Tag Archives: Zoya

Zoya Edyta nail polish review

Seems someone at Zoya is a Dancing With The Stars fan… they managed to sneakily name their entire Wicked Collection after its dancers – and even one judge! Edyta, a rich mix of blackened moss green and olive gold, is one such shade.

It’s an elusive colour that pictures don’t really do justice to. On first sight, it reminded me of the rainbow of shimmering golds, blacks and greens in an oil slick. On first application, this changed to a nugget of fool’s gold (posh name: pyrite) I had when I was little – a muted murky shade of blackened burnished gold. Finally, in daylight, it becomes a luxuriously dazzling pine green, shot through with ripples of metallic glittering gunmetal (the colour I managed to capture for the photo below).

Edyta is fascinatingly complex and really rather unique. I did have some problems with the formula, finding it pooled in strange places and that the threads of glitter streaked in funny ways, and it’s extremely stubborn to remove but the pay-off is intense and intoxicating. Although I’m not really one to abide by seasonal rules for nail polish colours, I’d say this is definitely one shade too dark and rich for spring or summer, and indeed for daytime in general. Forget pastels and primroses, this is definitely one to vamp up too!

Somehow, it wouldn’t quite have the same level of exotic mystery if it was named after our own Arlene Philips, would it?!

Looks good with: dark colours, cloaks, the witching hour
Drying time: 10 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Edyta nail polish, Fall 2009 Wicked Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Gloria nail polish review

OK, so it might be a bit late for festive nail polish, but Zoya’s Gloria would work just as in May as it would under the mistletoe.

Zoya winningly describes it as ‘a delicate winter rose’, a description so accurate it practically renders the rest of my review pointless. Many metallic pink glitters tend towards the very bright or the very cool, but Gloria has a lovely warmth to its rosy foil effect. This might be down to its inviting crimson base or its beautiful gold-flecked glimmer, but either way, it’s a highly enticing mix.

I’m a huge fan of Zoya’s glitter polishes. They generally steer clear of using huge particles and instead give you a solid shimmer with a flashy foil-like finish. It’s a mature, grown-up way of wearing glitters, and I approve wholeheartedly.

As with most of Zoya’s varnishes, Gloria applies easily, with a reassuringly consistent formula (strange streaking is a general occupational hazard of glitters) and became smoothly opaque within two to three coats. But Gloria is sheer enough to layer over other polishes with just one coat – pictured is it transforming into a beautiful burnished copper over Essie’s Rock Star Skinny – whilst also being uniquely gorgeous in its own right (a translucent frosty rose since you asked). It also changes in different lights – at night or under artificial lighting, Gloria easily passes as a pink-based scarlet but by day, it’s more obviously a glimmering gold-kissed blush. (Shown above: natural light, artificial light; below: strong direct sunlight; click for enlargements)

Either way, it’s a really rather ravishing shade, with enough to distinguish it from that perennial Christmas favourite, a simple red glitter. But with a colour this pretty, Gloria is a winner any time of year.

Looks great with: gold, glitter, all year-round festive spirit
Drying time: 3-5 mins
Coats required: 2-3 (for opacity)
Chips: 3-5 days

Zoya Gloria nail polish, Winter 2010 Flame Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Brizia nail polish review

‘It’s a full-on Monet… From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.’

The above quote is from Clueless, a film I have dedicated unhealthy amounts of my time to learning the script for. I have been dying to use this particular zinger in real-life for similarly unhealthy amounts of time and finally I get the chance to… on Zoya’s Brizia nail polish.

Why? Well if you can bear clicking the photos for enlargements of my battered hands, you’ll see that what, from far away, looks like a nicely neutral nail-elongating shade is actually, up close, a streaky ‘big old mess’.

Despite this, Brizia is a lovely nuanced colour that queens of neutral, Essie, would no doubt die to get their (perfectly-manicured) mitts on. It’s a soft cloudy coffee created way before the current vogue for putty and greige hues arrived. But there are also hints of pearly pink, cool lavender and subtle silver shimmer. Tilt it into the shadows and it’s muted taupe, under natural light it’s a silky mauve, let it hit the sun and it’s a lustrous seashell pink; it would also look great as an irridescent topcoat over other colours. [Pictured, top to bottom: pearly pink in bright sunlight, soft lavender in natural light, cloudy taupe in low lighting.] It’s a lush multi-tasking neutral that’s highly wearable and unobtrusively pretty. Yet it’s not for me.

Firstly, I think it’s just too close to my own skintone. Admittedly, I’d give the Cullens a run for their money in the pale skin stakes, but from some angles, this just seemed to blend in with my fingers. Not a good look.

Secondly, it’s the first and so far, only Zoya lacquer where I wasn’t impressed with the formula. Although application with Zoya’s ‘just right’ brush was a breeze as usual, it went on very sheer, requiring at least three coats to get some semblance of opacity. It was also very streaky, a problem I never managed to fix entirely, and I had particular problems getting an even colour at the tips of the nails, where it pooled oddly, leading to even more streaks. Hence why I’m branding Brizia a full-on Monet!

It could have just been a dodgy bottle, it could just be that I’m not as willing to look past Brizia’s Monet properties because I wasn’t sold on the colour, it could even be that I was too desperate to get to use that line from Clueless – either way, Brizia isn’t one of my must-have shades. But what I am certain of is that, with its subtle kaleidoscope of different looks, it will definitely be on plenty of other people’s hit lists. Indeed, I am reliably informed that it’s one of Cher2’s biggest sellers.

So if you’re after a versatile nude with more bang for your buck, or if you’re another Clueless fanatic dying to give the Monet line an airing, Brizia might just be the nail polish for you. Like… whatever! I’m outie!

Looks good with: office-wear, ladylike cool, the Impressionist movement
Drying time: 3 mins
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Brizia nail polish, Suede Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Charla nail polish review

What could be better than a true turquoise nail varnish? Why, a sparkly turquoise nail varnish, of course!

Zoya’s Charla is an entirely different kettle of fish from Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos though. Whilst Turquoise & Caicos conjured up images of sun-kissed summer beaches enjoyed with an exotically-coloured cocktail in hand, Charla dazzles from the ocean’s depth. It’s pure mermaid’s tail, which has always been one of my ultimate favourite colours.

Sparklier than a star-strewn night sky, this is the definition of iridescence in a bottle. It’s the perfect balance between shimmering blue and glittering green, giving that exact shade of fantasy fish scales that’s straight out of fairy tales.

As ever with Zoya, the brush was a pleasure to work with, ensuring smooth even coverage with just a few strokes (so far, Zoya has a 100% hit rate in leaving no air bubbles). Glittery nail polishes tend to be quite sheer but it built to an intense opacity after three coats, or two wetter-than-normal ones. Similarly, although I find glittery nail polishes also tend to chip easier, Charla was in it for the long haul – staying put with as much longevity as Gaga on the charts. Normally, glitters reserve their non-budge properties for when you’re trying to remove them and although Charla did require a little more elbow grease, I was pleased that a colour as strong as this didn’t stain my nails or fingers afterwards.

This is definitely a colour for nights out, partying and bringing out your inner sparkle. However, I adore the mermaid shade Charla makes in the daytime so it would be criminal to waste it on the midnight hours alone (incidentally, it becomes much more of a forest green under artificial light, as I’ve tried to show with the photo on above – as always, click for enlargements).

Dazzling, enchanting and just that little bit magical, Charla is everything a glittery nail polish should be. Just don’t tell the mermaids you stole their mojo, Zoya!

Looks great with: bright colours, black, smile set to stun
Drying time: 3 mins
Coats required: 2-3
Chips: +5 days

Zoya Charla nail polish, Summer 2010 Sparkle Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Kelly nail polish review

You may remember that my nail polish quest began with OPI’s Over The Taupe and the current craze for greiges. Since then, this trend has spread from muted minks into any shade vaguely reminiscent of fungus, mould or decay. Zoya’s Kelly is one such colour.

This, of course, makes it sound much yuckier than it is. There’s a reason Kelly has been picked up as a must-have shade by the likes of Vogue, Italian Elle and Daily Candy – it’s beautiful.

A unique blend of slate grey, pewter blue and smoky purple, it’s classically cool, wonderfully wearable and fantastically flattering. It’s the kind of colour I could imagine an aloof Hitchcock heroine wearing, fitted suit and all.

The formula is creamily consistent, richly pigmented and dries to a high-shine gloss. Two coats is pretty perfect and Zoya’s brush continues to do the business for me – somewhere between Essie’s too thin and OPI’s too fat, it’s just right.

I never thought that I’d be declaring grey a totally tempting colour choice for nails, but Kelly is just that. Clean, chic and minimalistic, it manages the trick of being sophisticated and edgy, whilst remaining absolutely alluring from any angle (sometimes pure charcoal, others almost navy blue).

Looks like Kelly lives up to its Hermes handbag namesake – an instant classic. Let the shameless knockoffs roll in!

Looks great with: smart/casual, tweed suits and just about everything else
Drying time: 5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +5 days

Zoya Kelly nail polish, Fall 2010 Wonderful Collection, $80, Cher2

Zoya Bekka nail polish review

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