December 9, 2021

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How to Achieve the Look + 14 Styles to Steal

Matte nails are having a moment. This way of painting your talons – in a flat, non-glossy shade – is an increasingly popular trend that’s boomed all over social media thanks to celebrities including Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian opting for the style.

Why? Well, this look means that the focus of the nail is the colour, rather than the shine and, in a world dominated by glassy, gleaming varnishes, matte nails can feel like a cooler, edgier counterpoint.

Marian Newman, renowned nail artist, tells WH: ‘This trend is perfect for winter because it works nicely with deeper tones and dark, rich colours.’

The best part is, all you need is a matte top coat (like this OPI one) to change the finish of any polish you already have – though brands like Barry M, Max Factor and Sally Hansen have all now launched products specifically with matte in mind.


What are matte nails?

Matte nails create a smooth finish, with no shine. Nail expert and manicurist Roxanne Campbell explains: ‘Matte varnishes can even cover imperfections and are becoming popular with my clients.’ She alos mentions that matte nails tend to give more of flat, frosted finish, which is perfect for colder months.

Are matte nails better than glossy?

Well, this is down to your preference. Matte nails are just as easy to achieve as their glossy counterparts, so whatever you feel looks better on you is the way to go.

Iram Shelton, Max Factor UK Nail Expert tells WH: ‘It is an aesthetic preference. Nail health-wise they are not different to glossy nails. Matte nails can be only be achieved by using a matte top coat. You can choose any design or colour and add a matte top coat which will transform your look into a luxurious, suede texture.’

Do matte nails last longer?

They tend to last longer if you are using gel polish. Regular polish will last anything between 1-3 days. ‘One problem with matte polish is that it tends to chip very easily’ explains Campbell. The use of a shiny topcoat is discouraged, so the nails are more vulnerable.

How do I make my nails matte finish?

Want to get in on the trend? Here, Michelle Class, a Sally Hansen nail Expert, explains her method.

‘After you have applied your base coat and two coats of your chosen colour, apply your matte top coat. My favourite is the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Matte Top Coat – I always use it after a regular gloss top coat, to give it longer wear.

‘If you don’t have a matte top coat, you can apply your polish as you would usually and add your gloss top coat. Once it has dried thoroughly, use a nail buff to remove the shine. Do this lightly and take your time so you don’t remove any colour.’

14 matte nail ideas, for inspiration

1. Plum matte nails

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Plum is the ultimate shade for autumn, this gives a soft, worn feel to our mani, taking it down a notch and making it feel less ‘done.’

2. Fluorescent matte nails

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Stand out of the crowd with this gorgeous bright, neon pink.

3. Design-led matte nails

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If you’re #blessed at doing your own mani, you can have a go at experimenting with half and half matte nails.

4. Pastel matte nails

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Who doesn’t love a pastel colour adding a matte top coat gives them an edgier twist. We’re here for it.

5. Floral matte nails

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Intricate floral nail art looks even cooler when used as an accent nail.

6. Sage green matte nails

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We’ve spotted nail artist, Iram Shelton, getting the party started early after cracking out the matte polish in green.

7. The leopard print matte nails

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8. Classic red matte nails

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Who doesn’t love a bright red? It goes with everything and works for all skin tones.

9. Nail art matte nails

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Matte nails lend themselves really well to nail art as it offsets and makes the design stand out more.

10. Ombre matte nails

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Can’t decide on one colour, how about using several and creating an ombre faded look. We’re loving this purple and makes for the perfect winter nails.

11. Brown matte nails

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Brown is having a moment, if it’s not clothes its on nails and we’re loving this alternative to black.

12. 3D matte nails

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These water droplets are made with acrylic, but you can create a similar 2D effect with shiny clear nail polish. First allow the matte base to dry, then paint your glossy dots.

13. Matte Tips

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A unique take on the classic French mani, this look combines two of nail art’s biggest trends: matte nails and coloured tips. Oh and don’t get us started on the gorgeous burgundy colour.

13. Starry eyed matte nails

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Milky pinks have always been a fave on nails, but adding black stars gives it a fun twist.

14. Matte and shiny combo

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The duo we didn’t know we needed, couldn’t decide what texture to have? Why not have both, these cute nail designs work perfectly for the colder months thanks to the darker colours.

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