There’s nothing like the look of a freshly-painted, shiny manicure. It always makes you feel a little fancier, and lets the world know you have your sh*t together. But sometimes you want something a little different, something a little less…polished. Enter the matte mani. Matte nails are unexpected, a little edgy, yet still chic enough to wear to work. Plus, a matte top coat basically doubles your nail polish collection, as the muted finish gives your nails a totally different look.
I’ve been playing with Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel Matte Top Coat. It’s the same formula as the brand’s classic (shiny) gel top coat, so it keeps my mani chip-free for more than a week (huge accomplishment for a nail biter) and dries so much faster than other formulas I’ve tried. It gives nails a vaguely frosted look—super appropriate for the winter season. I love it over a gunmetal grey metallic, which goes from festive to futuristic as soon as I layer on the matte topcoat.
But the polish’s transformative powers are next level when paired with nail art. An inverted French manicure, diagonal stripes or classic French tips suddenly feel new again with the matte effect. I’m no nail art expert (despite hours scrolling on Pinterest), so I had one of my favorite nail artists, MadelinePoole, Sally Hansen Global Color Ambassador, share a super achievable tutorial. Below, she breaks it all down…
Step 1: Start by painting two coats of your base shade. Poole used Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Jealous Boyfriend, as she likes to use a dark shade to make the matte effect pop.
Step 2: After letting the color dry a minute or two, add a moon-shaped curve in the middle of the nail—any metallic shade works. You can apply it with the brush from the bottle, but I prefer a thin striping brush to perfect the shape.
Step 3: Finally, brush on a coat of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Matte Top Coat over your entire nail. As it dries, it will transform the polishes into a beautiful, velvety texture and make the metallic strip look almost foil-like.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Matte Top Coat, $10, amazon.com