What Is Matte Nail Polish?

S. Reynolds

Matte nail polish is a type of fingernail or toenail polish that is not shiny. Most nail polishes on the market have a shiny or pearlized finish, but matte nail polishes tend to dry very smooth and flat. Matte fingernail polish comes in all colors, but the most popular shades typically are darker. Although women mostly wear matte colors, some men also use this type of polish in dark colors to look trendy or edgy.

Matte polish does not have any shine to it.
Matte polish does not have any shine to it.

Matte nail polish is a newer invention in the nail care market. Beauty experts look upon it as fashion forward and professional. Though this type of nail polish comes in most any color, the color grey is quite popular.

Some experts recommend the use of a base coat with a matte nail polish.
Some experts recommend the use of a base coat with a matte nail polish.

One problem with matte polish is that it tends to chip very easily. The use of a shiny topcoat is discouraged, so the nails are more vulnerable. There are some matte topcoats available, however, that will not ruin the effect of the matte nails while they protect the polished layer.

Some nail experts recommend the use of a base coat with matte polish, but some base coats can cause the polish to look shinier than it should. Another problem with using a regular base coat with matte polish is that the drying times for each polish differ greatly. This means that applying a quick-drying matte layer over a slow-drying base coat can prevent the polish from drying. Nails that take a long time to dry are prone to getting smudged and ruined.

The purpose of a base coat is to protect and strengthen the natural nails. Base coats can also prevent nail staining, which occurs with brightly colored polishes. If one wishes to wear a base coat or topcoat with matte polish, one should read the instructions on the bottles to see if they will react with matte polish.

Men are also getting into the matte nail polish trend. Shiny nails are considered to look more feminine, which is why men who wear nail polish tend to prefer matte polish. Matte fingernail polish is more subtle and professional looking than shiny polish, which can look too flashy in certain shades.

Semi-matte nail polish is also a good alternative for someone who wants to try out the matte trend. It is slightly shinier than a true matte polish, but it lasts longer on the nails. The use of base coats or top coats is discouraged for semi-matte polish unless the polishes are specifically designed for matte nails.

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Discussion Comments


I'm doing a project on what lasts longer, and so far shiny has lasted longer and matte hasn't, so this helps a lot.


Actually, I have worn matte nail polish and I find it to be longer lasting than shiny or glossy formulas. It seems to adhere to the nail better, and doesn't seem to chip as easily.


I think that matte nail polish is a great look for professional women, because it is conservative yet pretty. It's not too flashy, and has a more natural look than shiny or sparkling polishes in my opinion. Matte nude colors are especially trendy, because both nude and matte nail polish is in fashion. They also go well with any outfit and any color scheme.

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