Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Jamberry Matte Topcoat


I have been on a continuing quest for a matte topcoat that comes even close to China Glaze's Matte Magic, since the only form of this I've been able to find is the teeny little bottles, for not so teeny little prices. The only ones I've seen that seem to do as good of a job are from brands that are not cruelty-free, so they are a no-no for me.

So, I was very eager to try out Jamberry's matte topcoat when I was given the chance to review one of their topcoats, since this is a brand that I can feel good about buying from.

But of course, the question is...does it mattify the way I want it to? I have tested it out over a variety of polish types to see what it will do...Let's take a look:

First, let's take a look at it over Cult Nails Coveted:

Jamberry matte topcoat over Cult Nails Coveted

The index and middle fingers have Jamberry matte topcoat, while the ring and pinkie do not. The matted nails have that cloudy look that changes the finish but not the color perfectly. The matte creates that nice contrast with the flakies underneath that gives them a different dimension and light, and also allows the teeny glimmers of light to come through in the rest of the polish.

Next I tried it overPicture Polish Mallard:

Jamberry matte topcoat over Picture Polish Mallard

The matte also did a dramatic job here; it creates a wax finish without dimming the flakes. This is a very dark polish to start with, so there isn't as much light coming through as in Coveted, but notice that the different colors in the flakies are all still showing their gorgeousness.

Next, something a little brighter--Hare Polish Asteroid Turf:

Hare Polish Asteroid Turf

Jamberry matte topcoat over Hare Polish Asteroid Turf

This is my favorite way to wear matte topcoat, over a polish that has a high contrast between the base color and the glitter. And the Jamberry passed my test here--this is exactly what I want a matte topcoat to do, to give that flat finish without decreasing the beauty of the polish beneath. These glitters still sing out, and the base color looks smooth and deep. Dare I say it? I prefer this polish with the matte topcoat over the regular topcoat. It looks like a beautiful meadow filled with little purple wildflowers this way. :)

How about a similar glitter that doesn't have quite so much direct contrast? Here it is over InDecisive Lacquer Zea Mays

InDecisive Nail Lacquer Zea Mays

Jamberry Matte Topcoat over InDecisive Nail Lacquer Zea Mays

Just...just...yeah. Do I even need to say it? All of the skill that the maker put into designing the glitter blend and its relationship to the base color remains...but is enhanced. It feels lush, rich, lovely.

And finally, what about a plain old creme? Let's take a look at it over Jamberry's own Cardinal:

Jamberry Cardinal

Jamberry matte topcoat over Jamberry Cardinal

This show best how evenly the topcoat applies; I've tried other matte topcoats that were a bit patchy, but this goes on and dries perfectly.

Jamberry's matte topcoat exceeded all of my expectations, and I feel comfortable putting it into the same category as my personal standard-bearer, China Glaze Matte Magic. If you're looking for a good matte topcoat that is 5-free, cruelty-free, and works extremely well, you can check it out by clicking here. And check out their nail lacquers, they're excellent as well. :)

Hugs and loves!

(Matte topcoat and Cardinal provided for review. All other polishes from my personal collection.)


  1. Nice review on the matte topcoat. It looks great :)

  2. Always nice to have your expectations exceeded :) I have one matte-ish topcoat, from Essence, and I like it but it's more of a semi matte. I'm curious if you've tried the Butter London matte topcoat?

    1. I haven't...Butter London doesn't agree with my body chemistry (I'm the only person on the planet, apparently), and it's an expensive brand when you've been burned in the past! But maybe I can find a way to test it...

  3. Cool post. I really like this soft, waxy finish this TC gives. Yeah, it looks best over glitters!
    I love using matte TCs, but I find they're (much like fast drying TCs) pretty useless when you get to about last 1/4 of it...or maybe I just haven't found the best one yet.

    1. You mean because it gets too thick?

    2. Yep. At least mine did, the 2 I've almost used up till now (essence & essie - well, this one's a bit better still; sorry, I know you don't support that brand..). I am keeping them away from direct sunlight and in a cool-ish place.

    3. Hmm...With my regular topcoat I just use a polish thinner, and that seems to work well...I'd think the same thing would be true with a matte topcoat. Over time that would save money over throwing part of the bottle away. Let me ask the polish makers I know if there is any reason *not* to use a thinner in a matte topcoat...

    4. Ah, no, you're too kind, you needn't bother yourself. :)
      And I already know all that and am doing it (thinner works just fine in matte TC), but still - when there's only so little of the product left that the brush hardly reaches it, I find it a bit difficult still using it (sure, I know the tricks: tip the bottle on its side, roll it around a bit, etc.), but at the same time don't want to throw it away just yet. :)

    5. Okay, cool, I'm glad to know it does work. Another trick...when your bottle gets low, start a new one, and when that one gets low, pour it into the other bottle...:)

    6. Yup, that's a cool one, but unfortunately I can't always use it as I don't have easy access to all the brands I'm using (besides, would love to try some new ones too, lol).


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