I decided to experiment with a new technique that I have been seeing down the pipeline…glitter tips. Originally, I found this in a guest post by The Polished Perfectionist found here. I love the colors she used, but I wanted to combine this with the new trend for buffs. I opted for a pink-nude base with pink glitter for a more subtle effect, and I love the results! Here is what I used:
- Base Polish – Wet n Wild in Sugar Coat
- Glitter Polish – Wet n Wild in Pixie Trail
- OPI Top Coat
- Cosmetic Sponge – Wedge Shape
- Fingernail Polish Remover
- Fine Grit Nail File
I don’t have a video of the process, but those can easily be found on YouTube. I will, however, tell you the steps and share some tips from my experience. The process itself is extremely easy, but you will want to practice the technique before you start applying to your nail.
1. Apply your base color.
Apply your base color, using as 2-3 coats to get a good coverage. You can apply a base coat to your nail before the base color if you like. For the colors I used, I did not apply a base coat. I try to keep from putting on more layers if I can (too many layers for me will just make the polish peel off), so I only use a base coat for dark colors or glitter without a base color.
Make sure you allow the polish to dry thoroughly. It will take a minimum of 10 minutes, but the longer you wait, the less you risk damaging the polish with the sponge. I waited about 15-20 minutes.
2. Sponge the glitter color.
This is the fun part! I used a cosmetic sponge in a wedge because you get about 30 for $1, but you can use any sort of sponge that gives you the best results.
Go ahead and open up your polish. You will want to leave it unscrewed, so you can work faster. Paint the glitter polish onto the sponge in thin coats. Sponge the glitter onto the nail where you want it. In my experience, the glitter came off of the sponge like a stamp, so make sure you do not put too much on the sponge. Don’t worry about getting polish on the skin at this point. It is inevitable and we will clean it up in the next step.
- Do not use the straight edge of the sponge. You will get a line in the pattern. Instead, paint the sponge in the middle and bend it to give a curved edge.
- Use light coats. If you want to create the gradient of glitter, remember you cannot remove the glitter once it is on. Apply VERY light coats of the glitter and work up in the areas you want more glitter.
- If you want to apply the glitter like a French manicure, you can simply freehand the glitter polish on the tips or use tape. If you use tape, make sure the nails are completely dry or you will pull up the polish when you remove the tape. I have heard that several people use scotch tape, but I had problems with it pulling my polish and creating bubbles if not pulling the polish off. I instead use masking or painters tape.
3. Smooth down the rough spots.
If you want texture in your nail, you can just apply a very light top coat and leave the glitter where it is, but if you want the look to last a little longer, you will need to make the glitter behave. While the glitter is still a little tacky, you can use a manicure stick to push down any glitter that is sticking up and creating ridges.
4. Remove the access polish.
Using a Q-Tip dipped in nail polish remover, gently clean up the skin around the nail.
5. Clean up the edges and rough spots.
I had issues with glitter at the edges of my nail. If you want that texture, it is fine, but I again want mine to last for a while. I also just don’t like the feeling of my nails scraping and catching on cloth. I used a fine grit file to, extremely gently, file the glitter at the edges. This will keep my finger nails from catching on anything and coming off before I am ready.
6. Apply a top coat.
Apply your favorite top coat. I recommend OPI Top Coat. If you know anything at all about me, you will know that my favorite top coat is OPI Top Coat. I swear by this stuff and will not use anything else. For lasting finish, apply one fairly thick coat and allow to dry for a few minutes. Apply a second fairly thick coat and allow to dry completely.
This look can be worn any way you like. A few variations to try would be angling the gradient diagonally, using a color for the gradient instead of a glitter, or starting the gradient with the thickest part at the base of the nail and moving toward the tip. Use your imagination and enjoy the sparkle!