Julep Danica

Julep Danica, from maybe a couple weeks ago. Three coats, topped with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and taken in outdoor natural sunlight.

Danica‘s a lovely sheer-ish blue-violet metallic (what Julep calls a chrome finish) with a pink-to-turquoise shift. I think it’s primarily the pink flash that pushes it over to blurple. The base color seems to be more of a straight-up car-paint blue.

No problems with the formula, though it took a little longer to dry than average and needed three coats for reasonable opacity. Durability was roughly average, though I can’t tell if it chipped because I was hard on my nails that week.

I don’t know if you can see it in this photo (it’s visible in some of my swatch photos from the recent past, I think), but I’d accidentally sliced into my middle fingernail with a cleaver sometime ago while cutting a particularly recalcitrant lime, and it left a gross (and painful) U-shaped flap in the nail that finally couldn’t hang on any longer after I removed Danica. I had to take a little break from nail polish to let it grow out and heal, but it’s nearly there , so I’ll probably resume this lacquer journal soon!

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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. ūüôā

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?

Illamasqua Viridian & Glitterati

I got these polishes on clearance after the holidays from Sephora some years ago, before they stopped carrying Illamasqua products, and I busted them out again this year because I missed wearing them!

Here’s Illamasqua Viridian, one coat, on all nails, except for two coats Illamasqua Glitterati on the accent nail, all topped with Essie Good to Go top coat. In outdoor natural light on day 2:

Viridian¬†is a lovely metallic evergreen (blue-toned, somewhat dusty green) with fine silver shimmer. The bottle seems to show some blue duochrome/dichroic flash, but it doesn’t really show on the nail. Best thing is it’s got a great formula that’s completely opaque in one coat. So awesome. It’s still one of my favorite greens/teals. (I did a comparison post of several similar polishes earlier, if you’re interested!) Dry time was around average.

Glitterati is jewel-toned berry jelly with various sized holo glitters and some kind of fine iridescent shimmer that flashes blue from some angles. I seriously love this polish, and my crappy photo unfortunately doesn’t do it justice. The depth and coverage is good at two coats, but it’s a bit too uneven at one. No complaints about the formula, which dried pretty fast.

Both of these polishes lasted about four days or so with my typical base and top coats – pretty average for me.

Happy new year!

Julep Mercedes & Julep Bree

Quick swatches of my last two months’ nail polish picks from my monthly Julep Maven boxes: Julep Mercedes and Julep Bree.

Two coats each, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light:

Mercedes¬†from November, described by Julep as a “canyon rose metallic,” is what looks to me like a cocoa-brown base with rose-gold shimmer. Beautiful and not like anything else I had in my stash. Very autumn-y.

Bree¬†from this month is a sort of pearlescent champagne-gold base with fine silver flakie-type glitters. It reminds me a bit of Julep Love and those Maybelline Color Show Brocade polishes from a few years ago, but with different glitter. Could be a good New Year’s polish!

Both polishes have great formulas and are fully opaque in two coats, though the coverage is pretty good even in one coat. Dry time seemed slightly faster than average, and durability was great. These nails lasted me over a week (!), though part of that could be some slight residue from the gel manicure they replaced.

Julep Dakota & The Lady Varnishes Pumpkin Head

I did my Halloween nails a bit early this year, since I’ll be at Cuttlewig’s wedding this weekend and will probably be wearing something less garish. ;D

This is 2 coats¬†Julep Dakota¬†(index & pinky) and¬†The Lady Varnishes Pumpkin Head (middle & ring), topped with¬†Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light. (The light’s a bit bluish because it was early in the day.)

Julep Dakota is an older Julep polish that I’d had sitting around but hadn’t gotten around to trying until now. It still had its shrink wrap on! Dakota’s a “[r]ose gold metallic chrome,” per Julep. Very coppery, like a new penny, with a kind of frosty finish that shows brushstrokes if you’re not careful. Top coat helps, though. I had no problems with the formula and got full opacity in two easy coats. Dry time seemed average.

The Lady Varnishes Pumpkin Head is a lovely grape-soda purple jelly packed with “brown microglitter, iridescent hexes and a mix of orange, copper and green dots” (from the maker’s description, which seems accurate!). Mine smells like pumpkin pie¬†(you can pick a scent when you order) because I thought it’d be fun – and it really does smell kind of like a pumpkin spice latte or something along those lines! I had to fish around for the bigger glitters and do some dabbing to get them in place, but otherwise, the formula was great. Reasonably opaque in two coats and dries on the faster side. A little bumpy, like you’d expect from a chunky glitter, and it’s got a semi-matte finish if you don’t add top coat.

No complaints about either of these polishes! They were fun to wear, especially Pumpkin Head, and they lasted an average length of time for me without chipping (about 3-4 days).

Zoya Channing

I busted out an old favorite recently:¬†Zoya Channing. I just had a huge hankering to wear it, which means something, since I own so many polishes that I gotta admit I’ve rarely worn the same¬†polish more than once or twice. ūüôā

Here’s two coats in outdoor natural light, topped with¬†Essie Good to Go top coat:

Channing‘s from Zoya’s 2013 fall collection, and I love it just as much today as I did three years ago. ‚̧ It’s a fiery, coppery metallic red-orange with a rosy pink base, interestingly enough. You can’t usually see the pink, but when the light hits just right, it’s there. I think it’s the subtle pink cast that does it for me over other red oranges.

Great formula, easy to apply, dries reasonably fast, and opaque in two coats. What is there not to love?

On a side note, I think my fervor for nail polish has generally somewhat mellowed as of late, though not because I love lacquer any less. It’s just that my need to acquire new polishes¬†has kind of plateaued, probably because I’ve got so many at this point that I typically feel my color needs are mostly sated, and it takes a lot to really excite me about a polish these days.

I did recently lust after the new Pure Ice Halloween collection for this year, which has some fun Halloween-themed glow-in-the-dark glitter toppers at an eye-popping $2 per bottle…but I’ve tried two Walmarts so far with no luck. I don’t want to pay a scalper $6-7 bucks for them, either! I guess the search continues. ūüôā