, but I feel the same way!