Matte vs Glossy Nail Polish is a question you ask yourself all the time. You know your nails can make or break a look. Choose the wrong color or style, you might end up sending the wrong message. Black nails give a rock and roll vibe, while transparent glossy nails complete a holographic aesthetic. For the untrained eye, it may seem like a futile effort to even pay attention to nails.
But for the rest of us who want to commit to a statement, a good set of nails is the cherry on top of any fashion ensemble. Which is why you’re here right now. You may be torn on what finish you should coat your nails with. Matte vs Glossy Nail Polish?
Let’s look for some answers.
Matte Finish: Overview
A matte finish gives you a downplayed, no-luster look. It brings no shine at all—and that can be a good thing…on limited occasions.
In other words, matte nail polish can be rather hard to pull off. Light shades of polish plus a matte finish do not usually go together. A lot of times, your nails could end up looking like chunks of chalk, and that’s not the look anyone wants to go for.
But you can already guess what goes well with matte polish: dark colors. This combination can be extremely powerful and can create a rather serious, intimidating mood.
You can even add tiny embellishments such as studs on your matte nails. Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of matte nail polish is not to conceal your nails, but to create a daring statement. And you can amp that up with studs or gems.
Matte Finish: Downsides
There is one big downside to using a zero-sheen finish. They can be very hard to maintain if you’re a standard nail lacquer type of girl. To make them last, visit a nail salon that can do matte gel nails. Using gel nails with a matte topcoat will dramatically increase the longevity of your polish.
Another disadvantage of using matte is how risky they can be. Aside from the fact that they can be hard to pair with everyday outfits, matte polishes tend to be bold statements. You need to be all in with your whole look if you decide to go for matte. In short, it’s not really your go-to nail polish.
Extra: Satin Finish
Do not confuse matte with a satin finish. Some brands use both terms interchangeably, but if you have a keen eye, you’d notice a small difference in their shimmer. Remember that a satin finish tends to be a little shinier than a matte finish, but not shiny enough to consider them glossy.
Extra: Frosted Finish
A less popular term for the matte finish is frosted finish. Both are one and the same. If you’ve seen how frosted glass looks like, that’s basically how it would look on nails as well.
Extra: Suede Finish
Surprise, surprise! Unbeknownst to many, matte polishes have a shimmer variant—and it comes in a suede finish. If you want a hint of glitter without the shine, then you should try the suede polish.
Glossy Finish: Overview
The opposite side of the spectrum lies the glossy finish. There are many variants to this finish, but generally, glossy polish tends to be more versatile than matte ones. You can either go for basic or elaborate—as opposed to the matte’s rather daring quality. Either way, whichever mood you choose, you can never go wrong with a glossy pick.
But the best part about glossy nails is that there are no downsides to them. Among the manicure world, glossy nails are similar to the white shirt and jeans combination—simple, classy, and chic. Apart from that, they last longer than matte nails, too! It’s a win-win, honestly.
Extra: Creme Finish
In every girl’s closet, you are likely to find at least one creme nail polish. A creme nail polish is basically a tinted lacquer that has added shine to it. This is the most popular type of polish out there—thanks to its versatility. If you’re not really a fan of experimentation, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a creme finish. They are nonetheless still a gorgeous pick.
Extra: Pearl Finish
A beady variant of the glossy finish is the pearl polish. It makes your nails look literally like a pearl—round, shiny, and full of dimension. The colors of a pearl polish, while not exclusive to white, tend to fall under natural shades like light pink or off-white.
Extra: Sheer Finish
The sheer polish is the nail equivalent of the ‘no-makeup makeup look’. With that said, sheer variants are usually translucent with a tinge of pink or nude. They go extremely well with french nails and can make you look effortlessly put together.
Extra: Metallic Finish
Glossy polishes can also be daring with metallic finishes. As its name suggests, a metallic polish gives your nails some shine akin to metal. This type of finish can look very euphoric and fun, making it perfect for raves or parties.
Here’s a rundown of Matte vs Glossy Nail Polish:
When used right, a matte nail polish exudes deep elegance and luxury. The wearer can definitely a bold statement with a matte finish—and can even intimidate! But the big downside with a matte finish is longevity. They tend to chip off easily, and this imperfection is further highlighted with the zero-sheen finish. Therefore, it’s perfect for one-time use, as a formal dinner or prom night.
Glossy, on the other hand, offers more versatility. Whether you’re in the mood for safe or experimental, you have a wide selection of glossy finishes to choose from. You can never go wrong with a glossy polish, add to that their longevity and low-maintenance nature.
To sum it all up, the odds are stacked against the matte nail polish camp. Nothing beats the variety a glossy finish offers. It offers everything a girl needs: simplicity, chicness, flavor, and character.
But of course, now that everything has been laid out, it’s all personal preference from here on out. Aesthetics are subjective after all. If you think you can rock it, then don’t be afraid to experiment!