Review: Zoya Remove

For a long time now I’ve believed that all nail polish removers were basically the same. I generally use whatever cheap drugstore brand of remover I can pick up and never gave much thought into switching to anything else. I started hearing alot about the Zoya polish remover, and noticed that it’s been getting alot of mentions in magazines and on websites lately. Luckily, when I ordered from the BOGO deal, one of my free gifts was a small bottle of Remove, so I finally got to give it a try.

Here is the description from the Zoya website:

Polish remover is just the beginning of what this wonder 3-in-1 formula achieves. Clean and prep nails while moisturizing, nourishing and fortifying the nail plate for guaranteed extended polish wear. Nails are left without a trace of nail lacquer, without streaking or staining, hydrated and ready for a base coat.

My free gift bottle was, I believe, the 2oz size… definitely small but enough to get quite a few uses out of. This polish remover is a pretty purple color with a lavender scent, and the 8oz bottle comes in a ‘big flipper’ spill proof container. I had a hard time deciding what to write in my review of this product, so I tried to use it on several occasions and on different types of polish.

The good news is, this stuff works really well. My nail polish came off quickly and almost always easily, with no leftover stains on my fingers. When I took off my Paloma polish today, I was so impressed at how fast I could remove two coats of it and have my nails looking clean and healthy. So far I haven’t experienced any feeling of my nails being stripped or dried out, as cheap remover can sometimes cause.

I also wanted to try this out on glitter polish, because that’s the toughest challenge of any polish remover. Boo had asked me how difficult Fei-Fei (by Zoya) is to remove, so when I took it off I used both Zoya Remove and drugstore remover to see how the two compared. While Fei-Fei is a fine glitter and not as difficult to remove as chunky glitter polish, it still took a bit of scrubbing. The Zoya remove didn’t seem to work much better than the off brand in this particular case, which I felt a little disappointed about.

There are two negatives to Zoya remove; the smell and the price. While some people may be fine with the scent, and may even find it pleasant, it’s definitely strong. If you are sensitive to fragrances this may not be the right remover for you. In fact, the scent is so strong that it can be difficult to get it off your hands even after multiple washings. Today I washed my hands twice with Dawn dish washing detergent after using it, rationalizing that if it can get the oil off of baby ducks on those commercials it can probably get the lavender scent off of my hands. And it did, for the most part. The price is also a factor, especially if you are planning to purchase it online where shipping might be added (depending on your order total, discounts, etc). The 2oz bottle is $5, the 8oz bottle is $10, and if you’re really stocking up you can go for the 32 oz bottle for $25. I definitely appreciate the choices in size, so if you just want to try it the $5 bottle is easy to add on to a polish order or if you already love it you can go for a larger size so that you won’t have to keep reordering.

The real question is, would I recommend this product to a friend? That is a really tough call for me. I think it works really, really well but the smell and the price would make me hesitate a little. For myself, I will probably purchase the $10 size at some point using Birchbox points or added onto another order. If you’re concerned about the lavender I would either steer clear of this all together or go for the smallest size. (Or order $30 worth of polish and see if they add it as your free gift!). I love Zoya polish and I think this is probably the best remover I’ve used, but I would much sooner recommend it if the scent was milder. There are a few common sense things that you can do about the scent if you choose to use this and are bothered by it:

  • Use in a well ventilated area. I know that seems simple, but it can definitely help.
  • Work quickly. This stuff removes polish fast, don’t linger with it and don’t leave the cap off of the bottle while working.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you finish with the remover. Then wash them again. Do it three times if you need to!
  • Take a shower. While that sounds a little extreme, it’s not a bad idea to hold off removing your polish until you’re about to shower anyway, it will help make sure you get rid of all traces of the remover scent.

I’m not advising you to use the remover if you have a reaction to it or to the smell of it, those are just a few tips that can help make the strong scent a little more bearable if you love Remove but hate the smell. Have you used Zoya Remove before? What did you think of it? If you’d like to try it, you can check it out here with my STL link and get some points if you’re making a new account (STL points equal discounts and freebies!).


4 thoughts on “Review: Zoya Remove

  1. Thanks so much for the update on FeiFei!! I actually have the Zoya Remove in the Flipper bottle (I bought it for the America Fourth of July special) and really like it – the pump top is freaking awesome!! I never noticed that the fragrance was very strong, though. It bothers me much less than my old drugstore brand did. And while it is pricey, I do notice that I use significantly less than I did with the drugstore stuff – I can often get by with a single cotton pad for all the fingers on a hand, and then a third pad for a final clean-up swipe of all the nails.

    • You’re welcome! That’s an excellent point about using less, I hadn’t thought of that. But it does work really well so I think you’re right about using more of the cheap brand. I haven’t used it long enough to really say how long a normal sized bottle would last me compared to drugstore remover. The first time I used it the smell didn’t bother me, but the next two times I found it very strong. (Have allergies though, so that’s probably why I couldnt smell it the first time). Strong perfumes give me a headache so I try to be sure and mention if something has a strong scent because I know how frustrating it can be. Hopefully I’ll get used to it, because I’m a big fan of Zoya and I do think it’s quite a good product. 🙂 This may be stretching a bit, but I wonder if using the flipper bottle makes any difference in how much you notice the scent. With the smallest bottle you have the cap off and are pouring out more at a time on the cottonball. I haven’t used the flipper though so I’m not sure how much it dispenses at once, but it seems like taking the cap off something would have you smell more of it than just having a small opening that pours out a little product at a time? It may not make a difference but it would be interesting if it did. Am I making any sense? lol. Oh and I think I mentioned it in my Fei Fei swatch but not on this post, I used 3 coats plus a topcoat.. so using less would definitely make removal easier, but it still wasn’t that bad.

      • I just saw that their latest promo is a free Big Flipper with the purchase of 3 polishes from the new collections. I think you are right that since the remover goes directly onto the cotton pad and doesn’t really hit the open air that the smell is dramatically minimized (but again, I am not particularly sensitive to lavender, so might not be the best judge).

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