October 23, 2015

Do I Need Them All? Zoya Ryan vs Essie Style Cartel

Welcome to this month's edition of Do I Need Them All!  Today we'll be looking at two lovely navy blue cremes: Zoya Ryan and Essie Style Cartel.  They're both from each company's Fall 2014 collections, but navy is always a good color for this time of year!  I actually bought Ryan shortly before breaking a no-buy policy to snatch up Style Cartel, and then I facepalmed at myself when I held them up next to each other.  Let's see how they actually compare!

Style Cartel is a little bit lighter and more blue-toned than Ryan.  Ryan is such a deep shade of navy that it almost looks black in lots of lighting.

Don't mind the airbubbles on my ring finger!  Or the bright blue glare, which is from my lamp and its blue shade.

Overall, I like Ryan more than Style Cartel.  Ryan's formula is dense and highly pigmented.  It can almost be a one-coater, as long as you have a steady hand.  I did use two coats in these photos, mainly to help neaten the line around my cuticles.  Style Cartel, however, is much thinner, almost the the point that it's watery.  I left it at two coats on my middle finger, and did three coats on my pinkie.  You can see that the third coat deepened the shade just a little bit, but it still looks lighter and bluer than Ryan.

So, Do I Need Them All?  Ehhhh, I would say no.  They are slightly different, so I wouldn't call them dupes, but they're so close that I don't think owning both is a must.  My personal recommendation is Ryan, simply because the formula is so much smoother and more opaque, but Style Cartel is also a  good navy blue polish.

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