10 Best Matte Top Coats – 2021 Update

Written by Baishali Bhattacharya
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In the world of DIY manicures, most of our favorite polishes get a lot of love while the essential topcoats are often neglected. Yet, topcoats are the secret to keeping your application healthy, shiny, and chip-free. While we desire a glossy finish most of the time, we also may crave something a little less predictable sometimes. Without any doubt, the nail polish industry has a wide range of formulas, finishes, and colors to suit our moods and taste. But there are times when a favorite shiny shade is impossible to find in a matte finish. That’s where a handy mat top coat comes in!

A matte top coat can magically transform your shiny polish to a chic matte finish with a single swipe. To help you out, we have curated a list of the 10 best matte top coats that you are sure to love. Not only are these matte coats inevitable to destruction, but they also offer an elegant look. Keep scrolling and choose your pick!

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Best Gel Top Coat: O.P.I Matte Top CoatCheck Price
Best Cruelty-Free Top Coat: Barry M Cosmetics Matte Nail PaintCheck Price
Best Salon-Quality Top Coat: Essie Matte About You Top CoatCheck Price
Best Quick-Drying Top Coat: Sally Hansen Big Matte Top CoatCheck Price
Best Budget-Friendly Top Coat: Revlon Transforming Effects Top CoatCheck Price
Best Long-Lasting Top Coat: Babenail Gel Polish Matte Top CoatCheck Price
Best Applicator Brush: China Glaze Matte Magic Top CoatCheck Price
Best Toxin-Free Top Coat: Makartt Soak Off UV & LED Matte Top CoatCheck Price
Best Value Added Pack: Eternal Matte Top CoatCheck Price
Best Professional Quality Top Coat: Orly Matte Top CoatCheck Price

10 Best Matte Top Coats – 2021 Update

1. Best Gel Top Coat: O.P.I Matte Top Coat

This award-winning matte top coat by OPI gives you a superior, velvety matte finish. It seals in color to prevent any chipping, scratches, or smudges for up to 7 days. The formula also prevents your nail polish from yellowing or staining and ensures long-lasting protection.

Pros

  • Does not bubble up
  • Smudge-proof
  • Easy to apply
  • Smooth finish
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Expensive

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2. Best Cruelty-Free Top Coat: Barry M Cosmetics Matte Nail Paint

Spice up your look and fingernails with this matte nail paint by Barry M Cosmetics! It provides you with ultimate chipping protection and gives a quality matte finish. It offers a pearlescent finish and pairs perfectly with any nail paint, providing a long-lasting manicure.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Smooth application
  • Comes off easily
  • Fast drying
  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

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3. Best Salon-Quality Top Coat: Essie Matte About You Top Coat

This classic gel top coat by Essie is a must-have in your vanity. It is equipped with a patent-pending curve nail hugging brush and gives you seamless and precise coverage. This fast-drying formula is super long-lasting and can stay put for up to 14 days. The texture of the top coat is designed to glide over the nails for a seamless matte finish without streaks. The precise formula provides your nail polish with a velvety finish in just a swipe! It can be removed easily and does not require any harsh scrubbing, soaking, or scraping.

Pros

  • Instant results
  • Seamless application
  • Vegan
  • DB-free
  • Toluene-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

Cons

  • Hardens soon

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4. Best Quick-Drying Top Coat: Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat

If you are a manicure lover, this topcoat treatment by Sally Hansen is a definite must-buy! It enhances your nail color and sits into a flawless matte finish. It also helps protect your nails from chipping, smashing, or wearing off too fast. The quick-drying top coat is specifically designed for even application and preserves your nail color’s texture and look. In addition, the long-lasting formula can stay put for up to 10 days.

Pros

  • Quick-drying
  • Precise application
  • Prevents yellowing
  • Lightweight
  • Does not bubble
  • Good staying power

Cons

None

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5. Best Budget-Friendly Top Coat: Revlon Transforming Effects Top Coat

This quality topcoat by Revlon is a definite trendsetter. It uniquely transforms any nail color into a beautiful matte look. In addition, the formula stays put for a long time and does not use UV or LED lamps for drying.

Pros

  • Does not bubble up
  • Prevents yellowing
  • Prevents chipping
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Smooth finish
  • Dries quickly

Cons

None

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6. Best Long-Lasting Top Coat: Babenail Gel Polish Matte Top Coat

This gel top coat by Babenail does not lift, chip, or peel for up to 21+ days. It is fast curing and dries in just 30 seconds. The soak-off gel polish is suitable for all manicure types – natural nails, hard gels, acrylic nails, artificial nails, and nail tips.

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Precise application
  • Prevents yellowing
  • Lightweight
  • Does not bubble
  • No chipping
  • Good staying power

Cons

  • Overpowering fragrance

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7. Best Applicator Brush: China Glaze Matte Magic Top Coat

This unique top coat by China Glaze gives you a precise and seamless application every single time. It is free of any harsh toxins and chemicals and is safe and gentle on your nails. In addition, it turns any shiny nail polish to a beautiful matte finish in just a matter of seconds.

Pros

  • Instant results
  • Seamless application
  • Value for money
  • Prevents chipping
  • DBP-free
  • Toluene-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

Cons

None

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8. Best Toxin-Free Top Coat: Makartt Soak Off UV & LED Matte Top Coat

This gel top coat by Makartt is an ideal choice if you fancy artificial nails, jellies, acrylic nails, and designed nail tips. It provides exceptional durability and ensures a long-lasting manicure for up to 2 weeks. The formula prevents chipping, peeling, and seals in the nail color while delivering a beautiful matte finish. It requires a nail lamp and cures quickly in just 90 to 120 seconds.

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Toxin-free
  • Fast-drying
  • Long-lasting
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to remove
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

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9. Best Value Added Pack: Eternal Matte Top Coat

This duo pack of top coats by Eternal enhances, protects, and complements your favorite color. It is apt for gel, natural, and acrylic nails. The polish gives your manicure a new dimension and dries into a velvety matte finish. The salon-quality results are sure to make you receive numerous compliments. It is easy to apply, and dries quickly!

Pros

  • Fast-drying
  • Long-lasting wear
  • Easy to apply
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • DBP-free
  • Toluene-free

Cons

None

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10. Best Professional Quality Top Coat: Orly Matte Top Coat

This professional quality matte topcoat instantly turns your glossy nail lacquer to a gorgeous matte finish. It prevents your nails from yellowing or staining. Your nail shade stays the same from day one. The formula is also self-leveling and dries into a smooth, hard finish. It is easy to remove and does not damage your nails during the procedure.

Pros

  • Does not bubble up
  • Prevents chipping
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Smooth finish
  • Fast-drying

Cons

None

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Here are a few things to consider when choosing a matte topcoat.

What To Look For In A Matte Topcoat?

  • Drying Time

Most topcoats are formulated to dry fast. If the product dries within a few minutes, it is most likely to be indicated on the label. Otherwise, you can expect most of the topcoats to dry within 10 minutes and get fully set in hard in roughly 30 minutes. Another word of advice is that the more coats you apply, the longer it takes to dry.

  • Gel Vs. Lacquer

Regular nail lacquer is quite similar to paint, so they air dry. On the other hand, gel top coats only dry or cure under special LED or UV lamps.

  • Applicator

The applicator brush’s shape, texture, and length is an important point to be considered. The right applicator gives a precise and seamless application.

  • Long-Lasting

Choose a top coat that stays put for a long time, thereby keeping your manicure intact and giving a matte finish throughout.

Doing your nails at home is quite a tricky job. A lot goes into it, and your hard work can go waste without a proper top coat. These top coats mentioned above not only protect your manicure from chipping but also offer a delicate matte finish and are super long-lasting! What are you waiting for? Take your pick from our list above and get a salon-quality manicure from the comfort of your home!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a matte top coat last?

A matte top coat can last for up to 10 days. Then, as it starts wearing off, it gives a semi-shiny or satin finish.

Can we use a matte top coat on gel nail polish?

Yes, you can use a matte top coat on gel nail polish.

Does the matte top coat dry faster?

The surface of a matte tends to feel less tacky faster than a regular top coat. So, while the surface might feel solid, half of the product underneath still has to dry – but you will be able to touch the top layer.

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Baishali has a master’s degree in English and is an associate editor. She specializes in makeup and fashion and reviews products that fall under these categories. Prior to this, she worked with a digital marketing company in Kolkata where she wrote stories on travel, beauty, and home décor. When she is not working, Baishali loves reading and having intense discussions over a cup of tea.