Ever wish that nail polish manufacturers had a direct hotline to your imagination, so that the perfect colour you envisage yet are never quite able to find actually becomes reality? Well, it seems someone at Zoya has such a hotline, because Bekka was exactly the colour I was looking for.
Ever since I saw the video for Pixie Lott’s Boys & Girls (below and still my favourite song of hers, by the way), I’ve been madly in lust with the fluorescent yellow nails she sports whilst whipping out a pinkie-perfect dance routine. Admittedly, over a year is quite a long time to be hung up over a nail colour and it had thus developed mythical properties in my mind. After torturing my boyfriend by umming and ahhing over various yellows in Cher2 for several agonising minutes (too yellow… too neon… too pale… not yellow enough), I eventually settled on Zoya’s Bekka, despite it having a gold glitter in it.
When I got back into the nail polish groove, I made several promises to myself and one was: NO GLITTER. I just felt it was too immature, reminded me too much of playing dress-up and, from what I remember, was a total pain to clean off. But Bekka was the colour that most closely resembled the edgy fluro yellow in my mind so I put my prejudices aside and gave it a go – and thank God I did, because it was a gamble that paid off.
Firstly, a bit about Zoya itself. Not a brand I’d heard of before and at $80, the most expensive in Cher2, despite seeming to have the dinkiest bottles of the lot. It’s formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, which is a very good thing indeed as I’ve since discovered this ‘Big 3’ of nasty-sounding nail varnish chemicals can, amongst other concerns, cause severe allergic reactions. The brush is more of an Essie than an OPI, i.e. smaller, thinner and much easier to use (for me, at least). In fact, I’d say it’s my favourite brush so far. Thin enough to get into the nooks and crannies, fat enough to cover the nail nicely, whilst the way the brush fans out ensures pretty perfect coverage with minimal mess.
But onto the colour. It was PERFECT. Though I was dubious about the colour in the bottle, it looked exactly as I’d imagined in the flesh (or should that be on the talon?!). It was a light, bright, eye-catching yellow with just the right amount of fluorescent to it, boasting flashes of lime green undertones. Unlike so many of the yellows I had seen, it was neither sunny, buttercup-y nor highlighter pen-y, but instead the perfect shade of lemon-lime I’d been hoping for. Zesty, edgy and super cool. Even the much-feared gold glitter turned out to be nice – a subtle shimmer that enhanced the colour, made it less flat-looking and was only noticeable if you really got up close and personal with it. And it wasn’t a total pain to clean off. Pixie would be proud.
However, the consistency was thin and streaky, with at least three coats needed for even opaque coverage. If you’re a perfectionist, you might even need four. Although initially impressed with how quickly it dried, a word of warning – even when it’s totally dry to the touch, it’s still alarming susceptible to smudges, knocks, scratches and dents, so be delicate! But the best thing is, once it’s there, Bekka doesn’t budge. It remained chip-free even when I eventually removed it, seven days later.
It’s an unusual colour that just exudes cool. When it looks good with something – which it does surprisingly often – it doesn’t just look good, it looks great. Expectedly, it looks awesome with black but also with other dark shades, like navy, aubergine and grey. More suited to nights out than high tea and distressed tees than prom dresses, I think it’s a brilliant alternative for people who don’t want girlie shades but are bored of always going for dark colours.
Of course, when I later re-watched Pixie Lott’s video, I wasn’t sure her nails looked anything like mine after all. But you know what? I think I like mine better anyway.
Looks good with: dark colours, vintage look t-shirts, nights out, dancing shoes
Drying time: 3 mins (but be delicate!)
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days
Zoya Bekka nail polish, Summer 2008 Chit Chat collection, $80, Cher2