You may already be tired of hearing about these, so I'll try and keep it quick, but I'm on the speckled bandwagon, and am finding it a surprisingly pleasant place to be.
I didn't like the look of these at first, but I appreciate the effect much more now. It's almost like lazy, laid-back nail art for people who lack patience and dexterity. I could definitely get used to wearing this kind of pattern more frequently, and I think it'd be even prettier in other colors. Scarce is the most wearable of the Speckled line, as the others are the exact type of spring pastels I find hideously unflattering. Throw this kind of design into warm, russety-toned fall colors--say, a taupe or a burgundy, and I would be all over it.
This is my first Illmasqua nail polish, and I had high hopes, having heard such excellent things about their formula. Even people who have already reviewed the Speckled line rave about the formulation, which is why I'm wondering if my bottle is off or something.
If you ask me, the formula is just okay. One coat was streaky and nowhere near opaque, two coats was streaky and more pink, and three coats was where I felt like I had the full strength of the color, but my nails were still patchy--though not to the average eye. This is one of those fortunate polishes that smooths itself out as it dries, so the streakiness is forgiven, but the opacity problems are not. My definition of opacity (true opacity) is the "holding your nails up to the light test". If you can't see any of the nail, then you're good. But if you can see all patchy and splotchy areas of where the coverage isn't the same, then the polish was not opaque. In Scarce's case, it was pretty much the top half of all of my fingernails that weren't fully covered. If you looked at my nails dead-on, you wouldn't notice the splotchiness, but at a different angle, you could. Maybe it's not fair to judge opacity based on something most people can't see, but I can see it under the light and know it's there, which is enough to bother me.
In terms of consistency, Scarce is one of those slightly rubbery, thicker nail polishes with less than excellent pigmentation--similar to the Laura Mercier Spring 2012 nail polishes, if you remember those. These types of nail polishes can cause problems for people like me who tend to do a messy polish application, and then clean things up in the shower. It doesn't smooth off the skin like the average polish does--it's chunkier when you try and clean it up, which can leave a bumpy edge around the fingernail. Unfortuantely, this is also the kind of formula that feels heavier when you build it up, so at three coats, my nails felt a bit uncomfortable with this on.
With all the layers of small and chunky glitter, this is definitely a more difficult polish to remove. I'd recommend one of those sponge-remover pots where you stick your fingernail in and let the remover do its work. There'll still be a few chunks of glitter left after that, but the remover should have softened them up enough for you to scratch or flake them off.
Despite all of this, I'm really enjoying the look of Scarce and plan on sporting it a lot this spring. As for Illamasqua's nail polish formula, I'll have to try a few more to form a solid opinion on them. For now, though, Scarce is a decent polish, though I'm less willing to forgive its faults considering its $16 price tag.
Have a lovely weekend!
P.S. Sorry this was up a day late. I wound up passing out in my bed on Friday night at 8:45. Exciting life I have.