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China Glaze Matte Magic Top Coat Swatches & Review

By on September 25, 2009
in China Glaze, Matte
I’ve got another matte top coat to add to your shopping list. Matte Magic is China Glaze‘s entry into the matte nail trend for Fall and they really hit it out of the park. When I originally did my matte top coat review a few readers asked about the Men’s Matte Top Coat from China Glaze. As I said then, that product isn’t intended to be worn over polish but that didn’t mean there wasn’t something in the works. Ta da… Matte Magic.

Check it out along with my Dorothy Who? Matte look after the jump!

Now I don’t have any info to back this up but if I was a betting woman, I’d place all my chips on Matte Magic, Essie’s MAY and RBL’s Matte Top Coat being manufactured by the same company. There’s no other explanation for how they all look IDENTICAL in the bottle and on the nail. All three are the most mattifying top coats I’ve used. If you’re looking for a truly flat finish, they’re your girls!

Since I used OPI No Room For The Blues in my other matte post, I wore it under Matte Magic as well to make it easy to compare. If there are any differences in Matte Magic versus the other brands it’s that this one applies more even and I’ll assume that’s due to the brush.
Thanks to a reader suggestion, I slapped a coat of Matte Magic over my Dorothy Who? manicure before removing. It looks like crushed sapphires trapped behind frosted glass. LOVE!

China Glaze Matte Magic is rolling out to Sally Beauty Supply stores now and will launch everywhere else China Glaze is carried October 5th. The bottle is .325 oz and retails for $6.50.

I have one more matte top coat to show you but in the meantime, which one is your fave so far? Will you be stalking your Sally’s for a bottle of Matte Magic? Is it just me or do you want it even more because it’s mini-sized? Everything is more adorable miniaturized, no?

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  1. Matt top coat - Salon Geek | April 24, 2010
  1. KeysGoround says:

    memememememe. I already stalk my Sally's – I'm sure they are sick of me. I just added it up, I have 150 China Glaze polishes now. :D

  2. giselle says:

    I will be there constantly to check if its there. lol. I really wanted the one from Essie, but this is cheaper so I'll definitely give this one a try. Oh, and that second picture is gorgeous!

  3. Jo says:

    This is gorgeous! I've been thinking about ordering a Matte top coat on ebay, because I live in Romania and, of course, we don't have China Glaze here (or Essie, or RBL, or other great brands for that fact), and I had a really hard time deciding which one to get… You've cleared it up a bit :) Think I'm gonna go for China Glaze.
    (btw, what do you think about the Seche matte top coat?)

  4. All Lacquered Up says:

    KeysGoround – Now that Sally's carries China Glaze it's like the best beauty store ever!!

    Giselle – I definitely like that it's more affordable even though it's smaller sized. It's a way to try matte without committing to a high price tag or a full bottle of polish or top coat.

    Jo – I hate that my non-US readers can't find all the same polishes and products we have here. It feels like I'm teasing you all.

    When you say matte top coat from Seche do you mean the Natural base coat? I believe that's a treatment product intended to be worn under polish. It dries matte to leave a natural finish if you wear it alone. If you're talking about a different product, let me know.

  5. LipGlossGossip says:

    I have five Sally's in my area, none of them have it and none of them know what it is or what I'm talking about when I ask them about it. :-/

    I really hope they get some in stock soon! :-)

  6. Shattered says:

    The Sally's near me isn't very good, they get things late sometimes and all, and it is a SMALL store, but I will keep an eye out. Identical formula or not, $6.50 trumps $10 and $18 (and I do not like Essie polishes, so I was avoiding buying theirs).

  7. DancesWithHooves says:

    Sweet! I will definitely be checking out Sally's next time I get to a town that has one! I was hoping one of the more accessible brands would come out with a matte top coat and I'm super pumped to see you call it one of the better ones out there! Way to go ChG!

  8. I'm Just a Girl says:

    I recently purchased the Essie MAY finisher…LOVE it. I saw the Matte Magic on Scrangie's site and had to have it…little did I realize that it was not available yet, so I went to Ulta and found the Essie MAY. OMG. OMG. OMG. I can't believe I fought the matte trend!

  9. Stef says:

    Okay, I have to admit that you finally got me Michelle. I didn't want to jump on the matte trend bandwagon, but I give up! I'll be hitting my local Sally's and picking this up! I love all things China Glaze, and a little bottle is something I can get behind!

  10. Peachy says:

    So is Nubar V For Men still the more forgiving among Essie MAY and China Glaze MM? Although less matte?

  11. Isabelle says:

    I have to say that Essie is still my favorite, I love and adore it but once I run out (and at the rate I'm using it I'm sure I will) I will try this one because I like the effect. It looks very similar to the Essie one.

  12. Siameseflame says:

    Just learned tonight that the CG Matte Magic has been delayed, will not be in the store until the end of October for November/December promotion. I too, was looking forward to trying the CG matte topcoat.

  13. All Lacquered Up says:

    LipGlossGossip – I hope they do too. I wonder how much advance info they give the store employees about upcoming product releases.

    Shattered – I'm sure it will pop up online in October. Keep an eye on

    DancesWithHooves – Way to go indeed! btw, I love your username. So funny!

    I'm Just A Girl – See you can't fight it. You just gotta give in. So glad you like MAY. I heard they were selling out all over so great score!

    Stef – YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!! I sucked you in! I knew inundating you with matte images would get you to finally cave. Ha! You're gonna love Matte Magic

    Peachy – I would agree with that. The Nubar isn't as flat and more forgiving but I found the ChG to apply pretty well.

    Isabelle – Yeah I would say they are very similar. It would be hard to tell the difference. I say buy whatever is most accessible.

    Siameseflame – Interesting, where did you hear that? My info came straight from the brand and they had told me it would start shipping to Sally's on 9/15. But that was a few weeks ago so things could have changed.

  14. Jammies says:

    I caved and bought the Essie MAY from Head2Toe and love it, but if my Sally's ever gets Matte Magic, I'll buy at least one bottle to try it.

    I was utterly underwhelmed with the Color Club matte topcoat, but MAY does spectacular things with glitter–mine came Thursday, and Friday morning I put it on over CG Ruby Pumps. Wizard of Oz matticure ftw. ;)

    Oh, and the word verification just gave me an earworm–(Love) shack!

  15. Ashley Danielle says:

    i've been wanting a matte topcoat but i haven't bought one yet and i'll be checking my local sallys for this one!

  16. Alishia says:

    I went to Sally's today, and bought both the Matte Magic and their Halloween Nail polish. It's black with large, chunky orange glitter. It looks so gorge on my toes!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I love this blog….I live in AZ and all the Sally Beauty Supply stores have the CG Matte Magic now, it was not delayed and it is the business. It dries just like the Essie version and better than the Orly version…..Run to your nearest Sally's I know you'll love if you love polish like I do….400+ polishes and growing…XOXO

  18. Dani says:

    Grrr! I've been going to my Sally's every week since I've heard about Matte Magic, and have yet to find it! So infuriating! Every time I ask about it I'm told a different time, today it was Nov or Dec!!! I am determined, I WILL find it! Oh, love your blog, long time reader!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Comparing China Glaze Matte Magic to Essie Matte About You, which one would you recommend?

  20. All Lacquered Up says:

    Anon – They are pretty much identical. I slightly prefer the China Glaze but both are great. I would say it depends on your budget and how much you think you'll use it. Since the ChG is smaller and cheaper it's more affordable but you get more product from the Essie. You really can't go wrong with either one.

  21. Laura says:

    Thanks for posting this! I love comparisons. I myself went with Essie's Matte About You, but if I see this I'll give this a try!

  22. Katie says:

    I just picked up 5 minis for $1 each on Sally’s clearance rack. I was told they full size would be arriving soon.

  23. Nicole says:

    I go shopping at Claire’s with my daughter, and I saw that they have a matte top coat as well. Can you do a swatch test of it?

  24. Nikki says:

    i haven’t really seen it but i live in canada and im looking for a matte top coat so it would help if you could tell me where to find a good matte top coat cuz i looked at sally’s but i never saw this one so please please help me thanks


    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Nikki! Hmm, I’m not sure what brands are carried in Canada. Here is a review of some other ones that are on the market, Matte Top Coats – Let’s Compare, maybe you can find one of those. Also Isadora makes a matte top coat as does butter London. Good luck with the hunt!

      • Nikki says:

        thank you so much this help alot i really am happy now cuz i got a good matte top coat anyways i wish you all the best and thanks again

        i love you girl<3


  25. Linnea says:

    Thank you so much for your matte topcoat reviews! I’ve been dying to get one but didn’t know which was best! I’m still debating between Essie and CG but I feel confident in both because of your review! Thank you! :)