Thursday, May 7, 2015

Matte Topcoat Comparisons, Part 11

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


  1. Hi dear Karen! The best top coat for me is the Opi one.

  2. Part 11 - you really must love matte finishes ;)
    But I have enjoyed each and every post so far :)

  3. Middle finger has slightly rubbery look, I like the pointer and pinkie the best :)

  4. Thank you so much for giving us the chance to see how all the different matte topcoats look on you. It gives us the opportunity to see how they look without having to try them all out ourselves. I do know some mattes look different on different people, but, for an overall view, it is nice to see these here. (Can you believe - someone tried Essie's and it gleamed waxy on her!!! To me, that is the most matte / flat topcoat out there!) I typically use Wet n Wild - I like the little gleam/waxy look. Something like Essie is just too flat for me. I do want to get the OPI one day - maybe next time I make a visit to the nail supply store!

  5. Great comparison and such a great informative post! I have the OPI matte top coat but I always find it leaves white blobs on my nails.. Maybe its where it's trying out along the top of the bottle but it is such a pain! I think your index finger looks beautifully matte! xx

  6. hehehe It cracks me up how many matte topcoats you have! <3 <3 <3 Fabulous.

  7. That's amazing you have so many! I only have a few matte toppers and rarely use them! :-)

  8. I appreciate your commitment to research in this series! You're doing us nail philes everywhere a great service!

  9. Your're writing a super useful Matt-o-pedia here! The Julie G has a good price/quality ratio, but my favorite is Pop-arazzi (I prefer satin/wax to 100%mat) ;-) I know I'm OT here!

  10. Thanks for the ongoing matte topcoat comparisons! They're so helpful in making purchase decisions :-)

  11. I had the privilege to try out OPI's Matte Topcoat few weeks ago. I must say I was amazed by the effect and loved it so much!

    Because some of my other mattes do have this whitish powder (starch, maybe) halfway through the bottle... I am curious if OPI's Matte Topcoat ever had this sort of cases? I am considering in spending the extra cash just for a nice matte topcoat like OPI's. But I might think again if it also will have the white powder problem.

    1. Lacqueerisa Says, I have so many matte topcoats that I've yet to get to the halfway mark on one. :) I will have to keep an eye on that factor--might be age of bottle, too, not just usage. I have heard of the white spotting happening with Essie, too, but haven't experienced it yet myself. If I do have the issue, I will be sure to do a blog post about it!

    2. I had the Opi Matte topcoat and when it was starting to run out i would get white spots here and there. I never knew that it was normal (yet annoying) until today! But yes, the opi, at least mine, had a white powder problem.

    3. Heyyyss! Thank you all so much for the reply! ♥ Hahaha, looks like the white spots are pretty much inevitable in matte topcoats.


Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :) I'm moderating most comments now due to the spate of spammers who claim to be looking for sexy times.