The Pros and Cons of a DIY Matte Manicure

Matte, matte everywhere, and not a drop to drink, people. We're all about the gloss-free finish this season, and I'm all about not buying an entirely new makeup arsenal to get my matte fix. I managed to get a pretty great matte red lip for less than a dollar, and I'm here to do the same with nail polish.

Sort of. See, there's this DIY concept going around, wherein corn starch — which is what I used to matte-fy my cheap red lipstick — can be used to create a completely gloss-free nail polish. Instead of purchasing a matte top coat or, gasp, matte polish itself, you simply use whatever polish you have on hand and zap away the shine. When I decided to try it out, I was pretty sure it would be the best manicure trick in the world. Unfortunately, it was more like a cheap trick. But only at first. You know what? Let me just walk you through it:

1. Gather your ingredients

I chose gray polish, because what's more November than matte gray? I wanted my fingers to take on the heart-wrenching hue of an oncoming storm cloud racing toward your backyard autumn wedding. MWAHA!

2. Mix them together

This part feels weird. It feels wrong. But take your nail polish brush and mix cornstarch into the pool of polish. Mix well, because it tends to be a little clumpy. The more cornstarch you use, the more matte your nails will be. It's simple physics.

3. Paint on the first coat

At first I was like, UM, THIS IS STILL SHINY! Then I realized it was wet. Let the coat dry.

4. Paint on the second coat

I'm not going to lie, this polish is far more thick and potentially clumpy than any normal polish should be. Next time, I won't use so much cornstarch. Let the second coat dry really, really well.

Here's what I ended up with, more or less:

As you can see, it's pretty matte — it's not the dark cave where sunlight goes to die, but it's not what you'd term "glossy," either. Still, I was kind of annoyed with the whole DIY and figured I'd advise you all to stay away from it and just buy a matte top coat.

TWIST ENDING: It's been three days since I took those photos, and I am loving my nails. They haven't chipped at all, they're much more matte than they were at first, and they've finally stopped smearing every time I touch something (I definitely painted on the polish too thick). So with this wise new perspective that half a week has given me, I think I can recommend cornstarch in your nail polish. Just have a little patience, and don't paint it on too thick. There's a life lesson there.