Zoya Dhara & Zoya Oswin

Playing catch up on a couple Zoya PixieDust colors, both textured and shown here without top coat.

Here’s Zoya Dhara, a bright reddish orange with a metallic finish and iridescent flecks.

Zoya Oswin is a raspberry red packed with various size glitters, including large hexes. It’s got significantly more texture than the fine sand of Dhara’s finish and kind of reminds me of a geode (in a good way!). My photos don’t really do it justice. In person, the glitters flash a bit more, though the overall finish dries to a classy matte.

Please excuse these oddly dark photos. My phone camera sometimes adjusts oddly for lighting.

Oswin’s a bit brighter than this in person!

Formula for both polishes was great, as Zoya PixieDusts tend to be, and both dried fast. They’re also both pretty durable, though Oswin’s craggier texture meant it got caught on stuff and chipped after a day, sadly.

Both great polishes that I’m sure would also look great with glossy top coat. :]

Formula X Intergalactic & Estee Lauder Peach Petal

I almost forgot to post last week’s polish swatches: Formula X Intergalactic, from the discontinued Celestials collection, and Estee Lauder Peach Petal on the accent nail. I’ve had both of these for a while – Peach Petal, especially – and just never got around to wearing them. (Peach Petal was a freebie with purchase that my mom gave me when I was a kid, I think. Has it been that long?)

Anyway.

 

Intergalactic is a silvery purple-pink metallic textured polish. It’s not as chunky as some textured polishes but chunkier than Zoya PixieDust polishes. It’s kind of comparable to OPI textured polishes that I’ve tried, like Alcatraz…Rocks. The formula was fine, and it dried fast. Just about opaque in a single coat, though you can tell it’s not 100% opaque in strong sunlight.

 

 

Peach Petal is a nude-y pink with a subtle pearlescent shimmer. I’m not usually one for nudes, but this one’s not too boring, and the formula is fantastic. Excellent coverage in one coat, and it’s incredibly easy to apply. It’s an older polish, though, so I doubt it’s 3/4/5-free. Dry time was maybe on the long side of average, but hey, it more than makes up for that by being completely opaque in a single coat.

Best thing by far about these polishes is that they were both done in one coat!

Essie Sable Collar

Trying out a different way of pulling my images from Instagram.

Swatched Essie Sable Collar for this week’s nails. It’s from Essie’s winter 2013 collection, and I’ve had it for a long time but just somehow never felt like wearing it.

 

It didn’t photograph especially well for me, unfortunately, and I didn’t have a chance to take another photo before it chipped (oops), but it’s kind of a metallic puce. Essie calls it a “luxurious pearlescent cocoa plum.” I suppose that’s a fancier way of saying that it’s puce (purplish brown) with a bit of subtle pinkish shimmer. It’s so subtle that I can hardly see it in some light. Not a bad color, though. When the shimmer actually shows, it gives Sable Collar a nice lit-from-within look.

 

 

The formula was fine, easy enough to apply, though I was sloppy. It’s a bit on the watery side, as Essies tend to be. Dry time was average for me. Durability was not so good, at least with Julep Nail Therapy as my base coat, and chipped on the second day. Ah, well.

By the way, FYI, Wikipedia says: “Puce is the French word for flea. The color is said to be the color of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bedsheets, even after being laundered, from a flea’s droppings or after a flea has been crushed.”

Lovely, huh?

Julep Pam & Julep Alysha

I’ve got swatches for two Julep August 2016 colors today, Julep Pam and Julep Alysha! These photos show two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light.

 

 

Pam is a somewhat frosty, somewhat metallic orange-soda orange with holographic shimmer. The frosty finish shows brushstrokes a bit, but it’s better with topcoat. The holo effect isn’t especially strong in this one, but it gives the polish a cute carbonated appearance.🙂

 

 

 

Alysha is a deep berry-purple shimmer with occasional maroon undertones and linear holographic shimmer. I didn’t really photograph it well, but the rainbows are pretty vibrant.

Both Pam and Alysha have good formulas that are nearly opaque in one coat and even out well in two coats. They both dried on the fast side of average for me. No problems to report on either polish.

Julep August 2016 (Endless Summer) Maven Box

My August 2016 Julep Maven customized box arrived a bit early this month (yesterday) because Julep apparently hit a bit of a snag with the production of their No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel and had to give us a rain check on that. Last I spoke to their customer service, there was no ETA on the sunscreen yet, so to make up for it, they gave us free expedited shipping for everything else in our boxes. I’m totally cool with that.

The box:

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Hot-pink tissue paper, blurple paper crinkles, and:

  • A quote card with a product photo and the Endless Summer theme text on one side and this month’s quote from American poet and Blue Mountain Arts co-founder Susan Polis Schutz on the other: “Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
  • 20% off coupon for Julep at Ulta Beauty – an actual physical store coupon this time, to celebrate Julep’s launch at Ulta. No promo code this month, folks, sorry!
  • Julep Fan Brush, an all-synthetic soft fan brush for my arsenal,
  • Eliza, “[i]nfinite ocean holographic,”
  • Pam, “[t]igerlily holographic,”
  • Ellis, “[p]ink dawn linear liquid holographic,”
  • Alysha, “[v]ivid pansy holographic,” and
  • Lemonhead lemon candy, this month’s freebie

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Eliza, Ellis, and Alysha were an add-on nail polish trio (Sunshine Sparkle, which totally sounds like a My Little Pony name). Eliza and Alysha are both new colors for this month and have really promising rainbows in the bottle! Pam looks a bit more frosty and subdued than those two, which I wasn’t expecting. Ellis is an older polish from September 2015 and doesn’t have the bright rainbows of Eliza and Alysha but should still be a holo. We shall see!

And because finding dupes in my existing collection is always half the fun, here’s Ellis next to L’Oreal Masked Affair:

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It doesn’t look like Ellis has the linearity of Masked Affair, but it could still be worth doing a face-off!🙂

I’ll do more photos of the fan brush for Part 2. To be continued when No Excuses comes in!

UPDATE 8/21/16: This was originally going to be half of a two-part post, but Julep’s since contacted Mavens who ordered No Excuses and let us know that it’s been delayed indefinitely due to unforeseen circumstances, so they gave us each a $50 code to spend on their website instead. I’m happy enough with that.🙂

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Zoya Bela & LynBDesigns The London Season

In a moment of ambivalence, I asked Mr. ‘Fiend what color I should paint my nails this week. He said pink, then white-pink when I asked for more specificity. So, I dug out a pale pink I hadn’t tried yet: Zoya Bela, which apparently achieved fame as the nail polish featured in Black Swan (which I haven’t watched yet but have heard is a great film).

This is day two of two coats, plus one coat LynBDesigns The London Season on the ring finger and all topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, photographed in outdoor natural light:

Bela is a semi-sheer cool-toned ballet-pink crelly/jelly polish, designed for use as a French manicure base but soft and pretty on its own. It’s still pretty sheer at two coats, as shown here, and could probably be mostly opaque in three. I kind of like it semi-sheer, though. The formula is pretty good, though it’s got a tendency to streak a bit, even at two coats, so it takes a bit of care to apply evenly. Glossy top coat helps, though! Dry time seemed average.

The London Season is from LynBDesigns’ Downton Abbey-inspired Meet Me at the Abbey collection and is a really fun glitter topper loaded pretty densely with transparent tiny hex glitter in red, green, blue, pink, yellow, and purple, as well as a pinch of transparent iridescent squares and microglitter. I can’t help but think of confetti and birthday cake when I see this glitter. The formula’s a bit goopy, but it’s easy enough to dab on and spread out the glitter where you want it. Dries fast.

I’m pretty happy with both polishes. The sheer/nude Bela is a nice palate cleanser between bright colors (I’m going to try one of this month’s Julep holo polishes in the next swatch, probably), and it’s nice that I’ve got someone that picks colors for me that I normally skip over when I pick out polish by myself! :]

Julep Tomi

I finally got around to polishing my nails for the first time in over two weeks! This week’s polish swatch: Julep Tomi, the Wonder Maven color from this month’s box. Here’s two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in natural outdoor light (bright sunlight):

Tomi is a yummy blue-raspberry-Icee turquoise crelly with fine holographic shimmer. I already liked the color when I saw it in Julep’s preview and in the bottle, but once I put it on – BAM! – I was flooded with nostalgic flashbacks to my childhood, of wandering the mall with my parents and that delicious, unnaturally blue slushie in my little hands. I can virtually taste it. That holo sparkle (just there enough to cast a noticeable but not-too-in-your-face twinkle throughout) helps bring on the fond Icee memories, too. Love.❤

The formula wasn’t bad. It’s easy to apply and reasonably opaque in two coats – just slightly transparent enough to give off that squishy jelly vibe and lend the shimmer some depth. I wish it dried a bit faster, though. I’d say dry time was a bit longer than average for me, but it’s not interminable like some other polishes I own. Quick-dry top coat helps a ton on the second coat!

…Seriously, it’s been almost two decades since I’ve had one, and I kind of want one of those blue Icees now.