We’re not so mad about matte polish

The new crop of matte nail polishes has been causing controversy on the nail polish blogs in a way you never imagined a nail polish could. Some like it, most are dubious, but almost every one of them has tried it. Orly, Zoya and OPI all have matte collections for fall. We grabbed a few bottles of OPI’s effort—six popular shades recreated in a flat finish—and got painting.

The results were not exactly thrilling—the polish dries to a tempera-paint finish (the bonus is that it does dry extremely fast) that renders last fall’s cult colour, the purple-tinged grey of “You Don’t Know Jacques,” as a dried mud shade. (The Liquid Paper results of “Alpine Snow” aren’t much better.) Even with two coats, my nails were streaky and the eggshell finish shows every ridge, so you’ll need to use filler.

It isn’t all bad news, though. One member of staff fell for “Gargantuan Green Grape” and insisted on giving herself a quick desk side manicure. She later applied a durable top coat—mattes are less hardy—that gave the polish a less arid (though still not glossy) look. Then there’s the opportunity to create monochromatic nails that play with contrasting finishes, which could be fun if you have the inclination to be fiddly about it. And if you aren’t happy with the mattes currently on the market, Essie’s new Matte About You finishing coat will let you play with any polish in your makeup bag.

As a side note, if you’ve never read a nail polish blog, start with alllacqueredup.com—the commitment to nail polish testing verges on insane.