Zoya

Pretty Princess Pink Nails

The pink shimmer of this manicure makes me smile. :) I’m usually not one for super girly pink, but I loved what the CND Raspberry Sparkle did to the plain pink cream Zoya Lara. It makes me think it would be perfect for a princess–I think of Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora in this case. :)

Base Color: Zoya Lara (2 coats)
Shimmer Layer: CND Raspberry Sparkle (1 coat)
Top Coat: Butter London Hardwear PD Quick Top Coat

In other news, I had no shrinkage or bubbles when using the Butter London base and top coats with this Zoya color. I’m not sure if it was because I added the CND polish into the mix, or if I really have found my holy grail base and top coats for use with Zoya polishes. Further research is needed. :)

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Navy Sparkles!

Like most nail fanatics who were too late on the scene to grab the elusive Essie Starry Starry Night, I’m always on the lookout for similar looks. There’s just something about dark blue with sparkles. Mine doesn’t look like Starry Starry Night, but it gets the job done and steers me away from Evil-bay where SSN goes for upward of $300. Ouch. :)

Base Color: Zoya Ibiza (see it on it’s own HERE)
Glitter: Northern Lights (silver)

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Zoya Fleck Effects Maisie & Ibiza

Morning, all!

On my nails today I have two coats of a dark navy color from Zoya called Ibiza (it works well for stamping, too). Then I put a coat of Zoya Maisie over the top. It looks cool, but I don’t think I’ll leave this on too long. It’s a bit… flashy? LOL! Like glitter isn’t, right? Hmm… maybe I need to just let it grow on me. :)

Ibiza is really pretty on it’s own, too. I took this picture before adding Maisie on top…

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Zoya Charisma

This is the color I used in a gradient on my tips a little bit ago. Such a gorgeous neon color. The neon-ness that I see in the bottle doesn’t really translate to my nails, though. But I do like the true berry color. I love to wear colors like this.

Update on my Love/Hate relationship with Zoya

I adore the color range of Zoya polishes. Just can’t get enough of them. However, I’ve always had two kinds of trouble with Zoya: bad shrinkage with my favorite top coat Seche Vite ( I can only really wear the polish for one day before the perfectionist in me demands new polish), or lots of bubbling. When I try to not use Seche Vite and therefore have to wait an interminably long time for the polish to dry, I always get awful bubbling. This occurs whether I use the Zoya Anchor base coat or not.

However, I think I may have discovered a clue when it comes to bubbling while I was painting Charisma. I usually always use Nail Magic under my base coats in order to strengthen my nails. This time I skipped it all together and put the Zoya Anchor base coat straight on my naked nails. That seemed to help quite a bit. However, this polish does dry to a more matte finish (like neon polishes usually do), so it might be the quicker dry formula that prevented the bubbling, not the fact that I used only Anchor. More testing will be needed. :)

I used Zoya’s top coat Armor on top of Charisma as well.

The fact that I continue to strive for a bubble-less Zoya manicure shows how much I love the color range. Oh, Zoya, I want to love you but you make it so hard. Still trying, though. :)

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Black Rainbow Stripes

Hello, all! Happy Mother’s Day! I’ve been working on perfecting “tape manicures” where you tape off sections of the nail to create crisp, clean lines. It’s a bit tricky to master and I’m still working on it. Anyhow, today I thought I’d do a base painting of a rainbow gradient, apply some tape strips, and then paint black over it all. Really cool masking technique and I have to credit all the amazing inspiration I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. :)

How to do this manicure:

  1. First of all, pick a movie to watch because this takes a while. :)
  2. Paint two coats of white polish (China Glaze White on White). Let dry completely. Not just “to the touch” dry, but more like “I’m going to go do the dishes” dry. Bone dry.
  3. Create gradient nails using rainbow colors and this sponging method. I used four colors and a vertical gradient. I used a bunch of colors from Zoya: Kristi, Pippa, Breezi, and Mira. Let dry completely.
  4. Cut 2 thin strips of tape for each nail and set aside so all are ready before moving on to the next step (I placed them on the top of nail polish bottles with the ends coming off so I could grab them easily). I used regular scotch tape, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  5. Working on each nail one-by-one, apply the tape strips. Be sure to press firmly, especially at the sides next to your cuticles. Paint black polish over entire nail. Immediately remove tape strips (removing them immediately helps you get crisp lines). Move on to next nail.
  6. Let all nails dry for 3-5 minutes. Finish with topcoat (Seche Vite).
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Gradient Neon Nails with Stamping

I attempted to do gradient nails again, this time with neon colors (which sadly my camera doesn’t pick up). The gradient is much more subtle in the photos. Believe me, it’s awesome! Anyhow, I skipped the glitter this time and went straight to stamping. I love how it turned out!

Base Colors: China Glaze Pink Voltage (Neon), Zoya Charisma
Stamping Color: Konad Special Polish Black
Stamping Plate: Cheeky XL Image Plate C (available here)

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Rainbow Chevron Nails

Supplies

Green polish (China Glaze Gaga for Green)
Yellow polish (Zoya Pippa)
Orange polish (Zoya Arizona)
Red Polish (Zoya Kristi)
Konad Special Polish in Black
Bundle Monster Plate BM-201
Top Coat polish (Seche Vite)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Paint green polish in one corner of nail and up the side. Paint a second coat if needed. Let dry.
  2. Paint yellow polish diagonally across nail, overlapping green polish. Paint a second coat if needed. Let dry.
  3. Paint orange polish next to and overlapping yellow polish. Paint a second coat if needed. Let dry.
  4. Pair red polish next to orange polish to finish nail. Paint a second coat if needed. Let dry completely.
  5. Stamp chevron pattern in black polish. Apply top coat.
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