The Matte Topcoats That Protect Our Manis, Minus the Shine

topcoats design


Let's be honest—in the world of DIY manicures, our favorite polishes receive the majority of love while the still very essential topcoats kind of fall by the wayside. (Not entirely fair considering they keep our application shiny, healthy, and chip-free, right?). And while most of the time we desire a jubilantly jelly-like (i.e., shiny) finish, sometimes, especially come the moodier months of fall, we crave something a little less predictable. Enter matte nails.

Of course, the nail polish industry has gifted us with bottle after bottle of various formulas when it comes to our desired finish, and matte is no exception. However, sometimes we want our favorite shiny shade (that may not come in matte) to look chicly flat instead of its usual shimmer. This, my friends, is where a high-quality, handy matte topcoat can come into play.

Ahead, find 10 of the best matte topcoats that will not only protect your mani from chips and other inevitable wear and tear but offer the coolest, chicest, perfectly matte finish to complement your favorite polish shade this season. Keep scrolling! Regardless of your budget, your ultimate play-hard formula awaits.

01 of 10

China Glaze

China Glaze Matte Magic Top Coat $10.00

Quickly transforming from shiny to matte, this magical find from China Glaze comes in at a budget-friendly price while simultaneously delivering chip-free handiwork.

02 of 10


JinSoon Matte Maker Matte Top Coat $18.00

Boasting high-performance wear that instantly transforms your favorite nail polishes into a chic matte finish, this five-free formula consistently sells out wherever we look. In other words, grab a bottle while you can!

03 of 10


Essie Matte About You Matte Top Coat $9.00

Another one of the best matte topcoats on the market that consistently sells out, this long-wear pick is a fan favorite. We love it thanks to the perfectly sized brush, which ensures a smooth, goof-proof application.

04 of 10

Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat $5.00

Sally Hansen has long been held near and dear to our hearts, and to be honest, we don't see that changing any time soon. Thus, we rely on the satisfyingly fat brush on this all-time favorite matte topcoat to deliver an unparalleled paint job every time.

05 of 10


Pacifica 7 Free Base & Top Coat $9.00 $5.00

From its long-lasting seven-free formula to its 100 percent vegan brush, this cruelty-free formula from Pacifica is one of the best we've come across to deliver a streak-free matte application atop our tips.

06 of 10

Ella + Mila

Ella + Mila Matte-ly In Love $11.00

Even though Ella + Mila might not be the most well-known of polish brands in the industry, that doesn't mean its formulas are anything short of obsessively delightful, and this top-performing matte topcoat is definitely a standout.

07 of 10


Glossy to Matte Topcoat
Orly Glossy to Matte Topcoat $12.00

As one of the best matte topcoats we've come across, Orly's expert formula transitions even the shiniest lacquer job to a smooth, chic wash of matte—lickety-split.

08 of 10

Smith & Cult

Smith & Cult Flatte Top Coat $18.00

Yes, this crème de la crème matte topcoat might be a little bit of a splurge, but trust us when we say it's 100 percent worth the initial investment. A little goes a long way, and the matte finish is what velvet matte dreams are made of. Plus, Smith & Cult's show-stopping packaging simply can't be beaten.

09 of 10


LeChat Dare to Wear Matte Top Coat $6.00

At an easy-on-the-wallet $6, this is one of Team Byrdie's favorite matte topcoats not only because it promises one of the best, long-lasting finishes but also because it simultaneously protects on precious manicures with an ultra-strong immune system—warding off chips, stains, cracks, and all other polish woes you've ever groaned over.

10 of 10


OPI Matte Top Coat $11.00

No polish roundup could ever be complete without one of our favorite standby brands, OPI. This is one of the most popular matte topcoats we've encountered, and all the love is well deserved. It manages to look silky smooth, elegant, and edgy all in one go.

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