The 4 Best Matte Top Coats On Amazon

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minimalistic black matt manicure

For an of-the-moment nail look, a matte top coat lends instant attitude. A mediocre formula can result in noticeable track marks and an oddly milky cast, but the best matte top coats leave a velvety soft finish — and they all cost less than $10. They’ll make even demure pastel pink look modern and fresh and turn traffic-stopping shades into even bolder statements.

To find the right matte top coat for you, consider how many ingredients you want it to, well, not have. You'll find options that are three-free, meaning they lack the "toxic trio" of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. But that's just the beginning: Polishes today go all the way up to 10- and 12-free, for a lacquer that won't include toxic or animal-derived ingredients, or even gluten.

From there it's worth considering what type of nail polish you'll be using before the matte top coat — do you prefer traditional or gel? Some special considerations come into play when you mix and match — like say, using a regular matte top coat over gel nails. Here's the breakdown of what you need to know: If you’re using a gel top coat over traditional polish, it likely won’t last as long as a full gel manicure. Similarly, if you paint over gel nails with standard polish, it may flake off because the surface is so smooth. And if you apply regular polish over gel, be sure to use non-acetone remover if you want to keep your stronger mani intact.

For a super smooth finish all over, fans on Reddit and Amazon alike recommend using your go-to glossy top coat first, and then applying your matte formula on top of that for a super-smooth and velvety finish. You can also get creative with your top coat by accenting your nails with a stripe of matte along the top of the nail, down the center, or however, your polished little heart desires.

Ahead, the four best matte top coats, from a hard-wearing gel to the nontoxic vegan bottle set that works just as hard as award-winning name brands.


A Wildy Popular, Reddit-Approved Matte Top Coat

Redditors dubbed OPI's matte top coat their holy grail, and thousands of Amazon fans also love it for a clear and flawless streak-free finish with zero shine. The three-free nail polish formula is non-yellowing and will last you up to seven days. Some shoppers even experimented with layering it over a gel manicure to good success.

"I'll start off by saying all matte top coats are porous, so by their nature they won't wear as long as glossy polish. Having said that, the OPI mattetop coat lasts just as long and reapplies much better than most other matte tops I've tried," one shopper reported. "Works great on top of gel manicures! If you're hooked on LED gels like me, this polish works great to matte down the ultra-wet appearance of LED-cured gel polishes."


An Award-Winning Drugstore Matte Top Coat

Sally Hansen's matte top coat is highly rated on Amazon, and it is a 2019 Allure Reader's Choice Award-winner. The three-free formula stacks up: Although not a gel in the classic sense — it doesn’t require curing and removes like a regular polish — its thicker finish combined with a longer wear time gives you the look of gels with the ease of a conventional lacquer. It's infused with red algae extract and vitamin E to help nourish your nails, and the extra-wide brush covers your nails in just a few swipes. When used in conjunction with their gel polish, you can expect up to eight days of flawless tips. "I love all Sally Hansen products but this top coat is truly matte and so easy to work with. Dries quickly," one shopper noted. Even beauty editors love it.


The Under-The-Rader Gel Top Coat That Lasts For Up To 3 Weeks

You might not see Aimeili on store shelves, but this little-known brand makes some of the best gel nail polishes on Amazon, and their no-wipe matte gel top coat is no exception. Fans rave it stays truly flat even after applying lotion and makes gel polish last a supernaturally long time. You'll get up to 21 days of wear, and some shoppers started using it exclusively for the longevity. Although not expressly three-free, the short ingredients list lacks the common offenders and cures completely dry under both UV and LED gel lamps in a matter of minutes. "This is the best topcoat I've ever used. The matte effect is gorgeous and feels so soft and buttery," one reviewer gushed. "I swear this stuff is indestructible."


A 12-Free Nail Polish Set With A Matte Top Coat That's Super Affordable

This affordable nontoxic nail polish includes three colors plus a matte top coat, and all of them boast a 12-free status. The vegan nail polish formula doesn’t include any harsh chemicals, from the usual suspects like formaldehyde and toluene to the more under-the-radar ones like gluten and camphor. The rest of the no-gos are clearly listed, so you can be sure of the ingredients you’re getting. (Or not getting, as the case may be.) And since it's just $11 for a set, you can also feel good that you're getting a real deal. Use it on natural, gel, or acrylic nails.

"Full coverage in two coats — even in the silver and white. That's impressive," one shopper reported. "The matte top coat is the best I've used, and I have tried many brands."


Also Nice: This Best-Selling Strengthening Nail Treatment With A Matte Finish

Calcium and wheat protein work together to strengthen soft, weak nails in OPI Nail Envy. The brand updated their original gloss formula by adding a matte finish treatment to the lineup that makes bare nails look perfectly buffed — but it also doubles as a base coat so you can reap the nourishing benefits underneath color coats. "I removed my acrylic nails, and my natural nails were a total mess and paper thin," a reviewer explained. "Now here we are 6 months later and I have 10 long, strong nails...They look better then when I was going to the nail salon." No wonder this formula has won multiple awards, including the Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards 2015.