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Zoya Ivanka Wear Test

By on March 30, 2010
in Green, Wear Test, Zoya with 69 Comments
zoya ivanka swatch zoya sparkle summer 2010 The vast majority of you raved when I posted the Zoya Sparkle collection (shipping April 1st) but a small minority of you expressed concern about chipping and quality of wear with Zoya’s formula.  This is not the first time I’ve heard this.  In fact my salon told me they stopped using Zoya because of this issue.

Personally, I’ve never had anything but fantastic wear from Zoya polish using either their Color Lock System or an outside brand of base & top coat.  A long time ago I showed you a wear test using the Zoya system but I decided it was time for an update using non-Art of Beauty products.

See the results and discover what ingredient could be at the root of your problems, after the jump!


I applied Zoya Ivanka, rather sloppily, before a party a little over a week ago.  Using Nubar Foundation Base Coat and Color Club 0-60 Speedy Top Coat I wore Ivanka for SIX DAYS!  In fact because I am just that lazy I’m still wearing it and on Day 10 and I only have two minor chips and a little tip wear.

zoya ivanka wear test zoya sparkle collection summer 2010

So what’s the key?  It’s something I posted about in my original wear test almost three years ago.  It’s all about an ingredient called CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE. Any base coats containing it will prevent their polish from adhering and top coats with the ingredient must be carefully formulated to work with Zoya lacquer. Any guesses what ingredient is in the majority of quick dry top coats?? Ding, ding ding!!

I did a quick inventory of my base & top coats and the only base coat I can find containing Cellulose Acetate Butyrate is Orly Tough Cookie so for the majority of you with Zoya wear problems, it’s time to start looking at your top coats. Seche Vite and Poshe both contain the ingredient as does Dazzle Dry, China Glaze Fast Forward, CND Air Dry and butter London Hardwear.

The majority of my top coats are either quick dry or they don’t have labels so the ingredient list went with the box but here are a few top coats to try: Color Club 0-60 Speed Dry Top Coat, China Glaze No Chip Top Coat, CND Super Shiney and of course there’s always the Zoya Color Lock System.

I find that using a slower drying top coat with drying drops always gets me better wear but I understand that time and patience are not in abundance for most of us nail girls, thus my mass quick dry top coat collection but if you love the Zoya colors and want the color and wear without the frustration it’s time to change up your top coat regimen.

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  1. Zoya Nail polish - 3 free bottles! - CurlTalk | January 5, 2011
  1. Mel says:

    I’m curious if you get the same length of wear with a non-sparkled based Zoya polish. I have incredible luck with any brand of polish lasting well over a week, if it has that “sparkle” factor (lack of a better way to term it).

    I use a regular top coat (not a fast dry) from Revlon with those Qtica quick dry drops. Yet, I cannot get any of the regular Zoya polishes to last more than a day. Sometimes, the MIDDLE of a nail chips before the night is even over (read: less than 6 hours).

    It’s too bad, especially because I think Zoya has one of the best comprehensive color collections of any brand.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hey Mel did you check the ingredient list on your Revlon top coat? See if the offending ingredient is on the list and let me know. I have worn creme Zoya polishes before with no issue as well but I chose to show Ivanka because there were some comments on the Sparkle post about wear problems.

      • Mel says:

        Yeah, it was on the box, which is now tossed. :) But then again, I don’t wear base coat (I know, I know), so maybe THAT’S my problem. Give it time — you converted me to USE a top coat that was not just for quick-dry purposes.

  2. Denise says:

    I just bought imm brand Out The Door top coat yesterday, haven’t tried it, but it contains the dreaded CAB as it’s 4th ingredient. That’s going back to Sally’s!

  3. Nadia says:

    I use Sephora by OPI top coat and I highly recommend it! Even after a week my nails are rarely chipped and show only the tinest bit of tip wear. More often then not I remove my polish not because its chipped, but because I want to wear a new color!

  4. Alllison says:

    I just have crappy nails. hands down.

  5. TheCaptain says:

    That’s very interesting, thanks for the info! I have a boatload of untried Zoyas because the two I’ve worn chipped like crazy. Off to research some topcoats…

  6. Grace says:

    I got amazing wear from the Zoya system, but unfortunately, when I removed the mani (my very first Zoya polish experience) I had horrendous staining and since then the only Zoya polish I’ve used has been Harley because I feel like it’s too light to stain my nails. Maybe I’ll give it another try with CND sticky as a base and Zoya Armor as the top coat.

    • Sys says:

      Zoya’s Verushka stained my nails horribly! I wore this in December, and they’re still yellow!

      • Grace says:

        For me it was Zoya Envy with Anchor and Armor that caused the stains. I think because I left it on for so long, but man they were gross. I wore Verushka, but only for a few days, with a basecoat (I forget which), and that worked out okay for me.

  7. PolishPig says:

    I never had any special difficulty with Zoya.

    Long time ago, my nails were soft, I chewed them and no polish would ever stay.

    A couple of years ago I started to care for my nails with base coat, filing, generally being careful, never ever pushing something sharp under them for cleaning, always only a nail brush!

    Now, my nails are strong and healthy and I enjoy painting them. I don’t think Zoya is worse than any other brand. Zoya has a beautiful color range, so I’m impressed, and will continue to use them!

  8. Lina says:

    I don’t have any diffucltys with Zoya, I have them for maybe 5 days before I change and I use Seche Vite. Maybe it could be better…
    Nubar Diamont Seal and Shine top coat should work then. I think I will try it and see!!
    Full ingredients:
    Butyl Acetate, N-Propyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Alcohol, Camphor, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol (according to cultbeauty.co.uk)

    Thanks for the info!

  9. Jessica says:

    I just checked my Essie Protein Base Coat, and Super Duper Top Coat–neither contain it! Just FYI :)

  10. Thanks for sharing this – I was wondering about wearability as well. This color is just so beautiful!

  11. Edelmc says:

    which quick drying drops would you recommend. I normally use orly bonder and glosser but i have been known to use poshe on top to speed up drying time. I love the speed of poshe and sv but find they do chip and leave a manicure dull after a couple of days

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I don’t have a preference really. They all seem pretty similar to me. I have the ones from Zoya and OPI on hand at the moment but I’m sure anything you can find locally at a beauty supply store would be fine.

  12. Sky says:

    Great post, Michelle! Thanks for conducting this wear test.

  13. Iolanthe says:

    Funny, I use China Glaze Fast Forward, and the bottle doesn’t list CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE as an ingredient. I haven’t had any trouble, either. Are you sure that’s one of the bad topcoats?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      My bottle has it included in the ingredients. Perhaps they reformulated. Though like I said in the post, just because a top coat includes that ingredient, it doesn’t mean you’ll have issues with Zoya. If it’s formulated correctly it should still work. I’m just saying that if you are having problems and using one of those top coats, consider trying one without that ingredient.

  14. Chynna says:

    I’ve been getting really good results with all my polishes when I use Zoya Armor and then SV on top of that. Armor seems to have great wear and the SV dries it quickly. I’m wearing it right now over a China Glaze color and have no chipping and very minimal tip wear on my thumbs. (Texting was the likely culprit there.)

    I’ve had great results with manicures with all Zoya products + Seche Vite as well. When Zoya had their last offer with two free polishes, I picked up another bottle of Armor. It’s now a staple item in my kit.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Thanks for sharing this. I’ve heard of people avoiding “shrinkage” or pull back by applying SV over another top coat but it’s good to hear it works over Armor as well to prevent Zoya’s from chipping.

  15. fancylady says:

    Here’s a related problem I’ve had with Seche Vite–purple spots! I used SV in the past without problems, but the last time I bought a bottle, it discoloured the polish underneath, in strange, dark, almost purplish spots. My nails looked bruised! I tried it with different brands (and colours) of polish, from OPI to mass market, and it happened to them all. Did they change the formula? Has anyone else had or heard of this problem?

  16. Jackie S. says:

    Great post!

  17. Deb says:

    I use Orly In a Snap and my Zoya polishes were extremely well. I once wore Trixie for 11 days before it chipped. I tried to look up the ingredients, and it didn’t mention CAB, but mentioned Celluose Acetate Proprionate?

  18. Jennifer says:

    This is pretty interesting to know which ingredients do what. I already had figured I could get a quick-dry or a long-lasting manicure but not both. And I didn’t know why. It’s great to now learn which chemical is involved. Did you see that posting on the Hungry Asian about base coats and yellowing nails? It was informative, too.

  19. Tamz says:

    Great post. Now I won’t be so hesitant to try a few Zoyas!

    Chynna, do you think that trick will also work with Poshe? I don’t use SV cause of the Big3… Thanks!

  20. Sarah says:

    I’ve never had a problem with Zoya’s wear; they’re actually one of my top choices because the polishes never chip. I was wearing Kotori last week and went five days before there was any tip wear. I use Butter London’s Nail Foundation basecoat and P.D. Quick topcoat.

  21. lizzy says:

    Just wanted to thank you on a great post! It’s very exciting to get the scoop on new collections and styles, but we all need this kind of practical information on application and product advice. Good job!

  22. This is quite interesting. I only use Seche Vite top coat and I still seem to get the same amount of wear time on polish regardless of brand, usually averages 3 days. Guessing SV just has a good formulation then? =)

  23. kris says:

    It helps to use the ‘good’ top coat, then a coat of the quick dry ones. I found revlon colorstay top coat then seche and I am fine. If I use just the SV the polish shrinks right up to the cuticle :)

  24. Candice says:

    This is really interesting… I’ll have to give my Zoya Color Lock system another go. I have HORRIBLE issues with my color lasting. It’s a miracle if it lasts more than three days without a chip on at least my index fingers. I had a mani on Saturday morning at RBL in New York and the NEXT MORNING, it was chipped. So disappointing.

    Thanks for the info. Something to look for when getting new base/top coats!

  25. Cyn says:

    Great tip! I had no idea about that ingredient!

    I’ve been using Essie’s 3-Way glaze and haven’t had a problem. The ingredients for that are: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, SD Alcohol 40B, Butyl Phthalate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Camphor, Water, Benzophenone 1, D&C Violet 2

    Currently I’m trying to treat soft, peeling nails, so I’m using Nutra Nail’s High Gloss Top Coat, which does contain CAB. Wear is about 3-4 days before chipping gets bad.

  26. Catherine says:

    Hmmm! Interesting. I received Mimi in the mail yesterday and gave it a whirl today, and had some minor chipping on two nails. I used Seche Vite top coat, which kinda sounds like the culprit. Or the fact I painted my nails at 1 AM. That can’t be it though, right? ;)

  27. Allison L says:

    Orly Tough Cookie is just bad in general as a base coat for any nail polish. Even Orly formulate colors. I’ve had the color lift and come off in full from my nail.

    • Michelle L. says:

      This is what has been happening to me but I’m using Seche Clear base coat and Seche Vite. The color just pops off my nail like I’m wearing press-on nails! If it doesn’t come off in full or chip horribly within hours, it’s a miracle!

  28. I actually get better wear with Zoya polishes than with OPI! I just wore Zoya Jo with Color Club Base coat and Color Club top coat (not quick dry) for 6 days with no chips and minor tipwear.

  29. roni says:

    Just checked out your blog for the first time and it’s really interesting! I learned something about polish today, thanks!

  30. Jen says:

    I do OK with Misa Bang as a base and Breakneck for topcoat. But I absolutely SWEAR BY China Glaze Fast Freeze drying drops.
    I also think unique body chemistry has a role to play in this and some products unaccountably do not suit some individuals. Which isn’t helpful…..

  31. Rotarygirl says:

    Thanks so much for this! The Sparkle collection is the first one of any brand *ever* that I’ve wanted every single shade and it’s good to know it will stay beautiful.

  32. Altea says:

    Ohhhh! Thank you thank you thank you!
    I had problems with zoya polishes too, and I was so upset about it because they have lovely colors!
    Now the only problem is I haven’t got the ingredient lists for most of my base/top coats (who keeps the box, really?) so I’m gonna pay more attention next time I buy one, and maybe I’ll try zoya color lock.
    Thank you sooo much!

  33. robin says:

    okay – I’m an acrylic overlay girl. I type ALOT which is why I’ve always sworn by sv. I do add an additional layer of sv every 4 days or so to slow down some of the tip wear from typing so I’d hate not to be able to use sv. I was going to order the entire set of Sparkle but now I’m not so sure?? How different is my experience going to be with the acrylics vs. problems on natural nails?

  34. Bridget says:

    I swear by Essie’s First Base basecoat and Good to Go top coat. I switched to SV for a bit but really noticed the shrinkage; and when I found my bottle of Good to Go and used this weekend, I was really pleased again!

  35. Siameseflame says:

    I have never had a problem with Zoya polishes. I use a base coat plus Gripper from the Nail Life line of treatments. I like it better than Orly’s Bonder. Gripper can be purchased at Sally’s. It is a rubberized sticky basecoat.

  36. Karen says:

    I agree. The Orly Tough Cookie is horrible. I enjoy Gelous Advanced Nail Gel coat as a base coat. Does anyone know if Essie three way glaze has that ingredient?

  37. melli says:

    I first tried Zoya because of your blog, and have not been disappointed since. The formula works very well for me, regardless of my quick dry top coats. I find that chips for me are more about the condition of my nails (occasional peeling), or what I am doing with my hands, not about the polish. I have had terrific wear with most polishes, including pesky mattes, as long as I make sure my nails are not flaky, and I don’t jam them on something hard :).

    I love your informative posts, Michelle…keep up the excellent work as always!

  38. Andrea says:

    Hi, sorry this is unrelated, but I was just wondering if you’re going to post the second part of the OPI Hong Kong Collection? Thanks

  39. robin says:

    BTW – zoya.com has a special right now – get a FREE 8oz Zoya Remove+ Big Flipper with any online purchase of $10.00 or more – coupon code is BF5 – I just ordered the whole Sparkle set and got the freebie!

  40. lacquerholic says:

    I had success with Sally Hansen Insta-dry top coat!

    • Megan says:

      Does anyone know where I can get Zoya(other then their website)? I tried sending them an email and it can back invalid address. I live in Wilmington Delaware.

      • All Lacquered Up says:

        Hi Megan! There is a salon locator on the Zoya website but I don’t know how up-to-date it is. I would suggest calling the company and asking where it is carried in your area. They should be able to help you find a salon or put you in contact with the distributor that serves your city.

  41. Rowie says:

    I have the best luck with Dazzle Dry – no shrinkage from the tips and stays on for at least two weeks on my finger nails and sometimes up to 5 weeks on my toes. But then I use the entire Dazzle Dry system – nail prep, base coat, nail lacquer and top coat. I find that I get the longest wear when I apply two coats of their base coat and I do not do anything extra like applying top coat every other day. It is such a great product – no uv, no drying drops!

  42. Rowie says:

    With respect to staining of nails, there is none when I use the entire Dazzle Dry system. The company who makes it (VB Cosmetics) say that it is because Dazzle Dry is nitrocellulose-free. It is the nitrocellulose that is the culprit and all nail polishes have it except Dazzle Dry. So it does not matter whether you use a non-yellowing top coat or not. If you use a colored polish with nitrocellulose, your nails will stain. The dark colored ones are the worst offenders.

  43. Ashley says:

    I normally use CND Stickey base coat and either Revlon Extended Top Coat or CND Super Shiney. I tried the Revlon Extended Top Coat with Zoya polishes and it didn’t even last a day without chipping. Did you say CND Super Shiney is one you can use with Zoya polish?

  44. JenG says:

    What kind of quick dry drops do you use? I had the.. well I can’t remember what they were. But I remember not liking them. And they smelled very strongly of mint.

  45. LeAnn says:

    I know I’m late to this post, but I’m on day 8 of a manicure that started out with Sally Hansen Hard as Wraps for a base coat, then two coats of Color Club Silver Lining, then two more coats of Hard as Wraps. Seriously strong nails and the polish is staying.

  46. Micha says:

    Just in case anyone finds this post by google in the future, like I did:

    The Sally Hansen base and top coats work with Zoya almost as well as Zoya’s color lock system. I just recently got into Zoya polishes and when I ordered my first few colors, their top coat was on back order. I used the Sally Hansen Continous Treatment Base & Top Coat 2-in-1 and my manicures lasted at least a week before chipping.

  47. Paula says:

    I really don’t get it. My Zoya Armor has Cellulose Acetate Butyrate listed. Wasn’t it supposed not to???

  48. tessabella76 says:

    A little late here but I just wanted to add my .02 to the wear test: I’ve had Ivanka on for a week now and I only have two minor chips (I work in banking-lots of coin counting, vault-opening, and in and out of cash drawers is hard on nails. It’s rare for me not to get at least one chip in an average week) and slight tip wear. I used Orly Ridge Filler bc and Zoya Armor tc. So far so good. If I wasn’t bored with the color, I’d keep it on for another few days!

  49. Krissi Kaos says:

    I’m wearing Zoya Apple and Tanzy right now, 2 coats, and using Out the Door Fast Drying top coat, no base coat. OtD’s 4th ingredient is CAB and after 2 days of heavy work (I work at a thrift store, so lots of handling of various wares, money, funiture, hangers, etc) I’m only showing minimal edge wear. I don’t know if it’s a fluke or what, but I don’t have any complaints so far.

  50. Erin says:

    I’m wearing Zoya Charla with a generic base coat I got in one of those holiday make-up kits many years ago, and a top coat by Sally Hansen that is older than me and contains nylon. I’ve been wearing it for a couple days with no chips much to my delight. It has withstood work, messing around under the hood of my car, and gardening with no chipping. It’s the first polish to hold up this long without chipping on me. Before the record was held by most China Glaze polishes at 3 hours.

  51. T-AG says:

    I agree 100% about Orly Tough Cookie. I haven’t found anything that it didn’t fight with and peel terribly, so I never use it anymore.

    I pretty much stick to one base/top coat combo that works well with every brand of color I use (Zoya, China Glaze, OPI, Nicole by OPI, Orly, Sally Hanson, Essie, Sinful, and others). The combo is almost always Zoya Get Even ridge-filling base coat and Color Club Vivid color-intensifying top coat. I get really long wear from this combo and rarely use other base or top coats. I just checked their labels and Vivid does include CAB, surprisingly.

    After using Zoya color, Get Even, and Remove+ for years, I ordered my first full color lock system this week (thanks to the current freebie promotion). I’m eager to finally try Anchor and Armor. [I've also been using another top coat lately that IS CAB-free, with good long-wear results -- Revlon Just Tinted Shiny Top Coat. It's thinner than Vivid. It came with a set of sheer brights.]

    Have you ever heard of Liquid Glass? It’s a top coat I used in the ’90s and I’d get two weeks out of even the most peel-prone cheap polishes with a super-glossy, thick, rock-hard finish. I wish it was still available, but it was probably loaded with nasties. LOL I’m always looking for something similar to it, and I think Vivid is the closest I’ve gotten.

    • Lindsay Z says:

      I know I’m replying like, 5000 years after you commented, but hopefully you checked the notify me box or this can help others.

      I loved Liquid Glass nail laminate, too! I hadn’t seen it for years, but I stumbled upon it in a Bed Bath & Beyond that has a Harmon drugs section! It’s in the general nail supplies aisle and hangs from a pegboard. Hope this may be useful. :)

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