When our Marketing Manager Britta shyly admitted to Elle that she had never had a matte mani, Elle let her own cat out of the bag: neither had she. As a former beauty editor, Elle has tried every nail polish, makeup, hair product, and skin treatment under the sun yet somehow matte nails remained on her to-do list. And Julie, our Creative Director, has painted matte manicures hundreds of times for both editorial and runway but had never worn one. (Julie lists her favorite “color” as glitter, which might explain her avoidance of all things non-shiny up until now.)
It was obvious what had to be done: Elle, Julie, and Britta each had to get a matte manicure and report back on the experience of wearing one.
Here’s what they had to say:
Elle: Although subtle, the gray matte finish with a shiny tonal moon feels much edgier than my usual manicures. When picking matte shades, I think it’s important to choose colors that aren’t identical to your skin tone, so you don’t end up looking pallid. My nails are almost an accessory, like a suede clutch or a matte leather bag. I’m really glad I finally tried matte—I’m hooked now. It’s a simple way to give your hands true style without going over the top and is much more flattering than I thought it would be.
Britta wears High Drama; Elle wears Femme Fatale.
Julie: I love textures and juxtaposition of matte nails with a shiny accent. I’ve sent a lot of matte nails down the runway, even though I’ve never worn matte myself—I’m very into their luxe feel. I chose this rich, matte ash blue as a pretty counterpoint to the shine of the chrome Swarovski pearl. I love it and can’t stop looking at my nails!
Britta: I avoided matte manicures because they brought to mind painting your nails with Wite-Out as a kid (I can’t be the only one who did that). In truth, matte nails are not quite so flat—if you were looking at paint finishes, they’d be more like an “eggshell.” I ended up loving wearing the finish, especially with the contrast of a glossy tip. Paintbox recently had a visit from nail legend Jan Arnold—co-founder of CND—she spoke about the history and evolution of nail art. Jan said something that really stuck in my mind, “Nails are often thought of as just a color. But a nail is a color, a texture, and a shape.” Adding a matte element to a manicure really rounds out the texture aspect, and elevates nails into something more along the lines of an accessory. I’ll definitely wear matte again.
Julie wears On The Rocks.