A touch of smoky, a dash of sultry: Zoya Cynthia, Neeka and Nimue

We have only two seasons in my corner of the cosmos: humid and sweltering, and wet and muddy, with a short pocket of time — usually December to the second week of February — when it’s actually pleasant. In the last few years, there’s been no fixed schedule for these seasons. A single day’s weather can run the gamut from comfortably breezy to hellishly hot to impossibly wet, like it’s constantly PMS-ing.

This month, it’s been mostly hot and rainy. Perfect time for me to wear these:

These three are from Smoke and Mirrors,  Zoya’s Fall 2011 collections. I bought them from Digital Traincase when I was sick, in need of serious retail therapy and in the mood to match my nail color to the weather.

Left to right: Cynthia, Nimue and Neeka

Zoya says the Smoke and Mirrors collection is supposed to bring out “the smokiest, sultriest, sexiest you ever.” Me? Oh, I don’t know about that. 😛 They do look gorgeous on my nails, though.

Cynthia is the only shade I have from the Smoke collection. Digital Traincase didn’t have Dree and I was undecided on Anja and Jana. Cynthia is the color that got my attention the first time I saw Scrangie‘s swatches. I love very dark blue, teal and green shades that are almost black.

Zoya Cynthia is a dark, smoky teal. Indoors, it’s almost black. But under sunlight and my white lamp, the blue is very pronounced. The reviews I’ve read say Cynthia has very tiny shimmer that’s all but invisible except under bright light. I’m nearsighted and didn’t see it.

I have to admit, I bought Cynthia just to kill my longing for Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal, a shade that has been on my to-buy-or-not-to-buy list for quite some time but never quite makes it to the shopping cart. I don’t know how Cynthia compares. Teal is probably much, much bluer.

Here’s a shot of Cynthia looking vampy by the window:

It’s a bit darker on the nail than in the bottle. And there’s just enough blue there that you can tell it’s not black.

The formula is nice, smooth and extremely easy to apply. I needed only two coats.

Zoya Nimue (pronounced NIM-oo-ay) is one of three metallics from the Mirrors collection. I almost didn’t buy it because I thought it looked similar (but not identical) to Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game. I’m glad I got it, because Nimue is a beauty.

Nimue is a muted, smoky, mid-toned purple with mauve undertones and silver frost. My camera captures it as grey.

The name sold me as much as the color.  Nimue is the Lady of the Lake who gives  Excalibur to King Arthur. She is also one of the three women of Avalon who bring King Arthur to his final resting place. (In some versions of the Arthurian legend, the Lady of the Lake is called Viviane, Nynaeve, Niniane and other names.) In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon,” Nimue falls in love with the Merlin but is doomed to kill him. (In this retelling, Merlin is a title, not a name.) Yes, Zoya Nimue brings out the book nerd in me.

This photo I took in indoor light shows Nimue’s color more accurately. It is properly mauvish purple. In some angles, it can look brownish purple or greyish purple. But it is, undoubtedly, purple.

My photos show tip wear because I wore Nimue for a couple of days before taking pictures. I used three coats but you can certainly do with two. Application was a bit difficult. For some reason, the brush is tapered and I had a hard time making an even curve along my cuticles.

Zoya Neeka is also from the Mirrors collection and my favorite of the three. It’s a smoky purple, darker than Nimue, with subtle pink shimmer and gold glitter. Dare I say it, Zoya? I feel sexy when I wear it.

Like some of my other purples, my camera captures Neeka as bluer than it really is under artificial light. I could not capture the pink shimmer, which is too bad because it adds a nice depth and complexity to the color.

The glitter isn’t as dense as some of my other glitter polish. It’s also subtle rather than sparkly. Reminds me of butter LONDON Victoriana. Despite the glitter, Neeka dries smooth.

Here’s a more color-accurate photo.  Neeka is more deeply purple on the nail than in the bottle. I love how lustrous it looks with the gold glitter.

Application was so easy and stress-free. Zoya Neeka’s formula can give butter LONDON a run for its money.

It’s too bad Neeka’s green twin Yara wasn’t available. That little bottle of pretty would look great as a pedicure with a Neeka manicure.

I bought my Zoya Smoke and Mirrors nail polish from Digital Traincase  (Facebook | Multiply) for PHP420 each. Stocks are very limited; I think there’s still a handful of Smoke shades available. You can also find Zoya nail polish at Zoya Manila and, of course, Zoya.com.


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