41 Cool Matte Nail Designs to Impress Your Friends

Charcoal gray nails with a nude dot on each.


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.

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Mixed Matte Media

Red, black, and leaf-patterned matte and glossy nail design

@kauneushoitolakoralli / Instagram

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.

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Lacy Details

White lace and nude matte nails

@marienails / Instagram

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.

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Charcoal and Nude

Charcoal matte nail design with nude dot details

@paintboxnails / Instagram

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.

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Neon Tips

Pale orange and green neon matte nail design

@paintboxnails / Instagram

Matte is major, and neon is never unpopular, making this negative-space, melon-colored mani a must in our books. In case you can't find these shades in matte, make sure to finish with a mattifying topcoat—OPI Matte Top Coat ($11) is a solid choice.

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Seafoam Nails

Seafoam green matte nail design with glossy dark French tips

@paintboxnails / Instagram

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.

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Peach Contrast

Coral matte nails with charcoal leaf detail

@latelier.des_ongles / Instagram

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.

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Baby Blues

Baby blue matte nails with white curved design


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.

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Mint Green Tips

Negative space nail design with mint green faux stiletto 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.

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Blue and Gold

Bright blue matte nail design with metallic gold half-moon base


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.

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Monochrome Shades

Burgundy and red reverse French matte nail design


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.

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All Wrapped Up

Light nude matte nail design with white crossing lines


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.

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Metallic Chevron

Pale pink matte nail design with gold chevron detail

@marienails / Instagram

Accent a pale pink manicure with sharp gold lines for a ridiculously pretty look. And while we love it on almond nails—both short and long—it will work on any nail shape.

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Split Blue

Dark blue matte nail design with white central line


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.

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Café au Lait

Medium brown matte nail design with light nude central strip and metallic dots


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.

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Mix and Match

Turquoise, silver, and nude matte manicure

@marienails / Instagram

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.

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Glossy and Matte

Black matte nail design with glossy black dots


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.

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Green Fade

Green dark-to-light gradient matte nail design


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.

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Wine Time

Dark wine-colored matte nails with gold horizontal single stripes


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.

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Negative White

Negative-space angled white matte nail design


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.

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Purple and Red Details

Charcoal matte nails with small red and purple triangle designs


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.

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Half and Half

Warm-toned and gray half-and-half matte nail designs


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.

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Silver, Nude, and Blue

Silver, light nude, and blue diagonal striping matte nail design


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.

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Dusty Hues

Dusty desert sunset multicolored matte nail design


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.

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Blush Arcs

Turquoise matte nails with blush-toned curving arc design


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).

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Black and White

Black matte nails with curving white arc design


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.

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Solid Blue

Matte blue nails

@naillcraftt / Instagram

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.

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Multicolored Dots

Matte multicolored dotted mani

@hellygreenman / Instagram

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.

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Summer Citrus

Citrus and blue matte nails

@uberchicbeauty / Instagram

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.

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Eggs Over Easy

Matte green and eggs mani

@imarninails / Instagram

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.

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Lisa Frank-Inspired

Lisa Frank-inspired mani

@l_originails / Instagram

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.

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Monochrome Pink

Monochrome pink mani

@indigonails / Instagram

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.

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Pastel Ombré

Pastel ombre matte nails

@indigonails / Instagram

This mani showcases the ombré nail trend front and center. Opt for matte pastel colors, which are perfect for springtime. Want to add a touch of glam? The answer is glitter. It's always glitter.

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Curated Color

Matte black, blue, pink, and red mani

@anetaujwary / Instagram

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.

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Autumnal Palette

Fall matte nails

@anetaujwary / Instagram

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.

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Trippy matte press-on nails

@nailsbycanishiea / Instagram

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.

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Animal Print

Black matte and animal print nails

@ginaedwards_ / Instagram

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.

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Two-Toned Yellow

Pastel yellow and metallic gold nails

@paintboxnails / Instagram

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.

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Lengthy With Rhinestones

Long pastel blue and pink nails with rhinestones

@_nailsbykey_ / Instagram

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?

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Colorful Glitter

Colorful matte glitter nails

@sypiebrokatem / Instagram

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.

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Flower Power

Matte flower nails

@anetaujwary / Instagram

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.

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Pink Coffin

Matte pink coffin nails

@chaunlegend / Instagram

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.

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