Matte vs Glossy Nails: Which One Is Best?


Matte versus Glossy Nails

Matte vs. Glossy Nail Polish is a question you ask yourself. You know your nails can make or break a look. Choose the wrong color or style, and you might send the wrong message.

Black nails give a rock and roll vibe, while transparent, glossy nails complete a holographic aesthetic. It may seem futile even to pay attention to nails for the untrained eye.

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You may be torn on what finish you should coat your nails with. Matte vs. Glossy Nail Polish? 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, so you’re here right now.

Let’s look for some answers. 

Matte Finish: Overview

A matte finish gives you a downplayed, no-luster look, and 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. Often, 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 potent and create a rather severe and intimidating mood.

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. You can even add tiny embellishments such as studs on your matte nails. 

A nicely done set of matte nails screams character and confidence. You deviate from the norm once you paint your nails with a matte finish. 

Matte Finish: Downsides

There is one significant downside to using a zero-sheen finish, and they can be tough to maintain if you’re a standard nail lacquer type of girl.

Visit a nail salon that can do matte gel nails to make them last. 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 your go-to nail polish. 

Extra: Satin Finish

Do not confuse matte with a satin finish. Some brands use both terms interchangeably, but you will notice a slight difference in their shimmer if you have a keen eye.

Remember that a satin finish tends to be a little shinier than a matte finish but is not shiny enough to consider glossy. 

Extra: Frosted Finish

A less popular term for the matte finish is a frosted finish, and both are the same. If you’ve seen what frosted glass looks like, that’s basically how it would look on nails. 

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, you should try the suede polish. 

Glossy Finish: Overview 

On the opposite side of the spectrum lies the glossy finish. This finish has many variants, but glossy polish tends to be more versatile than matte ones.

You can either go for basic or elaborate instead of 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. In the manicure world, glossy nails are similar to the combination of white shirts and jeans—simple, classy, and chic.

Apart from that, they last longer than matte nails, too! It’s a win-win, honestly. 

Extra: Creme Finish 

You are likely to find at least one creme nail polish in every girl’s closet. A creme nail polish is a tinted lacquer that has added shine to it.

This is the most popular polish out there—thanks to its versatility. If you’re not a fan of experimentation, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a creme finish, and they are still a gorgeous pick. 

Extra: Pearl Finish

A beady variant of the glossy finish is the pearl polish, and it makes your nails look literally like a pearl—round, shiny, and full of dimension.

While not exclusive to white, the colors of pearl polish 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.’ That said, sheer variants are usually translucent with a tinge of pink or nude.

They go exceptionally well with french nails and 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 finish can look euphoric and fun, making it perfect for raves or parties. 

Wrap Up 

Here’s a rundown of Matte vs. Glossy Nail Polish: 

When used right, a matte nail polish exudes profound elegance and luxury. The wearer can make a bold statement with a matte finish and even intimidate!

But the big downside with a matte finish is longevity, and 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, such 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.

You can never go wrong with a glossy polish; add their longevity and low-maintenance nature.

To sum it up, the odds are stacked against the matte nail polish camp. Nothing beats the variety a glossy finish offers, and 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. Don’t be afraid to experiment if you think you can rock it! Aesthetics are subjective, after all.

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