Can Gel Polish Be Matte?

Most polish finishes are shiny and glossy and while I absolutely love the classic gleamy finish, matte finishes have risen in popularity!

There are hundreds, if not, thousands of matte polish on the market, but, can gel polish be matte?

Short answer, yes!

Many gel products are specifically formulated to have a matte finish, however, there are plenty of inexpensive and effective DIY options to achieve the matte look you’re craving.

Today, I’ll spill all the secrets about how you can mattify your gel polish!

How Can I Make Gel Polish Matte?

As mentioned above, mate gel polish can be found throughout the market either online, at stores, or in salons. This, however, is not the only way to achieve a matte finish.

a matte nail set

There are multiple DIY tips and tricks that are affordable, quick, and easy, but first, let’s start with the basics:

1. Purchase a Matte Top Coat

matte nails

A gel top coat is essential, always.

It seems obvious, but the simplest and easiest option would be to buy a matte top coat. Matte top coats are both versatile, inexpensive, and widely available.

Prices range from extremely affordable to high-end, however, keep in mind that you may sacrifice some quality when buying cheap products.

Luckily, there are DIY alternatives that are practically free and offer similar results!

2. Matte Gel Polish: 4 DIY Methods

DIYs are not only a great option financially, but it also aids in self-expression! Doing it yourself allows you to explore creativity and hone in on your style.

So, let’s get started with what are required for this process!

1. Use cornstarch

Many people swear by this method. It’s cheap, easy and only requires two ingredients! This DIY is perfect for anyone whose looking to experiment with their manicures, so, here’s what you’ll need to get started:

2. Small Bowl

Instead of mixing the powder directly into your nail polish, I suggest mixing it in a separate container.

3. Toothpicks

A toothpick or small nail tool will be needed to mix the product.

4. Gel polish

CND Shellac Gel Polish

The choice of color is yours, as this hack works with any shade. However, be conscious that the powder you use may affect the saturation/hue of your polish. Reds can become pink, and blacks can become grey.

5. Cornstarch

Cornstarch works best for this DIY, however, if you don’t have any on hand and want to avoid an errand run, you can also use baby powder, baking powder, flour, or talcum powder. 


First, add a couple of drops of polish to your mixing bowl.

If you’re having a hard time pouring out the nail polish, use a toothpick to scrape the excess polish off of the brush and into the mixing bowl.

Next, add a small amount of cornstarch (or powder of your choosing) and mix thoroughly as you go. 

To ensure a smooth consistency, I suggest using a sifter when adding the powder. This will prevent any big lumps from getting into the mixture.

Finally, apply the polish mixture to your nails as usual. Be sure to fully clean the nail brush before returning it to the bottle.

6. Use steam

Exposing your polish to steam during the drying process will reduce shine, creating a matte finish. This DIY while free, however, can be dangerous so I advise using only a facial steamer. Using boiling water can cause serious burns and a cute manicure isn’t worth a trip to the ER!


First, apply your gel polish. Instead of curing your nails, however, hover them above the steam for several seconds, then cure them. This will result in a matte finish. This is a super easy and super quick alternative to the cornstarch DIY!

7. Buff the surface

If you don’t have the time for mixing your own formula, or you don’t have a facial steamer, then this hack will surely do the trick!


First, make sure your polish is properly cured. Then, using an ultra-fine buffing block, gently buff the surface of your nails. A little goes a long way here, so don’t overdo it! Your nails should look smooth and matte once you’re finished.

8. Use matte eyeshadow

In my opinion, I saved the best hack for last! This DIY option offers you the most creative freedom and is by far the easiest method for the best results! All you’ll need is a matte eyeshadow of your choosing and an eyeshadow brush.


There are two ways to do this. How you choose to approach this is up to you!

In the first method, you may use a transparent coat of gel polish on your nail. Cure the polish, and don’t remove the tacky layer. Apply a generous amount of matte eyeshadow to the surface of your nail, and you’re done!

Using a transparent polish allows you to experiment with any color you have in your makeup palette, however, the end results depend on the quality of your shadows. If you find the finish to be streaky or unsaturated, try the second method!

For the second method, instead of a transparent polish, use a polish closest in color to your eyeshadow. Again, cure without removing the tacky layer and apply your shadow. This will result in a perfectly opaque finish, however, it can limit you creatively.

The Final Solution

If you found that you tried all the DIYs and are still unhappy with the results, definitely book an appointment with your local nail salon.

Matte gel manicures can absolutely be done at home, but at the end of the day, your best results will come from professionals.

They can offer you exactly what you’re looking for with the best products, equipment, and training. And nail salons use different gel polishes to produce optimal results for your gel manicure.

Conclusion: Can Gel Polish be Matte?

Matte gel manicures are a sophisticated and super chic style and in today’s article, I answered the burning question: can gel polish be matte?

The answer? Absolutely!

Not only can your local salon provide you with this fashion-forward finish, but you can also achieve this on your own!

With my 4 simple, easy, and effective DIY methods, you can explore your creativity and experiment with a new look all from the comfort of your home.

If you would like to keep your matte nails looking great longer, you should learn to clean your matte nails properly.