I've recently come into possession of more matte nail polishes than I intended. I ordered 2 by Essie and in the meanwhile I saw one by Formula X, which had been on my wishlist ever since I saw it, on 50% off offer, so I grabbed Prophecy, together with one more Formula X polish which I didn't even suspect was actually matte. This means I've now got 4 brand new matte polishes and 2 matte top coats which I thought I'd review here to make my overview of mattes complete.
Formula X Prophecy and Singularity both come from their Brushed Metallics collection, but there's no mention on the packaging as to what finish they offer, hence my mistake.
Prophecy is the most unique bright cobalt blue with shimmer and matte finish, the combination of which makes my nails glow from within and look truly mesmerising.
Singularity is a very pretty neutral beigey taupe. In the bottle you can see very distinct blue-ish shimmer, which is completely imperceptible once applied. The finish is truly matte and although the shade is really nice, my nails don't look as good as I thought they would.
Qualitywise both pairs of varnishes are comparable, so I'll review them in terms of pros and cons.
- unique shade, especially Prophecy
- full opacity in one coat, I added the second layer, hoping to remove all imperfections
- unique finish
- wide brush
- quick drying
- easy to remove
- the formula is really weird, it felt like chalk dissolved in water. Or like thick paste.
- applies unevenly and and mistakes aren't easy to remove, so application does involve a learning curve
- chips within a day
Essie Comfy in Cashmere (above) is almost an exact dupe of Formula X Singularity.
Coat Couture (below) is a slate gray with brown undertones with greenish-blue sheen, more pronounced than in Comfy in Cashmere and Singularity, but not metallic. I thought I would like this shade more.
- cheaper and more widely available than Formula X
- formula is more manageable but sheerer and takes longer to dry
- the sheen is more pronounced than in the case of Formula X
- the formula is better and lasts longer on the nails
- the narrow brush makes it hard to cover my nails with a formula that turns super pasty in seconds
- the formula is less opaque and definitely requires at least 2 coats
- the matte finish turns to satin in contact with emolient substances like creams etc.
My absolute favourite is Formula X Prophecy, which is simply stunning.
Now, if you fancy a matte nail polish you may want to go for a top coat instead of buying a matte polish itself. My experience shows me that this is a better option, which allows me to combine the polishes in any way I want. I have in my possession two matte top coats which I'd like to compare and review.
I got my Nails Inc Matte top coat in one of my Glossyboxes. It's easy to apply and the finish it offers is more satin than matte. Here you can see it applied over one of my favourite nail polishes ever, China Glaze Red-y & Willing
If you're looking for a true matte finish (this option is actually much cheaper) you can reach for Inglot Matte Top Coat. This is an equally easy to apply, quick drying solution to add a little something to your nails.
I like using both top coats to perk up faded, worn polish.The major disadvantage of both is that they don't last long on the nails. They tend to peel off the nails within a day or two, so I treat them as a last resort the day before I change my nail polish.