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We Tried It: The "Velvet" Mani

03/14/2013 at 06:00 PM ET

Julep matte top coat manicureCourtesy Zoë Ruderman

This week, Senior Style Editor Zoë Ruderman test-drives a fresh look on her nails and learns that getting a unique manicure doesn’t require a big time — or money — investment.

When celebs first started wearing velvet and Kim Kardashian deemed the trend a must-try, I wrote it off, knowing that the unforgiving fabric would never work for me. But I finally found a way to incorporate velvet into my look: with the velvet mani!

No, I’m not about to suggest you glue little swatches of the material on your nails (though if you do, please upload a pic of that here); I’m talking about the top coat from Julep that transforms a glossy, shiny manicure into a chic, matte, velvety one.

I first learned about the polish from and as soon as I tested it out, I knew we had to offer it to our mani-obsessed readers.

The creative possibilities are endless: I’ve tried polka dots, the reverse French mani (everything shiny except for matte tips) and alternating matte-and-shiny tips, which you can see in the photo above. And of course, you can do a full matte manicure, perfect for making a bold or neon polish a bit more subtle and work-appropriate.

The top coat, which you can order here with an exclusive discount code (enter PEOPLE15 at checkout to receive 15% off), works on any polish. I’ve swiped it on over everything from pale shades to brights to black — and the matte finish looks good on every color.

Do you prefer shiny nails or a matte mani?

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