Monday, 28 March 2011

Monday Manicure: Illamasqua Bacterium

There has been quite a lot of hype around this shade, one of five new nail colours released by Illamasqua with its Toxic Tale Collection. Although it was the vibrant acid green that appealed to me initially, I thought it looked too similar to Butter London's recent offering Dosh, so plumped for Bacterium. It is a pearlescent ochre with a similar finish to that of Chanel's Paradoxal, but with the shimmer a lot more apparent.

Illamasqua Nail Colour in Bacterium - £13.50
The colour looks murky and interesting in the bottle and this translates well to the nails. Illamasqua polishes are probably the highest quality out of all I own and this is no exception. One coat was opaque so if you like your manicures to be quick, go for Illamasqua. I applied two coats though plus a top coat for the photos.

2 coats of Bacterium applied plus top coat

2 coats of Bacterium applied plus top coat
I do think this is a unique shade, supported by the fact in my 200+ collection I couldn't find anything like it, but in all honesty, I don't think it suits me at all. I have pale skin with pink undertones and the yellow in the ochre base really fights with this. It is strange because although the base shade is warm, the silver pearl shimmer is cool so it is an odd mix. People with darker skin tones or those with a more yellow or olive base would I think really do this colour justice. Sadly for me, it looks prettier in the bottle.

I wish I'd gone for Radium instead, but this just shows the difficulty when buying online and not being able to see products in person. I still really want to find a flattering nudish colour with a bit of a twist, so I think Butter London's All Hail McQueen will be next on the list as Yummy Mummy (which it is based on) is surprisingly perfect with my ruddy hands!

Illamsaqua Bacterium is available online at Debenhams, Illamasqua and finally ASOS (in case you still haven't spent your Groupon voucher) for £13.50. It is also available in a duo with Purity, a peach creme, for £21.


  1. I think that suits you very well indeed. I've got similar colouring and based on your photos I think I need to buy this.

  2. Have to be honest and say this one leaves me cold, have similar issues with red hands and yellow'ish polishes so will wait to see how you get on with the Butter London - I really want Lady Muck from their latest collection! x

  3. Urgh l find the whole concept of this series a bit odd to be honest. Bacterium?? No thanks! Strong colours suit my pale hands better anyway. Thank you for the honest review.

  4. Hi GreatSheElephant,
    Glad you like it. I think it just depends on personal preference, I like to flatter the pink undertones of my skin, same with foundation, whereas others take the opposite approach, favouring more yellow shades to neutralise it x

    Hi Debbie,
    I really like quite a few shades from the Butter London summer collection,will no doubt get them eventually. I just wish somewhere stocked them nearby as I would really like to see them in person rather than online x

    Hi lady Cherry,
    I do try to be fairly adventurous with nail colours but the most flattering on my pale skin are the classic blue based reds and raspberry pinks or purples. Those are the ones I come back to most. When I had a tan I branched out a bit but it's been about 4 years since that last happened! x

  5. It looks wonderful on you!! and it really brings out the red/pinkish undertones in you! it looks very sexy!
    if someone saw it they would agree,youre thinking too much in it. Nobody is going to dig into it and analyze it..even if they did they would think it suits you