Move over, shiny polishes.
For as long as you’ve been allowed to paint your nails, chances are you’ve gravitated towards shiny, glossy finishes again and again. While these certainly aren’t going out of style any time soon, there’s an up-and-coming polish trend entering the conversation: matte nails. Yes, the matte look is having a major moment, according to the celebrity set (think: Selena Gomez, Khloé Kardashian, and Gigi Hadid).
“Matte nails are super trendy right now because of the different ways it affects all kinds of colors,” Mimi D, a celebrity manicurist, tells TZR. “A matte topcoat almost instantly adds texture to a variety of polishes.” The expert says when you apply a matte topcoat to a solid color, it adds a softness to it. “If you add a matte topcoat to a magnetic polish, it gives it a velvet texture. The same also applies to a shimmery polish, like very fine glitter.” And according to Amy Le, a Los Angeles-based nail artist, the look can be achieved at home with a matte topcoat or by using a nail buffer until the shine is gone.
Adding to that, Alicia Torello, a New York-based editorial nail artist, says the current popularity in the matte polish trend is “because they are super chic and clean-looking, autumn colors can look gorgeous and velvety and it’s an easy way to add something extra to your mani without going over the top.”
Eager to give the emerging nail trend a whirl? Below, find seven matte nail looks to copy.
“I’ve been seeing the use of matte and glossy together like a matte French with a shiny tip,” says Torello. “This look is classic but adding these tweaks to it can really elevate the look.” And it turns out, she’s not the only expert loving this look. “I love mixing matte and glossy, especially doing a matte base with shiny French tips all monochrome,” Le says. Dramatic black nails are ideal for a moody winter look.
“Graphic designs are also popular and can look really amazing matte — it makes them look really uniform and smooth,” Torello says. For this particular look, you can try something abstract, like squiggly lines, or alternatively a cute symbol such as flowers or stars.
If all-over matte seems a bit too bland for your taste, a shiny metallic foil addition to the finish will definitely give it some much-needed oomph. To really make them stand out, choose a vivid color as the base.
Not into wild designs? No need to worry as you don’t need to go overboard with your matte nail look. In fact, a neutral shade like gray or nude in matte appears edgy, yet chic and minimal.
Get ready to take a walk on the wild side with this matte nail trend. “Matte with crocodile or snake patterns in gloss [is a trend I’m seeing],” Elizabeth Garcia, a New York City-based celebrity nail artist, tells TZR. This is the perfect subtle approach to wearing the animal print trend for winter 2022.
Embrace sweater weather to the fullest by giving your nails a winter-approved knit effect. “A matte topcoat over a sweater-designed manicure gives it the look of a real sweater at your fingertips,” Mimi D says.
Looking to test out a matte nail for the holidays? Here’s an idea: try a matte tweed or plaid nail art, which happens to be a favorite of Le’s. “It’s perfect for the holiday season,” she says. Give every finger this design, or just one accent nail if you’re on a time crunch.