Julep Eve

Two coats Julep Eve, no top coat, in outdoor direct sunlight:

Two coats #Julep Eve, no top coat, outdoor natural light. #nails #swatches #nailpolish #shimmer #matte #notd

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This one turned out to be an unexpected favorite for me. Julep calls it an “Iridescent Lilac Matte Shimmer,” which is spot-on. It’s a soft lavender with pink-to-green shifting shimmer, and it has a matte finish meant to be worn without top coat. In softer lighting, it matches my natural nail color pretty well, so it looks almost like a nude polish until the light hits it. I think the green shimmer contributes to that. Surprisingly subtle for a purple, but not at all boring!

The formula is pretty good but needs to be applied in thin layers. I accidentally put a thicker layer on some of my nails, and they didn’t dry well. I expected this polish to dry quickly because of the matte finish, but it definitely takes a bit longer than average to dry.

Otherwise, durability is good; not much tip wear, though some dings in the finish, and it’s already day 4. Not bad for me. Thumbs up!

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?