How to: Get the look of Illamasqua Speckled polishes

Illamasqua Speckled nail polishes were a limited edition release that dropped at the end of January, part of the I'mperfection spring collection and all of the stunning imagery that went along with it. The collection as a whole focused on celebrating the so-called flaws that make us all unique and individual and perfectly imperfect.

Shown from left are the sextet of Freckle, Speckle, Mottle, Fragile, and Scarce. As you can maybe guess from the promo shots, the finish is inspired by the delicate, irregular beauty of bird's eggs and I think they're very, very pretty indeed for a simple spring nail.

Compounding the usual complications of procuring Illamasqua products in Ireland is the fact that these polishes are almost sold out through the usual online channels: ASOS still have Fragile (at a steep €19.04  a bottle) while Debenhams currently have Speckle and Mottle in stock and on sale for €16.20.

Happily, the egg-like finish that they provide is simple to DIY for a weeny fraction of the price of one of the polishes. Here are three ways to get it at home:

Glitter topcoat + matte topcoat

Bunging a hexagonal glitter topcoat atop a pastel polish is definitely the easiest way to approximate the look. I used Sephora by OPI Only Gold For Me (a little too sparingly, it must be said) before finishing with Essence matte topcoat to complete the mini egg effect.


If you don't already have a glitter with hexagonal pieces, you should be able to get one handily enough as there are quite a few doing the rounds right now. Try hitting up the Barry M, Models Own, Essence, L'Oreal, or Revlon stands and you should come up trumps.

Glitter topcoat + sheer jelly polish

This is a layering technique that I started playing about with two years ago, when I was DIYing dupes for Deborah Lippmann's milky jelly glitter polishes like Glitter In The Air, Stairway To Heaven, and Candy Shop, and it turns out that it also works very nicely for aping the look of Illamasqua Speckled, too! Apply a coat or two of your chosen colour to achieve an opaque finish, daub on your glitter, and then paint over that with a layer of sheer jelly polish in a coordinating shade.

Here, I used a baby blue gelly and pink and blue glitter from Claire's Accessories, which are unfortunately unnamed, but the new Barry M Hi Shine Gelly Nail Effects should do the trick.

This process gives a softer, dreamier finish than the mini eggs version above and you can use any colour glitter for the speckles since it will be covered in a layer of jelly polish, meaning that the end result will be tonal rather than very high contrast.


Dotting tool + brown nail polish 

No glitter? No problem. Use a dotting tool (or ballpoint pen, or the end of a paperclip - you know the drill) to daub on irregularly shaped, irregularly placed dots, using a mid-to-dark brown shade of polish like OPI You Don't Know Jacques (applied here with a toothpick over Ciate Sugar Plum.) You could also try using a brown liquid eyeliner or felt tip pen to achieve the effect; just be sure to allow plenty of drying time before applying topcoat rather than getting trigger happy and dragging the design across the nail like I've managed to do.

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