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ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Zoya Phoebe from the ModMatte Summer 2011 Collection

By on June 10, 2011
in 365 of Untrieds, Blue, Matte, Zoya with 29 Comments
zoya phoebe mod matte nail polish from the zoya modmatte summer 2011 collection 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

Matte nail polish reemerged on the nail polish scene in 2009 and regardless of how you feel about the gloss-less look, I’ve always said there is one major benefit to matte; dry time. If you’re a girl on the go, the super speedy drying power of mattes can save you from leaving the house with naked nails. Before you even hit the door, your nails are smudge-proof.

I’m genetically predisposed to being fifteen minutes late wherever I go thanks to my perpetually late mother. Okay so lateness isn’t an inherited trait, it’s a case of nurture not nature, but I consistently find myself grabbing for a matte minutes before I dash out of the house. Even if it’s only to cover up my swatching nails, creating what I call “nail blogger skittles.” Such was the case when I applied Zoya Phoebe from the recently released ModMatte collection.


Formula & Application: Zoya matte nail polish is 4-Free (including formaldehyde resin) and does not contain camphor which can be an irritant. The ModMattes come in a brushed glass bottle with a tapered, frosted black cap that rests comfortably between the thumb and index finger while polishing.  The brush is short, round and medium in girth with flexible bristles that allow for ease of control.

I was sent the set of mini ModMattes and while they are half the size of regular Zoya bottles, the cap is almost as big as its full size sibling. The major difference is the brush. It’s about a quarter inch longer and thinner than the regular Zoya brush. What I found interesting is that as you wipe the brush against the bottle neck, it becomes flat which makes for an easy application. Considering that a lot of minis don’t apply as well as their full size counterparts, this was a happy discovery.

The formula of matte polishes can make them unforgiving in regards to application. Any uneven brush strokes or nail imperfections (ie ridges) will be reflected in the final product. The ModMatte polishes apply pretty thin but for me that meant an extra coat. While I can normally get away with two coats with matte polish, I ended up needing three coats of Phoebe. A thicker application would fix that but it could result in a lumpy finish.

Matte nail polish application tips: Apply on a dry, bare nail. Base coat can prolong wear but you must wait until it is completely dry to avoid streaking. To maintain the matte finish, avoid hand lotion and oils. Add a glossy top coat to change up the look and extend wear.

Zoya Phoebe is an electrified blue shimmer that comes about as close to neon you can get without entering DayGlo territory. The subtle shimmer gives the polish a more satin finish and prevents it from looking like flat wall paint.

zoya phoebe mod matte nail polish swatch from the zoya modmatte summer 2011 collection

Adding a layer of glossy top coat really brings the shimmer to life. Though a thin top coat, like Out The Door, doesn’t dry as high gloss as usual. It has a slight satin edge, as if you buffed the finish a bit. A second layer or a thick top coat like Seche Vite would remedy this but I kind of like it without the wet look of a traditional top coat.

zoya phoebe modmatte nail-polish swatch with a glossy top coat

Bottom Line: Considering that the majority of matte polishes have been dark and moody, the fun, summery ModMatte brights are refreshing. Phoebe is unique and vivid with a lot of depth which makes it a great buy whether or not you love a matte nail. Wear it matte when you’re in a rush and add a glossy top coat later to change up your look without having to drag out the remover.

365 of Untrieds Stash/Share Verdict: I don’t have a matte anything like this color so I’m STASHing it.

Zoya Phoebe and the rest of the ModMatte collection is available at salons and spas nationwide. Locate a salon near you or purchase online at Zoya.com. Zoya ModMatte nail polishes retail for $8/ea for a .5oz bottle or pick up the ModMatte Mini Trio for $15 for three .25oz bottles. Don’t forget, you can try before you buy with the Zoya Color Spoon program.

Thoughts on Phoebe and the ModMattes? Are you still wearing matte nail polishes? If so, are you wearing them matte or with a glossy top coat? Has anyone tried a matte pedicure? I would love to know how long it lasted.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided by Zoya. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 29 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Katie says:

    I love this polish, and I love it even more glossy! It is pure genius!

  2. Would it make a difference if a matte finisher is used as a topcoat for, let’s say, prolonged wear to maintain the matte finish?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      I’ve heard that people have had good luck using a matte top coat to prolong wear. I haven’t personally tested it.

      • Iris says:

        my experience with the orly matte top coat and the new one by Hard Candy is that they chip just as much as regular matte polish does. maybe some other brand might have a different effect, what i know about chemistry (not a lot) tells me that fast dry time relates to a weaker bond and more chipping.

        • I’ve used Essie Matte About You several times, and the only time they chipped fast was when I used a local polish as base color (I’m from the Phils.) I guess it still depends on the nail polish you use. My worry in topping matte polish with a matte topcoat is that it might further mute down the effect of the matte polish; losing any vibrancy the color originally has.

    • Karen says:

      I have heard the opposite. Since matte polishes are already prone to chipping, adding a matte topcoats increases the likelihood that chipping will occur. I havent tested this myself though and it could vary depending on the length and condition of your nails, as well as how rough you normally are on them.

  3. I love this one! Next time Zoya has a promotion I will definitely pick it up!

  4. Helena says:

    I love looking at people’s swatches of Phoebe, but I feel guilty of buying a lot of nail polish lately and thus am abstaining. Would adore it in my collection, though!

  5. Not usually a fan of matte, but the color of this is just lovely. Matte seems to be popular not only in fall as I thought, but in summer as well!

  6. emily says:

    re: matte pedicures, i just got a bottle of essie’s “matte about you” topcoat to give the whole matte thing a try (i’m WAY late to the nail polish fanatic game, but i’m catching up quickly). it causes the polish on my fingernails to peel in 15 minutes or less, but it lasted on my toes for three days or so with no noticeable chips before i took it off to repaint them a different color. if it makes any sort of difference at all, i was using the butter london base coat, china glaze for audrey (2 coats), one coat nubar 2010, then matte about you. i’ve been sick for the past week and had to go to the doctor and he commented on how much he liked that particular pedicure (“my daughter would LOVE that color!”). haa, thanks, i think?

  7. Danny says:

    I love this one! and I have it too! ;) otherwise I had to get it know! ;)

  8. Winnie says:

    I have this on my toes right now with top coat, I love it! And I don’t have another color like it, so I’m happy. I bought this pretty much knowing I’d rarely, if ever, wear it matte. I also just removed this color from my tips as an ‘accent nail’. Just an fyi, if I catch you in time, it stains your skin on removal. I’d suggest the ‘soak & pull’ method of removal, as opposed to rubbing back & forth, if you know what I’m saying. I had Smurf-y fingers for a couple of hours after removal, certainly not the worst I’ve ever dealt with though. Luckily I didn’t have any nail staining with it, although without base coat I suppose it’s possible. Still, absolutely adore the color!

  9. vettelicious says:

    I love matte polish! I find that most bright colours can look like plastic aka fake nails on me because my nails are quite long, so I reach more for shimmers like the suede collection by opi. I cannot resist any mattes, though! Phoebe is on my wishlist ;)

  10. meme says:

    I never really liked the matte phase when it hit. Agree these lighter/brights present a new twist to mattes. However, I was surprised when I got my March Zoya order and they tossed in the spoons of all the summer collections not out yet and I saw these 4 mattes. I did not order any but if I did end up with one I would probably put a glossy topper on it. I found with the last round of mattes they really chipped easy if I did not use a shinny or matte topper. BTW, I did in the past try the matte You Don’t Know Jacques for a pedi. I used the matte topper on it and got what for me is ‘normal’ pedi wear of about 3 weeks out of it before needing to remove only due to growth line…not wear/chipping.

  11. Kristina says:

    This is so pretty! I saw it at Ulta and just wasn’t sure I would like it. Now, I must go back and get it, hope it’s still there. I like it both ways, matte and shiny! Thanks.

  12. Chris says:

    This would be lovely for summer. I haven’t really gotten into the matte polish look, but the one I want to try is OPI Here Today Aragon Tomorrow.

  13. I got the mini set because I just couldn’t decide which color to get, but the blue was a definite winner! The pink and green don’t have the shimmer in them, making them more flat. The shimmer Phoebe reminded me of the way Man Glaze makes matte.

  14. Carol Lima says:

    Is beautiful, i like nail polish matt *-*

  15. Lina-Elvira says:

    This is lovely! I can’t wait to get my hands on this :)

  16. love4lacquer says:

    i love all 3 of these Mod Mattes! Glossy & Matte, they look so summery and fun and are super fast

  17. NailPolishFan says:

    I love this Zoya nail polish, because blue is my favorite color. I have a question though. I have another nail polish that is a neon blue color somewhat similar to this one, but darker and when I put it on it dries completely matte, but when I put a top coat on it it looks like a creme finish nail polish. Why is that?

  18. sb_sweetie says:

    Love this polish! I picked up the mini-set of these. This was the first one I tried. Yes, it stains, but I can deal with it.

  19. Benita says:

    I have the hot pink version of this (can’t remember the name) and I love it! Perfect for finals when I can’t be bothered waiting for my nails to dry, but don’t want bare nails.

  20. CupK8 says:

    I’ve been resisting these, but now that you’ve posted these gorgeous photos.. I’m even MORE tempted. I haven’t tried the matte fad yet. I suppose I’ll have to now :)

  21. Cat says:

    I just decided to pick up a mini set of these mattes since Zoya had a free shipping promo. I don’t have any matte polishes yet, so I’m looking forward to playing with these, especially since they are such fun colors. I’m a little worried about application issues, but hopefully I can get around that! This is such a beautiful blue!

  22. allison says:

    I love mattes because of this reason. I fuck up a single nail every time. Every single time!

  23. ARCHANA says:

    want thi sblue matte colour in india..where can i find it in india

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