I usually wear my nails fairly long, but recently one of them broke to the point of no fixing, so it was time for me to trim and start short again. I thought that would be a perfect opportunity to try out the Zoya Naked Manicure system! A while ago Zoya revealed that they would be releasing a miniature version of their Professional Kit on Snapchat and I snatched it up as soon as it was available (P.S. Is anyone on Snapchat? I’m notsafeformay).
The system was designed to transform the cosmetic appearance of nails and deliver long-term benefits over time. The results are supposed to look natural while delivering intense therapeutic benefits for stronger, healthier nails. They have a full brochure in PDF form downloadable here. The PDF includes some before and after images. Here are some of their claims:
Instant Cosmetic Benefits
- Neutralize unsightly discoloration
- Refine nail plate surface
- Smooth ridges
- Perfect free edge
- Create a natural healthy tone and finish
Long Term Benefits
- Supports cellular renewal
- Improve oxygenation
- Enhance flexibility and strength
- Increase hydration and resilience
The Mini Pro Kit includes mini sizes of the three Treatments and six Perfectors. The Perfectors vary in shades and you can mix-and-match to match your own nail bed. They use optical diffusers, keratin fillers, micronized reflective color pigments and micro thin film formers to create an “ultra sheer veil which ensures that the natural vibrancy of the nail is enhanced rather than concealed.” Enhanced is the correct term – these Perfectors are very sheer, and provide just the slightest tint for color correction. They contain a blend of finely ground pigments, vitamins, and botanicals that help to promote micro-circulation and oxygen exchange. Over time, the use of the system is supposed to help improve the condition and appearance of the nail. Take a look at their Custom Blending Guide for ideas on which Perfectors to mix together to achieve the desired color.
Here’s what’s included in the kit:
- Naked Base – Base coat
- Lavender Perfector – Neutralizes discoloration and adds a cooler base
- Buff Perfector – Warms
- Pink Perfector – Brightens
- Nude Perfector – Brightens
- Mauve Perfector – Deepens
- Tip Perfector – Soft, sheer white that mimics a natural tip
- Satin Seal – Top coat that provides a natural nail finish
- Glossy Seal – Optional top coat for high shine
Zoya Naked Manicure Instructions
- Prep the nail by shaping, gently buffing and cleaning up cuticles.
- Apply Naked Base.
- Apply first coat of Perfector of choice.
Use Lavender for discoloration.
If layering more than one shade, user the brighter/stronger shade first
- Apply second coat of Perfector of choice.
If between shades, the second coat is for the color that softens or tones the base color.
- Apply Tip Perfector along the free edge of the nail.
- Activate Satin Seal by gently rolling the bottle between hands for twenty seconds.
- Apply one coat of Satin Seal.
- Optional: Apply one coat of Glossy Seal.
The Satin Seal is a real winner for me. It blurs imperfections and really helps to blend the pigments together. It can be intimidating to freehand white tips (even with stickers) but after a coat of the Satin Seal, everything looks much better, I promise you. It also levels the nail plate and locks the layers together. Bonus? It contains UV filters to prevent yellowing and to shield from free radicals. Just remember that you have to activate the formula before using it by rolling it between your hands. I will say that both top coats are not fast-drying, but they are both compatible with Zoya Fast Drops. I learned this the hard way when I woke up with bed sheet lines the next morning. D:
Additionally, these babies serve multiple purposes. You can use the Nude Perfector over other nude polishes to create softer, more glistening color. The Lavender Perfector (already a 2015 Allure Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award Winner) can be used underneath french mani shades or for negative space manis to correct discoloration before nail art. I’ve also used the Satin Seal as a ridge-filling base coat before regular polish. I love multi-tasking products!
The Naked Manicure is perfect if you’re transitioning from gels to natural nails. It’ll help restore and rebuild your nail strength while giving the tired nails a rejuvenated, healthy look. If your workplace doesn’t allow flashy manicures, this could be your answer to getting those nails did while still looking polished. It’s also the perfect solution for busy moms, atheletes, and even grooming-conscious men.
For me, it’s great to take a break from my usual painted nails and enjoy the fresh, natural look once in a while. I’m usually discouraged from this because my nails will often have some discoloration from multiple polish changes. That’s what I love about the Lavender Perfector! It’s like makeup for your nails.
Here’s a photo taken right after my last coat and before clean-up (I was so excited). I used the Naked Base, Lavender Perfector, Buff Perfector, Tip Perfector, Satin Seal, and Glossy Seal (P.S. I totally cheated and did the tips with stickers first, then used the Naked Base over that):
It’s honestly really weird getting used to short nails again – I’m finding that I type on my keyboard more forcefully and even texting on my phone has shown me that I’ve adapted my grip to long nails. I don’t have to worry about scratching my eyeballs when I’m putting in/taking out contacts, though. The freedom!
I did two coats of Tip Perfector for a more traditional french manicure. It’s really sheer so you can definitely stick with one coat for a more natural look. Hopefully you can see the layering of the third brush-on coat in the middle of the tip here (covered up a knick):
The manicure holds up pretty well. Here’s my mani one week later:
No chipping so far but a little fading at the edges. There has been a little peeling at the cuticles, but I think that’s due to my application and not the formula itself. The Pink Perfector brightens like crazy on me – that’s why I went for the Nude Perfector this time around for a more neutral color. I do feel that my nails are stronger and healthier after a few Naked Manicures. They feel smoother and look more hydrated. I’m excited to have this option when I feel like my nails need a break!
I’m not sure that everyone needs the full-size Professional Starter Kit unless you own a salon. I think this Mini Pro Kit is perfect for at-home DIY manis. Plus, if you find you use one Perfector or Treatment up, you can always purchase full-sizes separately.
The Naked Manicure system comes in a variety of kits that I think would make great gifts or stocking stuffers! Seriously, that Lavender Perfector though…
Have you tried the Naked Manicure yet? What do you think?