A few weeks back I was invited to visit the Art of Beauty headquarters located right here in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Art of Beauty is the manufacturer of Zoya, Qtica and Nocti nail, hand and body care products. As I’m sure you all know, I am a big fan of Zoya & Nocti lacquers so getting to meet the Art of Beauty team and tour the plant was like a dream come true.
Ok so first a little back story.
From the Art of Beauty Australia site:
Art of Beauty was founded in 1986 by Zoya and Michael Reyzis. They had a shared vision, which evolved from a small nail salon in Cleveland, Ohio into a spa focusing on natural nails, skin care and alternative European herbal treatments. Today, the company has grown to become a manufacturer of the most innovative professional beauty products ever created.
Zoya, originally a classical pianist in Russia, earned her Cosmetology license in 1979 when she and her husband Michael immigrated to the United States. While pianists’ jobs were limited, the world of Cosmetology offered a new profession and a means by which to build a new career. Through Zoya’s hard work, and a demand for quality and healthy, natural ingredients for her clients, it became evident that there was a need for the perfect products.
Responding to his wife’s requests, Michael, an advanced chemist, developed and patented unique products such as anti-wrinkle treatments and shampoo and conditioning treatments for the salon and spa. He also created the first working fast drying top coat and the longest wearing nail polish, revolutionizing the nail industry.
Now back to my visit. The Art of Beauty HQ is very unassuming. Tucked away in an industrial strip, you’d never guess all those amazing colors come from within. Stepping inside the front door I was greeted by the charming and friendly Leo Reyzis, VP of Marketing, and a giant wall display containing every Zoya, Qtica and Nocti product made. It was hard to contain my excitement and desire to run right over to drool. I didn’t want to come across as a total freak.
The AOB offices are open and accessible giving a very collaborative feel. Regardless of AOB’s worldwide reach, this is still very much a family run down-to-earth company. The walls are covered with art by a talented Russian artist, the conference room is supplied with the finest Vodkas (I didn’t partake, it was still morning after all) and I was in heaven.
I had the privilege of meeting president and founder Michael Reyzis and oh my goodness, he has the softest hands. Though being surrounded by all those fab body products, I guess it would be wrong if they were rough. He came over to thank me for being a fan and to tell me about how the high society of Cleveland were talking about me and my article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
I finally got to meet Erin (from marketing), with whom I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging many great email conversations but never met in person. She joined Leo and I on the plant tour. And afterwards I got to see her office and it’s a nail junkie’s dream. She has a giant armoire filled with products and polishes to play with. Lucky gal!
Stepping into the production and warehouse area of Art of Beauty was overwhelming. Imagine rows and rows of shelving filled with boxes and boxes of product reaching at least 20 feet above the ground. Beyond that are the filling machines and packaging area. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw the shelves filled with pigment jars. Talk about sensory overload. As you can see in the picture below, the Candy and Smitten pigments are on the lower right shelf.
The day I was there they were doing a test run on the Uptown collection just prior to it’s official release. I felt very Laverne and Shirley watching the bottles run through the production line. If only I’d had a head scarf and pair of work gloves on me. You know what was really fun? Getting to put my hand in and play with the mixing balls. Yes, I’m really a 3 year old trapped in a…. um not so 3 year-old body.
I have to say that I was most impressed by learning that Michael Reyzis personally creates every formulation; the lacquer, body wash, lotion, scrub, lip balm, nail treatments etc. He has a lab in his basement, where AOB started, and borrows lab space from the local universities so he can dream up new and better products for us. He personally overseas production to ensure that his high standards are met.
It’s that kind of personal involvement in the business that touches my heart. Growing up a child of a self made woman who started her own business from scratch with nothing but a desk and a phone, I can’t help but be drawn to and affected by the independent spirit that is alive and well at Art of Beauty.
Role: Nail polish blogger â€” â€œAll Lacquered Upâ€
A nail polish collector that reports on the latest nail news, trends and products.
Q. What made you decide to start a nail polish blog?
A. As a nail polish fanatic, Iâ€™m always searching the web for news and information about the industry and new products. I felt that in the world of beauty and fashion blogs there wasnâ€™t a central resource for nail info; trends, upcoming collections, advice, tips etc. I started my blog to fill that void and share my passion with others.
Q. How many readers do you have? How often do you post?
A. I get between 300-500 visits a day and I try to post at least 5 times a week. Iâ€™ll post more if time allows or there is a lot going on in nail fashion.
Q. What is the most exciting/interesting thing to come out of your blogging experience?
A. All of the amazing people that have contacted me. I have readers from all over the world; South Africa, Russia, Australia, Sweden, etc. Hearing their positive feedback, chatting with them about the trends and products of their countries and realizing how many other fanatics are out there is so rewarding.
Q. What do you see as the most important nail colors/trends right now?
A. I see this summer as being about 3 big trends, Blues, Whites and Brights. From baby blue to navy, blues are everywhere and the darker shades are a great transition for people hanging on to the black trend. Of course brights and summer go hand in hand but this year, instead of the more traditional bright pinks and reds, there are fabulous oranges, yellows and teals. Now I always used to think of white polish as either too sheer and grandma-ish or too chalky and mod but this yearâ€™s whites are sparkly and fresh.
Q. How do you see them transitioning into fall?
A. I donâ€™t actually. I think the fall will be filled with luxe, velvety colors. I know people were predicting metallics for the summer but I think theyâ€™ll be bigger in the fall along with red, plum and gunmetal gray.
Q. What do you like best about the ZOYA/NOCTI lines?
A. I love that the formula applies so smooth and even without having to include toxic chemicals. Itâ€™s something other brands have tried to achieve lately but havenâ€™t worked out yet.
Q. If you were stranded on a remote Island with one ZOYA/NOCTI color (and basecoat and topcoat of course!), which one would it be?
A. As much as I adore greens like Tangy from the Candy collection, Iâ€™d have to choose Yasmeen. It is one of the most unique shades Iâ€™ve ever seen and it works perfectly with my skin tone.
Q. Create the â€œAll Lacquered Up collectionâ€ â€” 6 shades, what would they be?
A. Divincia, Yasmeen, Tangy, Nip Tuck, Bailey and Raven
image and interview used courtesy of Art Of Beauty
Cremes, brights and darks are not the kind of polishes you can just slap on and run out the door. Thank goodness this pic doesn’t show it but, I ended up with air bubbles from not waiting between coats, blue polish on my skin from rushing and overall blech-ness.
On the upside, I love the color. Nocti Flying Naked is bold and well pigmented. The shade flourishes even more under a shiny top coat and it flowed on my nail extremely well.
Now I know that the issue I had applying them to my nail art wheels was just because of the surface not the polish. Though I must point out that this is a two coat polish. The initial coat did go on a bit streaky and uneven. But the 2nd made it perfect. I’m always afraid of cremes because they magnify imperfections as compared to a shimmer/glitter polish but the nails that I didn’t eff up actually look really good and smooth.
So those of you that took the plunge and ordered Nocti sight unseen, I can honestly say you’ll be pleased.
OMG you guys, it applied like a dream. So smooth, very easy to control. I did one of my best manis ever with it. I literally had only one spot to clean up and that was on my dominant hand, which I screw up all the time. I wonder if it makes a difference what surface you’re applying the polish to. Since this is a designed for natural nails, my guess is that it doesn’t adhere well with acrylic, like my nail art wheels (lemming wheels).
Not only is Nip Tuck the name of one of my favorite television shows, it is now one of my favorite nail colors. An intense sea green/turquoise shade loaded up with a fine shimmer, it is one HOT summer polish. I’ve only had it on for a day and I got two compliments from random strangers.
I scoured through my collection looking for duplicate shades and found China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise. In a side-by-side bottle comparison, they are twins. Swatched, the Nocti lacquer is a bit more intense. My ruling, if you have Turned Up Turquoise you don’t need both. If you don’t have either, get the Nocti. And that’s all I have to say about that.
We haven’t done a check in lately. What’s on your tips? Are you gearing up for sandal season?
Known for their bright, fun colors, Nocti was retired years ago but now they’re back with a vengeance. Responding to the popular demand for bold colors, this line is not for the shy. Dubbed “The Return of Strong Creative Color,” they’re perfect for a summer pedi that is sure to attract attention.
Formulated with the same formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free composition as Zoya, this line is sure to please both the color crazed and health conscious.
Speaking with a rep from Art of Beauty, we discussed the quirky polish names in this line. Straying from Zoya’s strategy of using women’s names, the Nocti line shows its’ personality with cheeky names like Nip Tuck, TMI and Flying Naked. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), Flying Naked is a reference to flying with no luggage and buying what you need as you go. Perfect for the sky blue shade.
The colors in this line are all matte with the exception of Nip Tuck’s subtle shimmer. The pics below are with Seche Vite top coat to bring out the true color of each lacquer.
(l-r) Swag (bright lime green matte creme), Nip Tuck (sea green shimmer), Flying Naked (royal blue matte creme)
I haven’t been able to give these a full test run on my nails yet but that will be happening soon. Just from applying them onto the nail art wheels, the matte colors were a little thicker than a what I’m used to with Zoya. Even though the end result was a nice even finish, it was tricky getting them that way. Further investigation is needed. Be on the lookout for Nip Tuck mani pics from me by the end of the week.