Matte nails have become increasingly popular, with the help of Pinterest. I wanted to explore this trend, and here are my findings if you are thinking about going matte :)
Matte means not shiny. Here I have three nail polishes: Zoya Matte Nail Polish in Lolly, Essie Matte About You top coat, and OPI Matte Nail Envy Nail Strengthener. You can buy nail polishes that are matte themselves (the Zoya) or buy top coats that make any polish matte. I went to Ulta around Christmas looking for Essie's Matte About You, but it was sold out all during break. So I went with the OPI Nail Envy. I eventually got ahold of Matte About You, so here's a picture showing the three polishes.
The first three nails have OPI Strawberry Margarita with various top coats. The first one from the left has no top coat, just regular nail polish. The second has the OPI Nail Envy, the third has Essie's Matte About You, and the pinky has Zoya matte nail polish.
Matte About You definitely does the job better, and for a better price. Matte About You is $10, while OPI Nail Envy is $17.50. But, after reading the OPI box, it seems it is not meant to be a "mattifier," but a nail treatment that strengthens nails and can be worn alone to give the "I'm not wearing nail polish but my nails are healthy" look. It does make the polish less shiny than with regular top coat, however it is not what I'd call matte.
Essie's Matte About You is pretty much exactly the same as the matte polish. My experience with matte nail polish is not too good. They usually chip easily- this Zoya polish included. Matte About You also acts as a top coat to prevent this chipping. And you can just use it on any polish as opposed to buying separate matte polishes.
THINGS I'VE HEARD BUT NOT TRIED: e.l.f. (eyeslipsface) has a matte top coat for $2.00 online. I would've tried it, but didn't want to spend about $7 in shipping for a $2 product. But if you want to buy other stuff from that site (they usually have free shipping on orders over $25), add that to your basket. I've seen/heard some good reviews on it.
Also, try looking on Amazon for other matte top coats as there are other brands that are just not available in stores for cheaper prices.
Thanks for reading!