Lacquerized. A blog about nail polish

Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 9:00 AM

Finish it up! 25 different nail polish finishes

Hi guys! How is everybody doing? I've been very busy lately (and that includes having a playdate with my mom, Natasja, Michelle from TheLacquerFiles and Daphne from Nailswatches. It was so much fun, I've never seen so many polishes at once, they even danced around in my head while I was trying to sleep!).

Anyway! since I've lost a lot of swatches thanks to my evil evil MacBook, I didn't really have decent material to post here. But hopefully I can make up for it with this post, since it took a LOT of time ;-). For today I decided to put together an overview of all finishes that are available nowadays. Please let me know if I forgot one!


A creme is one of the most popular finishes we know. This is just a plain color without any glitter, shimmer, etc added to it. The finish is glossy and smooth.


A jelly is just like a creme, but the main difference is the substance: more jelly-like. They tend to be sheer but they make up for it by being xtremely glossy.


The shimmer finish is a colored base with shimmer added to it, most of the times that color is silver but we're seeing contrasting colors more often.


Glass flecked polishes look like they contain small glass particles, often mixed in a jelly base. The finish is very smooth, yet sparkly.


You could say neon describes color, not finish. But most neons do have a particular finish, very bright colors that often dry semi-matte.


A frost is a very fine shimmery polish with obvious bruststrokes. These kind of finishes are losing popularity and mostly seen in older polishes.


The pearl finish is quite similar to the frost finish, but it has a more pearly sheen to it.


Foil polishes often have a metallic base color with very fine glitter added to it. The finish is very smooth yet sparkly.


Metallic finishes make your nails appear like metal. Metallic polishes are especially popular in copper, gold or silver.


Glitter is one of most flashiest finishes. These glitters are often put in a jelly base. The amount of glitter can vary a lot. Sometimes you'll need top coat to smoothen the surface.


Mostly glitter in a clear base so they're often used as a top coat. String glitter consists out of glitters in rectangular shapes, often in silver or iridiscent colors.


Just as string glitter, these are mostly used as a top coat. The glitters in this clear base are round shaped.


Another glitter top coat, but with glitter in the shape of squares.


A very popular glitter shape: hex or hexagonal. These are very popular and more common these days. Often used in regular glitter polish as well.


This is a very special glitter top coat, in this picture you see stars, but there are also glitter top coats containing hearts and diamonds (rhombus).


This finish dries completely matte, no shine whatsoever. These dry quickly and sometimes end up being streaky. Handlotion is to be avoided because it decreases the matte effect.


Satin finishes end up matte as well, but not entirely matte. There is still a slight shine, but not enough to classify it as glossy.

Just like mattes, suedes are completely matte. Suedes contain shimmer though, so that's what sets them apart from regular mattes.


Holographic polishes contain rainbow colored glitter, which changes color on the reflection of light. This finish is very obvious in sun light.


Holographic glitter in a different color base. The glitter is often more sparse and while it does change color upon different light, there is no rainbow effect to be seen.


Flakie polishes consist out of a jelly base with very fine opal (often duochrome) particles in it. They're mostly used for layering as the jelly base is often sheer.


Duochrome polishes change color on the reflection of light. True duochromes are very obvious and often show 2 colors, but sometimes even more.


This finish is often confused with duochrome or shimmer. An iridiscent finish is a color that flashes a different color. These are not obvious enough to be a duochrome.


This is a half transparent finish, often used in French manicures to show off the white tips. A lot of sheers are salmon, nude or pink.


This is a strange and not that well known finish. A water finish resembles the characteristics of a jelly, but is less opaque.


Pfew I think I got them all! *wipes off forehead*. I hope you liked this post, what's your favorite finish?
Thanks so much for reading and till next time!
- Michèle