I’m finally getting around to reviewing several products from Zoya’s relatively new Naked Manicure line. I hemmed and hawed for a long time about whether to buy any of them, then waited for a sale. A really good sale. Bought these last month — the Base Coat ($12), the Pink Perfector ($10), and the Lavender Perfector ($10) — and by doing so I got the Satin Seal Top Coat free plus a trio of full-sized limited edition polishes free in a promotion that was going on at that time. I really wanted that LE trio!
I didn’t get the White Tip Perfector because the white part of my nails is already white enough, and frankly I thought of it as just one more step.
After receiving the Naked Manicure (NM) products, I put off trying them, for no particular reason. But now I have. And you get to hear me talk about them. In a word, disappointed. 😦
Zoya makes quite a few claims about the NM system and I’ve read glowing reviews from other bloggers. Zoya says there are instant benefits of “Improves the appearance of damaged and/or discolored nails,” with long term benefits of “Improves the condition, strength, & flexibility of the nail with vitamins, proteins & botanicals over time.” Admittedly I haven’t given the products a long-term test yet and will be reporting first impressions today.
Ingredients lists of the base coat and top coat (click for a larger view):
First I applied the clear base coat. It had a very strong, unpleasant, chemical smell. Here are my nails with just this base coat. They aren’t normally great but aren’t terrible either. I do notice a little yellowish discoloration in the white part of my nails but feel my nail beds usually look healthy (of course, the day I say this I have an obvious white ding on my middle fingernail). This and other photos are under indirect bright outdoor light unless otherwise noted.
Then I applied the perfectors, pink on two nails and lavender on two others. These did not smell bad or strong at all. After one coat I couldn’t see any difference at all. Ditto two coats. After three coats (sigh) I detected a slight blush of color.
Finally, after rolling the bottle of Satin Seal Top Coat between my hands to “activate the bi-phasal formula” per the instructions, I applied one coat. It smelled stronger than the perfectors but not as strong as the base coat. And here’s the result, first under indirect bright outdoor light and then with the flash.
I’m so underwhelmed I hardly know what to say. Perhaps I’m not the person at which these products are aimed. Perhaps my natural nails are already so perfect and gorgeous (ha ha) that I don’t need the NM system. More likely, I am difficult to please when it comes to anything that makes a ton of claims.
For a better comparison, here’s the photo of my nails with just the base coat next to the one with base, perfectors, and top coat.
Yes, they do look better. The whites of my nails don’t look at all yellowish any more. The finish feels very smooth, and the appearance of any vertical ridges is reduced. Maybe there’s some cool stuff going on at the cellular level too. As far as the Pink Perfector vs. the Lavender Perfector, I think the lavender reduces yellowness better, which makes sense since lavender/purple is the opposite of yellow. But I think it makes my nail beds look slightly blue, as if I had poor blood circulation. I prefer the Pink on my nail beds.
Overall, what I feel I’ve done is spent time, effort, and money on products to make it look like I’m not wearing polish. I would rather wear colored polish. But maybe you have a job where you can’t do that. An alternative for me would be to wear nothing but a sheer pink-tinted top coat.
Have you tried any of the Naked Manicure items? What do you think? Greatest thing since sliced bread, or too much hype?