My desire to collect matte topcoats continues unabated. Today I've got the most recent eight (yes, eight, and yes, that's a lot) to join my stash going up against some favorites from past installments of this ongoing series.
The first quartet to take the stage consists of Nicole by OPI Matte Top Coat (purchased at CVS), OPI Matte Top Coat (one of our returning champions), Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat (purchased at Meijer from the new Nail Art Display), and Formula X for Sephora (purchased, not surprisingly, from Sephora).
Below, on the nail in the same order over Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme:
The Nicole by OPI ($7.99 for .5 oz.) appears to be just the same as the OPI ($9 for .5 oz.), which is good, as I really like the OPI. The Sally Hansen (around $5 or $6, I think, for .4 oz.) holds up very well against the first two as far as matteness and application. The Formula X for Sephora ($12.50) is just a tiny touch less matte than the other three. This was my first time trying anything from Formula X; I was happy to find that the chunky outer cap lifts off. The Sally Hansen is the best value in this group; I don't remember exactly what I paid, but I know it was at least a couple dollars less than any of the others (it is a slightly smaller bottle, true: .4 oz).
I carried over the Nicole and OPI to the next set, where they were joined by newcomers Deborah Lippmann Flat Top (I think this has been around a while but I just got from Beauty Brands recently) and Dolce & Gabbana Matte Nail Coat (from Sephora).
Here they are on the nail, same order as bottles above :
I have to say I was disappointed by the two high end toppers. Neither one matched the NOPI/OPI as far as matteness, and neither applied as smoothly, either. The Lippmann (retail price $20 for .5 oz.) was a bit more matte than the D&G ($24 for .37 oz.). This was my first time touching a D&G bottle; that gold cap slides off to reveal a ridged black plastic one. It's definitely quality packaging, but if you want truly matte nails, I'd pick a different topcoat.
Next up, it's Nails Inc. Westminster Bridge Matte Effect Top Coat (from Sephora), OPI (to provide our standard of matteness), Nina Ultra Pro Matte Topcoat (bought at Sally Beauty), and Illamasqua Matte Top Coat (from Sephora).
On the nail, same order as bottles:
The Nails Inc. ($10 for .33 oz.) is more of a wax/satin finish than anything I'd call matte. The Nina Ultra Pro ($3.99 for .5 oz.) is nicely matte, but I had trouble getting it to apply smoothly; I blame the brush, which is very wide and a bit stiff. The Illamasqua ($14 for .5 oz,) is also nicely matte and applied nicely. It's not $5 more matte than the OPI, though.
I know I said I had eight new matte toppers to share, and we've now seen all eight, yet I am not quite done. At the same time as I picked up the Nina Ultra Pro Matte Topcoat, I got Nina Ultra Pro Black Vinyl, which I understood was a matte black polish. So I wanted to try that and figured I'd give the Nina matte topper another go to see if could wrangle the brush better this time. I pulled out the Sally Girl limited edition matte topcoat for comparison's sake, and filled out the quartet with the Nails Inc., thinking maybe I just hadn't let it dry long enough the first time or something.
And here they are on the nail (the toppers over Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme, of course):
Black Vinyl dries to a satin/wax/ finish. I did better with the Nina topper this time; it looks like it's the same as the Sally Girl as far as finish. The Nails Inc. was no more matte this time, and I waited extra long for it to dry (obviously the Nina and Sally Girl had plenty of time to dry matte).
Of the eight new to me matte topcoats in this post, the Nina Ultra Pro and Sally Hansen provide the most matte for your money.
Previous installments in the series in case you missed any or want to look back:
Part 1: OPI, Barielle, China Glaze, Sinful Colors, Butter London, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
Part 2: Revlon, NYC, Essie, Claire's
Part 3: OPI, Essie, GOSH, Cult Nails, Icing, Ulta, Fing'rs
Part 4: Orly, Salon Perfect, OPI, Sally Girl
Part 5: OPI, elf, L'Oreal