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?

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. :]

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?)



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!

Zoya PixieDust Vespa

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

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 Elsa & Julep Judy

It’s finally December, my favorite month and totally the best time to wear wintry whites and tinsel-esque metallics! I love winter polishes, I really do – and this month‘s Julep Maven featured add-on, Elsa, was a love-at-first-sight polish for me.

Here is two coats Elsa (no top coat) on all nails, except for two coats Julep Judy on the ring finger, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in indoor indirect natural light:

Elsa‘s described as a “[s]nowdrift iridescent stardust,” which is pretty much spot-on. Over the years, I’ve seen a number of attempts at a snow-textured polish (China Glaze There’s Snow One Like You¬†and Essie Peak of Chic, I’m looking at you), and I think they generally miss the mark a bit. Elsa, however, fully lives up to its snowdrift description. It’s a milky, semi-sheer cool-toned white base with fine white texture beads and opalescent/iridescent flake glitter, and it looks surprisingly like snow/slush in the best way.

In outdoor indirect sun (shows more of Elsa’s translucence and opalescent flakes):

Elsa dries matte and textured, and is meant to be worn without a top coat. The formula is easy enough to work with and dries on the fast side. No complaints whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Judy is a demure, somewhat desaturated and slightly¬†sheer pale gold/champagne metallic – pretty foil-like with how sparkly it is – with some subtle iridescent/holo shimmer thrown in. (Julep describes it as a “[m]oonbeam iridescent chrome,” but I would’ve expected a cooler hue, like a pale bluish or cool pearlescent silver, if given that description without a visual.) It¬†reminds me of Julep Love, but without the fuchsia¬†microglitter.

In direct outdoor natural light:

No problems with Judy’s formula, either. It was easy to work with and also dried on the faster side. Shiny and festive!

I really loved both these polishes. It was so awesome that they came in an add-on duo (Chilled Bubbly) for $7.99 this month (if I remember right). Such a great deal, especially because the colors added on separately would have been $6.99 individually. I’m not sure who in their right minds would have chosen to get just one of these polishes with the duo available – well, maybe if someone¬†really hated one of them, though I can’t imagine why anyone would. I hope Julep makes more of these great-value duos available as add-ons in future boxes. ūüôā

(TL;DR: Elsa = <3)

Julep July 2015 It Girl swatches: Juliana, Alyssa & Mara

I was so enamored with the color combination in this month’s Julep Maven It Girl box that I decided to swatch them together as skittles. (Well, that, and it’s so hard to find time to paint nails with a newborn – thank goodness for a helpful husband and family!)

Here’s two coats Julep Juliana on the index and pinky nails, two coats Julep Alyssa on the middle, and one coat Julep Mara on the ring. All nails are topped with¬†Essie Good to Go top coat, except for the Mara, which stands alone. This is in indirect natural light:

Juliana¬†(index & pinky) is a semi-sheer grapefruit-pink polish with what looks to me like a gold-to-pink shimmer. It could maybe build to opacity with a third coat, but I liked the luminous, translucent look at two coats. It looks so juicy! Even though the finish is a bit frosty, brushstrokes aren’t too obvious. The formula is easy to work with and dries pretty fast.

Alyssa¬†(middle) is a bold medium turquoise creme that, if applied carefully, can provide full coverage in one coat. (I used two coats because I accidentally dragged the brush in one spot and left a bald streak.) The formula is a bit thick and requires some care to apply, especially¬†in making sure excess¬†polish doesn’t drip down Julep’s long brush stem. Dry time was average for me.

Mara¬†(ring) is a saturated grape-sorbet purple textured polish with what looks like iridescent shimmer that seems to flash primarily gold and pink for me. It’s good to go in one coat! Application was flawless, and dry time was fast. I honestly can’t stop thinking of grape sorbet when I see this color, especially with the texture and sparkle reminiscent of frozen sweets.

Juliana’s sheerness and lit-from-within glow is maybe more obvious in this photo in indoor white-LED lighting:

I love all three colors, especially how they look together and remind me of summertime ice-box treats. Yum!

Did you get a Julep box this month, and what did you think of your haul?