Beauty Tips for Designerds: Spot Gloss Nails

art student owl spot gloss nail polish

Art Student Owl knows what’s up: Who hasn’t tried to emulate spot gloss on the cheap with clear nail polish? But it works the other way around, too—you can use clear topcoat over matte nail polish to get a spot gloss effect on your nails.

I tried this over the weekend with these simple tools:

  • Zoya’s Loredana matte nail polish
  • Butter London’s PDQuick topcoat
  • Scotch tape
spot gloss nails tools
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Paint your nails with a matte-finish nail polish. Rather than being shiny when it dries, it has a powder-coated finish look. Matte polish has really taken off in popularity, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find if you don’t already have any.
matte nail polish spot gloss
Step 2: Cut strips of tape to mask off the tip of your nail for faux-French spot gloss tips or half-moon cuticles. Or you can get really fancy and use an Xacto to cut stencils from the tape. (I did an excellent star on my middle nail but it didn’t photograph well.)
spot gloss nails tips tape
Step 3: Paint the edge exposed by the tape with clear nail polish or glossy topcoat. Peel off the tape before the topcoat dries after you do each nail—if you leave it on, it’ll make pulling off the tape much harder and can leave jagged edges.
spot gloss nails french tips
And voila! (It shows up better in real life—the gloss really brings out the sparkle of the base matte color.) Spot gloss nails—you are officially a designerd.