Zoya PixieDust Beatrix

All right, last swatch for tonight, and I’ll be all caught up. This is Zoya PixieDust Beatrix from my untried stash, three coats, no top coat, outdoor natural light:

Zoya describes Beatrix as a “tangerine metal sparkle,” textured, matte, and foil twinkle. I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. The sunny, yellow-leaning orange is so juicy and cheerful looking! The texture is pretty much identical to that of other similar Zoya PixieDust polishes, not too chunky or rough, and it dries down to a nice textured metallic sparkle. The base is a little squishy-feeling, like a jelly.

I found Beatrix to be a little thinner than other PixieDusts, though, as it took three coats instead of the usual two, and the formula seemed to take longer to dry than usual – about average for nail polishes generally instead of super speedy like many textured polishes. Application was a piece of cake, though.

Thumbs up overall – fun color from the summer 2013 collection. 🙂

Essie Lots of Lux

I think I’ve worn this color at least a couple times before, but a quick search in my nail journal here says I’ve apparently never posted a swatch! This is Essie Lots of Lux, from the Encrusted Treasures collection from the 2013 holiday season.

Lots of Lux is a royal-blue textured polish that Essie describes as a “shimmering lapis lazuli blue nail lacquer with a super fine matte finish.” It looks a bit brighter and less purplish than the blue I associate with lapis, but it’s definitely multifaceted and jewel-like, with what looks to me like a bright metallic blue base and a touch of both silver and turquoise shimmer, and maybe a pinch of silver micro glitter with the blue texture particles. There’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.

At two coats, the polish was pretty opaque, but it didn’t really dry matte for me and had more of a muted metallic finish. The photo above is on day 2 and without top coat. Application was easy. It dried relatively quickly but chipped pretty quickly, too. I think this lasted all of 3-4 days. Beautiful while it lasted, though! Also, textured polishes touch up easily, so there’s that to make up for the below-average durability.

Removal was easy compared to a hardcore glitter, but it’s tougher than a creme, as can be expected of this type of polish.

…I’ve got naked nails now. What color to wear next?

Nuance Nightshadow | Face-off: Julep Desiree vs. Revlon Holographic Pearls

Here’s a quick comparison of Julep Desiree, a holographic top coat that came as a free gift with this month’s Julep Maven monthly box, and Revlon Holographic Pearls, which I previously tried over a shimmer polish with less dramatic effect. (They’re not all that similar, and I may even own other holo toppers that are more dupe-y, but this is just what I grabbed.)

In outdoor natural light, I’ve got two coats of Nuance Nightshadow (a dark blue creme) on all nails, plus:

  • index: Essie Good to Go top coat (1 coat)
  • middle & pinky: Julep Desiree (1 coat)
  • ring: Revlon Holographic Pearls (1 coat) + Essie Good to Go top coat (1 coat)

First things first: Nuance Nightshadow is great – dries on the fast side and super glossy even without top coat, and the formula is easy to apply. Opaque in two coats. (Nuance is Salma Hayek’s CVS-exclusive brand, and the nail colors I’ve seen aren’t especially adventurous, but the ones I’ve tried have good formulas and durability.)

Julep Desiree is a delicate holo top coat with a clear base. It’s a subtle and beautiful effect, and the formula is easy to apply and provides good coverage (in terms of shimmer density, not opacity, obviously) in one coat. It dries a tad on the slow side, though. A quick-dry top coat could help with that.

Revlon Holographic Pearls is like a gaudy disco ball next to Desiree, but hey, sometimes that’s what you want! Against Nightshadow, it’s clear how glitter-packed HP is in just one coat, and it’s definitely not subtle. HP dries matte on its own, but I added an extra layer of glossy top coat for better rainbows. This one dries pretty fast, and no complaints on application.

Here’s another shot in different lighting, to give you a better idea of the holo rainbow effect:

I had the coffee shakes and was pretty sloppy, sorry!

Anyway, there you have it, in case anyone ever wondered how these two holo toppers look side by side.

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 sandy-textured with a metallic finish and iridescent flecks. It’s got that fine PixieDust texture that’s not too rough to the touch.

Zoya Oswin is a raspberry red textured polish 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!), mostly because of the larger glitters. It’s also got the usual sand-like PixieDust texture beads. 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. :]

Zoya PixieDust Vespa

Quick swatch post: Zoya PixieDust Vespa – an older color and one of my favorites. 🙂

This is three coats, no top coat, in outdoor natural light. (It’s a second-day photo, and I just realized that I’d already chipped the index nail a little. Oops.)

Vespa is a textured, beautiful dusty, silvery, soft sage-y green. It’s got a jelly-like textured base generously mixed with silver microglitter and takes three thin coats to build up to opacity. (The nail line is very visible at two coats, but it doesn’t look bad, if you don’t mind it somewhat sheer.) I like that Vespa is obviously green, but it’s a neutral enough color that it plays well with many other colors.

The formula’s easy to apply, but it doesn’t have the super quick dry time of many other textured polishes and seemed to take about an average amount of time (for a typical, non-textured polish) to dry. I got impatient with the third coat and used quick-dry drops to speed things up a bit, which worked great. (I’d have probably been more patient if I hadn’t been in a hurry and expecting it to dry quicker because of its sandy finish, so if you think of it as a regular polish, the dry time probably won’t bother you. :))

Durability so far is pretty good, as it typically is with Zoya’s PixieDusts. Other than that one chip, I’ve had hardly any tip wear so far, which is saying a lot, since I’ll usually have visible nail tips one day in. Overall, still one of my favorite spring-y colors.

Julep Kris & Julep Cheyenne

Today’s swatch post is two coats of Julep Kris topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, except the ring finger, which is one coat of Julep Cheyenne. These were the November 2015 Julep Maven Bombshell box colors, which I borrowed from my sister, since I skipped that month. (Application’s kind of messy, since I slapped these on in a rush before Thanksgiving preparations. Also, please excuse the tip wear – I didn’t have time to take photos until day two!)

In direct outdoor natural light:

Kris is described by Julep as a “[a]rctic iridescent chrome.” The polish isn’t what comes to mind for me when hearing the words “iridescent chrome,” but I guess I can see where they’re coming from. It’s a clear base suspended with super-shiny cool-toned silver shimmer particles – not especially densely so, but it’s buildable and semi-opaque in two thin coats, like in my photos. The shimmer particles are a bit chunkier than a typical shimmer and give a slightly textured effect, but it’s not quite chunky enough that I’d call it microglitter. The particles are a touch iridescent, but it’s not immediately obvious. The finish also isn’t a smooth metallic, like I associate with chromes. Instead, it strikes me as more of a slightly sheer/sparse foil, if that makes sense.

The formula was easy enough to apply, but as I’ve mentioned, it’s a tad sheer and could have maybe used a third coat for better opacity, though it looks fine with two. It also seems to have a longer than average dry time (unfortunately).

Another shot in direct sunlight:

Cheyenne is a brick-red matte metallic, which Julep describes as a “[a]uburn matte metallic.” The description is spot-on, though I found the color a tad more orange/brown-leaning than the swatches Julep posted. The formula was perfect on this one: applied carefully, it was opaque in one coat, and it dried fast! Gorgeous color overall.

In indirect sunlight (shade):

So shiny!

I liked both these colors pretty well. The slow dry time on Kris stressed me out before meal prep, but the shininess of the finish kind of makes up for it. No complaints whatsoever about Cheyenne.

Did you get a November 2015 Julep box, and how did you like your box?

More Julep May 2015 Mystery Box swatches: Julep Bea & Julep Marcella (plus Julep Marcy & Revlon Whimsical)

I didn’t think I’d make it to another swatch post before I became too busy with ‘Fiend Jr. to paint my nails, but I guess she’s still too comfy in there to bother coming out. 😉

Anyway, I liked this month’s Julep Mystery Box colors a lot and wanted to swatch more of them! Here is:

  • Thumb: three coats Julep Bea,  a “[l]emonade crème,”
  • Index & pinky: two coats Julep Marcy, a “Prosecco silk (semi-matte opalescent)” released this March that wasn’t actually part of the Mystery Box but which I got for free with my order using code SPRINGFUN,
  • Middle: two coats Julep Marcella, a  “[w]eathered pink crème” and the other Mystery Box new exclusive aside from Shayla, and
  • Ring: seven(!) coats Revlon Whimsical, obviously not part of the mystery box, but it’s one of my absolute favorite nail polishes ever.

This is in outdoor indirect natural light (sun’s setting over here), and Bea and Marcella are topped with Essie Good to Go top coat (the other two have no top coat):

First, the two May 2015 Mystery Box polishes:

Julep Marcella (middle) is a cool-leaning medium orchid-pink creme, and it’s wonderful. I doubt I’d ever wear a full manicure of this type of pink myself, but its brightness is fun in small doses (you may like it in large doses, too, if you’re a pink lover!), and the formula is excellent. It was almost fully opaque in one coat and could probably be a one-coater if I’d been more careful. With a glossy top coat, the creamy texture really shines through. Great application, and dry time seemed on the fast side of average.

Julep Bea (thumb) is a pastel lemony cool-leaning yellow crelly/creme, and its formula is a bit more watery, though not difficult to apply. It was still a tad patchy/streaky after two coats for me, so I needed a third to even it out. A fourth coat may help even more. It also dried on the fast side of average for me and, besides the thin formula, I found it pretty easy to work with. I love the bright-but-muted color, but the extra coats required is only somewhat mitigated by its relatively fast dry time.

Julep Marcy (index & pinky) is an off-white silk-finish polish with gold/pearlescent shimmer – basically what I’d hoped Julep Bunny would be like, as Bunny’s advertised gold shimmer just doesn’t show on the nail. Marcy, thankfully, does have decently visible shimmer! It dries to a mildly textured matte similar to an eggshell finish. Great formula on this one as well – it takes about two to three coats for full opacity, depending on your application style, but it dries so fast, you probably won’t care, even if you need to add a third coat. It’s meant to be worn without top coat and looks nice that way. I haven’t tried it with top coat, but I bet it’d be lovely when glossy, as well.

Revlon Whimsical (ring) is part of Revlon’s permanent collection and probably the polish I’ve worn the most times – which says a lot because I own so many that I don’t repeat colors too often, even ones I really like. It’s a very sheer baby blue/soft aquamarine jelly with a sprinkling of multi-sized hex glitters in pink and blue. This polish takes patience, as it’s very sheer and looks best with multiple thin layers applied when the layer underneath dries completely for that yummy, milky, squishy jelly-sandwich look. I’m not exaggerating when I say I used seven thin layers to get the opacity pictured above. You can use a similar-colored creme undercoat to speed things up, but I personally prefer the glassy, slightly translucent layered jelly/glitter look. Your mileage may vary, but I think it’s worth applying the five to seven layers! Dry time is average, and other than needing lots of coats if you want any semblance of opacity, application is great, with no special glitter placement necessary.

Bottom line: Marcella and Shayla are both excellent exclusives that make the May 2015 Julep Mystery Box a real winner for me. Totally worth it. Thanks for renewing my interest in trying out future mystery boxes, Julep! ❤