Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Alternatives to (the evil) NARS Zulu

A while back I wrote an article complaining about NARS Zulu and the insistence of the nail polish industry of discontinuing highly sought after colors. I understand that creating ‘limited edition’ nail polish inflates demand and creates profits for nail polish companies, but discontinuing really highly sought after colors doesn’t make any sense from a business stand point. NARS Zulu, for example, has been off the market for over a year and still consistently sells for $70+ on ebay. That’s profit that is going to scalpers when it could be going to the polish companies. It just seems like bad business sense to not re-release those colors.

In any case, I still don’t own Zulu. Whenever I’m near a balcony, I run out on to it à la A Streetcar Named Desire and scream , ” Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuluuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!! Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!” A long time ago I bought all the supplies to attempt to franken Zulu. I never did it because frankening Zulu was akin to accepting I would never own it. I’m starting to accept that, so I gave the franken a shot.

Here are some of the greens in my collection.

Unfortunately none of these are exact dupes of Zulu. Check out Blogdorf Goodman for swatches of Anna Sui #915 and Chelsea Psycho Green which are traditionally thought of as Zulu dupes and are, unfortunately, as difficult to find as Zulu. Chelsea Psycho Green, also pictured above, is very close but Zulu is a creme with a jelly finish and Psycho Green has very subtle shimmer visible only in the light, no jelly finish.

I bought Icing Envy and New York Summer Amaranth specifically for the purpose of trying to duplicate Zulu. I’ve seen an Amaranth based Zulu franken before, it was dead on. Amaranth has a jelly quality that is similar to Zulu so it’s a perfect base green for Zulu frankens, just add black. The only problem was that I loved Amaranth so much I didn’t want to use it for a franken. I decided to try it out only with Icing’s Envy (which I also love but happen to have two bottles). I’ll order a second bottle of Amaranth to franken with and post my results later, I promise.

I mixed roughly half a mini bottle of Icing Envy with the rest being 1/4 OPI Black Onyx and 1/4 OPI Top Coat. This is what I ended up with:

And this is Ponchy’s picture of Zulu:

As you can see, I failed, while I like the color I ended up with, my franken looks nothing like Zulu.

Zulu escapes me again.

*sobs quietly*

Special thanks to my love Ponchy for allowing me to use her image in this post. : )


22 Responses to “Hard-to-Find Week Pre-Party: Alternatives to (the evil) NARS Zulu”

  1. Roberta Says:

    I, too, missed Zulu when it was available and feel your pain. Although I wish NARS would re-release, I don’t understand why no other polish company has come out with a similar dark green creme. They seem to be missing a great opportunity.

  2. pretear Says:


  3. Shryh Says:

    That said, “Screw Zulu” is very, very lovely.

  4. Sanna Says:

    I love recycle!
    “Screw Zulu” looks awesome! Love the name too:D

  5. *jen Says:

    I’m crying for you. I love “Screw Zulu” but it’s clearly not the same… Keep trying! And hold out hope! ;)

  6. Scrangie Says:

    Screw Zulu, lol! Perfect.

    Ponchy has such nice nails, doesn’t she? I was just admiring them the other day. Of course, I envy your nails too! ;-)

  7. pretear Says:

    *sigh* Screw Zulu is nice but it’s not Zulu. I know you guys cry with me. lol.

    Scrangie – : P I do love Ponchy’s nails *and of course* yours too. : P

  8. maysum Says:

    WOW – all those colours are really quite lovely. It is so sad when brands discontinue a favourite product (*kicks Chanel for getting rid of my beloved ‘Pirate’*).

    However, although it seems like they only do it to spite their loyal followers – more often then not they discontinue favoured products because they can no longer source the ingredients, or they have risen to such a price that manafacturing the product is no longer viable – so you can’t really blame them.

    You’ve dont well with Franken Skew Zulu though, it’s very pretty – and anyone who didn’t *know* Zulu would think it heaven :o)

  9. Sminkan Says:

    Well, I haven’t got Zulu either. And I don’t have Screw Zulu, which looks lika a real stunner! I would love that color on my nails!

  10. Jennifer Justice Says:

    Try Creative NFS it is almost identical to ZULU. May be a little hard to find.

  11. pretear Says:

    Maysum – Yes, for some products that is the case, but according to NARS they discontinued Zulu because they wanted to make room in their collection for new colors. That seems silly, the other colors released by Nars since Zulu was discontinued haven’t even shadowed the popularity of Zulu.

    Sminkan – you should try to dupe my franken : P It’s easy!

    Jennifer – Yea NFS is a very beautiful dark green, but alas it has shimmer and is also HTF. Another company needs to get on the dark green creme bandwagon.

  12. Dave L Says:

    Zulu looks awesome! I have become rather fond of darker greens lately and find that I can actually get away with wearing them on my toes (I don’t paint my fingernails). This color looks like it could be a classic!

    Just curious, do you get many comments from other men who are also interested in nail polish? My wife and I share this passion!

  13. pretear Says:

    I haven’t gotten any comments on the blog but I know there have been some guys on MUA that drop in and chat polish with us from time to time. Have you heard of Man Glaze? It’s a nail polish company that makes matte nail polish for men. I actually have a review of their colors if you look in my archives. (http://polishaddict.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/manglaze-matte-nail-polish-swatches/). They have an amazing gun metal gray and asphalt black. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already. : )

  14. Jenny Says:

    If you added blue, clear, and black you might get it closer to Zulu. Just my 2 cents :)

  15. pretear Says:

    I think I might just leave Screw Zulu alone and start with a whole new franken.
    : )

  16. Covergirl Tropical Fushion Eyeshadow Dupes - MakeupTalk Says:

    [...] year and last. It may be the combination of my green eyes or the impossiblty of getting ahold of in Nars Zulu nail polish. How’s that saying go – we always want the impossible.. Not only impossible but, extremely limited. [...]

  17. Tina Hanae Miller Says:

    I was in Japan this summer and spotted a zulu look-a-like in the Majorca Majolica catalogue. Unfortunately I never picked up a bottle of it, and now am kicking myself during a green-black bottle craving. However, both ichibankao.com and adambeauty.com have it (I think it’s GR-319). While I contemplate the shipping cost I’m tempted to make a franken of my own :)


  18. rachel Says:

    i am DYING (!!) to find new york summer nail polish. i am in Toronto. i would order online but have only found it at transdesign.com, and my computer shows a security alert on their checkout page (ie warns the site isnt secure). someone HELP! i desperate for their colors!

  19. pretear Says:

    Tina – I searched for this amazing polish you’re telling me about but I can’t find it! : (!!!

    Rachel – I always order from them and have never had a problem : (… other than their site though I don’t think you can get NYS online.

  20. Nora Says:

    I love the screw Zulu color. I would so wear that.
    I have a great ZULU formula that is really close to my eye. The main ingredient is Omega Primary green (75%) which I added to a base of Opi clear top coat (15%) and then some Sinful Black on Black to taste (10% or so). Mix well and voila – a creme dark green jelly. Top off with some Seche and you are set.
    *You can also use Art Club Emerald Green as the main ingredient, but go easy on the black because I’ve found it’s a little less forgiving and it turns (too) dark very easily.

  21. pretear Says:

    :o Gonna have to give that one a whirl. Thank you for sharing.

  22. The Polish Addict » Blog Archive » Never Say Never: NARS Zulu Says:

    [...] I have a hardcore undying obsession with this color. I’ve posted about it constantly (see here and here). I went through some serious angst in my fervor to procure this color. Amidst the rumors [...]

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