The first nail-focused beauty blog

Playing with Texture – Matte and Glossy Nail Art

By on May 23, 2009
in CND, Nail Art, Nubar, Orly, Sinful Colors
Happy Memorial Day Weekend Fanatics!

Mr. ALU is spending the weekend studying for the last part of the CPA exam (please wish him luck) which gives me plenty of time to play in the polish room. Not the most thrilling holiday weekend ever but at least after Tuesday we’ll be free to enjoy the rest of the summer. The rest of our lives really! Plus my pal Jamie from The Beauty of Life is home so I won’t be high on polish fumes all weekend long.

Anywho after posting details on OPI’s upcoming Matte polish collection, Suzi’s suggestion about combining finishes prompted me to experiment. Using the black, textured nails I saw at the CND production suite during Fashion Week as inspiration, I got to work. Check out the products I used to recreate the look and see the finished result after the jump!


I chose to do an alternating effect. With two coats of Sinful Black on Black as the base color, I used matte and shiny top coats on every other finger and, when dry, placed shiny and matte stripes (respectively) over top. Just to see if there was a difference in the look, I did one set of shiny stripes with the black nail art polish (middle finger) and the other set with the glossy top coat (pinkie finger) using the nail stripping brush. I had better control with the brush but it’s really a matter of preference.

Because these top coats aren’t quick drying, I waited a good 5-10 minutes for each one to set up before applying the stripes. The matte top coat applies glossy and dries to a satin/flat finish. Using two coats intensifies the effect.

Using the nail art brush, dip into the matte/glossy top coat and gently drag across the nail. I find it easier to hold the brush relatively steady and roll the nail underneath. Experiment to find the method that works best for you. What you see below is my first attempt so my lines aren’t as clean and even as they should be.

What I love about this look is that it’s subtle and unique. It’s not over the top nail art but it’s distinctive. I did a glossy tip using OPI A Grape Fit! last night and it looked really cool. Too bad sheet marks wrecked it by morning.

So what do you think? Are you into it?

Oh and stay tuned for Swatch Requests, I’m gonna try and bang as many of the most requested comparisons as I can. Toodles for now!

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There Are 14 Brilliant Comments

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  1. melsh says:

    that looks awesome on you!

    good luck to mr alu!

  2. Steph says:

    OMG is that polka dots I see?? You rock, I love it! :)

  3. George :) says:

    Hi Michelle:

    I love this! A nice way to use both matte and shiny nail polishes to make stripes, who would have thought you could do this. I see many different color designs using this technique.

    I also love the link to Head2ToeBeauty. I used to have the one of those “rubberized hands with fingernails” that a beautician friend of ours gave me when she found out I painted my lovely (now ex) wife’s toenails. (That’s how I started this whole nail polish fanatic thing in the first place, by painting her toenails, LOL) I don’t have it anymore, I believe I have developed my technique that I don’t need a practice hand anymore, LOL. It must have gotten lost when I moved out of my lovely (ex) wife’s place, we were married for eight years, and yes I still miss her after being divorced for almost two years, (sigh).

    Always, I love your gorgeous nails and think they look best with this color in pure sunlight, don’t you agree?



    George :)

  4. Denette says:

    These look awesome!! You did such a good job! I love days when I can just play around in my polish.

    I wish you husband all the best with is exam. My husband recently took his licensing exam for MFT. We should be getting the results anyday now, the wait is killing me!

  5. Denette says:

    OOPS, sorry for posting “your husband!” I meant to say Mr. ALU. Apologies for the mixup, that is so embarassing.

  6. Phyrra says:

    I didn’t think I’d like the matte, but I LOVE the subtle striping that you used.

  7. TheCandyGirl says:

    This look is HOT!!! I’m definately gonna be rocking this look.

  8. milk with tea says:

    LOVE the look! I don’t have any matte polish yet–but now I’m inclined to start a collection!

  9. queen frostine says:

    I love this. I’ve seen it done before and definitely want to try it in the future using my konad stamp set. My only qualm is that I hate not using a top coat on my nails And it’s really tough to use one when mixing finishes. I’d hate that a pretty manicure I did would only last a few days before it started going to hell. I generally wear the same nails for 4-6 days.

  10. Kelsey says:

    That is so cool! I would love to see more of this look!

  11. Carla says:

    That looks awesome! I would never think to do something like this.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love them! I’m not really into the matte finish, but the way you did the stripes looks awesome. You’ve inspired me to try something new!

  13. Meyahna says:

    Funny I was actually thinking yesterday or the day before this combination may look awesome. And it’s indeed, thanks for the pics!

  14. Raye says:

    I like it ! I think it would especially great for people who want something different but are a bit shy. (that is not me HA HA)
    Hope to try it out myself.