Helloooooo!! I’m hopping in here to blow off a little bit of the dust. As I have mentioned before, we are in the process of cleaning and packing for our upcoming move, so my posting has been more sporadic. Toss in some allergy-induced illness for me this week, and sporadic becomes something else entirely. Like … mega sporadic. Or … something.
But(!!) I am here today, and I am excited to share the Zoya Innocence Collection for Spring 2019. Innocence is a 6-piece collection with mostly creme finishes. There are a couple of surprises in here, finish-wise, which were unexpected and nice. And I think this collection has a nicely “Spring” look to it, overall. But more on that later. For now, let’s jump into the colors! As always, I will list the polishes in alphabetical order, and color descriptions are from the official Zoya website.
Agnes is a “warm toned, muted blush”. This polish has a pretty good formula. It was a little more fluid than I expected, but it wasn’t too thin or too thick. I felt it built up well, particularly for a lighter, nude-toned polish. I generally have trouble building those to full opacity, but this one was nice for me at 2 coats.
You guys know I’m not always one for neutrals. If I hadn’t wanted to review this whole collection on the blog, I doubt I would have purchased this one on its own. With that said …
This is a really pretty neutral. There is a slight blush of pink to the undertone, which is delicate and lovely. At the same time, there are brown tones in the mix, which gives the polish a beautiful warmth. This is a lovely, lovely transitional color from Winter into Spring, due to the muted tones. But it is also a perfect neutral for any time of the year. It has a pretty finish on the nail, and I was happily surprised to find I liked this polish against my skin tone. I don’t have a lot of nude-toned neutrals in my stash, and I think this one is going to be a nice addition.
Aire is a “deep dusty periwinkle blue”. This polish has a great formula. It was nice, creamy, and easy to build up on the nail. This one was nearly opaque for me in 1 coat, but I ended up using 2, so I’m going to call it a 1-2 coater.
So … Are you surprised to find this is my favorite from the collection? Yeah. I didn’t think so! And, of course, it is my hands-down favorite. I love it. This color is so pretty and almost bold. At the same time, it has a dusty and muted quality to it that I find visually appealing. This is another perfect transition color from Winter into Spring. It reminds me of the little blurple flowers I see popping up from the ground all around my neighborhood.
Birch is a “gentle greiged lavender”. This polish has a pretty good formula. I found it more liquid or fluid than expected, but it wasn’t too bad. I found I had to be slightly careful not to flood my nails when swatching it, particularly along my sidewalls. This could be due to the fact that I am still using the itty-bitty, original Zoya brush. With the new “Z-wide” brush, application might be easier on this one. I will never know, because I refuse to pay extra money for the new brushes. Even with the original Zoya brush, this was opaque in 2-3 coats.
This polish is so, so, so, soooo pretty! I love the purple tones in here. It has a beautifully cool-toned look on the nail. As you guys know, I am always a fan of cool-toned polishes. This has a beautiful finish on the nail, and it is yet another color that feels like a great transition into Spring. For me, this is a slightly more winter-themed neutral than Agnes, just because of the cooler tones. But this is also a neutral I would be likely to wear on its own in a manicure, as opposed to using it only as a base for nail art.
Evette is a “softened grape with a pink undertone”. This polish has a great formula. It is creamy and practically applies itself for full opacity in 1-2 easy-peasy coats.
This is a delicious purple. Purples come in slightly second to blues for me as my color jam of choice in nail polish. So I have a lot of purples. And, even among all the purples I have, I think this is one of the nicest. It is juicy and gorgeous on the nail. I love the slightly red or pink undertone to it. And the formula is perfection. If I had been working with the new larger brush, I am pretty sure this would have been an easy 1-coater. This is definitely a polish that works well for Spring, but I can see this one working for Summer, too, because it has a little more depth to the color. I feel like it would also be nice in the Fall because of the slight darkness to it.
Fern is a “balanced sage with a beautiful warm pearl accent”. This polish has a good formula. It tended toward flooding for me, so I found I had to take care when swatching it. Granted, I swatch in a hurry. I haven’t manicured with this one yet, so taking more time with it might solve that problem. When I was swatching, this polish came out fast and thick onto the nail, so I am calling it opaque in 1-2 coats.
This polish took me by surprise. After seeing a couple of review videos for this collection and the online teaser pictures, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. When I saw it in person, I was happy to realize I like it quite a lot. The pearl accent seems almost golden against the soft and cool sage base color. But there is a nice amount of gray in this polish, too. In some lights, it looks more green. In others, it looks a lot more gray. It is a unique and interesting polish, and it’s nice to see Zoya add something fun into this collection.
Theo is a “stormy gray with subtle texture featuring a flash of larger irregular silver flakies with dark blue glitter throughout”. This polish has a good formula. It was thicker than I expected it to be, but it was not difficult to apply or build up on the nail. In spite of the thick feeling, I felt the first coat came onto my nail looking sheer. This might have been due to me holding back a little bit until I was more sure of the formula, so I am calling this one a 2-3 coater.
You guys know I love gray polish. I also love navy or dark blue and gray together. Zoya’s website says this polish is “like a Spring thunderstorm in the night”, and I can definitely see that inspiration in this polish. It has the moody, dark grays and blues of a thunderstorm. And the white flakes provide a bright punctuation, just like lightning in a dark Spring sky full of gray clouds. I wish the blue glitter was more obviously blue against the gray base color. To me, it looks more black because of how dark it is. I also wish the white flakes were, maybe, a tiny bit smaller. This polish dries slightly textured, but I found it much smoother than their liquid sands. Without top coat, I could barely feel the texture across the top of my nail. Once I applied one coat of glossy top coat, everything was beautifully shiny and smooth.
Overall, I am not sure how I feel about this polish. It is really different and a little bit strange. I love the inspiration behind it, and I love that Zoya went out on a limb to recreate that inspiration. This isn’t something you see a lot of in mainstream collections. At the same time, it is kind of a strange combination of elements. I am looking forward to wearing this one a time or two, because I still don’t know which way I will go. I can see myself really disliking this polish. But I can also easily see myself loving the heck out of it!
COMPARISON … AGNES VS. BIRCH:
Because there were two pastel neutrals in the collection, I felt like a comparison was in order. I would love to compare Agnes with Portia, also. Unfortunately, I had already packed all my polishes by the time this collection arrived, which meant Portia was not available for photos.
As you can see from the above picture, Agnes and Birch are very similar when you look at them side-by-side in the bottle. They are close in color value in that they are both the same type of light and bright but still muted pastel. To me, Agnes looks more like a true nude in the bottle, while Birch looks more like a purple than a nude-toned neutral.
And here they are on the nail. I have Birch on my index and ring fingers and Agnes on my middle finger and pinky. I think it’s easy to see they are even more different on the nail than they are in the bottle.
To my eye, Birch looks even more purple. I feel the gray tones come out a little more on the nail, but it overall has a beautifully soft and gentle pastel look to it. Agnes still looks like more of a true nude, but you can see more of the mix of brown and pink when it is on the nail. I feel like it looks more whited-out in the bottle but has a stronger color appearance on the nail.
Overall, I’m happy to say these are nothing alike. I love that they are so different, particularly because I was surprised to find two light pastel/neutral/nude type polishes in the same collection. Although … considering this is mainstream polish we’re talking about, perhaps I should not be at all surprised.
Overall, I really like this collection. In looking at all the polishes together in their bottles, I enjoy the balance of bright and light/neutral in here. For me, the purple and periwinkle were both bright and bold highlights in this collection. But I love seeing the softer and gentler pastel tones next to them. It was also fun for me to see that Zoya added a couple of unexpected and quirky finishes into the collection with Fern and Theo. I love how these look all together, and I feel like this collection really says: HELLO SPRING!! I think I’m ready for some brighter and more fun colors, for sure.
As a minor drawback, I have to say this collection, in many ways, is nothing new or astounding. It’s got some brights and some pales. It has purples and blues and pinks. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Even though I think this is a great collection, I can’t lie and say it is amazingly unique or different. It’s just not. And that’s okay. For me, this is only a minor drawback because we are talking about a mainstream brand. I don’t hold mainstreams to the same high standard as indies in terms of creativity and uniqueness. Maybe this is wrong or snobby of me, but I feel like mainstreams have to try hard to appeal to everyone. Indie brands are mixed in smaller batches, and don’t necessarily have this added pressure.
Even if you look at this collection and think, “Yawn. It’s all the same stuff. Boring.”, I would argue this is still a fantastic collection. The formulas are nice and easy to apply, and these all look fabulous on the nail. Most of the polishes in here will easily cross between at least two or three seasons. This would be a great collection to purchase as a whole if you are just starting out in building your stash. But, even if you are a jaded polish-hoarder like me, I think you will find stuff to love in here.
What do you guys think? Do you have any of the polishes from this collection? If so, how do you like them?