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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Zoya Spring 2014: Awaken Collection + Special Effect Topper Monet - Swatches and Review

*These products are Cruelty Free 

Zoya Awaken and Monet 

I've been LOVING Zoya's latest collections but I really wasn't too excited about this one when I first saw it. I think I thought they were all going to be like 80s frosts or something. Boy was I relieved!

There are 6 new polishes in the Awaken Collection plus Monet. There are 3 metallic-ish shimmers, 2 crellies and a glitter topper.

Continued after the jump...

So let's just dive right in and start with the 2 crellies in the Awaken Collection. Both of these had pretty much the same formula - they are sheer with the first coat but opaque with the second coat. They are self-leveling but they do not like to be over-manipulated at all. Cole was a bit more finicky than Dot so you might need a 3rd thin coat with Cole if you've been overly ambitious and caused cuticle drag.

Dot is the softest ballerina pink crelly. The first coat is so sheer that you're pretty sure you're going to need like 4 coats but as I've found pretty often with Zoya, the second coat works it out. I've used two coats with NO top coat for the photos. It's opaque enough to hide my stained nails and any VNL and super shiny like a jelly. Loved it. While it is cool-toned, which generally matches my skin-tone, it is a tad too pale for my pale skin is so it didn't like me as much as I liked it, but it's a keeper for my collection though.

Indirect natural light

Cole is a lovely peachy mango crelly. Basically the same formula as Dot - maybe a bit more finicky - see notes above. Super shiny and opaque in 2 coats as shown here with top coat.

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

Okay now for the "stinker" of the bunch for me (your mileage may vary)...

Brooklyn is a pale yellow gold frosty polish that is quite streaky in spite of anything I could do. I think this is what I expected the entire collection to be and I'm so happy it's just this one! If you like frosts/pearl finishes and don't mind some brush strokes, then maybe this one is for you. And maybe I'm seeing it through eyes that lived through the 70s and 80s, but this was my least favorite. I used 2 coats and one coat of top coat for the photos.

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

The final 3 in the Awaken Collection are what I would describe as metallic shimmers. The shimmer has sort of a micro-flake look if you look at the macros. All 3 of these had a fantastic formula and easy, smooth application. No issues to report at all. I used 2 coats and one coat of top coat.

Dillon is a minty green metallic shimmer. This is probably a green that both warm and cool skin-toned folks can pull off. The base leans cool, but the golden shimmer warms it up nicely.

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

Hudson is a cool-toned lilac/purple metallic shimmer. The shimmers in this one appear to be purple and silver.

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

Rebel is a cool-toned ocean blue metallic shimmer. The shimmers in this one are gold and silver and the gold, while more apparent in the bottle than on the nail, almost reads as a greenish tint when the light hits it.

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

Indirect natural lighting

And finally, Monet. Monet is a glitter topper in a sheer pink base. The base is very thick to keep the glitters suspended. But it's very thick. So you have to be careful to use a really thin coat, but if it's too thin, you don't get the glitters. What I found worked best was loading the brush, wiping off one side as usual and then swiping it on a piece of paper before applying to the gets most of the gloopy base off, leaving a fair amount of glitters on the brush. If you try this by using more than one coat, it really makes for a super-thick build-up on the nail.

Monet has a variety of translucent rainbow-hued glitters and can be layered over most anything.

Here I was just trying it over a few of the Awaken polishes...Hudson, Rebel and Dot.

I loved the way it looked over Dot so I did a full mani...

Indirect natural lighting

Overall? I loved 5 of the 6 Awaken polishes and the translucent glitters in Monet are unique enough that I would definitely work through the application process to wear it again. What do you think? Favorites?

These polishes, as well as 100s of other great Zoya polishes, are available on, at select salons and spas and at Ulta. You can also follow Zoya on Facebook to get in on their frequent promotions and discounts as well as other information. The Awaken Collection polishes retail for $9.00 and Monet retails for $10.00. 

Zoya lacquers are 5-free (free of DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor) and cruelty-free.

For those of you in Canada, check out Nail Polish Canada - they sell Zoya and offer free shipping within Canada (with no minimum)! You can check with them as far as availability on specific collections.

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  1. I like only Rebel from this collection :-P

  2. I don't usually like cremes but I'm quite drawn to dot for some reason! I had actually thought you were only swatching indie brands now but I'm glad to see you are also still doing mainstream

  3. I need the three shimmers. Something about Zoya and shimmers. They just always do such a good job :) Beautiful swatches as always!

  4. I want Dillon, Rebel, and Hudson. I would like Brooklyn if it were less frosty, less streaky. I've read that Monet applies better if you apply it with a cosmetic sponge so that the base is mostly soaked up, but it doesn't seem unique to me. I have indie glitter toppers that are similar or that I like better.

  5. Such a great article!! This is the details that I am looking for! Thanks for sharing! now I know what do buy for this collection :D


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