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My Picks from SpaRitual Illuminate

When I first saw Sparitual's Illuminate collection at Ulta, it literally stopped me in my tracks.  The six shades in this collection are as gorgeous as the Italian glass that inspired them.  I only bought Invention that day and I almost instantly regretted not buying at least a couple of the other shades.  I went back when they went on a BTGO sale, but they were out of stock of Imagination.  I spent a couple of weeks pining for it and I checked a couple more Ultas without any luck.  On Thursday I made a last-ditch effort to find it.  I went to an Ulta that tends to sell out of LE polish pretty slowly.  There they were, a handful of Illuminate shades....and no Imagination.  I perused every inch of the salon polish display.  Nope.  Dejected, I wandered around while Zeus and Player 4 oohed and ahhed at stuff and giggled at shade names.  I harrumphed "I know I'll never find it."  ...and five seconds later, there it was.  They had a full display on the lower level of a table in the middle of the aisle.  I gasped and grabbed it.  I'd been waiting to post these while I held out dwindling hope of ever finding Imagination at Ulta and I'm thrilled to be able to wrap my little story up with a happy ending.  It's a Festivus miracle!  ....even though it happened on the 19th and is completely commercially-oriented.  You can start with my misappropriation of Festivus when you air your grievances.  My big grievance is with Ulta for putting polish in weird places!  But now my picks are complete and I can very happily present you with swatches...

Intellect is a blue jelly with fuchsia, blue, and silver flecks.

darker in person

I'll admit to going a bit nuts here.  I decided I wanted to get my nails to look like the bottle, no matter what it took.  It took five coats.  FIVE.  I don't even care.  It was worth it.  I could have stopped at three, leaving it even sheerer than it is here, but I kept going.  Photos can't begin to do five coats of Intellect justice.  It really does look just like the bottle and it's outstanding.  My camera read the blue lighter than it really is, but the next photo is pretty close to right.

I can't see myself ever wearing five coats of Intellect again, but I'm glad I did it once.  It wouldn't be as magical over a nude or a blue cream similar to the base.

darker in person

In a collection inspired by Murano glass, Intellect captures the concept best.  It has exactly that art glass feel, down to the dichroic sparkle.

darker in person

I mattified it just because.  It's still pretty this way, but it loses something.

darker in person

Intuition has blue-to-fuchsia flecks in a purple jelly base.

I got the in-bottle look of Intuition at four coats.  Again, I don't think I'll ever wear it on its own again, but I'm glad I did it once.  It's another glassy beauty.

The shift is stunning and electric when you catch it.

It nails that art glass look too!

I think Intuition looks better mattified than Intellect did.

The denser flakes and stronger shift keep it more dynamic.  Mattified it reminds me of FingerPaints Itsy Bitsy Spider, though it's somewhat darker and has denser flakes.

Imagination has a beige-tinted base with blue-to-fuchsia flecks.

I don't think any number of coats of Imagination would ever be opaque.  The base is way too sheer.  I fudged it and layered it over my perfect nude, Revlon Trade Winds.  I still find it oddly exhilarating to have a polish match me that perfectly.  Even over the nude base, I still wound up using four coats of Imagination to get the same look as the bottle.  It's an odd shade, I have to say.  It was worth hunting down, because it's unique, but I'm not sure I'll wear it over a nude again.  I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but it has a speckled look at some angles.  When the shift really gets going, the pink takes over and you don't notice anything else.

...but when it's not glowing you can see what I mean about speckles.

That's why I did four coats.  It looked patchy with fewer.  The closer the flecks packed together, the more even it looked.  I'll admit, I loved the look when the blue was at its strongest.  You can even get hints of gold at the extremes.

I'll be trying it over a taupe or maybe a brown sometime, though I think it has pretty broad layering potential because the base is really just tinted.

I mattified it because I'd done it to all the others.  I find it...confusing.

My mom would call this look "cold in the pool", I think.  I had a lipstick in the '90s with a similar glow and she always said I looked like I was freezing when I wore it.

Invention has a mix of gold foil pieces and green-to-pink duochrome glass flecks in a clear base.

I posted about Invention back in mid-November.  You can read my full review and see more photos here.  It's more densely flecked than the other three I tried, so it only took three coats to look like it does in the bottle.

Since they're so sheer, they're ideal for layering.  I want to play around with them over different base colors eventually, but for now I just compared them all over black.  All are one thick coat over a black cream.

Invention * Imagination * Intuition * Intellect

Amusingly, Intuition is purple on its own but predominantly blue over black, while Intellect goes the other way.  Imagination and Intuition are very similar over black, but the results aren't quite identical.

Invention * Imagination * Intuition * Intellect

They might use the same shimmer, but Imagination looks more teal and less blue.  I think it's because of Intuition's purple base.

Invention * Imagination * Intuition * Intellect

They all layer beautifully!  The extremes of all four are breathtaking and magical.

Invention * Imagination * Intuition * Intellect

Bottom line: I love all four and only passed on Intention and Improvisation because they were too pink for me.  If you're thinking of getting them specifically for layering over dark colors then you could probably pick either Imagination or Intuition, since they look similar over black.  I recommend layering for all four shades, since they're sheer.  I'd call it mandatory for Imagination.

Two posts in one day! I'm in a completely crazed scramble to finish xmas before xmas is over...


  1. I'm so glad you went back and got these ! I told you they were magic ! Probably one of my favorite collections this year. The layering and mattifying possibilities are endless. Love love love. I think I like the purple best on you, it looks awesome.

  2. Ooh invention is so pretty, especially over black!


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