Monday, October 01, 2007

Never Say Never

In which I go where I've never gone before, or: How I learned to love green nail polish

It started when the sampler pack of Utopia, the Zoya winter nail polish collection landed on my desk. I couldn't stop staring at the six vibrant metallic colors (The Blond's reaction: "Ooh, shiny!"). They stood there, tempting and incredibly pretty, waiting for me to remove the whatever berry color I had on at the time and give them a try. Normally, being a somewhat reasonable 36 year old woman, I'd go straight to the red or the soft golden champagne shades, but this time I was seduced by the more daring ones. I couldn't help it.

Taking a deep breath, I reached for Irene, The Green One. The color is a khaki/sage, which if you only wear one coat has a warm golden undertone. It was that undertone which won me over, because to my surprise (I was bracing myself for the worst) it looked very flattering against my skin. The coverage one coat gives is quite adequate: The color is rich and full. It was a breeze to apply, the brush was perfect (I'm a fan of thick nail polish brushes that spread the color quickly with as few strokes as possible), the texture and consistency couldn't be better and the result was completely smooth and even.

I spent my first day of green nails with only one coat of Irene, getting used to it and admiring both the color and my new found boldness. The next day I was ready and eager for more: I wanted to get the exact shade you see in the bottle. It only took a second coat to get there, and the result was lovely and earned me several compliments.

No one is more surprised than I am, but I love this green and can pull it off. I can't guarantee how it would look against very pale skin, but for me it's amazingly easy to wear. It's not witchy, crazy or extremely bold, and people would have to actually give it a good look and pay attention before they realize that you're really wearing a green polish.

I asked my husband (who when not guinea-pigging for me is a senior executive in a Manhattan interactive agency that caters to several type of corporate clients) for his opinion: Can Irene go to work? He thinks that it can, as long as the rest of your outfit is impeccably professional and you don't work in an ultra-conservative environment (or serving such a client). He feels that while the Utopia collection is a bold fashion statement, it's still pretty enough that it can be worn even on weekdays.

One last word regarding quality: According to their press release, Zoya products are free of formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene. They still manage to be amazingly long-lasting and chip resistant. I put it to the test, not wearing a clear top coat on my right hand. after five days the color on both hands looks the same (left is just a bit shinier) and neither has chipped. Quite impressive.

Utopia is the holiday collection and still isn't showing on
Zoya web site. Hopefully it will be there in the next few days. In the meantime I'm planning to try all the other colors. If I can work up the courage.

Update: Utopia is now available.


  1. These definitely look stunning. I could not wear them at the moment though I fear - my nails are slightly longer than the maximum appropriate length that would allow me to wear such colors without looking cheap. ...I don't know, do you feel the same? That such colors really need nails that are on the shorter side of things?

  2. Divina, I agree. It would be very over-the-top (and probably quite tacky) to wear such bold colors on longer nails. I keep mine at about 2 mm over the finger tip and oblong shaped.

  3. Oh yeah! I want that Irene soooo bad! And it's probably gonna look like crap on me because I have very pale skin with blue undertones. Doesn't matter, I still want it! I saw this on another blog a couple of weeks ago and am still waiting impatiently...::::tap:::tap:::tap::

  4. gail-

    go for it- I have the same skin and I wear that color (as clothing, it brings matches my eyes) all the time. I think the Aqua would look good on you too.

    I agree with divina as well, on shorter nails it's kicky and Sally Bowles. On long ones, not so much (god forbid you see a French manicure with it!)

  5. What a delightful blog. You write beautifully. Going to bookmark you!

  6. Gail- It's worth trying. This color might flatter many a complexion, it's so pretty.

    Tom- Now picture a reverse French manicure with this stuff.

    Suzann- Thank you so much! :)

  7. Yum! That is a good idea, green. It is not Black-Satin derivative, but very fresh. I was toying with the idea of a chalky sky blue... I am cooler toned so I thought it would look nice with Essie Wicked on the toes (which is Black-Satin derivative).

  8. Irene is gorgeous! That and Juno are my favorites from the collection. I just wish that Juno looked like a duochrome on the nails, like it does in the bottle. It's still so pretty.

    Utopia is supposed to release at the beginning of November. It "may" come out the last week of October.

  9. *laughs!* Oh, no! That reverse French manicure comment was too evocative of dreadful imagery! Must..banish..this thought..immediately!

  10. I was just on the Zoya site looking for the colors and they are up... They are all so beautiful... Like Jewels I should be wearing.


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