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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – A Home Run Manicure with Zoya Sooki

zoya-sooki-nail-polish-summertime-summer-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.

Untried Day #118: This past Tuesday I was invited to the Cleveland Indians game for a special women’s event. I had the opportunity to sit in the Social Suite on Wahoo Women night which benefits the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.

Even though I’ve always been more of a football fan, there’s nothing quite like spending a beautiful summer night at a baseball game, sipping on a beer and snacking on peanuts (Cleveland’s own Peterson’s naturally). It’s the picture of Americana.

And I have to give it up to the Tribe’s marketing team. They have really created something special with their Social Suite. Anyone who is active in social media can apply to sit in the suite, like the fancy people, for a night. The view and the accommodations in the suite are pretty spectacular.

So what’s a nail girl to do on a night that is dedicated to both women and the Indians? A red, Tribe-themed manicure of course!  I wanted the perfect Indians red so I looked to my untrieds and found Zoya Sooki and I paired it with CND Midnight Sapphire from the upcoming Fall 2011 “The Look” launch. It is a pretty good match to the team’s blue color. 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.

Sooki has a smooth, creamy formula that glides on the nail. I had no trouble creating clean lines at the cuticle as the lacquer was so easy to control. The pigmentation is pretty good though I do notice a bit of VNL (visible nail line) with two coats but my free edge seems to stand out more than most.

Zoya Sooki is a cherry red creme though what I find interesting is that in natural light it’s pretty rich and cool toned but under a warm light, like the OttLite, or direct sunlight it leans more towards tomato. Obviously this shade was named after Sooki from True Blood, which is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, so it’s just an added bonus that it also went with my theme for the night. Though how much does this season suck? No pun intended. I want the old Eric back and I’m over these witches, literally!!

zoya sooki nail polish swatch from the zoya summertime summer 2011 collection

To create my Tribe themed manicure I alternated Sooki with CND Midnight Sapphire, which I will review in full at a later date, skipping the middle fingers on each hand. On my middle nail I applied China Glaze White Out as a base for some fun polka dots. Using my dotting tool, I placed dots in a somewhat organized pattern.

Application Tip: Drop the polish on a piece of card stock or aluminum foil and let it to rest for a few seconds to thicken. It will make it easier to place the dots. Just don’t wait too long or it will get stringy. It’s akin to the “magic hour” for photographers. You have a brief moment of time when the polish is just the right consistency for dotting.

zoya sooki nail polish with cnd midnight sapphire nail polish swatch and nail art polka dot

zoya sooki nail polish with cnd midnight sapphire nail polish swatch and nail art polka dot

I reversed the pattern on my other hand and, of course, I forgot to take a pic of it before I left for the game so this cell phone shot will have to do.

cnd midnight sapphire from fall 2011 with zoya sooki nail polish swatch polka dot nail art

The view from the Social Suite. Which was phenom until…..


The rains came! When I arrived, one of the other Wahoo Women said she received a tornado warning call from her city, west of Cleveland, so we knew we were in for a storm. We  just had no idea how insane it would be. At one point there was hail coming down and you couldn’t see across the stadium. But, we had lovely distractions during the downtime.


Ketchup paid us a visit in the suite. He wears a pair of bad-ass glasses a la Wild Thing in Major League and runs a nightly race in the stadium against his competitors Mustard and Onion. Even though I only like onions when they’re caramelized or battered and deep fat fried, I root for Onion since she’s the only lady in the race. And surprisingly, she won on Wahoo Women night. Who would have guessed?


Thanks to the generosity of Time Warner Cable of Northeast Ohio we had yummy snacks to feast on and a visit from the DESSERT CART! I had no idea such a thing existed so you can imagine how my eyes lit up. Actually, if you check out Alexa’s post on Cleveland’s a Plum, you’ll see a group shot with many a shock and awe reaction face. As hard as it was to choose, I couldn’t resist a chocolate and mint brownie-like concoction that I was very thankful to have extra Weight Watchers points to splurge on.


The game ended up going until past 2am, which none of us could stay for, but in the end the Tribe pulled out a win against Detroit. Clearly the rain didn’t dampen the players’ spirits. GO TRIBE!

Bottom Line: Sooki is a well formulated red and a great nail polish wardrobe staple. It doesn’t set my heart on fire but it certainly served my purpose. I’m sure the red lovers out there will hate me for saying it but a lot of times I feel like a red is a red is a red. I know that’s not at all true but it takes a lot for a red to wow me so I’m unintentionally hard on them.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: Considering how little I actually opt for reds, I’m sure this will get more love with a friend. SHARE.

Zoya Sooki is available now as part of the Summertime collection at salons and spas nationwide including ULTA and online at Zoya nail polishes retail for$8/ea for a .5oz bottle. Don’t forget, you can try before you buy with the Zoya Color Spoon program.

Thoughts on Zoya Sooki? Do you approve of my Indians themed manicure? Are you excited to hear more about Midnight Sapphire? Do you have any dotting tips to share with the group?

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Zoya, CND and China Glaze. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 41 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Your swatches are a-ma-zing! I love how perfectly up-close they are!

  2. Thanks for the great tip about dotting! I love how you varied the design on each hand :)

  3. Sophie says:

    I have no clue about baseball whatsoever and was wondering why polka dots are a theme for native Americans.

    Time to go to bed.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Ha, they aren’t. I’m just terrible and nail art and polka dots are about all I can manage. I figured they might look like a bunch of little balls. I was just going for the team colors anyway.

  4. Amy says:

    I’m wearing Sooki right now on my toes! It’s actually the first red I’ve ever wanted to wear. It’s nice and bright for summer. Your manicure was cute!

  5. Rachel Kurtz says:

    I think the Zoya Sooki red is a gorgeous red. I am just starting to open myself up to reds. I have purchased a couple nice reds from OPI and haven’t really used Zoya yet so will have to look into this brand. I like your ‘team colors’ manicure–really cute!

  6. Katy says:

    I also get VNL with Sooki, but it’s a nice red, and my stash is lacking in that.

  7. Medusa says:

    I’m going to a “True Blood” party tonight. You’d probably love it!

  8. JoAnne says:

    Love the mani, and especially love that cart! Fantastic, and sorry about the rain. Drats!!!

  9. Emily says:

    wow. I’m almost surprised you are sharing. I’m not so much a red fan but Sooki is a GREAT red and I have a bunch are close but this formula and color imo is flawless. I guess the only reason you don’t 100% care for it is because it is red?? thats too bad because it is gorgeous.

  10. Chris says:

    The tribe theme mani looks awesome! I wish I had the patience to do that.

    Speaking of dessert, I’m eating caramel vanilla ice cream. Diet? What diet? LOL.

  11. LovesSparklePolish says:

    My favorite red is OPI What I’ve Always Wanted from ulta holiday 2006. I haven’t found anything like it. I was new to polish and didn’t know it wasn’t part of the permanent line. I wish I ‘d known! I love this color! (Do you have a suggestion of a similar color?)

  12. kate says:

    How does this red compare to the red creme from China Glaze’s Anchors Away collection? (I think the shade name was called “hey sailor” or something similar.)

  13. ashleybobashly says:

    I am new to your blog and I was wondering what you actually do with the shared nail polishes?? Are they available for sale?? I was wondering because I am really into this one. Thanks

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Ashley! A lot of the polishes I review are product samples provided by the manufacturer so it would be unethical of me to sell them for profit. Instead I host an annual beauty charity sale in my home with local bloggers. Last year we raised over $1000 for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

  14. Allyson says:

    I just borrowed your adorable mani idea using Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos instead of that awesome Zoya red. It’s so cute and I was looking for some inspiration because I am starting to get bored with my basic manis and the accent nail thing. Thanks!

  15. Sasha says:

    What a great mani! Cute and fun but easy to do!

  16. meme says:

    Love your Indian’s theme mani! I had been thinking about picking up Sooki in my next order. I am a sucker for tomato reds and well, all reds pretty much. I opted for the free Sunshine set when Zoya had the buy the Color Lock system and then pick one of the 2 – 6 piece summer collections. So good timing as my next Zoya order list is forming now.

  17. Catherine says:

    Wow, a gorgeous red – looks great on your short nails! :)

  18. Laura says:

    Sooki is a really pretty color. I also love the dots.

    My first thought was if it’s named after the True Blood character :D
    I like this season. Eric is kinda cute like this (I think it’s inevitable that he turns back) and I think witches are still better than the maenad.

  19. Nicole says:

    beautiful shade or red

  20. FIngers says:

    I like this mani! I really appreciate the dotting tips-since I am a beginner-when i tried, it just dented my polish!

  21. Julia says:

    This is such a gorgeous combo!

  22. Sara says:

    I’m not hating this season of TB… to me the only GOOD part is new Eric. I do love old Eric, but this new one is so true to the books it’s unreal. And the book where he loses his memory is my favorite. That being said, I hate Marnie, I hate Bill, I hate Tara, I hate everyone that isn’t new Eric, haha.

  23. Sarah says:

    As much of a baseball fan as I am, I can’t believe I’ve never done a manicure with my team’s colors. Guess I better start the hunt (they sure as heck aren’t in it this year!).

  24. Jenny G. says:

    Love Sooki so much! It is my favorite red creme!! I love your cute nail art and it was so appropriate for the occasion! And as far as True Blood…this was the BEST book of the series and I love Eric all cute and vulnerable. It really sets the stage for the rest of his and Sookie’s relationship. I promise it gets better!!

  25. Gorgeous!!
    I had to pick between Sooki and Tamsen during that big Summer promo they had and I chose Tamsen like a fool.
    As soon as I can, I’m definitely getting Sooki!

    • s-k-s says:

      I have Sooki and it looks (at least to me) almost identical to Zoya Carmen, FYI. Here I was wishing I had picked Tamsen!

  26. Cindy says:

    I like that red ( I have a red I love, ‘Ready to Wear Red’ by Milani ) and YES I’m excited about the Midnight Sapphire! Your dots look terrific!

  27. Kate says:

    Hmmm…I’ve been trying to decide on a Zoya red. Maybe Sookie? Maybe not. Thanks for the review. I think I’ll give this one a try:)

  28. AestheticLA says:

    Oh. Man. I love that shade of red!!!

  29. Stephanie says:

    I usually root for mustard. No reason. Ketchup is such a hipster. Depending on how many beers I’ve had I can get PRETTY into those hot dog races…

  30. lis says:

    LOVE this style; it’s super-cute!! :D

  31. Jackie S. says:

    I agree this season of True Blood is full of let downs..oh well! I like Sooki and Eric together, but I need the old devious Eric back :)

    Zoya “Sooki”, I love this red!

  32. MeganNoel says:

    That looks like so much fun! I’m more a a baseball fan, Phillies girl really. I’m not a big fan of this red, I usually don’t like orange reds they don’t seem to look so nice on me. The designs you did look crazy good! Wish I could do stuff like that, when I try it just looks like a mess.

  33. Linda Ruquet says:

    I just received my color spoon of Sooki today from Zoya with my other goodies! I luv that red, it will be my next purchase for sure. I like how your mani turned out, very cool looking. Sorry it rained @ your game. Hope you had a great time though.

  34. Betty at Kewt-ified Nails says:

    This is ADORABLE. I love it when you feature some nail art :)

  35. Kelsy says:

    That’s gorgeous. I do wish Zoya stocked in New Zealand – it’s so hard to get hold of them, and when we do, shipping is o so dear.
    Dotting: how does one do it using, say, a toothpick? I’ve heard it can be done, and I happen to live in a place where dotting tools are not exactly in abundance.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I haven’t tried it with a toothpick. I would imagine you would need the polish to thicken a bit so you can pick up enough to make a decent sized dot. Then just be careful not to touch the surface with the toothpick.

  36. Stephanie says:

    I love Zoya Sooki, I’m actually wearing it right now. I barely have any reds in my extensive nail polish collection (not a big fan of reds either, give me green! haha), but Sooki is a great red. Super bright and a good red creme to have. The formula is fabulous.