23 Types Of Nail Polish And Finishes

If you love fashion, your nails are key to your look. The good news, there are many polish types and finishes to pick from. Learning about them lets you boost your style. We've listed 23 nail polish types and finishes to get you started. You'll find your favorite style in no time!

Nail Polish Types

1. Base Coat

A base coat is the first polish you put on your nails. It keeps your manicure looking good for longer and protects your nails from damage. It stops your nail polish from chipping and makes it look smooth, without any bumps.

Maxus Base Coat

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2. Top Coat

Think of a top coat as your nail polish's best friend. It goes on last to keep your nail color safe, making it last longer and look shiny. It's like a shield for your nails!

OPI Top Coat

3. Gel

Gel nail polish is a favorite because it's easy to use and looks smooth without brush marks. You paint it on like regular polish. Then, dry it under a special light for 15 to 60 seconds to make it hard. After a few coats and drying each one, finish with a top coat to protect it.

JODSONE Gel Nail Polish (35 Pieces)

Essie Princess Charming Gel Polish

4. Growth Enhancing

Growth-enhancing nail polish helps your nails grow stronger, healthier, and quicker. There are many nail polish products available that are easily brushed onto your nails to help enhance their growth. The polishes are rich in natural nutrients. It can be applied as a sole treatment or in conjunction with other polishes.  

Ellie Chase Nail Polish Treatment

5. Long-Lasting

Long-lasting nail polish stays chip-free for at least 7 days. Easy application, sticking power, and a vast range of shades make this type of polish well-loved. 

CND Vinylux Polish

OPI White Nail Laquer

6. Quick Drying

Quick-drying nail polish dries fast so your nails look perfect without smears or chips. The formulas use quick-drying silicones that protect the film of the nail polish from smudging while it dries. There are many colors available in quick-drying formulas. 

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Polish (Set Of 7)

7. All In One Polish

An all-in-one polish is a multipurpose formula that serves as a base coat, top coat, and nail strengthener. There's no need to buy multiple bottles when there's this one available. Nail care becomes a rather straightforward process with an all-in-one polish. 

Essie All-In-One Polish

Sally Hansen Complete Care Nail Treatment

Nail Polish Finishes

1. Chrome

Chrome nail polish looks shiny and metal-like, almost like a mirror! It comes in many colors. Instead of using a regular brush, you put on a special shiny powder over a base coat to get this cool look.

Chrome Nail Powder

2. Pearl

Pearl finish nails look soft and fancy. They are kind of see-through, making the color underneath look like a pearl. Even if the color is light, it looks really pretty. A pearly manicure goes well with any outfit you wear.

Born Pretty Pearl Nail Polish

3. Glitter

Glitter nail polish is sparkly and playful. It comes with big or small sparkles that catch the light, making your nails look like a shiny disco ball. Fun, right? Don't forget to use a top coat to make it smooth. Just know, this sparkly polish might take a bit more effort to take off.

Essie Glitter Nail Polish

Eternal Glitter Nail Polish Set

4. Matte

Matte nail polish doesn't shine or sparkle, but it still makes your nails look great with a smooth, flat finish. If you prefer nails without gloss, matte polish is a good choice. It makes your nails look deep and beautiful, even without any shimmer.

Beetles Pastel Matte Nail Polish

Beetles Winter Green Gel Nail Polish

5. Shimmer

Shimmer nail polish has tiny sparkles in it. When light shines on it, it really sparkles and looks fun. It looks like it has depth. You can find all colors of nail polish with this sparkly finish.

OPI Shimmer Nail Polish

Sally Hansen Shhhh-immer Nail Polish

6. Microshimmer

Microshimmer has even tinier flecks of glitter in the polish. This type of finish glows brighter than any other type. The tiny glitter flecks are super shimmery in the light. 

China Glaze Nail Polish

7. Frost

A frost finish nail polish looks shiny and sparkly, kind of like ice, but you can see brush lines when you put it on. Make sure you like the look of these brush lines before you use it. It doesn’t have glitter bits, but it still gently shines.

Revlon Nail Polish

8. Lustre

A lustrous nail polish finish has a gentle sheen to it. A lustrous nail polish finish can even look a bit holographic when it's applied. 

Ella + Mia Luster Polish

9. Iridescent

Iridescent nail polish finishes appear as if they reflect a different color when the light hits it. This type of finish certainly isn't ordinary. 

ILNP Moonstone Iridescent Topper

10. Opalescent

Opalescent nail polish finishes have a distinct "mother of pearl" shimmer to them. Your nails will glisten just like the inside of a shell. So if you love the beach and its effects, you should give this nail finish a shot. 

ZOYA Opalescent Nail Polish

11. Translucent

Translucent nail polish finishes are, like the name suggests, translucent. This type of finish can even look watery or jelly-like. Multiple layers can make the polish more opaque. 

Ella + Mia Translucent Nail Polish

12. Magnetic

Magnetic nail polish is a cool new trend. You paint your nails with a special polish, then use a tiny magnet to make patterns. The magnet works with little bits in the polish to create the designs. It's like making a mini galaxy of colors on your nails!

Galaxy Magnetic Gel Nail Polish

Cat Eye Magnetic Nail Polish

13. Crackled

A crackled nail polish finish is a super texture-rich finish that gives your nails a crackled-looking finish. Apply your favorite base color first. Then all you have to do is brush on a thin layer then watch it crackle right before your eyes. 

Sally Hansen Foil Crackle Overcoat

BURANO Crackle Gel Nail Polish

14. Glass Flecked

Glass fleck nail polish finishes appear as if small flecks of glass are in the formula. The result is a smooth and sparkly finish. 

China Glaze Glass Flecked Polish

15. Holographic

The holographic nail polish finish is light reflective and iridescent. It's perfect for an extraterrestrial coating. Light will play with this coating like no other. Spectraflair is the active component that creates the multi-layer color effect. 

ILNP Ultra Holographic Nail Polish

Miss Cheering Holographic Nail Polish

16. Prismatic Shimmer

A nail polish with a prismatic shimmer to it has a super shimmer to it in addition to slightly holographic particles. Whether it's a day at the office or a night on the town, your nails are ready to have a good time. I will reflect light just like a prism does.

Kleancolor Prismatic Shimmer

We hope this guide has helped you better understand the different types of nail polish and finishes. Before you go, be sure to take a look at these other style guides:

11 Pastel Nail Design Ideas

23 Stunning French Manicure Combinations

Inspire others! Share the image below to introduce everyone to the amazing variety of nail polish and finishes. Let's get into the world of color and shine together!

A woman holding a brand new expensive nail polish, 23 Types Of Nail Polish And Finishes

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