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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – “French Twist” Manicure with Zoya Caitlin & Dove

zoya-caitlin-dove-nail-polish-intimate-collection-spring-2011 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

Today I’m recreating a look straight from the NYFW runways. Over the past few years Zoya has become quite a presence at Fashion Week and during the Fall 2011 shows they came up with a look they’re calling the “French Twist.”

Using two polishes from the Spring 2011 Intimate Collection, I tested my freehand skills polishing a French tip.  Keep reading to see how it turned out.

Formula & Application: Zoya is a 4-Free brand (including formaldehyde resin) plus they leave out camphor, which can be an irritant.  Their signature Italian glass bottles have a tapered, shiny black plastic cap that rests comfortably between the thumb and index finger while polishing.  The brush is short, round and medium in girth with flexible bristles that allow for ease of control.

The Zoya formula is thin with a good self-leveling flow. Both shades were pigmented enough that I only needed two medium coats to achieve full coverage. One thing to consider with Zoya nail polishes is that they do not play well with top coats containing CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE (e.g. Seche Vite) so I’ve found the best wear comes from using their Color Lock System.  For other top coats that contain ingredient, refer to my Zoya Ivanka Wear Test post.

At Fall 2011 Fashion WeekZoya partnered with Haven Spa in NYC to sponsor the Joy Cioci show. The nail team created a “French Twist” manicure using Zoya Caitlin as the base color with Zoya Dove for the French tip. As we discussed last week, I’m not on board with traditional French manicures but a colored French like this one gets my stamp of approval. I decided to put my own “twist” on the French Twist by alternating Dove and Caitlin on my nails.


Zoya Caitlin is a purple based medium grey creme. I like to think of it as a greyed periwinkle. Compared to all those dark purple/grey/taupe mixes we saw last fall, Caitlin is a breath of fresh air. It has depth and character and feels spring-y without being a typical pastel or bright. I know everyone raved about Zoya Kelly from the Wonderful collection but I much prefer Caitlin for its uniqueness.

Zoya Dove is just as the name implies, a dove grey creme though to my eye it has a bit of a putty-ish undertone. It feels somewhat industrial because it reminds me of rubber coated electric cords. Back when I reviewed RGB Dove someone suggested Zoya Dove as a possible dupe. Zoya’s version isn’t as light as RGB’s. I’d say it falls somewhere between RGB Dove and Orly Mirror Mirror.

zoya caitlin dove swatch from the spring 2011 intimate nail polish collection

Now you’re going to have to give me a little leeway with my French tip skills as I rarely use them. I could have, and probably should have, used scotch tape or guides but I wasn’t feeling patient enough to wait for the polish to completely dry before adding the tip color. I would show you my index and thumb fingers but they were my guinea pig nails and the smile lines are all sorts of messed up.

zoya dove caitlin swatch from the zoya intimate nail polish collection for spring 2011

Bottom Line: Zoya Caitlin is a total must-have in my opinion. The formula, pigmentation and color are all A+ worthy. Dove is also a beauty and well formulated but not as unique. If you’ve been all over the grey trend for the past few years you probably have something similar in your stash.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: There’s no question I’m STASHing Caitlin but I’m on the fence about Dove. I’ll probably keep it for the simple fact that it pairs so well with Caitlin. Together they’re kind of a mani/pedi dream team.

Zoya Caitlin and Dove are available now on as part of the Spring 2011 Intimate Collection. You can also find Zoya at salons like ULTA. Zoya nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .5oz bottle. Also, if you aren’t following Zoya on Facebook and Twitter, get on it. They offer giveaways and specials to their fans on a pretty regular basis.

***EDITED TO ADD – PROMO ALERT!!! From now through Monday May 23rd at 11:59PM EST you can get FREE bottles of Caitlin and Dove with any purchase (excluding Color Spoons) on  Use code ZB52 at checkout. ***

Are  you loving Caitlin and Dove? If you don’t already own them, do you plan to pick up either one? What do you think of the “French Twist” manicure? What is your favorite colored French combo?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by Zoya. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 31 Brilliant Comments

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  1. meme says:

    I love this! And I am one who also does not like French or AM manis – nor nail art for that, but for some of the Konad stamps on rare occasion. I am just not creative enough in mind to come up with a combo like this on my own. I have the entire Zoya Intimates collection – I fell hard for it and it’s the first entire Zoya collection I ever bought. There is not a dog in that collection. Catlin should become a classic and be part of their main line. Thanks so much for blogging this…2 blogs in 1 day! I am happy! I get grumpy when even a day goes by and you have not blogged on polish!

  2. Marilia says:

    I like the French Twist, I love any french mani! And I love Zoya, I love the texture, I love cos it’s a 4-free brand, but they don’t have any color I appreciate except one velvet red (matte) which last less than one day.In Singapore, the place I live, they don’t have any tester, any sample, so every Zoya polish (5 of them), I brought to home, made me very disappointed :( I don’t know, they don’t win me…

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I love both colors, though I prefer Dove

  4. Katy says:

    They look really pretty together. I surprisingly like Caitlin a lot, certainly more than Kelly, but so far greys haven’t appealed to me.

  5. Shimmer says:

    OOooh I love this! I have both shades, so I am def going to give it a whirl!

  6. steph says:

    I have caitlin, but went back and forth on dove. I didnt get it. darn

  7. Janelle says:

    I love Zoya!! This is an awesome duo!!

  8. Linda says:

    I was thinking something similar with a base color of ChG’s Sea Spray and Confetti’s Debutante, which is a nice gold for the tips

  9. Wow, they are great on their own, but together they’re amazing. I would stash them both just to wear together, too!

  10. Michelle says:

    Hmm. It’s odd that you mention that since Zoya polishes and Seche Vite are my go-to manicures and I easily get a week’s worth of wear from them together. More often than not, I remove it because I’m in the mood for a new color than from chipping. I realize this is purely anecdotal but thought it worth mentioning.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      A couple years back a lot of people were complaining that Zoya didn’t wear well and a lot of them were using Seche Vite. I inquired about the issue and Zoya’s founder and chemist shared the info that the ingredient I listed does not mesh well with their formula. If Seche Vite works well for you, that’s awesome.

  11. NailPolishFan says:

    I love this combo. It’s really cute.

  12. Caitlin says:

    I like Caitlin…just because it’s my name, and it’s spelled the right way :) I do like that concept though! I’ll have to try a French twist manicure soon.

  13. Andrea says:

    Like the purple one and also the french manicure, is amazing but this color look so cool in her skin color, i trought that it would look shalky in a darker skin, am very exited about this color now

  14. kate says:

    I love this!! I especially love the purple – it is a total want for me. My nail salon stocks Zoya colors exclusively, so I may have to pick up on my next trip there. Your middle finger looks the best. I think any shakiness/imperfections are masked better with the darker color being the accent. The grey is also like the perfect pure shade of grey, imo. But oh gosh, I just want to dive into that beautiful purple shade and never come up for air!

  15. Nicole says:

    I think alternating the colours like that works really well with the subtlety of these two polishes.
    While they’re from the Spring collection, I’m glad to see them used for Autumn fashion week; they have such a pretty rainy day vibe : )

  16. Laura says:

    I love gray nail polish and Dove looks pretty much perfect to me.

    I can’t draw, not even a straight line, so the one French combination I tried was with Scotch tape (and even then I preferred a diagonal line). It was purple with black tips and I really loved it:

  17. Nicole says:

    I love this! It’s a refreshing update to the basic French!

  18. beady says:

    Oh, no… Now you made me regret deciding on RBL Insouciant over Caitlin… I am not a big purple user but I might need both anyway.

    Does the Poshe base/top go well with Zoya polishes? I have got the Zoya lock in system, but I don’t have the patience to wait for it to dry…

  19. Ana says:

    I have both of these (got all 4 from the intimate collection) and they just don’t work on my skin tone. They look awesome on you, but since I have olive skin they just look odd, chalky and not good. So mine are just collecting dust.. oh well. But thanks for the inspiration to try a french twist mani with colors that work with my skin tone.

  20. Erin says:

    This collection is a winner. I’ve found that the Dove starts to look very warehouse cement after a week or so. Adding the Katlin to the tips gives it more life. I have trouble sometimes with Zoya drying. The Color lock with the drier drops really works.

  21. KayDiKat says:

    I love Caitlin, too! I passed on Dove because it seemed really close to my RBL Concrete Jungle. Different colored manis are fun and I will def. borrow the term “French Twist” ;) I’ve never done alternating colors, but I will try it next!

  22. ReaderRita says:

    You did those free hand? *BOWS* Beautiful!
    I give you MAD PROPS for how nice your lines are!
    Love both polishes- I have Dove, but need Caitlin for sure now…

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Thank you! They’re a bit uneven which you can see up close but thankfully in real life no one is looking at my nails that close.

  23. Chris says:

    This is really nice. I once did something like this using Sally Hansen purple (cannot recall the name) and SH Complete Salon Manicure in Lavender Cloud.

  24. Deb says:

    I have these colors, too (and the whole Intimate collection), but never thought to put them together! And you’ve got a seriously steady hand to do that freehand and have it come out so well! I wouldn’t even attempt it without tape.

  25. Ulmiel says:

    Wow, if you can do those lines like that with a free hand, you hide some major talent for nail art, I suspect! I dare not do anything on my nails free hand, it would just look like I got drunk while appyling my nail polish. I’m (im)patiently waiting for my bottle of Caitlin to arrive, because I find it more gorgeous than I ever did a non-green creme before. It’s just so beautiful. I’ll pass on Dove, since it’s a bit too gentle for my taste, I think I’d get bored of it right away. Love the combination though!

  26. JACQUELYN says:


    • All Lacquered Up says:

      You’re welcome. Though reading your comment in all caps is a bit difficult. If you could turn your caps lock off when replying I would appreciate it.

  27. Medusa says:

    Just got in on the promotion. I ordered Zoya’s nail polish remover (which I love – I can always stock up) and then entered the code you mentioned & got the 2 nail colors for free. Including shipping, my order was $16.94 – that’s for the nail polish remover AND the two free colors! Pretty good, I’d say! :)