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Zoya Matte Velvet Review and Swatches

By on June 15, 2009
in Black, Fall 2009, Gray, Matte, Red, Zoya with 33 Comments
zoya, matte velvet, mattevelvet, matte nail polish, zoya matte nail polish, nail polish, nail lacquerI doubt you can take any more buildup over the new Matte Velvet collection from Zoya so I’m happy to be able to FINALLY share the goods with you. As I’ve previously stated, Matte Velvet is Zoya’s entry in the emerging matte nail polish trend. The lineup includes three shimmering shades in a unique matte finish formula. Check them out after the jump!


Right off the bat, I was already loving these polishes WAY more than the OPI Mattes (La Paz being the lone exception) due to the shimmer. It keeps the polish from looking like flat wall paint which for me is a good thing. And unlike slapping a layer of matte top coat on a shimmery polish (see below) this polish is truly matte and non-reflective.

We need to discuss for the formula for a sec before jumping into the swatches. Like the OPI Mattes these polish dry SUPER FAST so make haste when applying. They’re also pretty thick and can EASILY go on uneven. In fact, I had to redo a couple nails because I wasn’t quick or accurate enough. Though the bonus of them drying so fast is the lack of wait time. You can be out the door in 5 minutes with these polishes.

Again, we’re faced with the no base coat rule which I really don’t understand. As you remember from my experiment with the OPI Mattes the only decent wear was while using a base coat. If anyone with chemistry knowledge can riddle me why this is the recommendation, I know we’d ALL appreciate it. (CHECK UPDATE BELOW)

Posh is a deep burgundy shimmer. It looks very berry-ish when wet but dries more red wine.
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Loredana is a chalky charcoal shimmer matte (sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?) that reminds me of cement. It was the thickest and most difficult to apply of the three and also my least fave. Not like a thumbs down least favorite but more like non-essential to my life.
zoya, loredana, matte velvet, mattevelvet, matte nail polish, zoya matte nail polish, nail polish, nail lacquerWhen I first slapped it on last Friday I was all, “Rut-roh! Me thinks I see a Man Glaze dupe. Drama!!” but it’s clearly not. Fuggen Ugly is more gray with a subtle satin sheen while Loredana has a cooler, blue undertone that is completely flat. If I’m being honest, even though I hate the brand name (Man Glaze, really? Double entendre much?), I prefer the formula.
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Dovima is a black shimmer that reminds me of honed black granite. It’s another shade that leans a little cool instead of being a true black. I imagine due to the silver shimmer.
zoya, dovima, matte velvet, mattevelvet, matte nail polish, zoya matte nail polish, nail polish, nail lacquerTo give you an idea of how these compare to a traditional polish with a matte top coat, I paired Dovima with CND Hyde In The Dark topped with Nubar V for Men Matte Finish Nail Protector (that’s a mouthful!). The matte top coat not only lightened the look of Hyde but it also left a satin finish instead of a true matte.

In regards to the wear, I threw on Loredana last Friday and after taking a shower on Saturday it was so badly chipped I had to take it off before being seen in public. It wasn’t like cool chipping (not that I really think that exists). It was more like you’re-too-lazy-go-home-and-make-love-to-your-polish-remover chipping! Since I could give two figs about going to work with a broke down mani, I’ll be testing the formula with & without base coat this week and reporting the results on Saturday.

EDITED TO UPDATE – Answer regarding base coat usage courtesy of Zoya’s Leo Reyzis:
The film properties of matte formulas are not consistent with the properties of regular polish therefore when one gets applied over the other there is a different rate of drying which causes distortions in the surface tensions of both films, best seen as ridges and valleys that will form on the polish surface (as well infinitely endless drying time). If a basecoat is still desired you must wait for base to dry completely for matte formulas to be applied on top. This may help extend wear however the surface must be completely dry and residue free prior to applying matte formula.

That totally makes sense since I did report poor OPI Matte application when using a basecoat. Thanks for the answer Leo!

The Matte Velvet nail polishes retail for $6/ea and can be pre-ordered now on Zoya.com with a July 1st ship date.

So all you matte haters? What do you say now? Matte lovers… are you like totally dying or what?

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There Are 33 Brilliant Comments

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  1. abigail says:

    i kind of like posh and loredana… i wasn't expecting much from this after seeing the other matte colours from opi (i think)…
    i might grab one just for the sake of trying a new formula and i guarantee it will be the green one!

    gotta love the greens :) trebali

  2. Ava says:

    Well, of all the mattes I've seen, these are the nicest so far. Having said that, I still can't jump on this bandwagon…especially since they don't wear well and are difficult to apply. I don't know…it's just not for me.

  3. shuzluva says:

    I'm still not getting it. The comparison of the OPI polishes to "flat wall paint" was spot-on, and while these have underlying shimmer, the combination of poor wear plus it's not grabbing me by the throat tells me this is a pass.

  4. bougybisous says:

    i only own one zoya polish (can't recall the name but it's a super saturated magenta–almost neon) and it dries matte, though in the typical dull-satin style.

    it also chips relentlessly–to the point where i don't even bother wearing it because it chip-peels off in chunks mere hours after applying.

    do other zoya polishes do this? (as i've avoided the brand after being so disappointed)

  5. Linda says:

    I don't know….I feel completely different! To me, the OPI Mattes were a lot nicer matte-wise plus when I think of something matte I don't want some glitter involved! :)

  6. MoLo says:

    I loooooove the looks of Posh, can't wait to get it in (on?) my hot little hands.

  7. Raye says:

    I agree better than OPI but still not sure about this trend.
    I will go back to searching for creams and probably skip the whole matte thing.Thanks for saving me $$$$

  8. Denette says:

    I think all of the matte polishes look nice, but not really for me. I am a huge fan of an ubber shiny finish, it seems happier (if polish can have emotions – I am sure they can!!) To me, matte seems sort of depressing.

  9. CandyPaint says:

    Before I read the post and just looked at the pictures i thought to myself "These swatches look btr than OPI Matte!" Looks like we are in agreement. I think I'll try these instead, this will be my first Zoya purchase. I'm also looking foward to Ibiza, Pinta and Envy.

  10. Jess says:

    I don't think I agree with the whole b/c idea. I used Knockout Karen, a matte brand, this weekend over Nubar Foundation b/c and I didn't experience any chips, even after showering multiple times and doing housework. Perhaps it's that particular brand but I imagine most matte polishes would have similar formulas. My hypothesis is that mattes should be used over fast-drying sticky basecoats rather than treatment basecoats. I'll have to try it as soon as I get the Zoyas…

  11. moonchaii says:

    I like posh the most. If any, I'll get posh =]

  12. innerchild says:

    I like the color of Posh, but it seems the matte finish would dull my fingertips. I suppose you have to buffer your nails really well since these would accentuate any rivets/unevenness on the nailbed. Thanks for the swatches.

  13. Linnea says:

    Oh, that Posh would look drop-dead gorgeous in a reverse moon mani… too bad I don't have perfect nails to pull it off! Thanks for the swatches – these are gorgeous mattes.

  14. Danica says:

    Loredana looks amazing to me, but I just don't think I will wear matte.

  15. Alex says:

    I'm actually liking Posh the most out of all the mattes I've seen, but I'm not sure if this is a trend I'm going to try, since I'm beginning to get the feeling that these formulas are kind of a pain.

  16. Miss Yaya says:

    **drool

  17. Bree says:

    Man Glaze and Knockout mattes look real nice but OPI's attempts were, honestly, just hideous. Zoya here on the other hand… I think Posh is looking delish! Glad I like it better than the pink OPI La Paz ($$$!).

    Thanks so much for the pretty swatches!

  18. Olivia says:

    I actually like these much better than the OPI colors! I could see myself buying all three of these.

    Thanks for the swatches!

  19. leann says:

    I'm jealous

  20. TropicalChrome says:

    These are the nicest of the mattes I've seen but they still don't appeal to me. Not when I have a mile-long list of other polishes I want!

  21. candita says:

    I'll definitely be trying them, but not sure if I'm loving them as much as I want to.. :(

    What happens if, after a day of fun matte tips, you want to throw on a nice, shiny top coat, I wonder? Have you tried that, Michelle? Does it just magically restore the polish to a nice normal look?

  22. bargainbeautyblog says:

    LOVE these! Can't wait to get them! I just wish someone would come up with a TRUE MATTE Topcoat– not just a satin one.

  23. Sanna says:

    I'm not a matte lover but poshe looks hot:)

  24. twitches says:

    I got excited for mattes when Knockout came out with them and bought the white, red, and black. After wearing each one for a while I realized they are just not for me. I have acrylic nails and wear my polish for two weeks before changing colors, and in my humble opinion mattes just don't wear well at all. They look cool for a few days and then just look sort of dirty and dull. So now that everyone's coming out a line of them for fall, I just can't get into it at all.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Try using the actual Orly Matte tc instead of the Matte for Males, it works better. It's still a little satin, but better.

  26. kat_b says:

    is it ironic that I just turned in my old Orly Matte polishes in the Zoya polish exchange?

    I don't care what matte lovers say, it just looks "wrong" to me.

  27. kelly says:

    I have owned KO matte polish for months now: I LOVE the matte look! (I wore it at my wedding in March!) I am so excited about the new matte options and really appreciate such a complete guide to looks, brands and colors. Consider me a new fan of this site!

  28. gel says:

    Thanks for the good info…very good blog site.

  29. Christine says:

    I received Loredana for Xmas and I *loved* it. However the polish does not last very long before chipping — about 1 day. After som investigation, I found this comment from the Art of Beauty website [artofbeauty.com]:

    “MATTEVELVET nail color by Zoya is not intended to be worn with a base coat, top coat or speed dryer of any kind. Due to the unique matte formulation, color is not as long wearing as traditional nail color.”

    I wore Essie base coat and no top coat. I always let every coat dry completely before applying the next. Anyway, I hope you find this helpful!

  30. Sandi says:

    Be glad when this trend passes.

  31. Marie says:

    The red one would make a PERFECT holiday color!

  32. MissWendolin says:

    Absolutely hate hate hate the application of Zoya Posh… i’ve never had such a pain in the ass application of a polish before :( Disaster!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. Were your nails damp at all, like after washing your hands? Or did you apply base coat? If your nails aren’t perfectly dry, the polish will apply lumpy. I use a base coat but I wait at least 5 minutes for it to dry.

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