I know, I know- it's already time for the glory that is Fall ILNP! (And, trust me, they are amaaazing, and I've just started working with them!) However, I adore this Shimmer collection, and really wanted to show you every single polish!
I've been quite pressed for time, and so was only going to show you my "picks" or what I thought were the true highlights. But, I don't know guys! I couldn't make up my mind on which shades to omit, and it just made me sad! That just goes to show you how wonderful ILNP is!
So, anyway, here is the lovely ILNP Shimmer collection for Summer 2016! I know you will have already seen loads of beautiful swatches, but I've got some layerings to show you too- stick around! Also, hopefully this will come in handy as you prepare yourselves mentally for the Fall pre-order! ;)
This collection is very exciting to me, because the opacity levels on these shades are super flexible. They are just made for layering! (Or you can wear them sheerer for a softer finish, OR they're perfectly buildable in an extra coat all on their own!) But, layering!
So, this swatch post will be a bit different. You'll see each polish worn at just two coats, on its own, on every nail save the middle finger nail. On the middle nail, I'll show each Shimmer 2016 shade layered over a similar (or sorta-same color family) ILNP shade.
Ready to get started?!
First, the lovely ILNP- Wallflower:
Wallflower is a soft (yet vibrant!) purple-leaning periwinkle base filled with cyan microshimmer and some slightly larger blue glassfleck-ish shimmer particles. I about died when I saw this color. It's just right up my alley!
The middle nail has one coat of Wallflower over ILNP- Super Juiced, which has a similar (but deeper, creamier) base color (although much different shimmers).
You can see that layered, it becomes opaque easily, and you can just barely see the shimmer from Super Juiced peeking through!
Formula: It's great! It is sheerer, but the texture is still creamy and self-leveling. I was surprised at the opacity at two coats- there's just a hint of VNL in bright light for me. (I do tend toward thicker coats, for what it's worth!) This dried down quickly, and overall was a real pleasure to use!
Next, another stunner, ILNP- The Boulevard:
The Boulevard is a cool-toned slate grey with yellow-gold and coppery shimmers. This definitely has blue undertones, and even in some lighting looks purple-toned. Lovely!
The middle nail has one coat of The Boulevard over ILNP- Maiden Lane, which is actually a taupe-y silver Ultra Holo:
I think The Boulevard is opaque enough that Maiden Lane doesn't show through at all, and the only real difference I can discern on that nail is that the actual tip is a little less sheer.
Formula: It's creamy with a medium consistency. It's a little on the sheer side, but it really depends on the thickness of your coats. My first coat was sheer, but not streaky, and dried down nice and quickly too. The second coat clings very nicely to the first, and so feels a lot thicker. Very creamy! And, pretty much opaque as well! In the end, this is a very buildable polish, even moreso than the others!
Here is ILNP- Pucker Up:
Pucker Up is a saturated hot pink with blue and violet glassflecky shimmers. Very bright!
The middle nail has one coat over ILNP- Paige, an Ultra Holo with a similar, but lighter, pink tone:
The holo particles from Paige are so pretty underneath Pucker Up! You can see that the entire nail is deepened too, and takes on a purpler tone.
Formula: It's very, very smooth with a perfect jelly texture, but this one is quite sheer. At two coats, you can see there is noticeable visible nail line. Overall, if you like a squishy look with a lot of depth, this hits a nice sweet spot for that! I don't think three coats would be perfectly opaque, but it does build, so it'd be closer. Overall, the texture is perfect though- very easy to use!
Now, ILNP- Lilac Bridges:
Lilac Bridges is a delicate lavender lilac color with prominent golden shimmer. I don't think it really came through in photos, but at certain angles you can also see some magenta shimmer too!
The middle nail has one coat over ILNP- Dreaming in Violet, an older pastel lavender holographic!
This layering mostly just had the effect of producing an opaque lilac color. I don't really see holo glimmer showing through, but the golden shimmer is really popping on that middle nail- wow!
Formula: It's creamy, self-leveling, and easy to apply. At first appearance, this one seemed to be more on the sheer side than a few of the others, but actually it's just extremely versatile. Two thin coats will be very sheer with lots of visible nail line, but two thicker coats will be opaque for all practical purposes. Very flexible!
(Aside from the layered middle nail, my swatches show one thin coat + one thicker coat. Two thick coats on my thumb was opaque.)
Here's ILNP- Valentina:
Valentina is a sheer, milky aqua base filled with red-to-gold shimmer. Oftentimes the shimmer looks quite pink too. This one is a bit sheerer than the others!
The middle nail has one coat over ILNP- Music Box, a greeny-blue holographic (actually from the same Spring 2014 collection as Dreaming in Violet. I just have the newer packaging here.)
The shimmer really pops over a more opaque base! And the nail took on a slightly greener tone from the base of Music Box. I like this polish both ways, but feel like maybe three coats of Valentina alone might've been the sweet spot between a delicate look and less intense VNL. I'll have to try it that way next time!
Formula: It's very similar in texture and consistency to Lilac Bridges above, and handles the same way. Very smooth, jellyish, but sheer. You can see that it doesn't build quite as quickly as Lilac Bridges, though. This one is also one thin coat + one thicker coat, but I feel like, at least on my nails, the visible nail line was more noticeable. Easy formula to work with though!
Finally, this is ILNP- Ruby Sky:
Ruby Sky is an indigo jelly base filled with fine, magenta glassfleck shimmer. The base indigo color leans more to the blue than the purple side of indigo, to me. This is prettier in person than in photos!
The middle nail has one coat over ILNP- Walking Home, a royal purple Ultra Holo:
Over Walking Home, Ruby Sky becomes opaque, and you can also see some of the holo sparkling through- especially in sunlight! This was a fun combination!
Formula: It also has a sheer jelly base, but by the nature of the deeper color, it appears slightly less sheer than some of the others. Applies easily though, and if care is taken to wrap the tips during both coats, then this becomes about 90% opaque at two layers, with nail line visible only under very intense direct light. Nice!
Overall, um, YES. This collection is unique and inventive! The shimmers are readily apparent in all of their respective bases, and the formulas were sheer, but so workable! There are shades here perfect for Summer (Pucker Up and Wallflower especially), and other shades that are great for transitioning into Fall (The Boulevard and Ruby Sky)! This collection's strength, other than super pretty polishes, is just its versatility. You really can create a lot of different looks just by layering. I chose other ILNP polishes to use as bases, but any of these shades would be fantastic over various creme bases as well!
On the other hand, for some people wanting to wear these polishes alone, I can see that this sheerness might actually be frustrating; however, I did find that most built to 80-90% opacity in two easy coats (an exception being Valentina). I'm perfectly happy with that level of opacity, personally, especially when there are gorgeous reflective shimmers to bounce light back off the surface of the nail. And, you've seen from photos, that while these are sheer, they aren't streaky- even at one coat- so the soft look is definitely intentional and not messy-looking.
So, maybe these shades won't be for everyone, but for people that like to play with polish, in terms of mixing and matching, they're amazing!
PS: If you're looking for swatches of the Summer 2016 polishes, those are here & nail art here!
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What do you think?
Do you own any of these beautiful shades?
Which is your fave?
*Disclosure: polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.