Even though glossy finishes will always have a place in our hearts, a spike in cool, understated matte nail designs has completely converted us. Between the weirdly satisfying feeling of having a crisp, smooth base and the fact that mattes can be accented with the most subtle of designs, we’re not sure what took us so long to give this trend a whirl. To prove it to you, we combed through Instagram to find the most stunning matte nail design inspiration to experiment with this season. Take them to your manicurist or enlist the help of your favorite polish and try them out yourself.
Click through for 41 of our favorite matte nail designs below.
Mixed Matte Media
We have to admit, we have a thing for black and red nails. Here, we see how using a matte black texture as an accent is a great contrast against shiny red nails on the same hand. Consider throwing in patterned nail art to add some lightheartedness to an otherwise dramatic color canvas.
From deep brown to beige, nude nails are subtle, yet statement-making. To elevate your simple matte mani, opt for a lace-like detail, as seen here, that's intricate and demure.
Charcoal and Nude
Who knew that single nude dots on top of matte charcoal nails could be such a hit? We don't know about you, but we want to copy this manicure ASAP. While some nail art can be intimidating, this look is definitely DIY-able.
If you're looking to modernize a French mani, then look no further. Here, glossy tips atop a smooth, matte base are both elegant and edgy. We love the seafoam green and black pairing, but feel free to customize these colors to best suit you. The options are endless.
The black accent on these nails is even starker because of the matte peach base color. Try Essie Nail Polish ($9) in Peach Side Babe and finish with a matte topcoat to nail this look.
Another way to embrace a clean, fresh feel for your mani is by sticking to a cool palette of blue and white. Plus, this one's super simple to DIY. Pastels not your thing? Not to worry, there is a shade of blue for everyone.
Mint Green Tips
If you want to hop on the matte nail trend without covering your nails entirely in polish, check out this mint negative space option. To create the look, use striping tape to section off your nails and confine the polish from the tape to the tip. Once dry, remove the tape and finish with a matte topcoat.
Blue and Gold
We're all about mixing finishes. Fortunately for us, this matte blue and metallic gold combo is a cinch to recreate. Start by painting on a matte blue base, then use a detailing brush to swipe a gold arc across the bottom of each nail to create the cuticle half-moon accent.
Sure, burgundy and red are from the same color family but pair them together and you have yourself a high-contrast nail look that's even better matte. We're deeming it a step up from your classic red nails.
All Wrapped Up
This white and nude nail design makes us think of ballet slippers and mummies. Either way, we're matte about it. (See what we did there?) No matter if your nails are short or long—or somewhere in between—this look is easily replicable.
If you blush over blues, check out this simple DIY. Start with a matte blue base and use a striping brush to delicately draw a thin white line down the center of each nail.
Café au Lait
This creamy brown manicure combines our love of coffee and negative space. What more could you ask for? Try it with OPI Nail Lacquer ($11) in Chocolate Moose.
Mix and Match
Combine turquoise and nude bases with shimmery silver accents for an intricate yet wearable look. To try this mani out for yourself, it's good to have Besuf Nail Tape ($8) handy, just FYI.
Glossy and Matte
All-black manicures make an eye-catching statement. By going with a matte black base, you're able to see the shiny black dotted design. To create the look, start with matte black polish and top it off with glossy circle details.
Green might not be your go-to nail color, but this look may convince you otherwise. Seaweed, Caribbean waters, spirulina—whatever earthy vibe you're getting from this mani, we hear you and support you.
Wine lovers, rejoice: With this burgundy manicure, you can pay homage to your favorite vino in a minimalist way that's oh-so-chic. To really bring this look together, opt for gold hand jewelry to complement your gold polish.
Feeling a fresh mani vibe? This negative-space nail look gives us clean, Art Deco vibes. Try it with white polish or your color of choice.
Purple and Red Details
Try creating graphic, angular lines for a look that reads colorful but mod. Again, if you can't find matte colors for the look, rely on your fave glossies and top them off with a matte topcoat.
Half and Half
Can't decide on one color (or even five)? With this half-and-half manicure, you'll be able to rock 10 colors on each hand. The vertical line also works to instantly elongate nails and fingers.
Silver, Nude, and Blue
We swoon over a negative-space moment, and this nail design is no exception. With a clear coat over the bottom of each nail, crisp sections of cerulean, and light-reflecting silver tips, we're in love.
Subdued purple, pink, and tangerine combine for a dusty negative space manicure that's subtle and stylish. To create the look, simply paint from mid-nail to tip on each finger and finish with a matte topcoat.
These matte seafoam nails might be simple, but with contrasting blush arcs, they're undeniably stylish, too. To get these painted lines, it's worth investing in some brushes like those found in Red Carpet Manicure Nail Art Tool Kit ($12).
Black and White
Let's be clear: You can never go wrong with black and white. The monochrome palette can be worn with a black base and white details or vice-a-versa. Either way, the results are sure to turn heads.
Sometimes all it takes is a bold hue to create statement-worthy nails. Take this matte mani, for instance. With its medium-length squoval shape, it lets its royal blue color do all the talking.
Remember those candy dots on paper that you used to eat as a kid? Something tells us that this mani was inspired by them. Consider it a way to satisfy childhood nostalgia.
When deciding what colors to pair together in your mani, consider those which are complementary, like orange and blue. Interested in adding a touch of playfulness and giving off summer vibes? A citrus fruit will do just that.
Eggs Over Easy
There are no limits when it comes to nail art. And while stripes and dots may be some of the more common (and easily achievable) designs, they're not the only ones. Whimsical eggs and a bright matte green color encourage thinking outside the box.
Lisa Frank, creator of our favorite school supplies, is reborn in this covetable look. The leopard stripe and neon green tips scream, "I love the '90s," while the square shape ensures maintenance is a breeze.
Believe it or not, a single-color family offers a lot of options for your nails. Here, a bright pink line design stands out and complements a muted matte pink base. The almond shape further accentuates the nails' length.
With its squiggly lines and color combo, these nails read as hippie chic. They also demonstrate that a killer mani can look just as good—or even better—on short nails than their lengthy counterpart.
Looking for the perfect matte nail designs for fall? With orange, pink, and red polishes reminiscent of color-changing leaves, this mani has us wanting to throw on a cozy sweater. Mix and match colors from Essie's Fall 2022 Nail Polish Collection—followed by a matte topcoat, of course—to get something similar.
Press-on nails and a sticker are all it takes to get this trippy look. Not only do press-ons make the application process a breeze but they are also one of the safest extension options for your natural nails.
Animal print, whether adorning our clothes, accessories, or nails, will never go out of style. Case in point: this zebra, snow leopard mani with matte black accents.
To conjure up some fresh springtime vibes, you can't go wrong with a pastel yellow polish. And in case you're looking to take your mani to the next level, metallic gold will give it that something extra.
Lengthy With Rhinestones
Talk about a head-turner. The impressive length of these blue and pink square nails will cause quite the stir on their own; however, we're inclined to decorate them with a few rhinestones because, why not?
On the other side of the spectrum, short nails can also make an impact. This colorful number mixes matte hues and glitter to create a look that, fortunately for us, is easy to replicate at home.
Floral nail designs are some of our favorites and this one is no exception. Sure, the flowers might scream "spring," but combining them with a cool gray adapts this look to wear year-round.
Celebrity nail artist Chaun Legend played with pink gel color to create this lovely matte mani. It works on nails of all forms and sizes but we're partial to this long coffin shape.