Thursday, February 28, 2013

Zoya PixieDust Textured Nail Polishes - Swatches & Reviews

Infused with magic and wonder! The latest "must-have" nail polish finish - textured, matte and sparkling! This newly developed formula is sure to captivate with a magical sparkle and sugary finish like no other. The color experts at Zoya have created six, long-wearing stunners for the introduction of this enchanting look. [Source]

Bringing us the latest in nail polish technology, Zoya has released six new textured polishes in a somewhat non-traditional assortment of colors fittingly named the PixieDust polishes. I'll admit that when I first heard about the textured nail polish trend, without even trying it I wasn't into it. Don't we go to great lengths to smooth over rough glitters and do our nails well before bed time to avoid the dreaded "sheet marks"? But after seeing the PixieDust polishes in person for the first time backstage at Timo Weiland, I became intrigued by the matte & glittery manicures the models were sporting and couldn't wait to try them myself.

Let's talk about the application. Here's what Zoya recommends:
IMPORTANT PixieDust Application Information -  Do not use a base coat or top coat. Apply 1-3 (for full coverage) thin coats of polish. Allow product to dry down completely matte in between layers for full textured effect. The PixieDust textured formula may take up to 10 minutes to dry completely matte. Once dry, the textured finish is long lasting, matte and ultra-glittery! [Source]
Pretty simple, really. I found that the formula on all of these polishes was the same - the polish flows off the brush and onto the nail just like a "normal" polish. The consistency isn't too thick and isn't too thin. The first coat feels pretty gritty but after (2) you'll see the magic happen. For all swatches below, I used (3) thin coats. Because of this new wizardry formula that creates the textured finish, I was concerned the brush would stiffen up but it didn't at all.

Also worth mentioning - the PixieDust polishes are deceptively drying. Your polish may appear and even feel dry to the touch, but the layer/s underneath might still be a little gooey. Give yourself a lot of time between coats. Go play a level of Plants vs Zombies. You don't need to use a base coat and a top coat (seriously), so basically the time spent will equal out to a "regular" manicure :)


Chyna is a deep cherry red with fine red glitter. This was one polish I could not stop looking at when I wore it! The red glitter really puts this one over the top. I wore (3) coats.

Here is a side view to better show the texture:


Godiva is a sandy nude with fine silver glitter that really look like sand has been glued on your nails. I wore (3) coats. If you think Godiva is too yellow for your skintone, experiment with layering Chyna over it or under it.


London is a concrete grey with fine silver glitter. Below is a good example of what happens when you apply the PixieDust polishes too thick - see how it looks more lumpy than sandy? I wore (3) coats.


Nyx is a periwinkle greyish blue with fine silver glitter. I wore (3) coats.


As in... Princess Vespa? Daughter of Roland, King of the Druids? This soft sage green color isn't the best with my red-based skin tone. Vespa is a bit of a chameleon and almost looks grey in some lighting. The glitter is also fine sliver. I wore (3) coats.


Dahlia is a black polish with fine silver glitter. The silver appears much more sparkly in contrast, but the black lightens up a bit after the polish dries. I wore (3) coats, however Dahlia is more pigmented and I may have been able to get away with (2).

Since each layer of the PixieDust polishes are applied thin, the color is build-able and able to be layered over other colors to create a custom shade. I learned this trick from the Zoya team backstage at Timo Weiland :) Using the layering concept, I created a gradient/ombre with Nyx and Godiva. I am wearing (3) coats of Godiva as underwear with (1) coat of Nyx on my ring finger, (2) on my middle finger, and (3) on my pointer finger. You wouldn't need to wear your base color on the final finger of course - I just happened to already be wearing Godiva ;)

Will I rip my tights?

Probably not. The PixieDust polishes feel sandy to the touch but are not harsh like sand paper or a nail file. If you let the polish hang over the edge of your nail, I could see how that might dry and snag something. Try not to rub your nails on your tights if you can avoid it just to be safe, but basically you're more likely to rip your tights with the sharp edges of your nails than due to these polishes.

Are they a PITA to remove?

The PixieDust polishes are easier to remove than a true glitter nail polish but do take a little more effort than your average non-glitter polish. Chyna in particular was a bit of a horror show to remove. Those little red glitters held on strong to my nails and took a really good scrubbing to get off, leaving my fingers a red mess with glitter everywhere. I didn't have nearly as much difficultly removing the others.

Textured Nail Polish - here for good or a passing fad?

Textured nail polish intrigues me. Seeing and feeling my glittery, bumpy nails is novel. But will this trend last or will it go the way of the shatter/crackle polishes? Will textured polishes end up collecting dust in clearance bins around the world? That's still to be known, but it seems many of the major nail polish companies are jumping right into this trend and soon we will have a rainbow of textured polishes to choose from :)

Final Thoughts!

After trying the PixieDust polishes, I like them. Zoya's formula is easy to work with and Chyna and Dahlia in particular I am looking to forward wearing again.

I like that the textured finish makes a PixieDust manicure "ding-proof" - aka when you put a big scratch right in the middle of your shiny polished nail. Unlike how matte polishes end up getting shiny, the PixieDust polishes stay matte. I did notice that small fibers of fuzz and foundation would get embedded in the tiny bumps = #pixiedustproblems, I know, but worth mentioning (or maybe not).

The Zoya team chose an interesting selection of colors for these first PixieDust polishes. For an initial collection, I would have thought a pink or a purple would have been included. In future PixieDust collections, I would love to see Zoya play with mixing the glitter color and base color. My dream PixieDust polish would be a deep plum with bright turquoise flecks of glitter! Zoya fairies, are you listening?

Phew I think that covers all things PixieDust,but please do let me know if you have any questions :)

What are your thoughts about the PixieDust polishes and the textured polish trend?

Zoya PixieDust nail polishes retail for $9.00 and the collection is available online. In New York City, Zoya can be purchased at several locations including Gideon's Drugs (1385 Broadway, corner of 38th St) and Ulta in the Rego Park Center. The PixieDust polishes should be in stock soon. See the full list of retailers here.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. This post contain an affiliate link. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Birchbloggers Win! Jouer Body Butter and Signature Fragrance Rollerball

Taking a small detour from nail polish today... I've been spending a ton of time working on reviews (PixieDust polishes will be on the blog later this week!), the spring trends post, and I still have fashion week pictures and fashion week inspired manicures to share... but today I want to talk about two products I recently won that have worked their way into my daily routine.

One night after a crazy long day I opened an email from Birchbloggers (the Birchbox blogger network - sign up here) and read about the chance to win some Jouer goodies by sending a Tweet. In my sleepy state, I managed to string together the correct hashtags and words and hit send. What do you know, I won, and that's how these products came into my life! Moral of the story... if I can win something, so can you :)

Jouer Signature Fragrance Rollerball

Bursting with heady notes of jasmine, Jouer’s signature scent has the ability to instantly lift our spirits. A single whiff conjures up images of fragrant botanical gardens. A Birchbox exclusive, this slim retro-inspired rollerball makes a beautiful addition to your purse or vanity. [Source]

This is one powerful little rollerball! The Jouer Signature Fragrance smells exactly like flowers. Not "similar to" or "inspired by", but real flowers. The main scents are jasmine, gardenia, and honeysuckle - I'm no expert, but I found honeysuckle to be more prominent. It's not too overpowering and the rollerball applicator is perfect for controlling intensity - sometimes you just want to wear a little, and sometimes you want a lot! The consistency was a bit oily and it did take a minute to absorb into my skin, but it lasted a good 3-4 hours. I think a lot of it rubbed off on my coat sleeves and scarf though :) I know fragrance preferences will vary, but I personally love this scent. For reference, my go-to fragrances are Marc Jacobs Daisy and small amounts of the original Juicy Couture. At $42, this little guy isn't cheap but the scent is just so fantastic that I might need to repurchase it. Link!

Jouer Body Butter $32

We pay plenty of attention to the skin on our face, but often forget about the rest of our body. This intensely hydrating butter is exactly what your limbs need. The formula is loaded with naturally nourishing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba, and coconut oil, and sinks in quickly to rehydrate skin. Thanks to the subtle blend of gardenia, jasmine, and honeysuckle scents, you’ll smell as good as you feel. [Source]

The Jouer Body Butter has the same amazing floral fragrance as the rollerball. It's not the thickest or most hydrating body butter I've ever tried, but I love how well it absorbs and leaves my skin feeling soft and not at all greasy. At $32, this is an expensive indulgence and at 3.32 oz, it's far from value sized. If you're seeking a practical and economical body butter to get the job done, this might not be the product for you. This is more of a luxury product to use on occasion. Link!

Have you ever won anything by sending a Tweet? I'd love to know! And if you haven't... it's totally possible :) Thanks, Birchbloggers, for this awesome prize.

PS - are you a blogger? You might want to sign up to receive emails from Birchbloggers, that's where I heard about this giveaway opportunity.

I won these products. Read my disclosure policy here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Zoya at NYFW: Backstage at Rafael Cennamo Fall/Winter 2013 and New Custom Color "Maria Luisa"

Modern glamour for classic beauties...Rafael Cennamo, known for his fearless luxury fashions and is fond of strong colors, luxurious fabrics and his innovative take on glamour. No matter what the season - the Cennamo world is a beautiful place to be! This season, Cennamo collaborated with the color experts at Zoya Nail Polish to create a custom gilded golden topper, named Maria Luisa. This color worn over other hues add an oppulent touch to his already stunning style.

After using an assortment of Zoya polishes in his Spring 2013 presentation, it was absolutely delightful to learn that designer Rafael Cennamo would again be working with Zoya. This time, Cennamo created a custom Zoya nail polish of his own! Named after his mother, Maria Luisa is an antique gold flaky top coat that so perfectly matched the gorgeous dresses in his A/W 2013 presentation. While this gilded golden topper isn't available for purchase yet, I've got my fingers crossed that Zoya will release Maria Luisa in a future collection.

The models wore Maria Luisa over the dark espresso brown Zoya nail polish Angelina.

I'm not sure the safety pin eyebrow look is going to catch on...


Here's one of the amazing dresses that inspired the polish - I would just love to see an actress wear this at the Oscars :)

See more backstage photos after the break...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekend Shopping: Name Snookie's Nail Polish, New Collaboration Polishes from piCture pOlish, Illamasqua's Speckled Nail Polishes, and More!

Happy weekend! If feels like this week just flew by... do you have any plans for the weekend? We're heading to Brooklyn tomorrow to learn all about the fine art of home brewing and I still have a lot of posts to write about Fashion Week :)

Illamasqua's Speckled nail polishes are available now online at Sephora! I'm in love with the pale blue one.

piCture pOlish released two new collaboration polishes: Paradise by Liquid Jelly and Starry Night by Llarowe! Purchase piCture pOlish nail polishes herehere, or here.

Help Snooki name her new nail polishes.

Have you heard about Beauty Booked yet? It's kind of like a "Babysitters Club" of salons ;)

butter LONDON named the shimmering indigo blue Scouse the must-have nail color of London Fashion Week A/W 2013. I haven't seen this one in person but from the description, it sounds pretty excellent.

INGLOT is adding three new glitter nail polishes to their line-up: 232 (blue), 233 (pale pink), and 234 (yellow). The new polishes will be part of the "Nightlife Collection" and will be available tomorrow at INGLOT boutiques and online:

Zoya's PixieDust polishes are in stock! I got mine, did you order yours yet?

BaubleBar's NYC pop-up shop is open through March 3rd. Details here. I went last weekend and got some goodies :)

What's on your weekend shopping list?

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

butter LONDON Nordstrom Exclusive: Stag Do

New York Fashion Week A/W '13 is all about stunning colour. Meet Stag Do, the hottest colour on the catwalks. A deep slate blue creme nail lacquer with a slight green shimmer. Snag yours today, before it's too late! -butter LONDON

Stag Do is one butter LONDON's Nordstrom exclusive polishes (the other being Two Fingered Salute). In addition to my love of blackened teal polish, the "slight green shimmer" was what really drew me in!

Just look at how intense the shimmer looks in butter's signature angular bottle. The shimmer is not only green, but my eyes saw some blue and pink bits as well. In the bottle, Stag Do reminds me of a toned-down and less sparkly version of Jack the Lad (review).

On the nail, Stag Do looks like a much different polish. The intense green shimmer doesn't translate on the nail, and even in direct sunlight it's hardly noticeable. Deceptive shimmer aside, I really do adore this shade of polish on my nails. It's a very wearable teal (as opposed to the brighter or more vivid kinds of teal you would notice from across a room!) and has a touch of smoky/murkiness that's perfect for winter.

The formula of Stag Do is perfection. Over butter LONDON Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat (aka my go-to base coat), it wasn't too thick, not streaky, and so opaque it's almost perfect in one coat. The opaque formula may be the culprit concealing the beautiful shimmer! I did unfortunately experience some less-than-awesome tip wear after only a couple days :/

Compared to other deep smoky teal polishes, Stag Do is bluer than Zoya Noot (review) and darker than Essie Go Overboard. Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam may be close (I don't have it). Any other polishes come to mind?

Oh, and the name? Stag Do is a British bachelor party :)

Stag Do is available on butter LONDON's website as well as on Nordstrom.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

étoile at NYFW: Novis Fall/Winter 2013 Presentation

Diamond dust-infused nail polish by New York City based company étoile adorned the nails of models at Novis' debut New York Fashion Week presentation.

The models wore three coats of the dazzling sheer white Asscher (reviewed here) with small black Swarovski crystals on the middle and ring fingers. While the polish was subtle, the crystals were a fun addition and a clever pairing with étoile's signature diamond dust ingredient.


The models wore outfits in varying colors, textures, and patterns. I'm loving the bangs!


Velour jumpsuit - yay or nay?

It was great to see étoile polishes at NYFW and wonderful to meet the brand's creator Erin. I even got a glimpse of two new polishes! Shop online for étoile polishes:

See more backstage and presentation pictures after the break...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Serum No 5" Swatches and Reviews (Part 1)

In the mood for a unique glitter polish? Looking to spice up a day or two old mani? Indie nail polish brand Serum No 5 has got you covered! Hand made in sunny California, Serum No 5 offers a wide range of polishes from subtle and shimmery to colorful and glittery. I recently received an assortment of Serum No 5 polishes to review for you and each polish is so different from the next, there's sure to be a polish for all tastes.

Call It a 'Treuse

Call It a 'Treuse is a sheer metallic grassy green polish infused with tiny green glitter a dash of small and large purple hexagonal glitter. These colors are so great together, don't you think? The purple bits come out of the bottle easily - I just adore the speckled look. The formula was quite sheer and the next time I put it on, I'll layer it over another polish... a gold, perhaps? I'm wearing (4) coats of Call It a 'Treuse below.

Barely There

Barely There is a semi-sheer pinky nude with tiny silver sparkle, holo glitter, and larger silvery-white hexagonal pieces. The formula was a bit watery but not unmanageable and the glitter pieces were easy to apply. I am totally loving this shade of putty pink/"broken in ballet slippers" pink! I'm wearing (3) coats of Barely There below.

Mint to Be

Mint to Be is a cool toned mint green with bluish-green shimmer and silvery-white hexagonal pieces. The addition of the bluish-green shimmer keeps Mint to Be from being Barely There's counterpart, but the idea is similar. The formula of Mint to Be is on the sheer side but the formula is a great consistency. The hexagonal pieces were sparse - I only was able to pull out (2-3) per nail per coat - but add up with each layer. I'm wearing (3) coats below.


Fallen is a magnificently fiery concoction of amber shimmer, large golden yellow hexagonal pieces, and smaller red hexagonal pieces. There might even be more going on here that I can't make out :) Fallen is sheer but makes an excellent layering polish. I'm wearing (2) coats of Fallen over Wet & Wild Black Creme below.

Forest Lights

Forest Lights is a sheer polish with a shimmery metallic green base and varying sizes of green hexagonal glitter and white square glitter. There are also golden glitter bits throughout - the "lights", perhaps? Keeping with the natural/woodsy vibe of it's name, I chose to layer Forest Lights over an Earthy brown base :) The green shimmer has the ability to transform your base color - I'd love to try it over a sky blue next! I'm wearing (1) coat of Forest Lights below over Zoya Dea. Quick note - the large green hexagonal glitter looks more teal below than it is in real life.

Rise and Grind

Here's another polish with so much happening I don't know if I can identify it all... in Rise and Grind's brown jelly base there are white hexagonal pieces, larger golden brown hexagonal pieces, and golden yellow shimmer. The glitter pieces are very evenly distributed and you can control the amount of pieces by adding more coats of polish. I liked the way (2) coats looked over the deep espresso brown Zoya Angelina. This one reminds me of Cirque French Roast (which I am yet to swatch).

What do you think? Are any of these polishes going on your wish list? I still have six more Serum No 5 polishes to share with you so I hope you'll come back and check them out :)

Serum No 5 nail polishes can be purchased on Etsy. Full sized bottles (15mL) retail for $12 and mini bottles (9mL) retail for $7. Keep up with the latest from Serum No 5 on Facebook.

Here's what Serum No 5's creator Victoria has to say: "I love nail art and take the extra time to make each polish unique and special by hand mixing each in small batches, meaning that there may be some separation and slight variances between batches. This makes every lacquer unique and special. All of my lacquers are made with high quality pigments, micas, glitters, and of course are 3 free. Every month, a charitable donation is made in an amount equal to 20% of the profits of all lacquers sold." [source]

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Swatches! Zoya & Zang Toi Custom Colors: Imperial Russia, Chinoiserie Fantasy, and Peterhof Palace

For the second season at New York Fashion Week, designer Zang Toi and the nail polish experts at Zoya collaborated to create custom nail polishes inspired by the colors and textures of the fabrics used in the show. The result was once again stunning. This season's collaboration yielded three new jewel-toned nail polishes: Catherine the Great (sapphire), Imperial Russia (purple), and Chinoiserie Fantasy (emerald). See how these polishes were used in Zang Toi's runway show here.

The Zang Toi custom colors Imperial Russia and Chinoiserie Fantasy may be available as soon as today. As of now, the official purchase info hasn't been released yet so I'd suggest checking Zoya's Facebook page :) The third color in the trio is the gold polish Ziv from Zoya's holiday 2012 collection. Ziv was renamed Peterhof Palace for the occasion. The sapphire I showed you yesterday Catherine the Great will be released in the fall.

Update: The trio is now available! Purchase info can be found here
Update 2: Due to the unbelievable response and high demand for the LE Imperial Russia Trio, the initial production SOLD OUT in only 2 days!  In response to the high demand, a second production has been initiated on the designer box and all orders placed after 2pm EST, 02/19/2013 will be treated as a pre-order to be shipped 03/05/13 or sooner. Buy it here!

Imperial Russia

Imperial Russia is a deep, cool purple with tiny bits of red and blue shimmer. Zoya sure knows how to do purple polish! Imperial Russia has a glassy, shiny, ornament-like finish similar to Elisa (reviewed here). The red and blue shimmer is subtle and reminded me of Suri (also reviewed here). Imperial Russia has a thick formula and I only needed (2) coats. This cool and deep shade of purple reminds me of Finger Paints It's An Original... a proper comparison may be in order!

Chinoiserie Fantasy

Chinoiserie Fantasy is a jaw dropping true emerald green with a metallic shimmer. The formula of Chinoiserie Fantasy is excellent and almost perfect in one coat. I used (2) coats to get a deep and rich finish. This jewel toned shade is a true emerald green that leans blue and was impossible to photograph. Without adjusting the color, it looked teal so I tweaked this image to best convey the actual color. If you pick up Chinoiserie Fantasy, you'll be right on trend because emerald green is Pantone's 2013 color of the year.

Peterhof Palace

If this gold looks familiar to you, you're right - it's Ziv under an alibi! Zang Toi wanted a gold polish and why change a good thing - Ziv was renamed Peterhof Palace for the occasion :) Peterhof Palace is a metallic gold foil. This is a complex polish because there are larger and more yellow gold flecks mixed in to create a lovely texture. Because of this texture, Peterhof Palace is not Trixie's gold twin sister. The formula is a little runny so do lean on the thin side when applying. Heads up: You will have gold fleck remnants on your fingers when you remove Peterhof Palace :)

Bottle shots:

In yesterday's post, you saw a glimpse of a gorgeous sapphire called Catherine the Great. While Catherine the Great isn't part of the Zang Toi trio of polishes, it will be part of Zoya's fall collection.

What do you think about these new Zoya nail polishes? Will you be picking up the Zang Toi trio?

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Post contains an affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Zoya at NYFW: Backstage at Zang Toi Fall/Winter 2013 and a Sneak Peek of 3 New Polishes!

The Zang Toi Fall/Winter 2013 runway show was the event at New York Fashion Week I was most excited about! Not only did Zang Toi's Spring 2013 show leave me completely breathless and in awe, but for the second season, Zang Toi and Zoya collaborated to create new nail polishes inspired by the colors and textures of the fabrics used in the show. The result was once again stunning. This season's collaboration yielded three new jewel-toned nail polishes: Catherine the Great (sapphire), Imperial Russia (purple), and Chinoiserie Fantasy (emerald).

Here are your first looks at Zoya's custom Zang Toi nail polishes :)

Left to right: Catherine the GreatImperial Russia, and Chinoiserie Fantasy

I had a chance to speak with Zoya's color expert Rebecca Isa about the new Zoya nail polishes and the look for Zang Toi's show. Not only does she have possibly the coolest job ever, Rebecca is so knowledgeable and awesome to talk to. Rebecca explained that Zoya's liquid crystal formula was used to create incredible vibrancy in the colors and it's noticeable - these polishes are impressively glowing and vivid. Zang Toi wanted the models to not only have gem toned nails, but gem toned nails with actual gems! Large opposite-toned Swarovski crystals (ex: amethyst nail with an emerald gem, emerald nail with a jet black gem) were applied in the middle of each nail next to the cuticle with a little drop of nail glue. Zang Toi also wanted to use a gold and Zoya already had exactly the polish - Ziv was brought in and renamed Peterhof Palace for the occasion :)

*Here's the part you've been waiting for! The Zang Toi custom colors Imperial Russia (purple), Chinoiserie Fantasy (emerald), and Peterhof Palace (gold, aka Ziv) will be available tomorrow on (the sapphire Catherine the Great will be released in the fall). I'll have swatches posted tomorrow so check back!

Update: The trio is now available! Purchase info can be found here

Lead manicurist Cinnamon Bowser applies one of the giant crystals




Check back tomorrow - I'll have swatches to show you :)

See more backstage photos after the break.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekend Shopping: Marc Jacobs Nail Polish, New LE Nail Polish from butter LONDON, Nail Polish T-Shirt, and More!

Happy Friday! I hope you had a lovely Valentine's Day. My boyfriend surprised me with these tiny lightening bolt earrings - he sure knows my style :) Fashion week was crazy/amazing, but I do admit I'm looking forward to a couple restful days. I'll be working on more posts from the shows and the nail polish/hair/makeup backstage - I have so many pictures I can't wait to share with you!

Did you hear about Marc Jacobs new nail polish? While we'll have to wait until fall to get our hands on it, there are photos of the unique bottles all over the internet.

To celebrate fashion week, butter LONDON released Stag Do, a limited edition slate blue nail polish with green shimmer. Pick it up here while supplies last.

Check out this t-shirt - in case you really want people to know how much you love nail polish.

Good news! BaubleBar's NYC pop-up shop is staying open through March 3rd. Details here. I'm going to try to stop by this weekend :)

After seeing a lot of great booties at Lincoln Center this past week, I'm searching for the perfect pair. I'm  thinking about these or these, although these would be PERFECT if I was going to London Fashion Week.

What's on your weekend shopping list?

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.