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Zoya Awaken

 press samples 

Spring is just around the corner, and with the weather we've had here in the Northeast this year I'm unusually happy about that this year.  Spring really isn't my season.  That goes for allergies and for colors.  Zoya's brand new Awaken collection looks adorable and fresh, like a basket of easter eggs...but I don't have the best history with pastels.  My encounter with Zoya's other new spring collection, Magical Pixie, went well enough, but I was still worried about how my sallow fingers would jive with colors almost as pale as they are.  I lined them up and dove in...

Dot is a warm-toned baby pink cream.

I have rare moments when I wish I had a completely different color sense.  I'm having one now, looking at this photo.  Dot is about as un-"me" as it gets, and I felt very strange wearing it,'s gorgeous and flatters me better than maybe any other pastel I've ever worn.  The formula's even good!  It took four coats for complete opacity, but it wasn't the least bit chalky.  If I was a different person, I'd be in love with Dot.  I'm sure Nichole will be!

Cole is a pastel orange cream.

I'm sorry, Cole, but we just don't look good together.  Something about this color makes me look sickly.  This is three coats and the formula was a bit on the sticky side, if that makes sense.  It still went on fine, but it took more looking after than Dot did.

Brooklyn is a pearly metallic pastel yellow.

Nothing about Brooklyn worked for me, sad to say.  Lobster hands, completely.  Zoya describes Brooklyn as white gold, but it's decidedly yellow. It was opaque in two coats, but it developed pinprick bubbles.  I'm also not crazy about the finish.  It shows a bit of brushstroking and borders on being pearl.  This second photo is more accurate, but...I look dead.  Sorry!

Rebel is sky blue with dense soft gold shimmer.

When I saw the first promos for this collection, Rebel was the one that caught my eye.  Blues always do.  Something's off though.  I don't know what, but it just doesn't work on me.  I've loved it on everyone else I've seen it on, but I think I'm too warm-toned for it.  The formula is thick and a little draggy because of all of the shimmer, so I wound up needing a third coat to even it out.  A more careful application would be fine at two coats.

Dillon is mint green with dense soft gold shimmer.

Mint greens usually don't work on me, but Dillon is surprisingly flattering...not that the photos show it.  Don't believe what you're seeing here, it did look good!  It's thick and heavy with shimmer like Rebel, but since I went in expecting that, I was able to stay with just two coats.

Hudson has the same soft gold shimmer in a light purple base.

We have a winner!  Hudson's my favorite from this collection, no doubt about it.  It's got that same shimmer as Rebel and Dillon, but I think it pops more in the purple base.  Gorgeous!  If I do wind up doing easter nails, Hudson's a very strong contender.  Same as with Dillon, it looks better on me in person than the camera wanted to admit.  Also the same, I used two coats easily because I was used to the formula.

Of all of the shimmers, I only mattified Hudson and the result made me wish I'd done it with Dillon and Rebel too!  Hindsight...

Bottom line: My highest recommendations this time around go to all three shimmers and Dot.  Dot takes some building, but is just about perfect as pastels go.  The shimmers are thick, but easy enough once you're used to them.  I had a little trouble with Cole, but I wouldn't warn anyone away from it.  Brooklyn could work on someone with a very steady hand and completely different coloring, but it was a flop for me. where's the accompanying topper, Monet?  It gets a post all to itself on Monday.  See you then!


  1. Whoa, matting was a brilliant move! It looks like a perfect suede! I was going to get the shimmers anyway, but now that I've seen one of them matted, I think I will be getting them sooner than planned ;) Thanks for the beautiful and informative post!


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