While you may not be able to master cable knit sweater nails or successfully apply decals, there is one nail look you can do: The matte nail. With most matte nail techniques, all you need to do is play with what part of your nail will remain glossy and what will remain matte for a 3-D effect that looks positively professional. Using tools like tape strips or polish dotters, you can achieve an Instagram-worthy look in no time at all! But if you want a little #inspo anyway, here are some of our favorite matte nail tutorials out there.
1. Starting with the BasicsIf you're new to nail art in general, we recommend starting off your matte nail looks with glossy tips. Beauty Blogger Jasminejournal offers a great, super simple but detailed tutorial on this. And you only need to use one polish color!
Jasmine starts off applying her base coat and then a simple black polish. Once her nails are completely dry, she takes regular tape and applies it over the top of her nails so that she can apply a matte top coat to the bottom. She then adds the matte top coat, allowing her nails to dry before carefully removing the tape. Carefully is the key word here; if you rip the tape off quickly, you may not get a straight line. Once she takes off the tape, Jasmine takes a glossy top coat and only applies it to the tips of her nails.
Done and fabulous.
2. Flashing LabelsIf you want to experiment with texture on your nails but still keep it simple, try this quilted effect that blogger Kelli Marissa uses for her Chanel nails.
Painting each nail black excluding the ring finger which she paints white, Kelli applies a mattifying top coat to all black nails. Letting the nails dry just slightly, Kelli takes dental floss to press softly into her nails creating her quilted design. Yes, we thought this was super ingenious too.
Once she finishes making her fingers look like handbags, Kelli moves onto the accent nail adding a Chanel decal and finishing it off with a glossy top coat for contrast.
Super easy but it'll still make you feel like a pro!
3. Matte and Glossy ContrastsLike we were saying before, mixing both matte and glossy top coats will create a 3-D effect without the added fuss of gluing on gems or stickers. Beauty Blogger MissJenFabulous creates three looks in her tutorial, all of which take two seconds to master but come out super cute.
For her first look, Jen paints her nails a deep purple and adds the mattifying top coat. Once her nails are dry, Jen goes in with a polish dotter and applies small dots throughout her nail for a polka dot effect. If you don't have a polish dotter, we recommend creating irregular, pebble-like dots throughout your nail for an almost dragon egg look.
Second, Jen whips out the glitter and shows us just how amazing a little bit of glitz can look when matte. Instead of using fine glitter, Jen goes for a polish with chunky glitter particles that almost look like shattered glass. She paints them on top of a simple polish and adds matte top coat to finish. When her nails dry, you can see each particle of glitter like a broken mirror on her nails.
Look number three is similar to Jasmine's glossy tips but with a metallic twist. First, Jen paints her nails with a black polish and then applies her matte top coat. Once dry, Jen takes a metallic polish and paints them on her tips to create a triangular point rather than a straight across line. If you can't do this design freehand we recommend using tape to create the effect. She then leaves the metallic polish glossy to contrast with the other matte layer.
If you're already a matte master, sound off in the comments below with some of your favorite nail art ideas!