Can Gel Nails Be Matte? (Yes, Here’s How)    

can gel nails be matte

So, you’ve decided to going for a manicure but want to make sure that the new gel nails you’re having applied to your fingers are going to have a matte finish on them.

Is that something that can be pulled off, even?

Don’t all gel nails have to be finished with a shiny, almost glittery kind of surface?

Well, you’ll be glad to know that gel nail polish can actually be finished with a matte surface even if you have to do a little bit of extra work to get the look you are after.

At the end of the day, though, big fans of gel nails aren’t going to have to go without when they want this kind of finish. They’ll be able to get the best of all worlds – the gel nails they love as well as the matte finish they are looking for – with little headache and hassle.

Let’s jump in this guide to learn more.

Can Gel Nails Be Matte?

Believe it or not, there are only a couple of extra steps necessary to get a matte finish for your gel nails – and you don’t have to spend a ton of time or a mountain of money along the way to get the clean, straightforward sort of look you are after.

Obviously, you’ll want to start things off with a regular gel nail polish that you are happy with.

Pick a shade and color that you like, one that you are going to want to apply a matte finish to without changing the “undercoat” all that much. This is probably the trickiest part of the process, since a lot of folks think you have to pick a brighter or bolder color than you would have otherwise to make up for the matte finish applied overtop.

Nothing could be further from the truth, though.

Instead, you want to give the gel nail polish you’ve applied directly to your fingernails plenty of time to dry and cure. This allows it to act as a fantastic basecoat, a basecoat that you’ll then want to apply either a gel matte finish polish to the top of (one that you’ll that buff to get the finish you’re looking for) or to act as a foundation for regular Matte nail polish you’ll add on top.

Matte gel polish is pretty popular already and getting even more popular, but it is sometimes on the pricey side of things – and you might have a difficult time tracking it down at your favorite department store or beauty supply shop.

If that’s the case, though, gel nail polish works as a wonderful foundation for traditional nail polish in a matte color that you can apply right on top.

This kind of gives you the best of all worlds. You get the gel nail polish on your actual nails (as well as the way they feel on your fingers) but you also get the matte finish in the color that you’re looking for, all without having to break your bank account along the way.

How Do You Make Gel Nails Look Matte?

Of course, if you’re going to make gel nails look matte you can go down a couple of different roads as well.

One approach is to simply use a gel matte topcoat like the one we mentioned above. The reason a lot of people like this approach is that you don’t have to do a lot of fiddling around to get the matte finish to set up properly.

All you really have to do is let your nails air dry the way you would have normally and the matte finish kind of locks into place for you.

Another solution you can use is to let your normal gel nail polish cure and solidify completely (it’s best if you can let it go overnight, even) and then just gently buff with a buffing block after the topcoat has completely cured.

Apply a neutral topcoat to the edge alone and allow that to cure and you’ll have locked in the finish and protected it as best you can.

Finally, just use the gel nail polish you’ve already applied and cured as a “foundation” and apply normal matte finish nail polish on top.

Don’t be surprised if your blown away by the end result!

Can You Make Shiny Nails Matte?

Transforming shiny nails to have a matte finish can be done, but it’s a little tricky unless you’re willing to breakout new nail polish and put that right overtop the old finish.

Sometimes you’ll be able to gently buff your shiny nails to kind of remove that top clear coat that makes them shimmer and shine.

The trouble with this solution, though, is that it isn’t going to give you a true matte finish – and you also run the risk of kind of “burning” through the topcoat right into the basecoat and really messing with your nail polish look.

Truth be told, the best solution is often to strip your nails completely and applying a gel basecoat to finish with a matte polish finish. You’ll like the way this looks a whole lot more than buffing up your shiny nails, giving them a duller look rather than a matte finish.

Closing Thoughts

Gel nails can in fact be made to have a matte finish though the process is often a little bit more involved than it is with more traditional nail polish products.

Some people use gel nails as a basecoat, applying traditional matte nail polish overtop after they have cured and making sure the finish is to your liking.

Other folks apply a gel nail polish, allow it to cure, and then hit their nails with a buffing block before applying a topcoat over it to protect and solidify the matte finish they’ve created.

At the end of the day, you definitely have options to get the gel matte finish you are after. It might take a little more work (and a little more time) but it’s almost always well worth it!

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