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Tutorial | Nail the Matte Look featuring Swarovski Crystals

matte autumn nails swarovski crystals stones furious filer

I can't help but reach for a matte top coat as soon as the weather turns a bit autumny. In the UK that started around June this year but hey, at least I had lots of time to practice! If you ever struggled to nail the matte look, I've put together a few tips to help you.

First though, a little background on the design I'm showing you today. I've seen a lot of matte black nails recently on my commute to work and fancied some myself. As my base I used Maggie Anne Pearl* which I reviewed here. I topped it with Barry M Matte Top Coat and added a few Swarovski rhinestones* I received from Stephen Arnold. The crystals are a stunning red ruby shade and come in a variety of sizes. I have a lot of 'fake' rhinestones at home that are cheap and to be quite honest, still do the job nicely. However, they are nowhere near as glossy as these. Not to mention they have no depth compared to these and sometimes can actually look a little flat and plastic.

swarovski crystals matte nails tutorial winter gothic

Back to the topic. If you ever struggled to achieve a solid and smooth matte finish, here are a few pro tips to help you. Disclaimer: Some pretty poor nail jobs coming your way!


matte nails tutorial swarovski crystals


Apply your polish of choice as smoothly as possible. Any bumps will show once you apply your matte top coat. If your polish is uneven, start from scratch or smooth it over with a plumping top coat first, wait for it to dry and then apply the matte top coat. 

matte nails tutorial NAIL THE APPLICATION

Try to apply your matte top coat in as few strokes as possible. If you miss a spot, you will notice a few shiny gaps as soon as the top coat starts to dry. DON'T go over it at this point. You will almost certainly smudge it and make a mess. Wait for it to dry and then apply another layer.

matte nails tutorial step by step pictorialFINISH LIKE A PRO

So you've applied your polish perfectly, your matte top coat went on like a dream and now you're staring at your nails waiting for the magic to happen. It starts to go matte, yasss! Yasss indeed, until you notice a glossy border around your cuticle or at the sides of your nail. Can there possibly be anything more annoying?! To avoid that, make sure you cover the full nails and always go as close to your cuticle as possible without flooding it, obviously. Not a cute look.

What do you think of this little tutorial? I hope it's been helpful!! And what do you think of the design? I think it came out a little 'gothic' but I really like it!

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