How to Make Clear Nail Polish Matte

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Matte nail polish is a fast way to add a quick edge to your look. Popular on runways and in fashion magazines, matte nail polish is available in a rainbow of colors. However, finding a clear nail polish that adds strength without shine can be expensive. Thankfully, there is an easy trick to make your clear nail polish matte using tools you may already have in your nail arsenal. With a bit of patience and prep, it’s a cinch to nail this fashion-forward look.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear nail polish
  • Ridge-filling base coat

Step 1

Paint nails with a thin coat of clear nail polish. Make sure to add an extra swipe of polish at the tips of your nails. This is the section of the nail that is subject to the most wear and tear, and is likely to chip first, and matte polishes often chip faster than their glossy counterparts. Drag the polish applicator horizontally across the tops of nails, and smooth any bumps with an additional layer of top coat if necessary. Let dry thoroughly, up to an hour.

Step 2

Brush nails with a coat of ridge-filling basecoat to take away the shine. Your nails will not be completely without color; the opacity of a ridge-filling basecoat will add a slight tint to your clear nail polish. Choose a basecoat with as little color to it as possible to avoid pigmentation.

Step 3

Allow nails to dry completely. Matte nail polishes tend to dry quickly, but you will want to allow up to an hour before washing dishes, digging through purses or pursuing any rigorous activity with your hands.

Step 4

Apply a matte top coat to a coat of clear nail polish instead of using a ridge-filling basecoat. Matte top coats are available in a range of prices and can be found at drugstores and beauty supply shops. Be aware that matte top coats will slightly cloud and distort the color of your polish, so a clear nail polish will be slightly opaque by the time a matte top coat has dried.

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