Zoya ‘Easy Neons’ 2021 Collection – Swatches & Review

This is a long post full of a lot of thoughts, so I won’t ramble at the beginning!

Today we’re looking at the newest release from Zoya. They’re called the ‘Easy Neons’ and as you can probably guess, it’s 6 shades of neon polishes. In 2016 Zoya released a collection called the Ultra Brites, which was their version of a neon release. I wasn’t fully into polish at that point, so I didn’t have them myself – but based on other blogs and reviews of them, they were streaky and required a white base to even really show up. Not great. So when Zoya released these, they promised a new and improved neon formula, basically a step up from the Ultra Brites. They also automatically come with their wide brushes to make application even easier and smoother. Normally you have to buy the wide brushes separately and switch them out – I really wish there was an option to not have to do this, I have boxes of their old skinny brushes that I feel weird just throwing away. ANYWAYS.

They had a pre-order deal where they were a touch discounted, and also included more of their remover, so I went ahead and purchased. I was also so intrigued myself to try out this neon formula and see what I thought. It retails on the Zoya website for $66 for the whole set or each polish is $11. They are $1 more than their normal polishes, I’m assuming because of the pigments needed.

And do I have a lot of thoughts here. Buckle in, let’s discuss, I go over it ALL.

Alright SO, lemme tell you the deal with these. I just want to get all of the main thoughts that you’re looking for out right before the swatches.

When Zoya first announced these, this was the blurb provided in the press release (stealing this from my good nail friend Jackie’s blog, definitely be sure to give her a follow! Jackie’s Instagram):

“Say hello to Zoya’s EASYNEONS! Zoya’s first frustration-free, new formula does away with special base coats and notoriously streaky application associated with traditional neon colors. The Big10Free, environmentally friendly formula applies opaque in 2 coats, AND comes with the unique Z-Wide Brush for streak-free application. All the bright summer fun without the fuss!”

It was the specific claim of being opaque in just 2 coats that I was looking at in particular. I’ll be overall honest right here – I wasn’t really impressed. All of the shades took 3 coats, and some still had some visible nail line after that and patches.

I’m more harsh on these because other mainstream brands have upped their neon formulas over the years. I’ve found absolutely incredible cream neon formulas that are opaque in just 2 coats from Orly and Color Club – so I was expecting Zoya to truly step it up as well, especially with how much they tout these as an improved and non-streaky formula. I was wondering if maybe it was something with Zoya’s 10 free formula that made these harder to work with, but Orly is 12 free and again, has beautiful formulas so again I can’t see why they couldn’t be better.

I also saw someone else comment that they would call these “brights” more than neons, and I have to agree. If you want a more “neon” pop on the nails, that bright, camera-breaking color that just blinds you – I would recommend a white base coat underneath them, aka the exact thing Zoya said you no longer needed. Whomp.

I’m not often negative unless a formula is just especially heinous. I like to just show a formula and my experience with it, and let the readers decide whether it’s something they would like to purchase. But of course I’m going to be open and honest and let you know my FULL experiences – and specifically how those experiences fall short of standards provided by the brand itself. I don’t ever want readers to expect something different from my swatches and be disappointed with something they purchased on my recommendation! Your trust is the most important thing, so I’ll be negative when I need to be. And in this instance, I know the swatches will speak for themselves as well.

AND you might still love these! Maybe this is the kind of finish you’re looking for! That’s okay! As I said I’m just here to show you my personal thoughts and experiences with them, and in the end you decide whether they’re for you. I just want you all to fully know what you’re getting to it and exactly what to expect from a polish.

ALRIGHT, let’s get on into the swatches already!

***

Up first we have ‘Oakley’. This is a bright saturated orange. This is 3 coats, and as you can see, there is still a touch of nail line peeking through. If you have super bright nail tips, they might be even more apparent. Of course, my brighter lights will make it a touch more visible, but it’s still far from just 2 coats to opaque.

It was definitely a little more squishy than a traditional cream, and felt almost like a crelly. There was definitely some jelly-ness to it. They also dry matte, which is typical for a more neon formula – I always prefer to show how a polish will dry on its own so no top coat here. They do dry more quickly so the 3 coats go quickly, but it reminds me of previous neon formulas and you know, there’s a reason I didn’t love those back then either. 😂 I’M SORRY, I WANTED TO LOVE THESE.

And with this collection, something super exciting: I did my first live swatches! I showed how these applied live, so you can see more of the formula there.

Oakley Live Swatch

Zoya – Oakley

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‘Zelda’ is the more warm and almost coral-toned pink of the two in the collection. Again, 3 thinner coats here. I did prefer thinner application or else it could get more uneven and patchy. And there’s just the slightest touch of nail line peeking through, though I think this one could be worn on its own.

This one also feels the most “neon” of the bunch, just with the bright color.

Zelda Live Swatch

Zoya – Zelda

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The other pink of the collection is ‘Janie’. This is a cooler-toned medium pink. Again 3 coats here, but a little less visible nail line here. Again, one I think can be fully worn on its own.

Janie Live Swatch

Zoya – Janie

***

‘Banks’ is a rich, saturated bright purple. This was definitely uneven on the 1st and 2nd coats, but smoothed out well with a 2nd coat. With a deeper color in this more crelly formula, I wasn’t surprised that it was more uneven at first. It does still look uneven and patchy in my brighter lights, but on the nails in normal daylight, it’s less noticeable. I will say I don’t have many bright purples like this in my collection.

Banks Live Swatch

Zoya – Banks

***

‘Echo’ is a brighter, almost warm-toned blue. This is one of the more opaque shades of the collection, and it was fully smooth after 3 coats. There’s a TINY amount of nail line still showing after that 3rd coat, but less than other shades. I think this one can be fully worn on its own.

Echo Live Swatch

Zoya – Echo

***

Last up, we have ‘Link’, the brighter lime green shade. I will say this one dried much darker on my nails than it looked here, and was definitely much less “neon” than I was expecting from such a bright green. This was also one of the most disappointing for me. This is 3 coats, and you can see there’s still a lot of nail line showing thorugh, and some uneven patches. I have a lot of neon greens with better formulas than this one, so this was a pass.

Link Live Swatch

Zoya – Link

***

And whew, that’s the collection. It was a lot of information, but I can only hope you’re a more informed buyer now. That’s just what I’m here for. I’ve said it all above, and you’ve seen the swatches, you know how I feel about this collection as a whole.

So. What do you think? Are you still interested? What are your thoughts?

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Upcoming Posts
Color Club Pastel Neon Mattes • China Glaze Havana Nights Summer 2021 • Color Club Juiced Up Collection • Sinful Colors Sheer Mattes • Orly Electric Escape Summer 2021

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4 thoughts on “Zoya ‘Easy Neons’ 2021 Collection – Swatches & Review

  1. Thanks for your thorough review on these. I think people are being really critical (in the best sense of the word) on these polishes because of how much hype Zoya put behind these. But I don’t think they’re living up to their claims. Which is sad really, but like you said, if Orly and Color Club can make 12 free neons that are 2 coaters, why can’t Zoya? Anyway, I’m excited to see what you think about the pastel matte neons from Color Club, I haven’t heard much about them yet. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I’m way more critical because of what Zoya said, like if they hadn’t said 2 coats at all I would be like alright I’ll make it work. Although the purple and the lime green would be disappointing even outside of any hype, since they were still patchy after 3. A shame!
      And I’m swatching them right now and they’re coming up next! 2 have been posted on my Instagram so far! ☺️

      Like

  2. Thank you so much for your review. I was looking for the “real” story on these neons. Disappointed they aren’t everything I hoped they would be but you saved me some bucks until I find something better!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so welcome! They’re not the worst neons I’ve ever worked with, but of course if you’re not expecting jelly neons, these will feel so disappointing! I was just more disappointed with how Zoya marketed these, which made me more critical! But I’m always here to show exactly how a polish will look!

      Like

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