Zoya Mystery Box Unboxing (2018)

One thing I really wanted to do for 2018 was try more brands of nail polish and Zoya was at the top of the list! I had never tried any of their polish or products so when I heard about their Mystery Box, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to see what the brand is all about.

Zoya’s 2018 Mystery Box was launched in January and shipped at the end of the month. The “catch” was that with the purchase of any three (regular price) Zoya polishes you would qualify for the box for free. As I had considered purchasing at the Black Friday sale but never pulled the trigger, this was the perfect opportunity to not only try three polishes of my choice but also a bunch of their other products as well.

The three polishes I chose (from left to right) are:

  • Merida, which is described as a “brilliant lush evergreen scattered holo(graphic)”. I chose this one kind of on a whim, partly for the homage to the Disney Princess with my own shared Scottish heritage and also a nod to my birthstone if I ever choose to do emerald inspired nails for my birthday again (I have a post sharing my twelve months of birthstone nails HERE, if you’d like to check it out).
  • Dree, a “light, dusty drab olive green with yellow tones and a touch of grey (that) brings the look of camouflage to your nails for a subtle green look”. Dree is the colour that made me want to buy from Zoya in the first place.  Last year I was able to track down Julep’s Adrianna (which is the colour of a Green Tea Frappucino and I’m very happy about that) and have always been on the hunt for Zoya’s Dree,  with “dree” being the second syllable of my “brand” and blog name. I was worried the colour would be too yellow toned and baby poop-esque, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised once I put it on my nails!
  • Dove, which the Zoya website declares as a “soft, delicate light neutral gray with an opaque, glossy creme finish… (it is) unexpected and flattering as a wear-with-anything neutral with a twist”. I have been on the lookout for a cool-toned gray since one of my favourite polishes is China Glaze’s Change Your Altitude, a warm-toned beige-y taupe-y gray. This one definitely delivers and I’ve already worn it three separate times since acquiring it.

The Mystery Box itself came with a little booklet that had a spread dedicated to each product in the box.

Within the booklet were four coupons for free products, including one for a free nail polish per month! Unfortunately, only one coupon code can be used per order and I don’t see myself ordering six times from the time I got the box until they expire on April 30th. I do want to use one for the free polish though!

Strategically laying out the coupons so none of the individualized codes show… sneaky, right?

The first products in the box were two from the Naked Manicure line: the Hydrating Serum and Healing Dry Skin Hand and Body Cream. I use these whenever I do my nails and find that they do a really good job at moisturizing and if they do have long-term benefits… bonus! One of the video reviews I watched said that these smelled like the Twilight Woods fragrance from Bath and Body Works… I actually screamed. TW was my favourite line of BBW products before it was discontinued and I had everything except the perfume… even the Wallflower scent bulbs for my room. While I don’t think it’s quite the same, these do smell really nice and seem to work well.

Next, the actual Naked Manicure system was included! I was very intrigued by these, and assumed it was going to be in the box when doing my research into past Zoya Mystery Boxes. The Naked Manicure line is designed to improve the look of your nails instantly, as well as providing healing benefits to the nails so that they improve over time as well. There are multiple products in the line itself, but the products in the Mystery Box were a complete set:

  • Naked Base: a base coat that has “a nutrient rich formula specifically created to refine the nail surface and to treat damage with a proprietary blend of vitamins, proteins, botanicals and sulfur amino acids that mimic the natural keratin structure of the nail. Supports cellular renewal, oxygenation and hydration improving both flexibility and strength”.
  • Lavender Perfector: One of many Perfectors in the NM line, this shade won the Allure Breakthrough Product Award in 2015 and “is ideal for neutralizing discoloration and adding a cooler base”.
  • Glossy Seal: A glossy top coat. There is also a top coat with a satin finish but I prefer the glossy so I’m glad it was included in the box.

I have a great deal of discolouration in my nails and some long-term damage from having acrylics. I presently use OPI’s Nail Envy as a base, and while I adore Nail Envy and it genuinely saved my nails, I like that the Zoya Naked Manicure products (as well as all of their polishes) are 5-free, which is nail polish lingo for being free of five of the main carcinogenic chemicals (toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and dibutyl phthalate) found in many nail polishes, including Nail Envy.

My addiction to painting my nails has left them stained. If you had to identify me only by looking at my nails you might think I’m a seventy-year-old woman named Gladys who smokes three packs a day, with slight liver failure. I tried the three step NM system and while it did not completely neutralize the yellowness in my nails, it did improve them slightly and left them looking like I had a set of clear gels on. I rarely have “naked” nails, but the NM system made me feel a bit more comfortable with doing so. I also have been using it on my toes, which improves the look of them drastically.

I will definitely continue to use the Naked Manicure system, and after I am finished with my current top and base coat situation, want to switch over to Zoya’s as the benefits are there and the top coat is fantastic. There is also a “Tip Perfector” that I am intrigued about, as I’ve been itching to try a natural looking French manicure.


Next, Zoya included one of their lipsticks. There were three potential shades you could get in the box and I got Addie, the one I was hoping for!

Zoya claims that their Perfect Lipstick is “back to basics but even better; Zoya perfects the classic lipstick cream formula to allow lips to stay moist for hours without the mess. The medium wear formula is specifically designed to last 4 to 6 hours without cracking or drying. All this in a light weight yet well pigmented unflavored formula that you’re going to love”.

The shade Addie is a “pinky nude apricot in a hydrating cream formula” and total OG Grey’s Anatomy vibes. Addison was the best. Fight me.

Also included was the Qtica Solid Gold cuticle oil gel. Qtica, from my understanding, is Zoya’s parent brand and I love this product because is is a gel instead of the usual cuticle oil which can be messy, a hassle to store and travel with. Solid Gold has a fresh, mild citrusy scent and so far I really like it!

Zoya Fast Drops are a dropper product that dries nail polish. It is very similar to OPI’s Drip Dry drops and I enjoy both products. It doesn’t completely dry the nail polish all the way through to the point where they are beyond the point of getting wrecked, but dries the top layer so it loses the tackiness and makes it a more fool-proof process. Zoya polish dries really fast anyway, but it’s still a nice product to have in the tool kit!

Another product that I was pretty sure would be included based on previous Zoya boxes was the Remove+ nail polish remover. There are SO many people who say this is the best nail polish remover out there and while my expectations were high, they were met. It is an effective polish remover, doesn’t leave your skin dry and dehydrated like most (especially when they contain acetone), but my favourite feature is the scent. Instead of the typical chemical smell, Remove+ has an essential oil fragrance. While it’s not exactly something I’d put in a diffuser or spray on my pulse points, it’s such a pleasant feature. I definitely recommend it and would definitely repurchase it (once I deplete my extensive existing stores).

The Mystery Box included one polish colour, unreleased up to that point: Brighton. A “full-coverage, diamond holographic soft nude” it looks like a soft gold and has a beautiful sparkle to it. It’s super unique and definitely the perfect fit to a box going to people with a variety of tastes and collection sizes.

Overall I’m ecstatic with the products I got in Zoya’s Mystery Box! I have tried everything except the lipstick and Merida, but am already completely sold!

One of the critiques I saw of the box was that there wasn’t enough actual nail polish inside. This wasn’t a deterrent to me as someone who did not own any Zoya products beforehand, but even if I did, I liked being able to pick my three colours and then getting one exclusive, universally flattering colour. I am pretty picky when it comes to nail polish, so I don’t think having a mystery box full of different polishes would appeal to me as much as nail care products.

Another issue is that the boxes were not mailed out until after they sold out. I get this from a point of keeping the mystery alive, but I saw a few influencers do unboxings of press samples before the ship date. As a recovering FabFitFun subscriber (my post about why I unsubscribed is available HERE) I’m still a bit touchy when it comes to YouTubers/ bloggers getting preferential treatment, but it didn’t bother me that much. The only issue is that when I did receive my Mystery Box, it was no longer available for purchase and thus, this post only really functions as a review of the individual products or a taste of what could potentially be included in next year’s box instead of actually helping people decide if they want to purchase this actual box for themselves.  So take that as you will.

The most significant downside to me personally was the price. The marketed cost was $30, the cost of the three full-price nail polishes. However, as a Canadian I also had to pay an “International Processing Fee” of $9.10. Once the charge went through on my credit card it was $49.62 CAD. $50 is quite a bit more than the $30 advertised fee, but I still feel like it is a good value for all the products I got and will definitely use, but the difference in advertised and actual cost is definitely something to note.

My first impression of Zoya products is extremely positive. I have found the polishes to be beautiful in quality and finish, and the fact that they are so much more “healthy” than the majority of other polishes in my collection is a bonus. I will definitely be purchasing more from Zoya, and look forward to seeing what other deals, like the Mystery Box, they offer in the future!

Thank you so much for reading this post!


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