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OPI You Don’t Know Jacques Matte & Glossy Nail Art

By on June 3, 2009
in Matte, Nail Art, OPI
After experimenting with the whole concept of mixing matte & glossy finishes to create nail art, I got the new OPI Matte polishes in to test and review. When OPI said MATTE, they weren’t kidding. This is my first experience with a true matte polish so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m currently testing the wear of the formula and a full review is coming, I promise!

In the meantime I wanted to see how a modified french manicure would look using these different textures and I chose OPI You Don’t Know Jacques to play with. Check out my attempt, after the jump!

First, let’s not play here. I’m no expert in nail art and my tip lines need some serious work. So ignoring that, let’s discuss what I did here. Using YDKJ, YDKJ Matte, CND Super Shiney top coat and Orly Nails for Males top coat I came up with four variations on the idea.

Index – OPI YDKJ base with OPI YDKJ Matte tip.
Middle – OPI YDKJ base topped with Orly Nails for Males with OPI YDKJ tip
Ring – OPI YDKJ Matte with OPI YDKJ tip.
Pinkie – OPI YDKJ with Orly Nails for Males tip.

Obviously the two involving the OPI Matte polish are the most contrasting while the ones using the matte top coat are more subtle. You can also see that these new matte polishes are WAY different than just slapping a matte top coat on the old version of the color.

Honestly, I don’t know that I’m loving this look. It could be my shoddy workmanship but I prefer the stripes I did previously and, with Steph‘s encouragement, I’m trying dots next.

What do you think fanatics? Can you look past my uneven tip lines to see the possibility of a cool concept or are you just not feeling it as well? Sound off!

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There Are 48 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Lani says:

    I think I really like the matte look! I think I would opt for the all matte nail as I am not good enough to do my right hand if it is involving lines:-)

    It seems I may need to perfect my manicuring abilities as mattes will most likely show imperfections more…

    Is this matte similar to the look if you were to use a buffer on a shiny polish?

  2. Breezy says:

    Really Interesting. I think the shiny nail with the matte tip is kind of cool. Not sure a whole matte nail is for me though – love that high gloss look.

  3. All Lacquered Up says:

    Lani – Yes, mattes show imperfections like there's no tomorrow. Imperfections in your nails and your manicuring technique.

    And I can't think of a way to mattify a regular polish and get the same effect as the OPI Mattes. Buffing will just make the finish more satin, not matte.

  4. styrch says:

    Wow, they almost look like different colors. I guess if matte is that tricky (showing imperfections, technique, etc) then I'm a little screwed when it comes to the matte trend.

  5. Penny Lane says:

    I'm not a fan of the matte look. It looks like bad polish that is in need of a good top coat. Trendy or not, it's not my thing. It's just not pretty.

  6. All Lacquered Up says:

    Styrch – The Mattes are not the same colors as the originals I own. I never bought Gargantuan Green Grape so I can't compare that one but the Matte version of La Paz is much deeper

  7. George :) says:

    In your fist photo my favorites are the first and ring finger. I think a contrasting shiny and matte tip on each nail would look awesome, the colors and matte look great together so if all five ten fingers (or ten toes :)) would be painted in this manner it would be wild to see.

  8. Meg says:

    Are you going to do a comparison post with the mattes against their originals? That would be so interesting to see.

    Thanks for the example of the differences in finish between using the top coats and the actual polishes.

  9. Francine says:

    Oh, Jaques looks really good in matte. And I like the shiny + matte nail art idea – that is definitely worth exploring.

    Waiting for more matte posts!

  10. Lackoholic says:

    YDKJ looks so much more different in matte than I thought it would! I'm not sure what to think either, but I bet we'll all be wearing matte in a few months… =)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to seeing your swatches of the other mattes. I am dying for the zoya grey, just for the greyness… I enjoy a good shine, so I'm not sure if I will make wearing mattes standard or if it will just be a novelty once or twice and then I'll just put a top coat on. =)

    I already have gargantuan green grape so I'd love to see how different the matte version is.

  12. Pau F says:

    i'm sorry that's a trend i'm not embracing. i just love shiny and shimmery stuff!

  13. Aimee says:

    I like the regular polish with the matte tip, but other than that….matte is definitely not for me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Will your Barielle colors be matte or shiny? I hope they're shiny because I don't care for the matte look. Just personal taste, I guess…

  15. Irene says:

    Thanks for the great swatches! This seals the deal – I'm getting them all!

  16. PearlDiva says:

    Not lovin' the matte look. IMHO matte polish looks like one used tempra paint as polish. Thank you for the pics.

  17. Anonymous says:


    I'd love to see comparison swatches of the actual matte colors versus the DIY matte (original glossy polish + Nails for Males or Nailtiques or whatever) versions of the same colors. (I'm interested in the differences in how the finish looks, not so much any differences in color/tone. And now thinking about it, I'm also interested in whether there are differences in how they wear over a few days, as well.)


  18. Xuan-An says:

    Wow, I really like the matte trend and YDKJ looks superb in matte too! I think I'll have to buy every color of this collection….

  19. enamelcoated says:

    I like the matte look, and I was initially thinking OPI getting on board would boost it, but when these are released in Australia it will be spring, so I don't think it will have the mass market appeal they're hoping for.

  20. Stef says:

    I have to admit that I kind of like this look. And I don't like matte polish, I'm a shiny girl! But the matte nail with the shiny tip is kind of speaking to me. I won't be buying the polish, I think it's a fleeting trend. But thanks so much for showing these swatches, I think you did a pretty good job!

    • Sorrow says:

      I totally agree, Stef. I haven’t been into the matte look at all. I did get La Paz in the matte and agee, the colour is darker than the original version and I was not thrilled. I guess having a back-up is cool since I love the colour and can throw a topper on it and get a darker version of it and after seeing this, I’d like to try this look w/La Paz as well. What I’m loving about this mani is that I would normally never even give this shade a second glance but w/the way you did this look, I am now considering buying it to attempt your look on all my fingers, it’s very creative and original and makes it look really elegant. LOVE it! Somehow for me this shade is really suited to the matte that I’m not a fan of normally so THANK YOU for the awesome post, I really appreciate it!

  21. Erin says:

    Firstly, i love the matte look and i cant wait for this collection. I also love the look on your ring finger but i'm not really feelin the others.

  22. innerchild says:

    My favorite is the ring finger (Ring – OPI YDKJ Matte with OPI YDKJ tip). Looks so chic!

  23. Melanie says:

    Like others have said the ring finger one is the best. I personally think that's going to end up being the best way for everyone to wear both as a manicure, although maybe on brighter colors you could switch it.

  24. sunshower! says:

    this looks amazing!

  25. Tiffi33 says:

    OK, I like the matte on the tip…
    I think it has a very understated, sophisticated look to it!

    Nice job

  26. blackkattats says:

    This looks beyond fun!! I can't wait to try…also about the colors being different, a shiny base makes the colors different. If you go to the franken polish blog you wrote about notice how much clear she uses to make her colors….and if you are randomly crafty like me you know how much shellac can change a pretty painted figurine to where the colors go a little brighter and loose some dark richness…it makes sense the colors would be different. but would like to see how much the clear changes it.

  27. Lena says:

    I think you need more of a pattern than just the sliver of textural difference at the very tips. The one you did before my promising, I definitely was feeling that! :D

  28. Vanity says:

    Wow, thanks, I think I'm falling for this matte trend totally, I mean I just got a few KO Knockouts and the finish is so stylish, not boring as one might think. I'm all for gloss, but.. matte really does look nice, no doubt.

  29. Princess Malphaba says:

    Hmmm that's really cool. I think it would take some getting used to, because I love my nails to be shiny, but it's definitely cool for something different. I'm anxious to see the whole collection!

  30. Lucy says:

    I like all of the looks you've done. I can't wait for all of the matte polishes. There is a big difference in the matte top coat and the matte polish. Darn, I thought I could just get away with that Orly Matte Topcoat. The matte topcoat just gives a satin finish. That's also pretty. It's just not a true matte finish. Very interesting to see the differences.

  31. Mama Mish Mash says:

    I like the combo you did on your index finger, I really like the matte tip. I'm not soo sure about doing matte all over the whole nail???…Love your blog by the way, always looking forward to see what your checking out!

  32. hontapocasgreen says:

    Awesome comparison shots! While I can't fall completely head over heels for the matte look, I did buy a bottle of the Orly Nails for Males to over top any other color I'd like to wear matte instead of shiny based on your other matte n/p post.

  33. Beaut says:

    First, thanks for posting this. I've been dying to see what these matte shades look like!

    If I were to wear matte polish, I would probably just wear one shade.

    But I have to say, my curiosity is piqued. I wonder how a matte base would look with a shiny tip of a different/complimentary shade.Hmmm…

  34. amychristina says:

    i like the index finger the best… can't say i'm be jumping the matte nail trend. right now, def not loving the idea or look! i think it would be too hard to do a matte mani by myself. PLUS the shiny nail polish is one of my favorite parts.

  35. Susanna says:

    I like the index and ring fingers best, and I quite like this look! It looks better than the matte all by itself, I think. That does look a lot like tempera paint, as someone already said. I wasn't planning to get any of the mattes, but having seen this I might get one to try.

  36. muzikkitty says:

    Do you remember when white out used to come in all kinds of pastel shades? When I was at my dad's office on the weekends I would paint my nails with all the colors. Looks pretty similar in finish.

  37. Gina says:

    I'm actually really loving what you did on your ring finger. I love the contrast between shine and matte.

  38. Phoebe says:

    I love the matte look. I like how it's not too in-your-face.

    Speaking of….can you get matte polishes in store at the moment?

  39. Rexcatz says:

    I'm not sure it's for me either, but I like looking at your test nails. Does anyone remember Dior's venture into matte nails maybe 7 or 8 years ago. They had two matte shades, I think a nude and a pink maybe, and a matte top coat that would make any polish matte?

  40. Kelsey says:

    did you ever figure out about how long it wears?

  41. Flavia says:

    That's a really nice matte finish OPI accomplished!
    I have to stick up for matte top coats though, because I have two, Maybelline Matte Maker (you can find out how amazingly well it works at Steph's Closet) and Nubar For Men, and they both completely mattify the polish they're put on.
    I think you should have let the Orly dry a bit more before taking the pics, or maybe tried one of those other top coats ;).

  42. Elle says:

    No, no, no!! Nails should be shiny, not matte. Blah. I hate this trend and I am willing to bet this style will not be a lasting look. A flash in the pan. Reminds me of when I put white out on my nails in high school when I was bored. UGLY.

  43. Misti says:

    I'm very excited to try the new matte polishes coming out…thanks for the preview!

  44. Raye says:

    For years I loved shimmer but the last year I can't seem to find matte polishes that I am suddenly craving. I was happy to hear OPI was doing a matte line….now I am not. The look like flat wall paint to me. Something in between OPI's matte and shimmer is what I will continue to look for.

  45. Orli says:

    Hmm..I don't think I can really get into the matte polish (on me). It's an interesting look to have the tips different.. but I definitely wouldn't have the patience to do that!

  46. Dori says:

    How many coats of the Matte top coat did you use?

  47. dina says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of the mattes.. never seen them except for on blogs, they were not huge where I live at all.. Illamasqua scorn is my first matte, and it s not super matte, but I just ordered tons of the the very matte orly and opi on ebay.. looove the look!!