You have to look really close, but I promise Zoya Cynthia is not black. It comes close, but it has beautiful blueish, almost peacock teal tones to it. The underlying color is definitely more noticeable under direct light. Application with my bottle was a bit streaky, but nothing that couldn't be fixed with 2 moderate of 3 thin coats. This is 3 thin coats of Cynthia with 1 coat of nubar Diamont.