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12 Super Fun Top Coats and Special Effects Nail Polishes

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The nail art trend is still going strong! Don’t fret if you aren’t the arty type, you can still get in on fun with a variety of cool top coats and special effect polishes that are now on the market. From holographic shimmers to matte textures to chunky glitter-filled suspensions, there are lots of options. In this post I have listed 12 polishes to try followed by an image of the special effect in action. Click through the slideshow to see the products and then visit the corresponding blogs for reviews, application tips, design inspiration, and tutorials.

  • 12 Super Fun Top Coats and Special Effects Nail Polishes 1 of 25
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  • OPI Matte Top Coat $6.52 2 of 25
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    Layer this top coat over any polish to transform it into a flat, matte finish.
    Available on Amazon.

  • Matte French Mani Tutorial 3 of 25
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    This video from OPI shows you how to create subtle French manicure using matte topcoat and gives you ideas for other designs that you can create either freehand or with the help of a little tape.
    Watch it on OPI's youtube page.

  • Nails Inc. Special Effects Electric Lane Holographic Glitter Topcoat $10 4 of 25
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    This fun top coat contains holographic particles that liven up any manicure. This topper works best over light or dark polishes.
    Pick it up at Sephora.

  • Nails Inc. Porchester Square & Electric Lane Holographic Top Coat 5 of 25
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    This is a great example of how this Electric Lane Holographic Top Coat looks over a light polish.
    Check it out at All Lacquered Up.

  • Pi Ya No Black and White Hex Sticks Glitter Polish $10 6 of 25
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    There is no denying that this black and white glitter polish is uber cool.
    Available on Etsy.

  • Pi-Ya-No Over Neon 7 of 25
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    I love the 80s vibe of this killer combo.
    Get the how-to at My Precious Nail Polish.

  • Ciate Caviar Manicure Set Black Pearls $25 8 of 25
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    Caviar manicures are definitely a unique look! Ciate makes sets in black, mother-of-pearl, and a few multi-colored options.
    Found at Bloomingdales.

  • Caviar Nails 9 of 25
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    Ciate caviar nails look pretty fun to apply and the results are pretty cool.
    Follow the simple steps at Huda Beauty.

  • Illamasqua Speckled Nail Varnish $17 10 of 25
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    This speckled polish is available in 5 colors and looks like a bird's egg. This polish can be used for a fun effect on it's own.
    Available at Sephora.

  • Illamasqua Speckled Nail Varnish in "Scarce" 11 of 25
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    This dusty-rose pink polish is speckled with muted dots for an utterly unique finish.
    Learn more at Amelia's Allsorts.

  • Essie Snakeskin Magnetic Nail Color $10.97 12 of 25
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    This polish contains iron particles that create a pattern on your nails when you use the magnet on the cap.
    Available in 6 colors at Walmart.

  • Essie Snakeskin in Snake, Rattle and Roll 13 of 25
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    I hear magnetic patterns can be tricky but the effect is worth the effort.
    Pick up some tips at Spector's Nails.

  • Nails Inc. Concrete Nail Polish $11 14 of 25
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    Get edgy textured nails with this creative and inventive polish.
    Found at Sephora.

  • Nails Inc. Concrete Nail Polish 15 of 25
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    Here you see how this polish looks in the light taupe called "London Wall."
    Read the full review at Hell Candy.

  • Barry M Instant Nail Effects Crackle $15 16 of 25
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    Crackle top coats are a fun and easy way to great a cool effect. This one is available in 6 colors and has a trendy matte finish.
    Found on Amazon.

  • Black Crackle Over Brights 17 of 25
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    Crackle looks fresh again in matte black layered over bright colors or a pop of neon!
    Read all about it at Lacquerized.

  • Zoya Opal Fleck Effect Top Coat $8 18 of 25
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    This shimmery top coat contains mylar flakes that shift from green to blue in clear green suspension.
    Available at Zoya.

  • Zoya Opal Fleck Effect 19 of 25
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    Layered of Zoya Cho, nails look like they are made of precious stone.
    See it and other Zoya top coats at The Polishaholic.

  • Sephora by OPI Jewelry Top Coats $4.50 20 of 25
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    These jewel-inspired top coats are available in 18 varieties though I'm loving this one called "Beam Me Up Hottie!"
    Available at Sephora.

  • "Beam Me Up Hottie!" Over "If You’ve Got It, Haunt It" 21 of 25
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    I am a huge fan of all things sparkly and this combination of two Sephora by OPI polishes is to die for.
    Learn more at My Blacks Don't Match.

  • China Glaze Tranzitions $4.99 22 of 25
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    Design possibilities are endless with this polish that reacts when a clear topcoat is applied, transforming the color.
    Get it at Big Daddy Beauty.

  • China Glaze Tranzitions in "Modify Me" 23 of 25
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    This example demos the fun patterning you can do with Tranzitions and shows the blue shade variations of "Modify Me."
    See the other shades at Polish Infatuated.

  • Nails Inc Leather Polish $11 24 of 25
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    Leather nails are tres chic! Get the look with this textured polish from Nails Inc.
    Found at Sephora.

  • Leather Nails in Noho 25 of 25
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    See the edgy textured effect of the leather polish up close.
    Found on The Crumpet.

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