Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Polish Finishes

Are you new to nail blogging or just have a hard time describing nail polish finishes (like me) or have a hard time differentiating these terms and need some help? Well I have some answers (more like found) and want to share them with you!

Info Source

25 Different Polish Finishes
1. Creme: 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.
2. Jelly: 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.
3. Shimmer: 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.
4. Glass Flecked: Glass flecked polishes look like they contain small glass particles, often mixed in a jelly base. The finish is very smooth, yet sparkly.
5. Neon: You could say neon describes color, not finish. But most neons do have a particular finish, very bright colors that often dry semi-matte.
6. Frost: A frost is a very fine shimmery polish with obvious bruststrokes. These kind of finishes are losing popularity and mostly seen in older polishes.
7. Pearl: The pearl finish is quite similar to the frost finish, but it has a more pearly sheen to it.
8. Foil: Foil polishes often have a metallic base color with very fine glitter added to it. The finish is very smooth yet sparkly.
9. Metallic: Metallic finishes make your nails appear like metal. Metallic polishes are especially popular in copper, gold or silver.
10.Glitter: 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.
11 String Glitter: 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.
12. Round Glitter: Just as string glitter, these are mostly used as a top coat. The glitters in this clear base are round shaped.
13. Square Glitter:  Another glitter top coat, but with glitter in the shape of squares.
14. Hex Glitter: 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.
15. Shape Glitter: 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).
16. Matte: 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.
17. Satin: 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.
18. Suede: Just like mattes, suedes are completely matte. Suedes contain shimmer though, so that's what sets them apart from regular mattes.
19.Holographic: Holographic polishes contain rainbow colored glitter, which changes color on the reflection of light. This finish is very obvious in sun light.
20. Holo Glitter: 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.
21. Flakies: 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.
22. Duochrome: Duochrome polishes change color on the reflection of light. True duochromes are very obvious and often show 2 colors, but sometimes even more.
23. Iridescent: 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.
24. Sheer: 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.
25. Water: This is a strange and not that well known finish. A water finish resembles the characteristics of a jelly, but is less opaque.

Be sure to check out her in depth description and detailed photos here

Thanks to Michèle from Lacquerized we have this awesome information! I don't think she blogs anymore but she has a ton of polish information. So take a look!

Hopefully that was helpful because it sure was for me!

Did you have hard time describing polish finishes before reading this?


  1. woow wanna pick creme XD

    i'm your follower, would you mind to follow me back? :)
    find me♥
    Twitter // Blog // Facebook

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I never know what to call some polishes!

  3. This is really helpful, thanks for the information! Sometimes it is hard to remember how many finishes there truly are!

    1. I know! I was thinking the same thing too when I came across this! (=

  4. I had this exact post bookmarked on my computer until my computer had to be restarted. It's a great resource.

  5. I keep this post in my favorites, because I am always debating what to classify each polish as, lol.

  6. Wonderful post!!!! :D