Zoya Cosmetics: The Nail Varnishes
Credit: Zoya Cosmetics (Fair Use)

Brainchild of Zoya Reyzis, the line of Zoya varnishes receives rave review with very good reason. The polishes are practically everywhere at a more than reasonable price-point that's revolutionizing the nail varnish industry. The founder of the Zoya lacquers realized there was a need for healthy varnishes that also possessed a solid durability when she created their formula. From the instant the polishes hit the shelves, both digital and non-virtual, the line became a near instant favorite among green girls and the not-so-green alike.

If you're looking for an ethically-sound, vegan polish, this product line has just about everything you could want at a price-point that will easily allow you to stock-up on an unimaginably wide range of hues.


Tint and Coverage

The Zoya lacquer base has a decent consistency, and its fast-drying formula is additionally chip-resistant. It dries in minutes and will last for at least a week (though some have enjoyed 4 weeks of continuous coverage on their toes).

A few tints you'll want to seek out include:


Valerie (#536)

Zoya's Valerie is a dark, electric violet with several drops of deep rouge tones and an iridescent gold layer. Considered a perfect purple for the winter months, it's fast-drying like the others in the Zoya cosmetics line, long-wearing, toulene- free, DBP-free (dibutyl phthalate), and formaldehyde-free. It doesn't contain camphor, and it is as chip-resistant as its siblings.

Adina (#608)

Adina is a duochrome metallic violet rainbow in a bottle that reveals a lovely iridescence in reasonable light. Chip-resistant and fast-drying like the others, it is also free of industrial pollutants.


Kelly is a more subdued violet with slate gray undertones. Perfect for practical-presentations, it maintains the fun without disturbing the somber tone you might be trying to convey. Like other Zoya nail varnishes, it is free of industrial chemicals like Toulene, DBP (a known carcinogen and cause of birth abnormalities), and formaldehyde.


Zoya Color Collections

Zoya cosmetics has us covered with a wide range of colors and “feels" designed for a myriad of occasions:

1. The MatteVelvet Collection offers matte hues that are ideal for retro, vintage, and retro-futurist aesthetics. The nail polishes in this line are also said to look great without a base coat. Zoya does “opaque” exceedingly well.

2. The Mod Mattes come in bright, fun, very matte citrus colors with fun names like Mitzi, Phoebe, and Lolly. The colors are close to (but far brighter than) the warm hues of the Truth collection of 2009.

3. The Purity collection is a spring line that offers wearable sheers, soft pastel pinks and creams. It is similar to the nude creams of the Touch trio.

4. The Wicked Collection is a metal-fest that offers dark, languishing shades of reds and purple foils. The collection includes:  Edyta, Julieanne, Karina, Cheryl, Kym, and Carrie Ann collection. It's much-like the Vibe and Flourish collections of '08, but reflective. A less sultry set that has a more light-hearted tone can be found in the metallics of the Candy collection.

5. The Intimate collection is the 2011 Spring collection. It boasts a softer, but less wispy take on the Purity set, but adds a lovely muted green and dark purple into the mix. It's composed of:  Marley, Dove, Gemma, Jules, Caitlin, and Dannii. This set is a light, more fluid version of the 2011 Smoke collection.


Zoya cosmetics also carries a range of varnish supporting formulas that include:


Zoya Anchor Basecoat

An excellent formulation that prevents peeling, the Zoya anchor basecoat fortifies nails with chains of complex proteins while establishing a strong bond between the nail and color coat that's easily removed. The formula is strong, but it won't make nails brittle.

Zoya Armor Topcoat/UV Block

The armor top coat creates a transparent seal over the nail varnish color beneath it (or the nail itself when it's used alone). When applied over a color coat, it prevents yellowing through the blocking of UV rays. It additionally extends the already exceptionally long life of Zoya nail polishes doubly. Zoya fanatics have reported its efficacy as a solution to problem nails that split, rip, and snag clothing material with their edges.


Packaging and Price-point

The bottles are reasonably sized at 0.5 ounces with the costs per varnish in the 2.25 range. The Zoya formula is exceedingly reasonable considering its caliber as a green polish, its strong presentation, and durability. The lacquers and Spanish brushes are contained in Italian glass.


The Green Factor

Zoya's green factor tips the average eco-scale. From its vegan-friendly formula to its lack of noxious chemicals, it provides a girl with exactly what she's looking for without requiring her to ignore the increasingly vital ethical foot-print.

Those chemicals Zoya cosmetics refuses to include in its base  have pretty disturbing effects:

Toulene: Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, it acts as a neuronal transmission inhibitor. Inhalation can cause hallucinations, seizures, ataxia, vertigo, tinnitus, stupor, and coma (to name a few effects of this toxin on the central nervous system). Sudden sniffing death is also reported as an associative danger. Liver failure, renal tubular acidosis (RTA), aplastic anemia, dermatitis, bone metabolism issues, and the inhibition of bone formation (again to name a few – the list is very extensive) present additional threats.

DBP: Known to causes birth defects, Dibutyl Phthalate is a danger to child-bearing women and especially the babies growing in their wombs. It's found in some of the biggest names in non-green polishes.

Formaldehyde: According to OSHA, the use of this chemical is commonplace in industrial applications. It is classified as a carcinogen, and exposure in the short term is no safer than in the long-term. It can be fatal.


Finding a brand that is actually green, let alone, vegan-friendly, and more durable than the poison polishes on the market is easier, as it turns, than one might think. Zoya cosmetics went the extra mile in every significant area for their varnish line. Even if the chemical giants (whose lacquer bottles should post a skull and crossbones) don't follow in Zoya's footsteps, we've got access to what our personal paint boxes call for, and our consciences (and physical systems, for that matter) are thankful for it.

Zoya Cosmetics: Nail Varnish Collections
Credit: Zoya Cosmetics (Fair Use)