October 26, 2015

Zoya MatteVelvet for Winter/Holiday 2015! [Swatch] [Review]

Hey everyone! Today I'm happy to have the Zoya MatteVelvet collection for Winter/ Holiday 2015 to share with you!

Like Zoya's previous MatteVelvet shades, these polishes have a special matte finish with "micronized pearl fleck"- AKA shimmer - to give a really luxurious and interesting twist to the matte effect. They are more matte than a satin matte finish, but the shimmer does keep them from being absolutely sheen-free.  It's a finish you really have to see in person!

Aspen, Sue, Honor

Amal, Iris, Yves

Ready to take a look? All swatches show the colors in their natural state on all fingers except the index and middle nails where I've added top coat to show their glossy appearance.

First, the lightest in the collection, Zoya- Aspen:

Aspen is a white matte with brighter fleck-like shimmer. Holding this up to a true white object, Aspen is ever so slightly off-white, but it's so close I think it can almost be considered a true white. This is nice, I think, because it's still a really crisp color without being too stark.

Artificial light, three coats:

I think, above, it looks slightly more cream than white due to a lower light intensity.


Formula: It has a nice medium viscosity, and is more pigmented and opaque than I was expecting! I almost left it at two coats, and you could definitely leave it there if you don't mind the slightest VNL.

As far as performance, it paints on well as long as you don't use an excessive amount of strokes. I could see it dragging if you overwork it, but I had no problems. The second and third coats go on much nicer, so it paints onto itself very nicely and does self-level.

Next, here is Zoya- Sue:

Sue is a soft beige or light tan matte with aqua-blue and pink fleck-like shimmer. Unique shimmer mix in this one!

Artificial light, three coats:

Up close:

This one is actually more interesting and pretty than I was expecting! In certain lights it was slightly unflattering on me, but in others it was just fine, so it will probably suit a wide variety of skin tones. And, although they didn't quite come through in photos, I just love the blue and pink flecks this one has!

Formula: It has a thinner consistency than Aspen, and is also a bit sheerer. If you overload your brush, it can pool at the sides of your brushstrokes, but other than that it was easy for me to use and self-leveling. Dries down quickly, and I needed three coats for near-opacity.

Here is the red, Zoya- Amal:

Amal is a medium red matte with bright reddish pink fleck-like shimmer. This red maybe leans a little cool, but looks pretty balanced between cool and warm on me.

Artificial light, two coats:


With top coat:

This one is so striking with a glossy finish. I have to say I wasn't excited for this one going by bottle color, but man is it gorgeous on the nail, especially with top coat!

You can see that the shimmer flecks in this are slightly larger than those in most of the other polishes in this set.

Formula: This one has a medium viscosity, and is very workable, allowing plenty of time for extra brushstrokes as needed. It self-levels, and is opaque in two easy coats- nice! 

Next, here is Zoya- Iris:

Iris is a warm-toned purple matte with magenta fleck-like shimmer.

Artificial light, two coats:


Pretty! This one is also particularly amazing with top coat- the shimmer really comes to life and the color looks brighter and more vibrant!

Formula: It's pigmented, but like Sue, it's on the thinner side, and I did actually flood my cuticle a couple of times. It applies pretty well though, and I encountered no pulling issues. Opaque in two coats!

Next, here is Zoya- Honor:

Honor is a cool-toned emerald green matte with fleck-like lighter green shimmer.

Artificial light, two coats:


Formula: It's a bit thicker than Iris, but still medium-thin, I think. It applies nicely, and is opaque in two coats! 

Finally, here is Zoya- Yves:

Yves is a deep, medium-toned/ cool-leaning blue matte with lighter blue fleck-like shimmer.

Artificial light, two coats:

Now, for whatever reason (because it has purple in it as a cool-leaning blue), this polish required heavy color correction from the straight-out-of-camera images. The first few above photos are very accurate, but the following macro photos are slightly too cyan-based, although are way improved from where they started. Basically, I think if you darkened them a lot, they'd be closer, and it probably has to do with the intensity of light more than anything.


At first, as this one dried on me and lost its wet sheen, I was a bit disappointed because LOOK how amazing it is glossy. But, I grew to really love the natural matte finish of this one too. Because the color is so intense and dark, it really looks like velvet or some other luxurious material.

Formula: It's nice! It's a bit thicker than most of the others, but still what I would consider a medium consistency. It's pigmented and workable, and easily opaque in two coats! Probably my favorite formula in the collection!

Comparison Time!

Of course, I wanted to see how similar these new MatteVelvet shades are to previous Zoya shades in this finish, so I pulled all likely colors.

You can see that all of the purples are very different, which is nice! The new addition, Iris, is very warm-toned when compared to Savita, and slightly cooler-toned (and darker) than Harlow. The new red, Amal, is much warmer-toned and brighter than the previous MatteVelvet red, Posh. Although, I still think Amal is a cool-leaning red.

The greens are obviously the most similar here, although I think the differences are slightly more pronounced in person! The older MatteVelvet green, Veruschka, is darker and not as cool-toned or blue-based as Honor. I prefer Honor!

Overall, I'm definitely happy to see more MatteVelvet shades from Zoya! It's a finish I love very much. I love that most of them look fantastic in their natural finish, and all look amazing with glossy top coat too! They are easy to use, dry down amazingly quickly, and overall had pretty nice formulas!

Something of concern is that most of these are very pigmented, and will likely stain badly if you don't use a good base coat (or double up on base coat.) In particular, I experienced temporary staining with Amal and Iris, and more intense staining with Honor and Yves. I was swatching sans basecoat, however, although those last two also did stain the skin and cuticle upon removal. You could always use a peel base to avoid that though.

I guess my one slight disappointment would be the color range here. While, individually, they are all beautiful, I feel like several are very close to previous MatteVelvet shades. I suppose that's because this is intended as a Holiday or Winter collection, but I would have loved to see a warm brown, orange, pink, or lighter teal or blue. Just sayin'!  Overall, I do like them a lot!

What do you think?
Which is your favorite?

*Disclosure: polishes in this post were provided to me as press samples for honest review, and all opinions are my own.

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