Tag Archives: Zoya

Zoya Aurora nail polish review

zoya aurora

Hail to the Princess Aurora! All of her subjects adore her! Hail to the King, hail to the Queen, hail to the Princess Aurora!

Given that Sleeping Beauty was always my favourite Disney princess, it was always likely I’d feel the urge to buy Zoya’s Aurora nail polish – and yes, I totally buy cosmetics based on the product names. Thankfully, the colour turned out to be pretty stellar.

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Zoya FeiFei nail polish review

zoya feifei

Zoya FeiFei is absolutely one of my favourite polishes of last year.  It’s blue, it’s silver, it’s black, it’s gold… ugh, screw it, it’s just awesome!

FeiFei is such an amazingly multi-faceted colour – like a sexy sparkling chameleon. It’s even good enough to make me overlook the fact that its name sounds like Canto for fat; in fact, “Fei Fei” literally was the nickname given to a chubby Hong Kong TV personality of yore, Lydia Shum… and I’m pretty sure my auntie has been know to call me it a few times too!

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Here Today, Haul Tomorrow

It’s that time again… another EPIC haul post. So here’s what I’ve been buying over the past few months. Non-shopaholics look away now!

I loved the look of the Chanel’s Fall 2011 Illusion D’Ombre Collection, which marks their first foray into cream eyeshadows in nearly ten years (and as we know, I’m currently loving my cream shadows), plus some of their highly-coveted limited-edition sell-out nail polishes. The eye shadows are all kinds of gorgeous – shimmery, lightweight and extremely easy to use – and I picked up Illusoire (a smoky mauve), Epatant (a silvery khaki) and Emerveille (a shimmering peach). I have, wonder of wonders, actually swatched these so you can expect a review soon! I also got the nail lacquer in Graphite and a free sample of eye make-up remover.

These Stila Beach Palettes are the result of ‘which one should I buy… oh, I’ll just buy them all syndrome.’ Which happens to me a lot! They contain four eye shadows and two blushes/highlighters each, they’re super-cute and they were only £10 quid each. What’s not to love?

They’re from Lookfantastic.com, who I’ve already sung the praises of in my previous haul, who have since gone one better – by crowning me the winner of a competition to win a £75 beauty hamper! The spoils of my victory are shown here and I’m most excited about the mini bottle of Moroccan Oil, which I have been dying to try for ages yet never dared take the plunge full-size – and full-price!

My latest beauty discovery is Nars, thanks to the bessie beauty blogger Jenn. I love bright non-neutral colours, and it seems Nars does too! I picked up eyeshadow duos in Noveau Monde, Eurydice and Sugarland, plus a single in Strada, this amazing gold-dusted lavender. My wonderful boyfriend then bought me some goodies from their limited-edition Night Series collection – the Night Series Palette and two nail polishes, Night Flight and Night Rider, which are based on the eyeshadow colours and are seriously STUNNING. As usual, reviews to come!

Illamasqua had a summer sale so I used this as an opportunity to try my first make-up from the brand, which launched in the UK after I left. Service was brilliant – the order was beautifully-packaged, came with a catalogue, arrived by registered delivery and came within a week of ordering! I got two nail polishes – Raindrops (which I’d been lusting after since this post) and Poke, the Liquid Metals Palette, a Loose Pigment in Involve and a Liquid Metal in Stoic, both of which were on sale. Can’t wait to try these as they look all kinds of intensely awesome.

Clinique also have a new range of cream eyeshadows out – the deliciously-named Lid Smoothies. Colours, as ever with Clinique, are un-exciting but the formula and quality is great – I got Bit O’ Honey (a glistening light gold), Cashew Later (a super-versatile neutral) and probably the star of the collection, Born Freesia (a light lilac). I also stocked up on their Anti-Blemish Foaming Cleanser, one of my make-up miracles, and their Derma-White City Block, a great anti-pollution base with a high SPF that I loved from a free sample. Mega-spend with Clinique equalled a pretty awesome bag of freebies too!

I also got my Mum to send me over some stuff from Boots – can you guess which item I might be stocking up on because it’s been discontinued?! Yes, my make-up miracle, the Benefit Get Bent Eyeliner Brush SOB. I also got two of Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows in Skinny Jeans and Birthday Suit, a load of toothbrush heads (which I’ve spared you) and some super-moisturising Lanolips stuff, another brand I’ve been dying to try. I got the Intense Rose Balm For Very Dry Hands & Nails (remember how my hands are falling apart?), Lemonaid Lip Aid, 101 Ointment and their coloured Lip Ointments in Dark Honey, Apple and Rhubarb (my lips are now falling apart too). Lanolips will be launching in HK soon, but as usual for mega-bucks…

After Benefit also discontinued my holy-grail, one-and-only blusher/miracle, Georgia, I’ve been one the hunt for a suitable replacement. And ever since Mac’s Semi-Precious Collection, I’ve been obsessed with baked, marbleised make-up. Enter Laura Geller, a brand which comes with great word-of-mouth Stateside and again, posted over by my Mum via QVC. I got Blush N Brighten blushers in Golden Apricot and Pink Grapefruit (I love that these come with brushes too!) and the Backstage Beauty Kit, which includes a Blush N Brighten Highlighter Duo in Como/Portofino, a Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Rome/Milan and a Lip Lights Lip Gloss in Dewberry. Can’t wait to try these stunners either!

Another Mac haul from their latest Mac Me Over Collection. The Icelandic Cool section was, sadly for my wallet, totally my colours! Again, amazing boyfriend gifted me the Lady Grey Eyeshadow Palette and four Shadesticks, in Tundra, Cakeshop, Heirloom and Street Cool (Butternutty is still to come, thanks to the lovely Vicky!).

I also won a Lush competition to win their Limited Edition John Burgerman Bath Bomb Set – I absolutely love the colourful tin, which is definitely a keeper, and the bath bombs look like sweets! Is this a bad time to admit I don’t actually have a bath?!

What haul post of mine would this be without some nail polish! Zoya’s Smoke & Mirrors Collection is one of my favourite collections in ages – two halves, one with a dusty murky shades (Smoke), the other with glimmering glittering smoky shades (Mirrors), and a ridiculous amount of purples. I picked up Jana, Neeka, Yara and Jem – how could I resist a polish named after Jem & The Holograms, only my favourite cartoon of ALL-TIME! Spot the odd OPI out, Grape… Set… Match!

And finally, the piece de resistance, the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette. Ugh… how GORGEOUS is this?! Thanks to my lovely Mother I’ll leave you with a few pics revelling in its ultra-luxeness… try and keep your drool to yourselves!

Zoya Dannii nail polish review

I actually forgot I had swatched Zoya’s Dannii, that’s how uninspiring it was.

Which, if you know me and my love for all things purple, is a massive surprise. After all, Zoya’s official description of a ‘metallic purple orchid with pink and champagne highlights and flecks of silver metallic shimmer’ sounds positively purple perfection. But for me, the best description of Dannii would have to include the word ‘anticlimax’.

What I thought would be a vibrant pink-toned orchid turned out to be a much darker murkier almost brown-toned purple that just didn’t stand out at all. The champagne shimmer that I’d thought would give a beautiful glimmering glow to the polish was barely evident and when it was, it didn’t even look nice combined with the muddy purple. I could see the silver shimmer more often, but it wasn’t an appealing effect at all; the combination of that purple plus those shimmers just did not work. Zoya’s glitters are usually stunning shining stars in the nail polish firmament, but this flat murky finish was a dim flickering light bulb at best.

The formula was also not at all what I expect from Zoya – thick and gloopy, making application difficult. Basically, me and Dannii didn’t get on at all – it didn’t look nice with my skin tone, it didn’t look nice with my clothes and it didn’t look nice with my high expectations.

I think this polish was named after former X-Factor judge Dannii Minogue, but frankly, it’s more of a Sharon Osbourne. And that just about says it all.

Looks good with: good question
Drying time: 8-10 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Dannii nail polish, Spring 2011 Intimate Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Rica nail polish review

You may have worked out that I’ve been on a bit of a coral binge lately. And whilst probably not the truest coral in the colour wheel, Zoya’s Rica is too amazing not to include.

Rica didn’t even register with me when I looked at Zoya’s 2011 Sunshine Collection online. Yet in person, on a hot summer’s day, it proved irresistible. I don’t think it could get more summery unless it came wearing shades!

Rica is a super-sparkly, super-summery, super-super pink-tinged sunny orange topped off with a liberal dose of golden sunshine glitter. It just about fits into the coral scheme of things but when I gazed at its loveliness, all I could think of were ripe mouth-watering summer fruits. It’s like someone squeezed together the juiciest aspects of a watermelon, grapefruit, tangerine, apricot and mango, and the result was Rica.

Meanwhile, that golden sunshine sparkle is the trademark Zoya way of doing glitter. You can see further examples of it in my posts on Charla and Gloria, but it’s basically a very fine glitter that positively saturates the polish, but completely evenly and consistently, giving it an almost foil-like effect. It’s completely smooth to the touch and as such, is a very grown-up take on glitter – unmistakeably Zoya and unmistakeably awesome.

Such is the awesome sunshine of Rica, it practically glows in the dark! As you can see from this photo in the shade, that glitter really does look like sparkle directly transplanted from the sun – the sun shining down on a luscious tropical island, I think you’ll agree! In the shade, it definitely leans more towards a golden orange that reminded me of a goldfish!

As with most Zoyas, it was fantastically easy to apply; at first, the consistency seems a little thin but it’s easy to work with and I had a beautiful smooth even colour after just two coats. As ever with Zoya, it also wears like iron – totally chip-free after over a week.

I honestly don’t think I can sing Rica’s praises enough. It’s gloriously golden, fantastically fruity and so so stunningly summery that it could probably brighten things up in the depths of darkest Antarctica (or, as it’s usually known, a typical British summer in the UK!). Pure sunshine in a bottle – what more could you ask for?!

Looks good with: SUNSHINE, ice lollies, summer prints
Drying time: 5-7 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Rica nail polish, Summer 2011 Sunshine Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Caitlin nail polish review

So how exactly do you follow a best-selling winter nail polish that got picked up by the likes of Vogue, Italian Elle and Daily Candy? Well, turn the shade down one notch and hey presto, you get Zoya’s Caitlin – a softer, spring-friendly sister shade to last season’s much-loved Kelly.

Caitlin, like China Glaze’s Sea Spray and OPI’s Parlez-Vous OPI, is another colour that made me fall in love at first look – I guess I’m still in thrall to a well-placed touch of grey… except this time it’s not just a blue-grey or a purple-grey but a combination of all three! Caitlin is so unusually pretty, a muted mix of lavender, cornflower blue and dove grey, that’s both perfect for spring yet has enough versatility to work all year round. Whereas Kelly’s slate-grey smokiness had a steely coolness to it, Caitlin is a much warmer softer affair – perfect for kitten-ish angora cardigans and delicate spring blooms – yet both are irresistibly impossibly chic without even trying.

As easy to apply as it is on the eye, Caitlin went on easily in just two coats and the finish was as smooth and creamy as Zoya’s consistently high standards have led me to expect. Just to re-iterate, Zoya’s brush size is my favourite out of the four main brands Cher2 stocks (OPI, Essie and China Glaze) and I continue to find it the easiest to grip, use and get good coverage with.

Although it might not show much imagination just to dilute your winter bestseller for spring, Caitlin is lovely enough to justify it. I’d say it’s low-key enough for work yet with enough hues to keep things interesting, whilst the blend of purple blue and grey is something a little bit different than the usual assault of spring pastels. Caitlin somehow turns cloudy into a colour you’re happy to see – a skill most weathermen would kill for, let alone a humble nail polish! Quick, someone tell Michael Fish!

Looks good with: most outfits, soft shades, spring meadows,
Drying time: 3-5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: 3-5 days

Zoya Caitlin nail polish, Spring 2011 Intimate Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Pinta nail polish review

Oh Zoya. We’ve come this far and you’ve never disappointed me but I suppose it’s inevitable we’d have a falling out eventually. Well, I’m afraid the time has come. The reason? Pinta.

Your website says Pinta is a dark purple creme. The bottle is a dark purple creme. And yet when I apply it, I just see dark navy inky blue.

Lots of bloggers also seem to think it’s the perfect ‘blurple’ shade (have they heard of the word ‘indigo’? Because I’m fairly sure that’s the colour ‘blurple’ is meant to be!) but I could rarely catch the deep grape colour that everyone else seemed to see. Sometimes, when the sun was shining hard, my nails were angled just right and all the planets were aligned, I could just about catch it, but mostly it was like an eternal midnight on my nails.

Desperately seeking purple: Take 1 (regular lighting)

OK, I’m overdoing this a bit because even when Zoya nail polishes aren’t exactly what I had in mind, they’re still better than most other polishes on a good day. The formula was fantastic, opaque in just one coat, although it could have been a little glossier and dried a little quicker in my opinion. As ever, I find Zoya’s brushes by far the easiest to work with and although it’s such a strongly pigmented colour, it came off easily and without staining. And if you wanted a deep dark inky blue, then this would be great. But I didn’t – I wanted blurple. I mean indigo.

What I really wanted was the bottle colour that had drawn me in the first place, a soft creamy indigo that you could get lost in. Dark? Yes, but still definitely visibly purple. But once on the nails, at times it even seemed closer to jet than purple! And it’s also worth noting that it looks WAY more purple on all my photos than it ever did in real life!

Desperately seeking purple: Take 2 (strong sunlight)

After Edyta, another ultra-dark Zoya shade that I liked but didn’t love, I think I’ve worked out that I’m not really a fan of these really dark hues. I guess I save that stuff for my eyeliner.

I’m afraid Pinta just isn’t for me, Zoya, but I’m sure we’ll patch things up soon!

Looks good with: the knowledge that it really isn’t that purple
Drying time: 10 mins
Coats required: 1-2
Chips: 3-5 days

Zoya Pinta nail polish, Fall 2009 Dare Collection, $80, Cher2