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You’ll Be Tempted To Touch With The Zoya PixieDust Collection


Texture has become increasingly relevant in the nail realm over the past few months, with a new interest in three-dimensional nail looks that appeal to our tactile instincts. To that end, we’ve seen the advent of caviar manicures, velvet finishes, sequin-covered surfaces, studded details,  and quirky appliqués. For Spring 2013, Zoya has upped the ante in the texture department, introducing a set of nail lacquers with a truly innovative formula that delivers a matte finish that’s still slightly sandy and gravelly, with some sparkle encrusted there in for a truly unexpected twist.  Consisting of six dazzling shades, the  Zoya PixieDust Nail Polish Collection represents a whole new frontier in the nail lacquer experience since it combines several seemingly paradoxical elements to create a never-before-seen texture and finish.  

Every day that I’ve ventured outside wearing one of the PixieDust nail polishes, I’ve had virtual strangers grab my arm or yank my wrist to take a closer look at my manicure, oohing and aahing as they examined the color. Now, I’ve never been engaged so I’ve never had the experience of wearing some shiny rock on my finger, but I assume it would trigger the same reaction, as curious bystanders angle for a better look at the coveted diamond. What’s fascinating is the way that the shimmering pearls and chunky pieces of glitter in the otherwise matte formula create a look that’s reminiscent of clumps of sand under the summer sun  or stretches of asphalt lit by street lamps.

On an aesthetic level, then, this collection is a home-run. But, on a practical level, there are some issues worth noting — not necessarily drawbacks, but rather precautions that should be taken to maximize wear and protect both your mani and the integrity of your nails themselves. First, the polish is significantly harder to remove than your average Zoya nail lacquer and so you might find yourself going over each nail several times with acetone-dipped cotton balls. Since the PixieDust colors are a bit more stubborn, then, I strongly suggest using a nail polish remover that isn’t too harsh (the Zoya Remove Plus is a great choice since it’s effective but gentle) so that nails don’t become dry, flaky, or brittle. Another important note: if you’re applying tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation while wearing one of the PixieDust polishes, make sure not to get any of the makeup on your nails as it can easily become entrenched inside the gravelly surface and, once it does, removing it  without damaging your manicure will prove nightmarish. Third, the actual surface of your nails will feel a bit like sandpaper when the polish sets, so try not to run the back of your hand against your baby’s tender cheeks (whether that baby is an actual infant or, rather, your hubby or boo). Last but not least, note that the PixieDust lacquers are meant to be brushed onto clean nails and do not require a base coat or top coat — in fact, applying a top coat can actually alter the appearance of the lacquer so I’d strongly advise against it.

The Zoya PixieDust collection includes six matte shades: Dahlia, a stark, petroleum black hue encrusted with silver shimmer; Chyna, a ruby red with red and black shimmer; Vespa, a pale sage green shade with clear and silver sparkle bits; NYX, a grayish cornflower blue with clear and silver sparkle; Godiva, a sandy, golden flaxseed hue with silver and clear glitter; and London, a moody  storm gray with silver flecks for a metallic, industrial feel. Each shade retails for $9 at Zoya.com.

Below, you’ll find swatches of all the shades in the collection, along with more details on each one’s coloration and feel.

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The NYX lacquer is one of my absolute favorites in the collection. I love that the cornflower blue is moody and grayish, plus the shimmer bits work to make nails appear as if they were dipped in sugar, each nail resembling a tiny gumdrop.


This is probably my favorite shade in the collection. The matte sage green base shade is stunning in and of itself but the sparkly finish adds a dewy quality that makes the shade feel fresh and magical. Besides, we all know green is Tinkerbell and Peter Pan’s hue of choice!


We all know I’m a bit of a rocker chick at heart, so it’s no surprise that Dahlia seduced me right away. Unlike other matte black colors, this one is remarkably intense, a truly raven-worthy shade reminiscent of liquid tar, but still boasting that matte finish and enhanced with a bit of starry metallic sparkle.



If the miller’s daughter in Rumpelstiltskin had actually been able to transform straw into gold, this is how I imagine the final product would’ve looked. The Godiva color, then, is a sandy flaxseed shade with warm, golden undertones. The matte finish, grainy and uneven texture, and sparkle finish only intensified the sand-like look.


If Dorothy thought her ruby red slippers were magical, it’s only because she hadn’t seen the Zoya PixieDust lacquer in Chyna. This Oz-worthy ruby red color is one of the more classic color options in the collection and a refreshing alternative to creamy Queen of Hearts and fire engine reds.


If London is known for its overcast skies and fog, then this color is a fitting ode to the city. The matte, stormy gray shade, combines with the silver sparkle finish, creates a look reminiscent of asphalt streets. It’s a really novel and modern shade since, were it not for the matte finish and metallic sparkle combination, it could have easily ventured into more predictable steel and metal iterations but its nuanced quality propels it above the rest, making it feel all the more gritty and industrial.

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