26 Matte Nail Ideas to Level Up Your Manicure

26 Matte Nail Ideas to Level Up Your Manicure

Darrel HunterDarrel HunterEvery editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

Of all the year’s biggest nail trends, there’s one that everyone on social media is suddenly raving about again: matte nails. That’s right, the manicure finish is officially in its comeback era. Think of it like the edgier cousin of the high-shine looks you know and love that can make textures and nail-art designs really pop.

Unlike newer trends like the “rich girl” designs you’ve been seeing everywhere, matte nails are timeless. The satiny finish adds a flatness to any nail look and is versatile enough to pair with all designs, including hearts, swirls, smiley faces, and even the classic french manicure. The best part? This style is a year-round staple, with colder months championing darker shades like burgundy, emerald green, or deep brown, while the warmer parts of the year often see more mood-boosting hues. If you want to take things up a notch, there’s always the option for matte nail art, too.

Now that we’re entering springtime, you can expect to see matte nails with glitter, pastels, neons, and florals taking over your social feeds, plus you may even spot some out-of-the-box designs like clouds or geometric shapes. Whether you want to go bold or keep things simple and classic, there are no limits to what you can do with matte nail designs. Here’s everything else you need to know about the comeback trend, as well as some manicure ideas you can bring with you to your next salon appointment.

Best Matte Nail-Polish Topcoats

What we really love about matte nails is how easy it is to create the finish at home or, if you’d like a more complicated design, take it to the salon. Giving yourself a DIY manicure doesn’t mean you have to stock up on matte colors, either. Grabbing a topcoat with a matte finish will provide equally flawless results while allowing you to continue using your favorite shades. Some of our favorites include the Essie Gel Couture Long-Lasting Nail Polish ($9), OPI Matte Top Coat ($11), Beetles Gel No Wipe Matte Top Coat ($7), and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Matte Top Coat ($9). For anyone on a budget, we also recommend the Wet n Wild Matte Top Coat ($1).

Best Matte Nail Colors

There is no limit to the color options for this staple trend; you can adapt them to your aesthetic. If you’re on the hunt for a more grungy look, consider reds and blacks; or opt for pastels and neutral shades if you’re after a soft, delicate look. Neon colors will brighten your entire disposition and allow you to add bold patterns and designs to your manicure.

Main ImageMain ImageEssie Gel Couture Long-Lasting Nail PolishFrom$9$9 at AmazonMain ImageMain ImageOPI Matte Top CoatFrom$11$11 at AmazonMain ImageMain ImageBeetles Gel No Wipe Matte Top CoatFrom$7$7 at AmazonMain ImageMain ImageSally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Matte Top CoatFrom$9$9 at TargetMain ImageMain ImageWet n Wild Matte Top CoatFrom$1$1 at Amazon

Matte Black Nail Art

Matte finishes and black polish go hand in hand, but just like with a little black dress, basic doesn’t have to mean boring. This black matte nail design, which features a glossy gel texture, is a great example.

Matte Red Nails

Why pick just one finish? This red manicure features a matte and glossy topcoat combination that delivers the best of both worlds. Plus, matte nails look great on the squoval shape.

Long Pink Nails

Whether you prefer pastels or more saturated shades, matte nails will always look good in pink.

Matte Nails With Glitter

While grown-out nails usually signal the need for a manicure refresh, adding glitter to the cuticle area, like these blue matte nails, adds a bit of pizzazz.

Neutral Nails

Neutral nails already look edgier with a matte topcoat. Throw in various line designs, and you’ve got a one-two punch.

Blue Matte Nails With Pearl Accents

Blue nails are always fun, but they can be pure elegance with the addition of pearl-like accents. Add a small star for an even more gorgeous result.

Matte Purple Nails

These matte nails get a velvet paisley finish with a purple background for the perfect spring manicure.

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White Matte Nails

It doesn’t get more simple — and therefore wearable — than a solid white nail polish. Finish with a matte topcoat, and you’ve got a timeless look that transcends seasons.

Black Matte Nails With Foil Chrome

The answer is always yes to glitter mixed with black polish. Add some foil chrome details, and your matte nails will be hypnotic.

Bright Neon Nails

Pick any neon color and add a matte topcoat for the ultimate spring manicure.

Matte Green Nails

If soothing green colors are your vibe, you’ll love this matte nail art with dainty white flowers and sage-green accents.

Negative-Space Matte Nail Designs

For a simple yet cute look, add a nude base coat with black hearts in the center. The small detail on this matte nail art packs a big punch.

Gray Gradient Nails

If subtle is your preferred style, add different shades of gray for a neutral look that works any season, especially on one of our favorite nail shapes, stiletto.

Matte Nails With Geometric Nail Art

The splatter in this manicure looks like fresh brushstrokes, while the geometric rectangles add a modern twist.

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Matte Pastel Nails

Pastel manicures are trending, so why not keep your matte nails simple with this mix of light pastel hues you can pair all your outfits around.

Matte Nails With Swirls

Consider the black notes like ink splatter on a freshly painted abstract canvas on these matte nails.

Matte Nails With Floral Accents

This matte nail idea combines many trends into one: the french manicure, floral decals, and matte polish.

Matte Pink Nails With Cheetah Print

Even Barbie will be giving these matte nails a second look with their notes of fuchsia and always-in-style cheetah print.

Blue Nails With Clouds

This airy matte nail art features fluffy clouds, giving you clear-sky views every day.

Red Matte Nails With Hearts

Hearts look good no matter what type of shade or shimmer they’re applied with, but we especially love this matte manicure that has them accented on different fingers.

Accent Swirl Matte Nails

One way to make a statement with your already-standout nails? Try swirls of mismatched matte colors on a few nails.

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Brown Matte Nails

Rather than go for a plain manicure, just adding some clear, shiny flames will have your brown matte nails looking fire. (Pun intended.)

Matte Neon-Pink Nails

This matte nail idea uses a neon shade for the base and tips, then uses a lighter shade to decorate with lines.

Polka-Dot Matte Nails

Make those dots really pop by decorating them on top of a flat matte shade like white and black.

Pink-Chrome Nails

Can’t decide on just one trend? Fortunately, you don’t have to. These nude matte nails will emphasize any other trend you combine them with, including these shiny metallic accents.

Tiny Flower Matte Nails

Carry florals wherever you go and incorporate bright, ’70s-inspired colors to make a statement. These matte nails are perfect for the warmer months and beyond.

— Additional reporting by Renee Rodriguez

Rylee Johnston is a New York City-based freelance writer who covers everything from beauty, fashion, and celebrity trends to home, pets, and more. With a degree in journalism and over three years of industry experience, she enjoys interviewing experts and testing out products to make the best recommendations for readers.

Renee Rodriguez is a staff writer and social producer for PS. She writes across all verticals, but her main areas of expertise focus on fashion and beauty content with an emphasis on reviews and editor experiments. She also produces social content for POPSUGAR’s TikTok and Instagram accounts.


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