Matte nails look cool, but there aren’t as many matte nail polishes and matte top coats available on the market as regular high-shine options. Nevertheless, there are different ways of getting matte nails at home, even if you don’t have a matte top coat at hand. Below, we’ll discuss the most effective ways of mattifying your regular nail polish easily.
To understand where the matte nail polish trend came from, we’ll go into its not at all ancient history. To get you started, we’ll explain how to mattify your nail polish at home (I even include some DIY steps for matte nails!).
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I remember when the matte nail polish trend first started in 2009 because that was also the year I got really into nail polish! Overnight it seemed like everyone was suddenly sporting matte nails, and I was instantly hooked.
Before we start, it’s important to note that the nail polish brand ManGlaze has laid claim to creating the original matte nail polish in 2007, two years before the trend took off. Their matte nail polishes, with names like ‘Matte is Murder’ (a black) and ‘Nawesome Sauce’ (a forest green), were specifically made for male metal fans. They deserve credit for being the first, even if they weren’t necessarily the trendsetters.
The matte nail polish trend seemed to actually start with OPI releasing a collection of matte versions of their six bestsellers, with many other brands soon following. By 2010 the obsession with nail polishes seemed to transform into an obsession with matte top coats, which were more economical, since they could transform any nail polish into a matte nail polish.
Brands like OPI, ORLY, Essie, and SpaRitual all released their own versions. Matte top coats were also perfect for the minimalist nail art craze, since they could help create all kinds of subtle nail art looks, like matte French tips or matte line art.
There are a few ways you can get those gorgeous matte nails – buying a matte nail polish color, using a matte top coat, and DIY versions that are worth checking out.
Use a Matte Top Coat
You don’t have to go out and buy a matte nail polish – you can mattify your nail polish at home all by yourself, with the help of a matte top coat. Simply choose one of your favorites from our list of the best matte top coats!
Apply your nail polish as you normally would, and then swipe on some mattifying top coat, and voila, perfect matte nails! The trickier part is getting the matte top coat to last a while, but keep reading to get the step by step details on how to get your matte nails to last as long as possible.
Make Your Own Matte Top Coat
For you DIY fans out there, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can create your very own matte top coat at home! Using silica, the ingredient used in commercial matte top coats, is a dangerous game, but Dr. Michelle Wong from LabMuffin did the research and found out that corn flour can work almost as well.
- If you like your at-home creations to feel super scientific and precise, you’ll want to pick up an empty nail polish bottle that has a ball in it for mixing. You can get that kind of supply through Amazon.
- Pour 1 ml of regular top coat into your empty nail polish bottle, and follow that up with ⅛ teaspoon of finely milled corn flour. Shake the bottle thoroughly, and you’ll have made your own wonderful concoction.
- If you don’t have an empty nail polish bottle on hand and you want that matte manicure asap, you can mix the clear top coat and corn flour together with a toothpick on top of some aluminum foil, and then apply with any clean nail polish brush. You will have to work quickly, though, as the mixture can get dry and gloopy very fast.
The effect of this mixture is a bit more satiny than a silica-based matte top coat, but it’s still very striking and beautiful. You can try to follow the exact same recipe, but using a colored nail polish instead of a clear one. This will turn your regular nail polish into a matte nail polish in minutes!
How to Make Nail Polish Matte Using Steam
One of the most unique ways of mattifying your nail polish is with the help of steam. Be careful when following this method, as overly hot steam can burn your fingers.
This method requires expert timing, as you must steam the nail polish when it is still wet. If you dawdle, your nail polish will dry before you’ve had a chance to mattify it.
- Before getting ready to paint your fingernails, set a kettle to boil.
- As the water is boiling, paint your fingernails with whichever nail polish you would like to mattify.
- Once you’re happy with the opacity of the polish, carefully pour the hot water from the kettle into a shallow bowl. You want the water to be steaming, but you don’t want it so hot that the steam burns your fingers.
- Carefully hold your fingers over the bowl, allowing the steam to hit your fingernails. Move your hand around a bit to ensure that the steam gets to every finger.
- After 3-5 seconds, take your hand away from the steam. Repeat this process for the other hand.
- Next wait 10-15 minutes for your nail polish to finish drying, and you’ll see that it’ll have dried completely matte!
Photos via @id_nails_space