Friday, June 12, 2009

Comparing Matte Top Coats

Above& Below: Excuse the messy application, I was in a hurry :) L-R: Nubar V For Men, NailTek Foundation II, Orly Matte Top, Orly Nails For Males. Above is no flash, direct sunlight. Below is with flash and in filtered sunlight.
Below: Same product order as above, picture taken indoors with flash.
Below: Orly Nails For Males, Orly Matte Top, NailTek Foundation II, Nubar V For Men.
With all of the hype surrounding the upcoming matte polishes (OPI, Zoya and probably more) that are supposedly set to be the popular look this Fall, I thought I would share some comparisons and my opinions on four of the matte top coats available. At this point, the only mattes I'll likely get, will be the 3 Zoya polishes coming out mid-July, and that's just because I like the bottles. They remind me of frosted root beer mugs! I prefer to use a mattifying top coat because it allows me to convert any polish I already own into a matte without spending money on more nail polish. All of these are applied over 2 coats of BB Couture Fatal Attraction. My favorite one is Nubar V For Men (appx. $8.99) because it does a terrific job of giving a true matte finish and it dries well. The same look (or honestly, maybe even a bit better matte finish than "V") can be had by using NailTek Foundation II, but the problem with this one is that there are more times than not that it doesn't ever completely dry. The finish from both of these top coats is very similar and a true matte. Orly's Matte Top is more of a satin finish, and Orly's Nails for Males is a satin look also, but has more shine than any of the others. In fact, Nails for Males should not even be considered if you are trying to change the finish, because it is hardly a noticeable change at all. So if you are looking for a good matte top coat, I would recommend Nubar V For Men because it simply is the best product for a long lasting finish that is completely matte.


  1. Great comparisons, of these the Nubar V looks like a perfect purchase to convert some polishes. Thank you! ^^ Been using a really old Tony and Tina one with mixed results, so this will be excellent to give a go.

  2. ahhh this would be perfact 4 what i want :( i still want ma man glaze (but cnt get it hear) but thats a really good idea n u can use i on eny nail polish then :) xxxxxx

  3. Thanks for the comparisons, looks like Nubar is the way to go! Although I do find the Orly finish intriguing as well.

  4. Thankyou, that is a super-useful post as I was wondering about the different finishes of these. Looks like Nubar is definitely the way forward.

  5. So that nailtek foundation 2 can be used as like a top coat to mattify your nail polish right?.. Wow that is sooo cool glad i ordered it now as the finish look is amazing i thinks =)

  6. Great comparison! I only own V for Men but I love it so much! I seriously doubt I'll pick up any of the OPI mattes. I agree, the Zoya bottles look awesome; that's probably why I'll pick one of them up too! If OPI had used original colors rather than matte old ones, I probably would've thought about it first.

  7. Hi Mary - Sorry for not commenting for a while, I just couldn't make it, but I saw that you've posted great stuff lately. This comparison is also been very helpful and interesting !
    Hope you're having a great birthday month :-)

  8. This is so helpful! thank you!

  9. Than you so much Mary. Now I can get the Nuvar. I was told from others to use the NailTek II. Since you told me it doesn't always dry I won't buy it. I have Orly Matte Coat but it's not really matte. I do like the satin finish. The Nubar is perfect. I can order that when the Nubar Green collection comes out. Have you see it? I can't wait!

  10. Wow! Big differences there. Very interesting too. Thanks for the comparison.

  11. Geez! I'm not sure I'll be in on this matte trend.. it's kind of cool, but I don't know if it's really "me", ya know? Looks pretty on you, though. Great tip using Nailtek II as topcoat for achieving the matte look, I have that one, so I'll def give it a shot :)

  12. Oops, I just realized I never responded to these comments!

    Clockwork~yes, from what I've tried, the Nubar V is a perfect mattifier.

    Nail Polish Junkie~this is a much cheaper alternative that buying all matte polishes!

    Kae~you're welcome! V is great, but I agree, the semi-matte of the Orly is nice too, just a bit of a different finish.

    Helen~Nubar's is great. I know you questioned at one time using it on non-Nubar polishes, but it has always performed well for me over any brand.

    Vicky~just use with caution, as I have found for some unknown reason, that the NailTek doesn't always dry completely over certain polishes. But it is a terrific matte look.

    The Asian Girl~I was disappointed when I saw the OPI's so I doubt I'll buy any either.

    Tuli~no problem, I get way behind on reading other blogs sometimes :/ Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    Kitty~glad to help you out :)

    Lucy~I adore the green collection and can't wait until it comes out.

    Velvet~there's been so much matte talk lately I thought it might be interesting to share the products I had.

    Vanessa~yes, try it out and just see, you might like the look every now and again.