Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review & Swatch: Zoya Shay

I recently took advantage of one of Zoya's amazing promotions and purchased a bunch of polishes, getting 2 free! One of the polishes I purchased was from Zoya's Touch Collection--Shay! I looked at a million swatches and knew of all three this would be the one I would like best.

Shay is described on Zoya's site as:
"A dense, fleshy light peach with slight orange-red undertones and a hint of pearly silver shimmer. An opaque, full-coverage nude that compliments warm skin tones." 

At First Glance
Packaging: Like all of the other full-size Zoya bottles I have, this has Zoya's recognizable shape--wider at the top and tapering down. 

3-Free or Not: If you're not familiar with the term "3-Free" it refers to polishes that are void of 3 of the most harmful ingredients in traditional polishes--Dibutyl Pthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, and Toluene. Zoya is not only 3-Free, but it does not include camphor as well. If you'd like to read more about 3-Free polishes and why you may want to ditch the questionable ingredients check out this older post on 3-Free Nail Polish.

Zoya Shay Ingredients - Sorry, I was having a horrible time trying to get the white on the bottle not to melt into the polish behind it!
Claim v. Reality
Claim (according to Zoya's site): "An opaque, full-coverage nude that compliments warm skin tones." Zoya rates Shay a 5 out of 5 for opacity.

Here's the Reality: Like Pandora (CLICK HERE for review), This polish is pretty opaque. The biggest issue I had in regards to opacity with Shay was that it was inconsistently streaky, which left parts of my nails nearly bare on the first application. The second application left Shay completely opaque. I almost always do 2 coats, but I can't say this is 100% opaque because I would consider that to be a polish that is opaque with the first coat. As far as it working with warm skin tones, I can't really say. I have an olive complexion with yellow undertones so all nudes tend to look the same on me. I think this would work with anybody because of its peachy tone, but I could be wrong! Also, there isn't a whole lot of silver tone to it, but I would agree there there is a hint of pearly silver shimmer.

Zoya Shay: Applied v. In Bottle
Zoya Shay: 2 coats over clear base (no top coat)
One strange thing I did notice about my bottle of Zoya Shay, is that it had patches of silver scattered inside of it. I shook it multiple times and they wouldn't mix in. In fact, I shook it so much I ended up with some air bubbles in the formula at one point. Not sure if anyone else's had these and I don't know if it makes a difference that the formula wouldn't completely mix.
These strange patches of silver were all over the inside of the bottle.
Major Pros or Cons
  • Pro - 3-Free plus camphor free
  • Pro - Decent opacity
  • Pro - Another option for a nude nail polish. Remember Crayola's flesh-toned crayons back in the day? This to me reminds me of the flesh-toned crayon they had.
  • Pro or Con - Zoya's nail polishes are currently sold on the site for $8 per bottle for full-size, which is an increase from $7 per bottle earlier this year. $8 may be a great bargain in comparison to one of my other favorite 3-Free polish companies (Butter London), but is a bit more expensive than some drugstore brands. I don't mind spending $8 on a bottle of polish I love, but others may feel that's a bit too much.
  • Con -  A bit streaky. I had several nails on each hand that applied this way.
  • Con - For some reason this kind of seemed like a thick formula, as it dried semi-quickly while applying. As I applied it to each nail, I found I ended up with a lot of polish on the brush despite swiping it on the top of the opening before use. I also found that by the time I had done 3 swipes on each nail, if I tried to do a fourth to even out any part of it, the polish was already tacky and would cling to the brush and become a mess.
  • Con - Like Pandora, this is a bit on the softer side even after drying or it takes an excessively long time to dry. You can see my review of Pandora HERE. As with Pandora, I will probably try this with a hardener or rapid dry nail product later on.
 Overall Impression
I really do like this shade a lot, if I were looking for a nude nail polish this would be what I envision. The problem is, I found the application to be a bit tedious. I had to redo a couple nails because the of the issues with streaking and becoming tacky quickly.  

Zoya currently has their full-size bottles of polish listed at $8 per bottle.

Would I recommend it or use it again? 
If I didn't love the color so much I would probably recommend this only to those dying for the perfect nude polish. I guess given I'm a little curious as to whether or not I ended up with a quirky bottle of Shay, I would recommend this while giving a full disclosure of the issues I had applying it. I think I'm going to reach out to Zoya and see what they think regarding my experience. Either way, in my opinion this color is a nude polish lover's dream :) 

Have you tried Zoya's Shay nail polish? What did you think? 

You can view Shay on Zoya's site HERE 

This product was purchased by me directly from Zoya. All opinions stated above are my own. 


  1. I thought I was the only one; I was also wondering if I had gotten a messed up bottle! For some reason though, whenever I apply a second coat, I always get bubbles, even though I don't shake the bottle.*sigh* If I didn't love the color so much, I'd probably stop using it. Thanks for the review though!

  2. You're welcome! So weird! Did you try calling Zoya? Their customer service is amazing. I never did, come to think of it.


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