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Glittery Nails For One, Please!

By Sheila Arkee

For years, I eschewed ornate nail designs. For a time, I even worked at a magazine for nail techs and openly scoffed at photos of tacky blinged out nails. And then something changed. I encountered someone at my local MAC store who had AMAZING blinged out nails.

Now, I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable with really long nails. I had acrylic nail tips for one short period of my life and they just weren’t me. Nothing wrong with them, but I just don’t feel comfortable with a long nails.

While at a salon recently, I encountered the most gorgeous blinged out short nails that were Shellac-ed, and knew that’s exactly what I wanted in my life. I want pretty, gold, sparkly nails!!!!!!

These are the nails I spoke about earlier while discussing my beauty school gel nail fail.

The nails I recently witnessed are glitter sealed by a gel topcoat, and I wanted to figure out how to possibly make these happen at home for a fraction of the cost. I have never claimed to be great or even decent at doing nails, so this is a true beauty experiment on my side.

Step 1: Glitter


Craft glitter at Michael’s purchased with a 40% coupon  – done! Less than $2 for a huge amount of glitter, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Step 2: Nail Polish Base


I figured I would use a darker base of a polish to help make the glitter pop! I had on Essie Capri and it was the perfect shade for this exact purpose.

Step 3: Pour Some Glitter on It

Seems simple enough, right?

The chunks, I believe, were a little too coarse. Perhaps craft glitter isn’t the answer.  In retrospect, I should have dipped my nails in a layer of glitter, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Step 4: Seal That Stuff


Here’s the part that needs the most improvement – I used a traditional topcoat and I definitely need something thicker, and more gel-like, maybe even at-home Shellac.

A week or so after this experiment, I happened upon the flickr site of a woman with the most amazing rainbow hair, and she just made glitter nails seem so easy. And now I want fabulous rainbow glitter nails, too!!! Click the link to see the nails in their complete fabulosity.

Back to the drawing board!

In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear your ideas. Do you have suggestions for topcoats you can recommend for at-home, fabulous glitter nails?

  • Sara

    What about using glitter eyeshadow instead of craft glitter? I know I’ve seen a tutorial somewhere using Sweet Libertine glitters for nails.

  • Ally

    I use Wet N Wild loose glitter and just paint on a coat of a clear or colored polish and tap some of the glitter onto the nail. After it dries I use about 3 coats of a regular top coat. Just use a fine glitter to keep it all as smooth as possible!

  • http://thiamere.blogspot.com thiamere

    i agree with ally!
    glitters in craft shops are quite chunky.
    go for really fine glitters made for nail arts.

    you have to let your base color dry then apply the top coat.
    To get an even coating of glitters, dip a small fan brush on the glitters then tap it on your nails with the wet top coat.

    Let it completely dry before getting rid of the excess glitters

    Seal it off with a fast dry top coat
    ^_~

  • admin

    Ok, ladies! Back to the drawing board!!! Will be breaking out the Sweet Libertine glitters!

  • Wendy

    Dustin Hunter (dustyohunter on youtube) has a great tutorial on using pigments and MAC reflects glitter on the nails. Pretty much the same technique that Thiamere suggested.

  • Emily

    I use craft store glitter. I get a colored base coat on my nails, first. Pour a little clear polish, i use hardener, on to a paper plate. Then, put some glitter on the plate. I dab a small square paint brush into the pollish and then pick up the glitter. You can’t really brush it onto the nail, but you can press it onto the nail. It’s really not as messy as I intially thought it would be and it looks great.