Zoya Desiree Swatches & Review

Zoya Desiree Swatches & ReviewBrown nail polish isn’t my thing. Never have I craved a rich chocolate manicure, but when it comes to lacquer, I’ll try out any hue because you never know if it might open a window and push you toward discovering new colour territory.

Zoya Desiree is one of the colours in the new Focus Collection that’s full of cremes, and I decided to go way outside of my comfort zone. With this brown, I did more than that. I went to the Twilight Zone!

No beating around the bush here. I strongly dislike this colour on my nails, even if the formula was flawless and the superior quality that I’ve come to expect from all Zoya nail polishes.

If you love browns, you’ll probably enjoy this, but I just couldn’t get over how it reminded me very strongly of a specific emoji (and it’s not the dancing woman in a red dress)! 😉

When I saw this polish in the bottle, I thought that it would be a good shade for Christmas when you want to do gingerbread nail art. Other than that, I can’t picture myself pulling out this polish to wear solo ever again. Sorry, brown. We were never meant to be.

On a positive note, after I painted my nails, my first thought, other than the emoji I was referring to, was the song, Shipoopi, which is from The Music Man. (Hehe, I used to sing that song after I first heard it, and my dad always laughed.) Anyway, Shipoopi came to mind mainly because of the poopi part. (Uh-huh. I’m terribly mature, I know.)

In case you don’t know (most people don’t), I grew up with musicals. Name any classic musical that was produced in the 1950s and 1960s, and I probably saw it more than once, even though I was born in the 1980s. (My dad was a big fan of movies in general, but he also had all the musicals, and we used to watch them together. I have tons of fond memories from those days, and while some musicals are cheesy, I still enjoy them.)

My all-time favourite movie is a musical – The Wizard of Oz. I probably saw it for the first time when I was 4- or 5-years old. Whenever I was sick and had to stay home from school, I watched The Wizard of Oz. On the weekends, I watched The Wizard of Oz. Heck, one time, I even lost a baby tooth while watching The Wizard of Oz. No exaggeration – I probably saw it over 100 times, yet even to this day, I still enjoy it like I’m seeing it for the first time. That’s a real classic!

(Also, since childhood, I fell in love with Return to Oz! It’s my second-favourite movie of all-time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s not a musical, and it’s a dark and twisted sequel that features Fairuza Balk as Dorothy Gale. Yup, the same actor who starred in The Craft! Haha, polar-opposite roles, and she was incredible in both!)

My favourite character from Return to Oz was Princess Mombi. (This was my favourite scene from the movie.) She was one of the villains, and she chopped off the heads of young maidens, and brought them to life with The Powder of Life. All the heads, she collected in a gallery, and she would switch out her own head for others. I always thought that was cool and creepy when I was a kid, and I was never into horror films. It was just that character that I found really unique, and back then, I read a LOT of books, so finding a unique character was a feat!)

Zoya Desiree Pictures

Zoya Desiree Focus Collection

Artificial Light

Zoya Desiree Review & Swatches

Natural Light

Desiree by Zoya

Artificial Light

Zoya Desiree Review

Natural Light

Desiree Zoya

Zoya Desiree Swatches

All swatches have:

    • OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener (Used as a base coat)
    • 2 coats of Zoya Desiree
    • Rica Glossy Glam Top Coat

Artificial Light Photos

Zoya Desiree Swatches & Review

Zoya Desiree Swatch

Zoya Desiree Swatches

Zoya Desiree Review & Swatch

Natural Light Photos

Zoya Desiree Swatches Swatch

Zoya Desiree Swatch & Photos

Zoya Desiree Swatch Swatches

Desiree Zoya Focus Collection Swatches

Claims: TRUSTED, but Product: BUSTED

  • Classic sable brown cream
  • Has a touch of grey to keep it cool-toned

Key Notes

Zoya Desiree Review


Desiree by Zoya is a dark-chocolate brown that may remind you of tree trunks or soil. However, all I could think about was gingerbread and poop. Not together. (Ew! That would be a sick joke!)

It’s a brown that usually doesn’t look black, unless the lighting is very dim. Otherwise, you can see that it’s an earthy brown.


The creme finish is simple, and it allows the colour to shine. Unfortunately, haha, brown nail polish is a colour that I just can’t appreciate when it has a creme finish. (I can enjoy browns when they have a golden shimmer.)

Since it had a creme finish, it’s easy to remove. No scrubbing your paws raw!

Application & Formula

Desiree by Zoya applied smoothly, and it was incredibly pigmented, even on the first coat! Its top-notch formula is exactly what I’ve come to expect from all Zoya nail polishes.

I used two coats, even though, if you used a medium first coat, you probably could get complete coverage right away. For this reason, it’s going to be great when I use it for gingerbread nail art. (You’d only need to paint one coat, and then jump right into the design.)


If you’re looking for healthier nail-polish options, Zoya nail polish is a good choice, as their formulas are free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, Camphor, and DBP.


It also feels great supporting a company that is animal-friendly and vegan-friendly.


  • Dark-chocolate brown
  • Smooth formula
  • Extremely pigmented
  • Big-5-Free formula
  • Vegan-friendly & animal-friendly


  • If you don’t like ordering nail polish online, this can be very difficult to get hold of, if you live in Canada.

Final Verdict: 2/10

Yes, I gave this polish a ridiculously low score. This is because I really dislike wearing brown-creme nail polishes. (I tried to give this one a chance, to see if it would change my mind, but it didn’t.)

This is a personal preference. For those out there who like brown nail polish, you’ll love this because the formula is incredible – pigmented and smooth! (That’s the reason why I gave it two points and ultimately “BUSTED” the product.)

How do you feel about brown-creme nail polish? Do you think I’m not embracing this shade, or do you also think of…ShiPOOPi! Hehe!


21 thoughts on “Zoya Desiree Swatches & Review

  1. Joyce

    I have to admit I didn’t like brown polishes either, but they look pretty good against my pale skin and covered with one of those very expensive, but oh so gorgeous gold toppers (OPI Don’t Speak in my case) and I actually started to like it… a lot! Maybe that could work for you as well?
    Joyce recently posted: Sunny yellow skittlette

  2. Anne

    Oh I love your random musicals tangent! And I love wizard of oz and return to oz too, I have to watch them if I find them on.
    I see what you mean about the emoji quality of this polish but I like it and would totally wear it. And then probably make poop jokes.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Anne!

      Glad that you enjoy my tangents. I like incorporating more into reviews than just strictly focusing on the polish. It’s a way for readers to get to know me better and see where I’m coming from. 🙂 Thank you for being open to that and not restricting me to 100% polish talk! (I also love learning more about the people behind the nails, so it’s wonderful to know that we’re on the same page.)

  3. Jessica

    I actually think this polish looks really good on you–kudos for trying it even though it’s a color you don’t usually go for! I do understand your feelings about brown polish, though. Brown is a nice neutral, but the undertone has to agree with your skin or it can look…wrong.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Jessica!

      Originally, I was going to try this one last, but sometimes you’ve just got to test out the waters and see! 🙂 That’s how it was with peach polishes. Before I tried more, I thought that they were all wrong for me. Now, I love them! 🙂

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Elizabeth!

      Like another reader said – it’s like melted chocolate. I think that was a really great description! (Haha, better than mine, which compared it to a certain emoji!)

  4. Melissa

    I don’t mind wearing brown polishes, but I think I’ll have to pass on this one. It’s a nice rich color, but I have other browns that work for my purposes. I can’t see buying this one if I already have a “Go to brown”. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      I can see where you’re coming from. For me, even one solid brown is sufficient, and I don’t crave more. This one applies very well, and unless a person is a brown fiend, you could have Zoya Desiree and be totally content. (Hehe, all this coming from a green fiend.)

  5. Mary N

    I like rich, dark brown polishes because they remind me of melted chocolate! I think almost everyone looks good in them. They’re a slightly lighter alternative to pure black, which I also like, along with purples, greens, etc. My absolute favorite color family is blue, though, followed closely by red. 🙂 The only color I loathe is coral. I hate corals and oranges and a lot of pinks, too, come to think of it.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Mary!

      Considering all the colours that you mentioned, it sounds like you enjoy most of the rainbow! 🙂 That’s both good AND dangerous when it comes to nail polish.

      Wow, you don’t like coral? I’m surprised because I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like coral, especially in the summer!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Barbara!

      Well, at least Cinnamon has some shimmer. I sometimes like browns with sparkle, so you never know! I might give it a go, especially since I don’t wear many browns in general. Maybe I’ll finally discover my one knight in shining armour! 😉 Hehe, and then it’ll be all down the rabbit hole from there. Hehehe!

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Sasha!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts! (It means a lot to me that you read what I have to say.)

      So happy that you share my silly sense of humour! 😉

        1. Mary S. Post author

          I agree. While there’s a time and a place to be serious, I find that humour is what ties things together for me. Plus I’m naturally the type of person who looks for and finds humour in just about everything. You could probably lock me in a room (please don’t) with nothing in it, and I’d crack a joke about something (and not from just going bonkers)!

          I take after my dad’s footsteps, in this regard. He always saw the light side of every situation and every person, and that’s one of his many amazing qualities that I’ve always admired.

  6. GAfromCA

    Now I know to disregard your ratings unless I read the full review! This is a gorgeous color, not too dark, and with a great formula. I think this should be an 8 or 9, with a note that you personally don’t like the color.

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey GAfromCA!

      In my review, I stated it very plainly that this colour isn’t my jam. (I can’t keep repeating myself in every paragraph because that would be poor writing.)

      If a person reads only one sentence and also out of context, I can see how it would be confusing. (That can be said about many things, not just with blog posts.) Thankfully, a lot of people don’t pick and choose like that. If they want to get the most out of an in-depth review, they will take it all in.

      In any case, I am very happy to hear that you enjoy this colour. That’s the wonderful thing about nail lovers – we all have our own preferences, which is why brands keep coming out with a wide spectrum of colours. There’s something for everyone! 🙂


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