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What are the Different Types of Nail Polish Finishes?

Nail polish comes in different colors, shapes, and even textures. Perhaps you have noticed that not all nail polishes are the same colors with the same shade and formula. This is where nail polish finishes come in. A nail polish finish is what visual effect a polish has after application. This makes the difference between metallic and shimmery polishes, while others are flat and glossy. But did you know there’s a name for every nail polish finish? While this is not an exhaustive list of all nail polish finishes, here are some common finishes that you might see among your favorite nail polish brands.

Summer Dress Season


One of the most common finishes is crème nail polishes Usually one solid color with a glossy finish, they’re great if you want a strong color for your nails in just one or two coats. A familiar classic that comes in every color possible, you can’t go wrong with crème polishes.

Crème nail polishes like DEMIblue’s Explosion and Summer Dress Season add a bright, clean color to your nails.


Matte nail polishes are similar to crème polishes as both consist of solid flat color formulas. However, matte polishes have no shine at all after application. While crème polishes have a slightly glossy look even without a top coat, matte polishes dry completely smooth and flat. Adding a glossy top coat will add the shine component, but there are also matte top coats that will dull the shine of any nail polish.

Pearls and Lace


These nail polishes are usually quite sheer, with lots of glittery sparkles scattered throughout. Generally appearing in pink and other lighter colored tones, they may require several coats to achieve a truly opaque look on the nail. However, they can easily be layered over more opaque finishes like a crème

polish to add a bit of sparkle. Shimmer polishes add a soft twinkle to nails.

Check out DEMIblue’s Pearls and Lace for a shimmery pearlescent pink.


While shimmer finishes have a very subtle glitter profile, full glitter nail polishes have larger flakes of glitter suspended in clear gloss. Glitter can come in any color, and nail polishes often have a variety of colors in a bottle for even more color. These glitter polishes require several coats to achieve a solid concentration of glitter on your nail. Because the glitter can settle in the clear polish, it’s good practice to mix around the bottle to distribute the glitter before applying. This finish is particularly eye-catching and sparkly.


Neon nail polishes come in super brilliant colors. The formula is usually a bit thicker and may require a few coats for a solid smooth finish. Neon polishes usually dry matte to balance out the brightness of the color. Still, you can always add a glossy top coat to add shine. Neons are great for a fun pop of color any time of the year.

For a neon green, check out DEMIblue’s Rave.


Rising in popularity over the past years, holographic (or holo for short) polishes are unique in that they create the color effect of a rainbow when light hits them. Holographic nail polishes are truly mesmerizing and remarkable, with a wide variety in formulation and how the rainbow effect is achieved.

Silver Stiletto


Metallic nail polishes have a metal-like finish and usually come in silver, gold, or copper colors. However, any color can have a shiny metallic finish. With a shimmery effect, it is more opaque than shimmer polishes and likely requires fewer coats. The shine it presents can be pretty elegant.

Check out DEMIblue’s Silver Stiletto for a classic silver metallic and The Signature DEMIblue for a cool blue metallic.


Similar to metallics, chromes differ as they usually appear much more smooth and metal-like than a metallic that looks more glittery after being applied. An interesting effect of certain chrome polishes is the ability to appear as different colors depending on the angle at which light hits it. Duochrome polishes alternate between two colors, while multichrome polishes shift through many colors. These are a super cool and colorful nail polish option.

Whatever the finish or color, all are great options for your next manicure!

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