Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Zoya Wicked Collection
Nail Lacquers:: Edyta, Julieanne, Cheryl

Oh… So… Wicked

Zoya Wicked Collection ($36.00 for all 6, or $7 each) is one of two fall collections from Zoya.  It contains six shades:
Edyta (complex mixture of gold, olive, blue-green, and smoky grey with a sparkling metallic finish), Julieanne (unique purple sparkles with gold, peach, and yellow-green duochrome in a dark blue-purple base), Cheryl (smoky brown base completely packed with metallic copper, gold, and mahogany metallic microglitter), Karina (cool medium crimson red with swirls of pink, gold, and red foil metallic glitter), Carrie Ann (light warm scarlet red with copper, gold and pink-red foil metallic glitter), Kym (antique copper base with gold, copper, and pink reflective metallic sparkles).

  • Edyta is a tarnished, deep green with gold and green micro-shimmer. At first glance, it seems similar to Nubar Verde, but the latter is significantly greener–much more forest green. Just two coats.
  • Julieanne is a deep violet purple with blue undertones and gold and glowing violet shimmer flecks. Two coats.
  • Cheryl is a darkened chocolate brown base with warmer, amber and copper shimmer. It looks very rich and luxe. Two coats.
  • Karina is a ruby red with flecks of scarlet and ruby shimmer–more blue-based. Two coats.
  • Carrie Ann is a brightened cherry red with fiery red shimmer–more orange-based. Two coats.
  • Kym is a pinked/mauvey brown with gold and bronze shimmer. Almost metallic. Two coats.

The formula is just as you’d expect from Zoya:  smooth, nicely pigmented, and dries down beautifully.  The colors are very true-to-bottle, and I had no issues with application whatsoever.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Excellent pigmentation for all six shades, easy to apply, and none needed more than two coats for a smooth, opaque finish. If you see a color you like, I think you’ll be happy with it.

AVAILABILITY: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Zoya Remove+

A Love Letter to Zoya Remove+

Dear Zoya Remove+,

I doubted your prowess once, but I never will again. I thought, “Surely, there are other polish removers that can do just as good of a job… maybe even better… and more readily available.” But no, I was wrong. So, so wrong.  Why did I stray?  Why did I try to fix something that wasn’t broken just to save a couple of bucks?

I did not realize how gentle you were on my cuticles and nails and fingers.  You never dried them out, but you always took care of business–you removed every last bit of polish without me having to exert much effort.  You made my life easy, and I didn’t even realize just how easy!   I would have people ask me, “What do you do to your nails? They are so healthy!” and I always answered so cavalierly… “Nothing!”  But it was you… all along it was you!

But I did stray, and I discovered how harsh other removers can be.  How cruel and cold and unloving!  They may remove the polish without much fuss, but they sure do leave a disaster in their wake.  Scaly, dried out skin, tortured cuticles, and the harsh scent of chemicals.

My dearest Remove+, you hold my heart, and I’ll stay true to you.  Know that you reign supreme in my heart of hearts!

All my love,
Temptalia

Zoya Remove+ is available in several sizes, depending on your polish removing needs. The bottle pictured above is their largest size at 32 oz., which retails for $25. I actually took advantage of Zoya’s deal where you can pick up their Color Lock System (which I love) PLUS the 32 oz. Remove+ for $40. (Which really means you end up with 40 oz. of Remove+ for the win!)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 5/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  In a convenient flip-top bottle that pumps out just enough remover, Zoya’s Remove+ does an excellent job at not only removing your polish but keeping your nails, cuticles, and fingertips soft, conditioned, and prepped for the next manicure/pedicure.

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

When in doubt, use them all!

After reviewing Zoya’s Sparkle Collection, I couldn’t decide what color I wanted to wear.  I was totally torn!  So, instead, I decided to go for Skittles nails, which is pretty much what you’d expect–multi-colored nails resembling the colors of Skittles.  I’m a little OCD on some things, though, so I couldn’t use six; instead, I used five, so I could have one of each color on each hand.  Nice and even!  I used all the shades except Alegra (pretty, but it was my least favorite).  From thumb to pinky:  Nidhi, Gilda, Ivanka, Charla, and Mimi.  Just thought I’d share my fun for the week! :)

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Zoya Flash Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Maura, Jolene, Jancyn, Robyn, Perrie, Dana (Natural Light)

Zoya Flash Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Zoya Flash Collection includes six vibrant hues of cream finish polish. Each bottle will set you back $7 or you can grab the sampler (which is a set of all six in full-size) for $36.

  • Maura is a cherry tomato cream that goes opaque in one coat–seriously. You can easily use two or three, but this is one ultra pigmented red.
  • Jolene is a brightened blue-toned bubblegum pink. It’s very much a Barbie pink, and it only takes two coats to get solid color.
  • Jancyn is a brightened pumpkin orange cream with a slight lean towards yellow-orange. This is the only one of the six that I had slight formula problems with–it felt a little on the thick side, and I definitely needed three coats to get an even, streak-free look. It’s not a terrible polish, but compared to the others, it was a little more finnicky.
  • Robyn is a darkened, summer sky blue cream. It’s bright without being overwhelming or neon, and it’s easy to get total opaque color with just two coats.
  • Perrie is a darkened lilac cream with red undertones. Two coats is all you need for opaque color and a smooth, even finish.
  • Dana is a softly brightened fuchsia-red cream. It’s a pretty shade of rasperry-ish fuchsia that doesn’t look too bright, but it’s not going to hide in the background either. Like the other shades, this only needed two coats for full color coverage.

Had Zoya not also put out the Sparkle Collection, I could easily have seen myself enjoying these more, but I just find it pales in comparison to Sparkle. There are plenty of things to love about these brightened creams, but if I had to choose between the two collections, Sparkle gets my vote without question. Obviously, part of that is personal taste, but I felt like I hadn’t quite seen anything like the shades and finishes in Sparkle! Anyway…

The formula on all but Jancyn was smooth, even, and incredibly pigmented. You only needed two coats for solid, opaque color on each shade–again, with the exception of Jancyn–and on Maura, you could have gotten away with just one. It’s a smooth formula with a good consistency–not too thick, not too thin–which makes for an easy application. I didn’t have to experiment to find the “right” way to apply these. I liked that you could get nearly neon color without some of the application troubles neons pose. But to be clear, these are definitely creams and not neons, and they try with a slight glossiness rather than the near-matte of typical neons.

Even though the shades don’t seem completely unique or represent something new and totally different than ever before, the quality of the formula is excellent overall. Jancyn just felt a smidgen too thick, so perhaps a drop of thinner would solve that issue. Otherwise, these applied beautifully without streaking or bubbling and had a nice richness of color so you only needed two coats for full color.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love cream finish polishes and are in need of some summery shades, Flash might be made for you!

Availability: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Zoya Sparkle Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Alegra, Nidhi, Gilda, Ivanka, Charla, Mimi (Natural Light)

Summer Sparkle with Zoya

Zoya Sparkle Collection includes six sparkling shades of lacquer in fun, summery shades. Zoya Polishes are $7 a pop or else you can buy the Sparkle Sampler (includes full sizes of all six) for $36 (save $6!).

After reviewing several of this season’s nail lacquer collections, I might have to say this is my favorite in sum. (I think Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague is my ultimate favorite, but I have a penchant for Tiffany-blue polish, period, so I’d say that was a no-brainer.) I love me some glittering, sparkling polish, and Zoya does not disappoint here.

The glitter used in this feels very fine, more like a micro-glitter, so it has a smoother feel and look–and a huge plus is that it is easier to remove than traditional glitter polish. The polish has a very glassy look once you finish and apply a top coat, and the glitter shimmers across like sparkling water.

I found the formula to be consistent across all six shades, which is mostly a good thing. Despite having a very thin, almost watery feel and consistency, it works well and delivers stunning results. All of the shades required three coats for solid, opaque color, except Nidhi, which only needed two. Nonetheless, I found you could use thinner or thicker coats here–there wasn’t any concerns about application. I could get away with a thinner initial coat and go with medium-thick coats on two and three, or I could do three thin coats. The glitter spreads very evenly, which can sometimes be an issue in glittery lacquers. The drying time seemed faster than usual on these, and even without a top coat, these had quite a bit of gleam.

  • Alegra is a fuchsia-red jelly base with deeper red and fuchsia iridescence. I found I did need three coats in order to get an opaque look, but the glitter applied evenly, so it wasn’t a hassle at all.
  • Nidhi is a darkened squishy fire-orange with gold and red glitter flecks that are most noticeable when light catches them just right. I found this shade to be the most pigmented of the bunch–so pigmented that you only need two thin coats to get a solid color, though I still used three in the swatches.
  • Gilda is a brightened fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sparkle. I felt like this one almost glowed in the light! This was a three coater for me.
  • Ivanka is a dazzling emerald green with a darker, forest green base and brighter, more emerald-esque shimmer along with gold and green flecks. I thought this one applied and looked the most beautiful out of the six. I felt like you could get away with just two coats here, but I liked three better.
  • Charla is a glassy darkened sky blue with greenish-teal flecks of shimmer in it. Of the six, I found this to be the sheerest, surprisingly. You definitely need three thicker coats on this one. To be honest, though, you can only see a hint of the nail beneath when it’s under very strong light.
  • Mimi is a deep, royal purple with iridescent flecks of purple shimmer. I thought this one was stunning–what I love about it is how fantastic it looks even in low light conditions. It doesn’t turn into a muddy purpled black at all.

These are really some can’t-be-missed polishes for lacquer addicts out there. All six are fantastic in look, feel, and formula. There are absolutely no duds here, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them (or all!). Of course, I have my favorites, but they’re more based on my personal taste than anything else. For the curious, my favorites (in order) are: Ivanka, Mimi, Nidhi, and Charla. I liked Alegra and Gilda, but I don’t wear red-based shades so much as brighter shades. But I’m actually going to just wear all of them at once for fun, since I can’t decide! :)

Tell me, are you loving these as much as I am? I hope I’m not the only one swooning!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love sparkling nails without the chunkiness of real glitter, Zoya’s Sparkle Collection has your number.

Availability: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Winter Wonderland: Zoya Luna Nail Lacquer

Zoya Luna Nail Lacquer ($7.00) is the third shade in Zoya’s Ultra Glitter winter collection (which also featured Nova, a raspberry pink, and Astra, a reddish pink, reviewed previously). Luna is a sheer silver shimmered base with bright and dark silver small glitter particles. It’s a very wintry, holiday-esque kind of color. It wears well, and it’s not too difficult to remove (certainly not any more so than the average glitter polish). I used Zoya’s Color Lock System for this and got a week’s wear with very minor tip wear–but considering I type all day, I was pleasantly surprised at just how minimal it was.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Fans of bright silver AND glitter polish may rejoice over this shade!

Availability: Zoya