Wednesday 20 August 2014

Mid-Week Treat: Barry M's Matte Topcoat

Barry M Matte Nails

I'm probably behind the times here, but in my opinion, nail varnish should be high-shine. Nothing says polished like a glossy nail colour. However, when matte-finish nails emerged onto the nail scene some time last year, I was intrigued to say the least. I quite liked the idea of a matte topcoat that could be used to give a matte option to my (vastly oversized) nail varnish collection. At that time, the only matte topcoats available were more pricey ones, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to invest in a product that I might not even use very often. So, I waited, and sure enough, Barry M recently delivered a Matte Topcoat. Better late than never, I decided to try out the £2.99 budget offering.

The one thing I love about this topcoat, is how quickly it dries. Maybe it has something to do with the matte finish, but give it 30 seconds, and it is touch dry. Perfection. It dries to a rather pleasant "pleather" sheen - not completely matte, but rather a more dull shine. I actually think is better than a full matte finish, as this can look quite cheap, and more like you've applied paint to your nails than a nail varnish! It works on all the different types of nail varnish I've experimented with, so is a great option if you're looking to add a bit of diversity into your nail varnish collection.

Personally, I think this worked best when teamed with neutral colours - blacks, greys, taupes, and nudes, were all given a subtle twist when this topcoat was applied over them. However, I found that when applied to brighter colours, I didn't like the effect as much. This is not the fault of Barry M, but simply my own personal preferences. Even when applied over a classic pillarbox red (this counts as a neutral, right?), I found the result simply looked a bit... tacky. And applying it over white is completely out of the question, unless you want to look like you've painted your nails with tippex.

My biggest gripe with this topcoat however, is that the matte effect seems to gradually disappear, and after three days of wearing it, the effect is completely gone, and my nails are almost back to full shine. I did only apply one coat, and have yet to try applying two coats. Perhaps I'm asking for too much, but to me, three days is the kind of coverage I would expect from a nail varnish sans topcoat.

Don't get the impression that I won't be using this topcoat however, because I certainly will, especially over my all time favourite nude varnishes. For £2.99, it's a cheap way to introduce a fun new way to wear your nail varnishes. Especially, if like me, you're not yet quite sure about the matte look. So, am I convert? Whilst nothing could ever replace a high-shine nail varnish for classic glamour, I think I'll be using this topcoat every now and again. Especially when I want to try something different.

What do you think about matte nails? Is it a do, or a definite don't?

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