As promised, here is the next installment of our most comprehensive gift guide to-date! This post features my top picks from various holiday color collections that have launched this year. There are a few more holiday shades I haven’t reviewed or swatched, so there might be a few more of my favorites to come.
NARS Miss Liberty ($27) gives cheeks a really glistening glow, very apropos for the holidays.
Guerlain Parure de Nuit ($67) is the one product I’d recommend above all others for the holidays, and I say that because it’s a product I keep reaching for (to the point that I had to forcibly remove it from my reach).
MAC What Joy! ($15.50) is a berry-red with subtle micro-shimmer and healthy shine with good color coverage.
Every season the color experts at Zoya create dozens of new color collection options. This year, one of those “secret collections” just had to be seen now rather than later. The Feel Nail Polish Collection by Zoya delivers six new, highly pigmented, full coverage, neutral creams that are ideal for right now. Zoya polish retails for $8.00 per bottle.
As promised, here are several different layering combinations using Zoya’s Gems & Jewels Collection. I also layered the bar glitter shades over gold, silver, and black. I like the shades layered best over Izzy from the holiday collection, but overall, I prefer it over silver!
Izzy is a darkened pink with bright fuchsia-pink shimmer and a metallic-like finish. I used two coats for opaque color. China Glaze Endurance is similar but has silvery-white micro-glitter so the finishes are quite different. It’s not as red-based as Zoya Gilda.
Holly is a luxurious emerald green with lighter green shimmer. Really rich and decadent–opaque in nearly one coat but I used two for swatches. Very Christmas-y green. It’s not like China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses, which has a lot of silvery-white glitter, nor China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, which has a much darker base. It is darker and smoother compared to Zoya Ivanka.
Noel is a metallic medium-dark silvered blue with silver shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. The base color seems similar to Zoya Crystal, but Crystal has gold sparkle in it.
Kissy is a pink and ruby red glittery layering coat with holographic bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was mostly opaque.
Rina is an emerald green shimmered base with emerald green and teal bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was more opaque than not but you could see some nail visible in spots.
Twila is a medium-dark blue shimmered base with brighter blue bar glitter.
The formula on the shimmery shades (Izzy, Holly, and Noel) is beyond phenomenal. I don’t know if I’ve ever used such a perfectly applying polish before. Each coat is extremely pigmented (I used two for all six shades here, but one is almost enough on the shimmery shades), but the consistency is fluid and flowing without being watery nor thick. I had really good wear out of Holly layered with Twila (seven days with minimal tip wear and no chips).
I was surprised at how opaque the layering shades were, actually. You could easily wear them alone, though I think they work really well layered, too. The only downside is removal is a bit messy–you can see as I swatch through more and more combinations using the glittery shades how I still have residue on my skin. It’s not impossible, but they take a little more work and time than a cream finish (which is par for the course).
I found the bar glitter to be fun and something I’ve personally never tried before, so I had some experimenting to do (will have a whole post up next with various combinations and layering, so stay tuned!). It’s perfect for the holidays, and it reminds me of tinsel. You’ll need to make sure to take care of the edges so you don’t have any stray glitter pieces extending past the edge of your nail, but the glitter spreads evenly without trouble. I can’t wait to rock these closer to the holidays!
The glitter shades are the most unique out of the bunch, but I still think the way the shimmery shades came out is great--and not necessarily shades I have dupes of. The formula is so easy to work with. I knew when I saw these at Cosmoprof, they would be good, but they're even better.
Sometimes products are discontinued or limited edition, which means that a product may no longer be available at one or more retailers so you may need to shop around for those hard-to-find shades! We try to update products as they become discontinued, and if you discover a product has been discontinued, please help us help others by letting us know.
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On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Zoya Reyzis, who is the founder (along with her husband, Michael Reyzis) of Art of Beauty, which includes the brands Zoya, Qtica, Smart Spa, and Zoom. I can’t say it was an interview, because it was so much more than that. She left an indelible impression on me, and it is a rare gift to come away from someone feeling like that, so I am so thankful to have had the chance to sit down with her.
Zoya is, at the very least, an inspiring woman, but she has such a wisdom about life that goes deeper than mere inspiration–it does not feel like a powerful enough word to describe how I felt talking with her. One feels touched and humbled to be in her presence, and it has very little to do with her founding Zoya, but it is the person she has become as a result of the culmination of all of her experiences. It is the passion she has for the things she does in her life, and her passion is infectious and exciting and exhilarating. It is the best kind of disease to catch. There is no artifice with her. She is genuine, warm, and sharp.
I did not expect to have as much time as I did with Zoya, and I had one question I planned to ask, which was what was her level of involvement in the brand today. She gave it some thought, and she confessed that her role is very fluid and certainly nothing like the roles she played in the beginning. Zoya–the brand–is a family-run business. My goal whenever I interview someone is to come with less planned questions and instead react to their answers to develop a story that is personal and intimate.
Michael is still very active in the business, but Zoya herself remains the founder, the muse, and the well that each person must draw strength from. She is a calming presence. Her voice is soft but strong, her speech melodic and intelligent, and it feels like she can see right through you, but she sees the best in you. Both of her sons work in the business, as do their wives. She spoke of how family get-togethers are not riddled with fights, though she admits that it is difficult for business talk to cease!
Both Michael and Zoya’s hard work has enabled Zoya to pursue her original dream and passion and love: classical piano. Her favorite composer is Bach, though she’s currently working on a Beethoven piece. When Zoya talks about music, it is not just music to her, and it’s so apparent that she is one of the lucky few who understand music on an immensely intimate, emotional level–a level that transcends the sound of the music and pushes into the beauty behind it. She truly immerses herself in the composer she plays; to understand where the brilliance of the piece developed from.
I took piano lessons for many years when I was younger, and I rarely play now (admittedly, I was spoiled by mother’s personal dream of owning a baby grand piano, which is what I grew up playing on, and electronic keyboards always feel wrong underneath my fingertips). I could not relate to the relationship Zoya clearly had with her music and the people who had composed it. She could hear the life of the composer in the crescendos and decrescendos of the pieces she played, but I left wanting to play, to feel the keys depress and lift, the music flowing and resounding through the room.
It is the same when she approaches Zoya. It is not about nail polish–it is about the feelings evoked by wearing the polish. How does one feel when they wear a color they are confident in? What if they choose one they would normally choose? Does choosing a particular color make someone happy? Cheer them on on a bad day? How does it enable them to express themselves?
This is the Art of Beauty, Zoya says. The creativity and joy of the way color plays with our senses and emotions is what motivates the brand. There is much love that goes into each bottle of polish they fill, and there is something intrinsically satisfying about knowing the people who create the products we love do so with as much love and care and passion as their biggest fans.