I Never Paint My Nails, But I'm Jumping on This Trend

While I can spend a long time going through my skincare routine, when it comes to my makeup and beauty routine, I am lazy about 75% of the time. And right now, in quarantine, I'm lazy about 95% of the time, except for when I put on my beloved tinted lip balm on special occasions when I've got an important Zoom meeting or a virtual hangout with friends.

Call it laziness or call it low-maintenance tendencies (I prefer the latter), whatever the case, I have no shame in it. I like to have my glam moments with a full face of makeup and hair done, but that's not happening every day or every weekend.

It translates to the state of my nails, too. As much as I love a spa mani and pedi, I'm not the type of person who has a standing appointment with her manicurist. I'm not one for painting my nails at home, either. Thanks to an unsteady hand and impatience, I think I've successfully painted my nails maybe 10 times in my 31 years of life.

So, yeah, while you can find me with bare nails most days, there has been a nail trend that I've been intrigued by and would actually embark on a DIY manicure for matte nails.

Okay, okay, yes, I know, matte nails aren't anything new. But that doesn't mean they're out of style. When I went to beauty editors Erin Jahns and Courtney Higgs for their professional input, they told me that while the look really became popular in 2018, it's an "ongoing microtrend." In fact, Olive & June's Sarah Gibson Tuttle said that matte nails were making a comeback in 2020.

As for me, I just think it looks very modern and different. And the understated, edgy vibe somehow makes me think it's perfect for those cooler seasons, fall and winter. I'll be stocking up on a few of these polishes to give it a whirl come September. And in the meantime, I'm going to practice my patience and how to apply polish to my dominant hand. Take a look at some matte polishes I'm eyeing below, plus some at-home manicure tools…

Matte Nail Polish Colors



A deep purple is one of my favorite colors to wear in fall and winter. With a matte finish, it's the right amount of moody and sophisticated.

Chanel has a limited edition matte nail polish in two shades—a red and a deep purple. It contains nourishing ingredients like bioceramics and ceramides.

The metallic look gets a matte finish with Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri line. It has a built-in base and topcoat and comes in eight different colors: mauve, rose, silver, teal, violet, gold, wine, and blue.

A smokey gray would look so good in matte. This polish dries quickly and only takes one to two coats.

You can't go wrong with a classic nude color, which pretty much works for any occasion, outfit, and season.

Matte Topcoats

Hang Nguyen Nail Art



You also don't have to buy all new matte nail polishes. You can use what you have, too. All you need is a good matte topcoat and you can give your favorite nail polishes a totally different look.

Essie's matte finisher is long-lasting and it only requires a thin layer to get the effect. You can use it on any shade.

The five-free formula leaves a "cloudy" matte finish, according to reviews.

The formula is more of a nail treatment than a topcoat—it moisturizes, strengthens, corrects imperfections, and protects. It leaves a smooth, matte finish.

Jinsoon's long-lasting, chip-free formula gives nails a velvet finish. It also offers UV protection.

The quick-drying topcoat takes your nails from high gloss to matte in a flash. It lasts up to 10 days and only takes one coat.

OPI's topcoat can last up to seven days and prevents smudges.

Vegan and cruelty-free, this topcoat leaves a matte, satin finish.

Color Club's topcoat preserves and protect color while giving nails a suede-like finish.

If you're a fan of DIY nail art, this topcoat helps complete the look. One reviewer said it dries fast and lasts a week.

Cirque Colors's nail polish are vegan, cruelty-free, and handmade in small batches. This matte topcoat also strengthens and protects the nails and your color.

At-Home Manicure Tools

Imarni Nails



A favorite with our editors, Olive & June's Poppy gives you more control when you're painting your nails so it's quicker, faster, and more precise. Who cares about shaky hands when you've got this smart tool?

This rich cream contains raspberry cultured stem cell extract, red algae, shea butter, sodium hyaluronate, and vitamins A, C, and E to moisturize and smooth your cuticles.

The seven-piece set has all the tools you need for an at-home manicure: a cuticle nipper, angled nail clipper, scissors, nail clipper, double-ended cuticle trimmer/pusher, cuticle trimmer, and toenail clipper.

Use this lightweight oil to repair dry and damaged cuticles. It's formulated with cold-pressed oils and vitamins.

You get six files and six buffers in this set. All you need for immaculate-looking nails.

Finish your manicure with this hand and cuticle cream that is formulated with shea butter, avocado and jojoba oils, and SPF 25.

Next up, every time I wear this nail color, I get so many compliments.