It's time once again for a matte topcoat face off. This match, I have Julie G Matte Finish (available at Rite Aid), Pop-arazzi Mind Over Matter (CVS), Pure Ice Frost Finish (Walmart), and the current co-champion, OPI (Ulta and other places). The Julie G is pictured here with its box, which is what you'll need to look for if you're shopping. If I had to guess why this is boxed when none of the rest of the Julie G line is, it's that casual nail polish users don't know what a matte topcoat does and need the illustration on the front of the bottle to show them, but in that case, the matte mani with shiny tips pictured might just confuse them more.
As per usual, I have these over Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine Black Creme, left to right in the same order as the bottles above.
The Julie G was slower to dry than the others, but once it did, it had a very nice matte finish. The Pop-arazzi is more of a wax finish than matte. The Pure Ice had a nice finish, but my bottle at least was thick, so it was a bit hard to apply evenly. The OPI is as usual nicely matte and easy to work with.
Here's the lineup taken out of the lightbox and illuminated more directly so you can see the differences in finish better:
Ignoring cost, the OPI would be my pick from this quartet. Considering cost, the Julie G is my winner. It's $3.99 list price compared to OPI's $9.50, and Rite Aid often has sales that bring the price down. The Pop-arazzi and Pure Ice are both less expensive than the Julie G, true, but I don't like them as well (if this were a wax finish face off, Pop-arazzi would get the nod).
Given that I have yet another new-to-me matte topcoat sitting on my desk right now, you can look for a Part 12 at some point.
Links to all the episodes in this series (so far):
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
Part 6: Nicole by OPI, OPI, Sally Hansen, Formula X for Sephora, Deborah Lippmann, Dolce & Gabbana, Nails Inc., Nina Ultra Pro, Illamasqua
Part 7: Fresh Paint, OPI, CK One, Wet 'n' Wild
Part 8: Glitter Guilty, Rescue Beauty Lounge, H & M, Kleancolor, Wet 'n' Wild, OPI.
Part 9: Paul & Joe, OPI, Wet 'n' Wild
Part 10: Dr.'s Remedy, Zoya, Hollish, OPI