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Orly Matte Couture Collection Swatches & Review

By on August 26, 2009
in Black, Blue, Fall 2009, Matte, Orly, Purple
Because Matte is the New Black! Orly’s tagline for the new Matte Couture collection totally nails the trend, no pun intended. Everywhere I look in the polish world, there is a new matte collection or top coat to check out. If there’s a brand that hasn’t embraced matte yet, I’ll bet they will soon.

I can hear many of you, channeling Elle Woods, saying, “whoever said matte is the new black is SERIOUSLY disturbed, ” but I’m starting to believe in matte’s staying power. As much as we hear that it’s a fad, a blip, a small moment in nail culture I can’t help but wonder if that’s just a wish rather than a prediction.

Check out what Orly is bringing to the matte table after the jump!

Unlike other matte polish collections, Orly is the first brand to suggest using a base coat under the lacquers. I tried these on bare and base coated nails and the application over both was relatively smooth. Granted mattes are still unforgiving if your technique is uneven but I found this formula to be thinner and easier to work with than the OPI or Zoya mattes. Also, these shades are extremely pigmented so you barely need two coats.

FYI – A reader asked on Twitter if applying a matte top coat over matte polishes would extend their wear. I tested Nubar’s matte top coat over their Modern Matte polish and had major chipping after one day. A great suggestion but unfortunately not a solution.

Blue Suede isn’t a true matte and I LOVE that. I was expecting flat, lifeless wall paint a la OPI Russian Navy Matte but instead I was treated to a lovely dusty hue with a suede-like finish as the name suggests.

As I applied Purple Velvet I started to pick up on the theme. This shade has a slight hint of shimmer giving it a (say it with me kids) VELVET finish. This one lies on the red-grape side of the purple spectrum but I’m digging it anyway.

Matte Vinyl is definitely the most matte shade in the bunch. Looking at it, I can’t help but think of that chalkboard spray paint I’ve seen used on old episodes of Trading Spaces. It’s a bit too much for me but I think with a glossy tip I’d be all over it. Want to see what I mean? Check out a modified matte manicure on my friend Sara from Bit By the Beauty Bug.
The Orly Matte Couture collection launches in September. The polishes retail for $7.50/ea and can be purchased online at and our fave etailers (see sidebar) and in stores like Sally Beauty and ULTA.

What do we think? Are you liking the different finishes on these? Which colors struck your fancy? Am I slowly breaking down the matte haters? Let’s here it!

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There Are 33 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Heather says:

    Blue Suede and Purple Velvet look very appealing, but the Matte Vinyl does look like some sort of mud beauty mask. How was the wear on them without the matte top coat? Was the next day chipping as bad as it was with?

  2. tobywoo says:

    I like Blue Suede quite a bit. I have a feeling I would wear it with topcoat though :D

  3. gildedangel says:

    These are neat colors, thank you for sharing this with us!

  4. Nicole says:

    I'm loving everything about the Matte trend and am hoping it becomes a finish that sticks around for a while. The look really speaks to my androgynous style and these three are no different.

    I think the Blue is my favourite within these three.

  5. moonchaii says:

    Hmm…I'll probably pass on these. I might get Purple Velvet, but I'd like to see the blue and purple compared with the Zoya Holiday Mattes when they come out, because I found that the Zoya's application was pretty smooth, I had very few to no problems with it.

  6. Tom says:

    Blue Suede may actually be a good choice for a guy's toes! I may give it a try.

  7. TropicalChrome says:

    Still not liking the matte finish one bit, not anyone's. Matte still looks like someone scribbled on people's nails with a permanent marker, not nail polish. But to each their own.

  8. Lucy says:

    Loving these three! I have the Orly matte topcoat. It gives a velvet finish. I hope I have some polishes the same shade as two of them. The black I can try on one I already have.

  9. Solveig says:

    I like them all, except Matte Vinyl. Vampies look so great in a matte finish!

    Although I still feel like you'd get more bang for your buck with a matte topcoat than buying specific matte polishes.

  10. nihrida says:

    Thank God for the matte top coats… I'd be really confused which colors to buy if I wouldn't have Essie MAY. :)

  11. Debbie says:

    Still not getting this matte thing, imagine the blue and the purple would look great with a gloss top coat, but that rather defeats the object.

  12. Regine says:

    I really, really don't like this trend at all. I might buy Nubar Retail and the blue one from Orly to wear them with a glossy top coat. Never, ever matte. It doesn't look any chic IMO.

  13. KatJobson says:

    I still don't get or like the whole Matte thing, I don't care how "In" it is. I like shiny tips & toes. Zoya is my fave nail polish and products too!

  14. Allison M. says:

    I need to get a matte color.

  15. Susanna says:

    I like Purple Velvet and Blue Suede, but Matte Vinyl looks very unappealing. Although it might be cool as the matte tip on a French manicure.

  16. Tavia says:

    In the end of September it will be an expo with beauty products for hair, face and nails. I know it will be an Orly stand like every year and I'm anxious to try this new stuff. Usually I don't use Orly products, I'm not their biggest fan, cause they don't resist so much on my nails. It will be interesting to see all the new stuff and the awesome prices.

  17. m says:

    h, i hate matte finishes because of the wear issues so i refuse to let myself like them (lol).

  18. candita says:

    So after I asked you about the matte top coats, I applied Essie Matte About You over my Zoya Matte Velvet polish (which was a day and half old)… I got about 3 days out of the polish without any really noticeable chips. I'm on day 4 now and there's now some very noticeable chips. I actually always seem to have trouble making my manis last more than 3 or 4 days, so I was actually amazed that I managed it with a matte! Gives me hope :)

  19. Jason says:

    I agree that the flat mattes are kind-of lifeless.

    For a silky smooth semi-matte, try OPI Nail Envy in matte over your regular polish. Nail Envy leaves a very nice slight sheen to the finish and it wears about as well as regular polish.

    As a guy who wears polish on his toes, I don't really care for the glossy finish all of time, and I don't even like the flat matte, so the semi-matte is perfect!

    Okay, so semi-matte is the new black now!!

  20. Jason says:

    Oh Tom, I didn't see your comment before I posted.

    Actually, BB Couture has just released their first nail polish collection for men! You can find them at

    The colors are more masculine than you can find pretty much anywhere else, and with the Nail Envy Matte over the top, they ROCK for guys!

    Check 'em out!

    Oh, and ladies, you may like the male edginess to these colors too – or maybe you might want to get your guy into trying them once you see them…

  21. Mc Huggs :) says:

    Jason, Tom and Michelle:

    Finally something for the guys! I can't wait to try the OPI Nail Envy on the Lemon Balm from Doir Vergis I am currently wearing and plan to switch to Nicole from OPI "True Blue" for month.

    The Orly's look so sensational om Michelle's nails and Sally's Beauty so close to my location. Love that web site that even caters to men. Amazing!

    Everyone have a great weekend!

    ((((Love Michelle, Tom & Jason))))

    Mc Huggs :)

  22. Tanya @ Online Colleges says:

    I love the matte look because it's not so shiny and has a more casual look to it. I haven't tried it yet but can't wait too.

  23. Sandrina says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the matte look. Been waiting for years to find dedicated real matte polishes. I’m tired of the shiny look and love that there is finally something really different. Like anything else, it’s great for some folks and not for others…the trick is knowing what’s good for you!

  24. sugarpops says:

    the matte vinyl is HOT
    It’s almost like black acrylic paint

    the purple is hot too but i don’t like that it still has somewhat of a shine

  25. Sandi says:

    Ugly, ugly, ugly. Might as well be dipping your fingers in flat wall. I’ll be so glad when all this has fallen by the wayside. Even the few colors I’ve liked don’t tempt me with a shiny topcoat because of the awful wear. Shoot, I’d wear a shiny, sparkly, gummy, gooey, pink rather than one of these.

  26. Jenn says:

    I wouldnt wear it. As an active teen, this wwould not work for me at all. They would chip in a day. I also dont like the how its mch too casual. But if it works for you, then, why not?

  27. kellie says:

    bleck! these are WEIRD! I need shine to my polishes! LOL

  28. rhonda jones says:

    Where can I purchase this polish I live in Baltimore.

  29. rhonda jones says:

    I read late I’m going to try Sally Beauty. I love all the colors and would love to try them all.

  30. Gaby says:

    I know that the search for the ultimate matte polish has left most of us ready to pitch the whole idea out the window….yet NEVER FEAR!! I can say that I have found two brands that knock my socks off!! is by far the best I’ve seen, followed close behind with Chanel’s matte top coat. I have gone an entire week with no recoat with the Chanel and 4 days without any touch up required with
    Girls give it a try!

  31. Melanie says:

    I know this is a long shot, but would you happen to still have Matte Vinyl // would you be willing to part with it? I’ve been searching high & low to replace my nearing-empty bottle. :/

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Melanie! I’m sorry. I only have one bottle myself and plan to keep it. Though L’Oreal just released a LE matte black that is really similar. It’s called She’s So Matte.

  32. Zifara says:

    Oh. My. I love that Konad art, it’s amazing! You just might have lured me into nail art :) I’ve never seen a Konad stamp I could imgiane wearing but this is gorgeous. Thanks for the inspiration :D