RC (resin coated)
What exactly is resin coated paper? This is the standard photographic paper you know very well. It comes in Glossy, Semi-gloss, Luster (pearl, silk), and Matte. In all cases the paper is coated on both sides by a plastic resin known as polyethylene which absorbs the ink before it can reach the paper itself. It dries more quickly than art paper and can display a larger range of colors than fiber based papers such as Fine art paper.
RC paper is much less expensive to print on and a very economical choice. It doesn't have the feel or texture of fiber based paper, but can produce a very nice product at a lower price.
This paper has a flat surface that eliminates light reflections and glare.
It gives a clean professional look, more commonly used for art reproduction where colors are more muted and keeps a nice tonal range.
Easy to handle as it resists fingerprints and scratching.
When I think a matte paper is the best option, I usually opt for a fiber based paper with or without texture as they give better results.
Luster is in my opinion, the best choice most of the time. It is a nice balance between matte and glossy and comes in subtle variants such as satin, silk, pearl, and semi-gloss
This finish has a pebbled texture which reflects light in many directions breaking down the reflections so as not to be mirror like. It holds color much better than matte and almost as well as glossy paper. Good for landscapes and portraits.
This is the paper most well known and most likely used (if you do not specify) at most printers. It is known for vibrant colours and detail. In my experience, it's better for landscape and architecture but may show too much detail in portraits where softer skin is more complimentary. For the ultimate color and detail, some photographers have fallen in love with metallic paper which gives a very lively sheen with unparalleled hue and tone.