Christmas nail art fail! (plus Zoya PixieDust Chita and Zoya Logan)

My nail art experiments don’t always turn out well, and unfortunately, that happened this Christmas! I figured I might as well post the abomination I wore through the holidays, partly because I don’t mind if my failure amuses someone and partly because a  couple nails in there are swatches of nail colors I haven’t posted yet. Who knows? Maybe, on the off chance, someone will find it a little useful.

Sorry, it really is pretty ugly. This was taken in indoor fluorescent lighting:

I was too tired and annoyed with it to bother cleaning up my mistakes, too, so doubly sorry about that.

Anyway, I’ll start with the two somewhat decent swatches:

  • MiddleZoya PixieDust Chita, a lovely army-green polish with silver glitter scattered throughout. Great coverage at one coat and great formula. It dries very quickly to a finely textured matte finish and looks slightly yellower-toned and more desaturated in person. Couldn’t be happier with this one and wish I painted all my nails in this! One coat shown above.
  • PinkyZoya Logan, which strikes me as an overall blue-leaning medium-green foil-y shimmer with some gold shimmer mixed in there to warm it up. It’s super shiny and opaque in two coats, and I had no problems with the formula. Two coats shown above.

Now for the nails that I mangled:

  • Index – I started with two coats of Logan and dotted on Julep Margot (metallic gold), which I wasn’t satisfied with. I ended up trying to add some red dots of Milani Ruby Jewels (bright cherry-red glitter), but the result looked horrifying – like I’d somehow gotten blood spattered on my polka-dot pattern. D: In the end, I slathered a thin coat of Essie Hors d’Oeuvres over the whole thing in an attempt to mute the ugliness, and the above photo is what I got. Bleh.
  • Ring – I started with two coats of Julep Nicolette (white creme) and attempted a candy-cane stripe with Ruby Jewels. Nicolette was hard to work with, as it was strangely both runny and clumpy, which caused me to flood the cuticles on both hands. D: Ugh. I then waited forever for it to dry, but even when it seemed safely dry to the touch, it apparently wasn’t dry enough to use tape, and the stripes I taped down ended up pulling up polish, leaving a huge gooey mess instead of the clean stripes I’d wanted. I ended up brushing a thin layer of Ruby Jewels over the top to cover up the ruined white areas, hoping I’d still get a subtle stripe pattern. I guess it worked somewhat, but the white showing around the edges was way gross.

Lessons I learned: don’t overdo it with the polka dots and make sure to understand the quirks of a white polish (notoriously hard to work with D:) before attempting to do tape stripes over it!

Hopefully, I’ll have some time to post up something less appalling soon. :] Happy New Year!

Zoya Magical PixieDust Nori

As soon as I saw this color announced on Zoya’s website, I knew I wanted to wear it for my birthday. ❤ Ah, Zoya. It’s one of my favorite brands these days. So many amazing colors!

This is two coats Zoya Magical PixieDust Nori, from the winter 2014 Wishes collection. No top coat, in indoor fluorescent light:

It’s a topaz-/royal-blue jelly loaded with what looks to me like fine silver and holo glitters, as well as a smattering of silver round glitters and larger holo hexes. It’s reasonably opaque in two coats and easy to work with, using the pretty standard-sized Zoya brush. No special glitter placement technique needed!

Like the other PixieDust polishes, this one is textured, though it’s not as chunky as you might expect with the glitter. On me, it dried almost as smooth as a regular glitter polish with top coat, so it might be a good choice for people who aren’t generally into textured polishes but like the look. I bet it’d smooth out beautifully with a good top coat.

Unfortunately, my phone camera didn’t capture all the delicious rainbow goodness from the holo glitters, and in person, the polish is much sparklier by at least three times. It’s really eye-catching, especially in brighter light. I wish I’d been able to capture better photos, but it’s been storming and raining here, so I had to settle for meh indoor lighting. (That’s probably my cue to go build myself a light box!)

Anyway, durability is good on this polish, even without top coat. I’ve been wearing it since Sunday, and I hardly see any tip wear. Pretty great.

I also have Thea (the amethyst-purple Magical PixieDust) from the Wishes collection, though I’ll probably do something more Christmas-y for next week before I get around to swatching that one. :]

Wishing you all a warm and safe holiday season!

Julep December 2014 Maven Box: The Countdown Collection, Modern Beauty (with promo code)

I finally got my December Julep Maven box in the mail yesterday! I haven’t had much time to polish my nails lately, with how busy I’ve been, so I decided to go with the Modern Beauty box this month. Here’s what I got:

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The Modern Beauty December 2014 Julep box, which came in two boxes (the eyeshadow shipping separately, for some reason), and wrapped in gold-flecked white tissue paper and purple paper crinkles:

  • Orbital Eyeshadow – I went with Zenith, the bronze/gold color (“[c]ocoa with gold pearlescence”)
  • Blank Canvas mattifying eye primer
  • The Countdown Collection description card, which included no extra discount codes this month
  • This month’s quote card: “No one looks stupid when they’re having fun.” – Amy Poehler
  • 30% off code – THIRTYOFF, and
  • 2 Red Bird Southern Refresh-Mints, the old-fashioned, chalky kind you sometimes get at restaurants – Mr. ‘Fiend and I ate them right away :]

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And the add-ons I picked this month:

  • Stroke of Midnight set, with Kristy (“[m]idnight blue crème” – the blue’s so dark, it looks almost black!) and Amira (“[s]ilver chunky holographic glitter top coat” – so pretty)
  • Silk Effect Top Coat because I love Julep’s silk finish polishes and wanted to try this out, and
  • Gel Eye Glider Sharpener (the funny oblong black-and-silver thing next to the peppermint candies) because, maybe because I use makeup so rarely, I actually didn’t have a good eye pencil sharpener yet, and this one’s got a cap for catching the shavings!

Because I picked up three add-ons, I also got a Blank Canvas plumping lip primer as a freebie. Nice!

I’m so glad that nothing was missing from my box this time. I hope this means Julep’s new distribution center is up to speed and can now handle orders competently!

Here’s the Orbital Eyeshadow in all its opened glory. It arrived in perfect condition, and the plastic case (which has a mirror set in the lid!) feels sturdy and well made, though the clasp is a bit stiff. I suppose that’s a good thing, since that means it’ll likely stay securely closed in a bag! The color’s, sadly, not as saturated of an orange gold-bronze as I’d expected from Julep’s promo pics (it’s a more muted golden color, like in the photo I posted below), but I’m still pretty excited to try it out.

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I know I haven’t been posting swatches as much lately – been too busy with work and planning for ‘Fiend Jr.’s impending arrival to polish nails – but I’ll have some time over the holidays, and I’m planning on posting a comparison between the matte and silk finish top coats sometime in the near future. :]