Zoya Thrive: Polish Comparisons

As I was swatching my way through the Zoya Thrive Collection, I realized several of the polishes in the collection reminded me of other things in my stash. What is a polish-hoarding lacquer junkie to do in such a situation? Well, I’ll tell ‘ya: She rummages through her stash and does some comparison pictures! Thrive is a 6-piece collection, and I found comparisons for 4 of them. I don’t consider them all dupes or even close comparisons, but there are similarities.

This is my first time doing this kind of post, so I’m still trying to fine tune the organization of it. This might end up being a long one, since I have multiple comparison photos, including bottle shots.


Comparison number 1: Zoya, Brandi vs. OPI, Aurora Berry-alis, which was part of OPI’s Fall/Winter Iceland Collection. Here they are side-by-side for a bottle comparison. I think they look pretty darn similar. Brandi might be a teeny bit lighter/brighter in the bottle, but it’s a close thing.


This is Brandi vs. Aurora Berry-alis in a comparison on my nails. These polishes are definitely kissing cousins, but I don’t think they are dupes. To my eye, Brandi is lighter/brighter on the nail than Aurora. Aurora Berry-alis also seems to have more of a purple undertone, whereas I see an orange or salmon undertone in Brandi.

Formula-wise, I would say it’s a toss up between these two. I personally think Brandi has a slightly better formula because it feels thicker and creamier as it goes onto the nail. Brandi is basically opaque in 1 coat, but Aurora needs two for full opacity. Aurora Berry-alis has a fantastic formula. I consider 2 coats a normal application, and Aurora goes onto the nail easily, smoothly, and with a minimum of clean-up required.

Do you need both of these pretty polishes? Obviously, I can’t answer that question for you. This will vary depending on your personal preferences. I happen to be wild for these types of rosy “grandma” colors. This is something I discovered only recently. I’m thrilled to have both of these in my stash, and I don’t mind the similarities between them. If I wasn’t mad for the grandma roses, I would probably only want one of them. But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.


Comparison number 2: Zoya, Brandi vs. Zoya, Padma. Here are these ladies, side-by-side in their bottles. As with the first comparison, I find Brandi lighter or brighter in the bottle than Padma. But they seem very close.


Here are Brandi and Padma on my nails. I feel like these two are quite different. On the nail, Padma looks darker than it does in the bottle. Next to Brandi, Padma looks positively moody and dark. You guys know I say this with love. I’m sure you remember how hard I loved all over Padma when she arrived in my stash. I still love her to bits! I can see similarities in the color tones of these polishes. Both are muted and dusty. But I don’t consider them similar enough that they are even kissing cousins, much less dupes. It’s more like Brandi is Padma’s cheerful younger sister or something.

Formula-wise, these are both great. Both polishes are practically one-coaters, although I believe I used two plus top coat in my picture. Both are creamy, smooth, and practically perfect in every way.

Do you need both of these? Again, your mileage may vary … but … YES!! Of course you do. I still love Padma. And I can see Brandi becoming a favorite for me, too. Even though it’s pink. Seriously, guys. What has happened to my universe? I don’t know!!!!!


Comparison number 3: Zoya, Trudith vs. OPI, One Heckla of a Color. Look at these pretties in their bottles! Is it just me, or are these two nearly identical? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or maybe not …


Here are Trudith and Heckla on my nails. They still look pretty much the same to me.  I hate to call dupes, so let’s just say these are much closer than kissing cousins. Much, much closer. Like … they could almost be the same polish. *ahem* Trudith might be a fraction of a hair darker than Heckla. I keep looking at the picture and wondering if this is so. But it could also be my eyes playing tricks on me.

Formula-wise, these babies are comparable. I think they both have a great formula. If pushed, I have to say I prefer Trudith because it feels thicker and creamier going onto the nail. With that said, Heckla also has a fantastic formula. It is easy to work onto the nail and opaque in 2 easy coats.

Do you need both of these? For myself, the answer is probably not. If I had purchased Trudith first, I wouldn’t have gotten Heckla. Instead, Heckla was the first of the two to come into my stash. This should have kept me from purchasing Trudith, but I wanted the whole Thrive Collection. Also, I didn’t realize how close these two were until I saw them in person. I’m really happy to have Trudith in my stash because I love the formula and the color. I may end up destashing Heckla, but I haven’t decided yet. If it water marbles, I might keep it for that purpose.


Comparison number 4: Zoya, Darby vs. OPI, Check Out the Old Geysirs. Here they are together in their bottles. It’s like looking in a mirror! I think these two look identical when placed side-by-side.


Here they are together on my nails. Surprisingly, they are not exactly the same. I expected they would be identical based on the way they look in the bottle. But Darby dries down a little bit darker on the nail, and it is slightly darker and richer in color than Geysirs. Both polishes have that lovely blue-gray look to them. And both have the same aqua/blue shimmer running throughout. I find the shimmer to be subtle but pretty in both of these polishes. I think this is another case of kissing cousins.

Formula-wise, these guys are both great. As with my other Zoya vs. OPI comparisons, I prefer the Zoya formula for this polish. I think Zoya, overall, does a thicker or creamier formula. But Darby and Geysirs are really similar in formula. They both feel slick going onto the nail. Both are easy to apply, and both are opaque in 2 coats. I think Darby might thicken up to a 1-coater over time. But I can’t see Geysirs ever getting to that point because 1 coat feels too thin to me on the nail.

Do you need both of these? In a word: YES! If you’re me, that is. I’m crazy for blues and grays. And I’m crazy for the shimmer in these polishes. I was happily surprised to find they are different, because it makes me feel less guilty. But let’s face it: Even if they were identical, I would have wanted both of them. Have I mentioned I have a problem? Um, yeah …


Just for grins, I did Comparison number 5: Zoya, Darby vs. OPI, I Can Never Hut Up. Here they are together in their bottles, and you can immediately see they are nothing alike. I think Darby reminded me of Hut Up because the shimmer is very similar. It might even be the same shimmer, although I think the base color for Hut Up makes it look slightly different in the bottle.


Here are Darby and I Can Never Hut Up together on my nails. Again, these two are nothing alike. They aren’t kissing cousins. They aren’t even siblings. Maybe they could be step sisters or something like that. Hut Up is obviously more of a gray. Compared to it, Darby practically screams, “Hey! I’m blue!!” Interestingly enough, I think the shimmer looks much more identical between these two on the nail.

Formula-wise, these two are quite similar. They have the same slick feeling going onto the nail. They both need 2 coats for full opacity. They are both good formulas that are easy to work into a full manicure. I think this is due to the shimmer.

Do you need both of these? Obviously, I think you do. They are completely different in color tone. They both have a great formula. Actually, let me temper that a little bit. I think they both have a great formula. I Can Never Hut Up got a few bad reviews when it first released, if I recall correctly. I have always found it to be a good formula, and I like this polish a lot. I’m thrilled to have both of these in my stash.


Comparison number 6: Zoya, Monroe vs. Zoya, Padma. Side-by-side in their bottles, I think these two are close in appearance. I don’t think they are identical, but they look really similar to me in color tone.


On the nail, we have a different story. Monroe looks slightly brighter and less dusty/muted in the bottle, but these qualities are a lot more prominent to me on my nails. Padma is a darker, rosy tone. Monroe looks like more of a raspberry pink or pink-red in comparison. I don’t see the dustiness in Monroe that I see in Padma. I also think Monroe has a more “youthful” feeling to it, whereas Padma feels elegant and a little bit refined. I’m calling these two sisters.

Formula-wise, you can’t go wrong with either of these. I think their formulas are pretty much identical. Both are 1-coaters. Both are creamy and rich going onto the nail. Both have a beautiful, glossy finished look on the nail. I also think both of these polishes will look amazing on a variety of skin tones.

Do you need both of these? Um … YES! Again, you guys know how much I adore Padma. It is one of those polishes I think everyone needs to own. I wasn’t sure about Monroe when I purchased Thrive. It was the wild card for me, but I found I really like it on my nails. Padma is a color I will wear all year long. In contrast, Monroe gives me more of a Spring/Summer feeling. I’m happy to have both of these in my stash.


Whew! That was a long post! I had fun doing this. I enjoy looking at polishes next to each other in order to search out similarities and differences. I feel like it might help me look at my stash in a different light. And it might teach me how to build up a better and more varied collection, instead of just jumping blindly. Although … I do get really excited about nail polish. I will probably always tend to be a jumper. I can admit this to myself.

I have posted a few comparisons on Instagram so far, including the ones that are in this post. I can’t get as chatty on IG because space is more limited. This might be a good thing. Or not. I’m not sure. But I think it might be fun to do more comparisons here in the blog. I may make this a semi-regular feature.


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