Review & Swatch: Zoya Jem

Update (9/7/11): It's the weirdest thing, as the polish has gotten some wear it's actually beginning to show more flash of the amber/gold speckles (see below)!

I purchased a bunch of polishes from Zoya not too long ago and Jem was by far one that I was most interested in trying. Not only did it remind me of Jem and the Holograms (a favorite cartoon from when I was a kid, which probably dates me a bit), but it sounded as though it looked gorgeous. Jem is from the Mirrors half of Zoya's Smoke & Mirrors fall collection.

Zoya Jem

Color Description
Zoya's site describes it as: "A dark red-toned purple base with metallic dark pink highlights and subtle gold duochrome flecks.? This shade has it all; bold color, vampy drama, bright sparkle and a glam rock persona."

In my opinion, it's a super deep plum purple with pinky-purpleish microglitter (not chunky glitter).  

In the Bottle v. On the Nail 
This may be one of the biggest bottle v. nail disappointments I've purchased in a long time. I was so sad! The color base color itself is gorgeous, but where's the amber/gold flash?

Typical-sized Zoya brush

Ease of Application
This polish applied fine, though it was on the thinner side I noticed. I had to either load my brush up a lot or reload my brush and continue working on the same nail.

Opacity & Number of Coats
If you've read my past polish swatches you know I have an unsaid 2-coat rule. I rarely use polishes that require more than 2 coats. This was completely opaque in 2 coats, but I did a 3rd hoping that the flash of amber/gold would magically appear. It just didn't really happen :( I saw a slight, slight flash outside, but it's not obvious at all.
Zoya Jem - you can see a super, super subtle amber/gold flash along the line where my skin and nail meet toward the left side of my nail. You can't see this in-person inside and it's super subtle outside.

Zoya Jem - Again, by taking a macro shot of my polish I was able to catch the super subtle flash of amber/gold alone the left side of my nail. This was not at all visible to my naked eye inside under a regular bulb or daylight bulb.

Update (9/7/11):  This is what I began to see 3 days after application. I managed to capture it with my DROID. You can see it on the far right and middle finger) Weird, right?

Drying Time
This actually dried a bit faster than some of the Zoya cream polishes I've tried. I would say it's pretty average in that regard. This is also harder than the Touch Collection, which I found to be super soft.

This sells on the Zoya site for $8 per bottle.

Loath, Leave, Like, or Love
I really, really wanted to love this. If I could see the flash more I'd die over this color, but since I can't see a flash of anything unless I'm outside (and even then it's super subtle) I'm wavering between leave and like. I could leave it because it doesn't have a strong flash, but the sentimental side of me likes the fact that it reminds me of a childhood cartoon I loved and it's still a pretty color ... just not quite what I was hoping for. Sigh. Disappointing :( Looking at the bottle (see above) I had my hopes so high!

Update (9/7/11): Apparently Zoya Jem, like a fine wine, gets better with age. After wearing it for 3 days, I began to notice that that flash of amber/gold became a tiny bit more obvious at times. It's still not super obvious, but better. I really like it! It's not quite as much of a duo as I'd hoped, but it's so fabulous I can't help but love it anyway ;)

You can view Jem on Zoya's website HERE.

Have you tried Zoya Jem? Could you see the flash of gold?         


  1. I've been lusting after this color since the collection came out! My ULTA STILL doesnt have them :-( BOOOO But it looks amazing on you!

  2. Thank you! I love it, but I'm still disappointed :( I want FLASH! Not teeny weeny itty bitty flash. Still, I can't help but like it a bit anyway ;) I hate our Ulta, it is AWFUL! I always order online from Zoya.


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