Zoya Carter (Swatches & Review)

Brand: Zoya
Color: Carter
Collection: Pixiedust Fall 2013

Zoya Carter
Zoya Carter

I recently purchased this shade after eyeing it since promotional photos and swatches were first released.  Pixiedust is Zoya’s version of the textured polish craze that appears to be here to stay in the nail polish world.  Zoya describes Carter as “a royal purple with a strong magenta sparkling, matte and textured finish”.  I chose a polish by Zoya to be my first nail polish review because of their commitment to ‘healthy’ nail polish and being one of the first brands to go Big 5-Free (Toulene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl Phthalate, Camphor).


The formula on this was quite good and comparable to other textured polishes on the market.  The glitter is evenly distributed in the bottle and on the nail, and the glitter did not lose its color after several days of wear.

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Zoya Carter


Zoya suggests applying the polish in 3 thin coats.  The first coat (picture below) was easy to apply, however, the 2nd coat was difficult to apply but I figured it out (I brushed & dabbed the polish on).  The 3rd coat was easier to apply.  In each photo the polish was completely dry.  Was not difficult to remove using a partially acetone polish remover.

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Zoya Carter 1 Coat
Zoya Carter 1 Coat
Zoya Carter 2 Coats


The base is a matte purple with magenta glitter.  The press photos show a much deeper purple with more shimmer, however in person the polish is a bit more flat and not as dark.  I would have liked to see the base have more glitter and be accented by a true purple glitter.

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Courtesy of Art of Beauty/Zoya


This polish wore pretty well.  I did have bad chipping after only having the polish on for 24 hours, but the culprit was a hand soap that contained sodium lauryl sulfate, so be mindful of that when you do a manicure.  Only 3 nails chipped significantly, the rest only have minor tip wear after 7 full days.

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Ingredients: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate Nitrocellulose, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Ste[a]r[al]konium Hectroite, Acrylates Copolymer, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer

As previously mentioned this product does not contain toulene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, or camphor.  Some of the ingredients it contains are toxic to the lungs and nervous system, which is not at all surprising considering it is nail polish.  It is best to polish nails in a well ventilated area and do not inhale over an open bottle.

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Overall, the biggest drawback of this polish was the color.  I wanted a deep royal purple and this just was not that.  It is still a good, quality polish so if you like the color do not be deterred!

4.2/5 Globes 


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