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The Ultimate Glitter Guide

Categories: Nail Art Nail Polishes Nailspiration

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glitter nails ultimate guide

If you like glitter as much as we do, you’ll love this post! We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that takes you through all the current glitters on the market and recommends the best manicures to utilize them. Plus, with the festive season in full swing, you’ll find this glitter guide essential for creating quick party manicures. Enjoy!

The Ultimate Glitter Guide:

  1. Fine Glitter – A classic glitter nail polish. If you’re looking for the perfect gold glitter nail polish, check out the new Dance Legend 215 Gold Glitter (pictured). For something different try the copper shade of Deborah Lippmann Superstar. For a bold statement, try Nails Inc Connaught Square 3D glitter nail polish in royal blue. Great for: any kind of glitter nail art as a base or just for details.
  2. Metallics & Shimmer – when it comes to subtle metallic foil finishes, Essie No Place Like Chrome (pictured), or shimmering like Butter London Knees Up and Chanel Graphite they aren’t as sparkly as true glitter polishes yet still dressy enough for a night out. Great for: those who aren’t into glitter but still want to wear something with a bit of shimmer. In terms of nail art, these polishes are great for stamping and any kind of striping tape manicures, like these Great Gatsby Nails.
  3. Hex Glitter – ‘hex’ stands for hexagonal glitter particles, sometimes with fine glitter base like Ciate Antique Brooch. Hex glitters often have a clear base like Essie A Cut Above and Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow. Great for: glitter gradients (pictured is Ciate Antique Brooch) and glitter accent nails.
  4. Textured Glitter – now textured glitter comes in all shades, from classic silver and nude to dark emerald. If you’re up for a statement look, try bright textured glitters like purple Face of Australia Masquerade, OPI Kiss Me At Midnight (pictured) or ORLY Aqua Pixel. Great for: ombre nails, gradient and accent nails.
  5. Multi Glitter - various sizes and colours of particles are suspended in a clear base. Try emerald-blue Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe, purple-pink-blue OPI Polka Dot Com or multisparkle glitter – Bloom Emily Green. Great for: layering over opaque nail polish, glitter tips (pictured is Multisparkle Bloom) and accent nails.
  6. Loose Glitter - Manicures with loose glitter are great for one night only. They won’t last but they do look amazing! Fine Fold Glitter, Octogonal Large Silver Glitter, glequins – BYS Deep Blue (pictured). Great for: layering over opaque nail polish, glitter moon details, accent nails and large glitter (glequins) great for glitter placement manicures.
  7. Jelly Glitter* – various size and colours of glitter particles are suspended in a jelly base (25% creme and 75% clear). They come in different colours but our personal favorites are white jelly glitters like Deborah Lippman Glitter in The Air with pink and blue particles and KBShimmer Nail Polish – What’s Your Damage  with neon particles. For a high drama jelly, try Dance Legend Rich Black with silver and gold holo glitter. Great for: jelly glitter looks great on its own but also can be used for chevron nails and as a base for more elaborate nail art. *You can also easily ‘fake’ jelly glitter nails.
  8. Opaque Glitter – opaque/matte glitters are suspended in a clear base. These polishes are perfect toppers and would add an interesting twist to almost any polish you currently own.  Black and white fine glitter topper Platinum Artiste or KB Shimmer Grayscale with larger particles in various shapes. If you’re up for some colour, try Dance Legend Flossy 153 with pink, blue and white opaque glitter. Great for: layering over opaque nail polish (pictured is Ulta3 Stop The Press) and accent nails. It looks particularly good when mattified.
  9. Extra Large Glitter – Clear base glitter with extra large glitter particles, sometimes can include small glitter. Try Emily De Molly’s Rhodium with gunmetal and silver large square glitter, OPI When Monkeys Fly with gold hexagonal or Christmas-like KBShimmer Kringle All The Way with round particles. For these glitters, it is recommended to shake gently the bottle before use for even glitter distribution and also pick up the large particles individually from the bottle as they have tendency to sink and slide off the brush. Great for: layering over opaque nail polish (pictured is OPI When Monkeys Fly), accent nails or glitter placement manicures (if you have enough patience for fishing out all the large particles).

What about you guys? Do you like glitter nails? Which type of glitter is your favorite?

  • Kelsey December 20, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Great post! I love glitter polishes but i can never actually get them to work. I just bought OPIs Lights of Emerald City and none of the larger glitter pieces actually came out of the bottle. For polishes like that and When Monkeys Fly do you just have to commit to doing individual glitter placement?

    • Maria V December 20, 2013, 3:55 pm

      Thank you Kelsey! Yes, to get the larger glitter pieces you need to shake the bottle before use. Sometimes the larger particles come out fine with the brush but yes, often you just have to do some glitter placement. Make sure you finish your mani with 2-3 layers of top coat to get that smooth finish look. X

  • Joni January 6, 2014, 3:47 pm

    I too have problems with glitter polishes. I cannot get the glitter spced evenly, I end up with a clump on one side and no glitter elsewhere. Is it better to dab on rather than paint on? But then it ends up too thick. Any tips?

    • Maria V January 6, 2014, 4:06 pm

      I find some glitters are easier to apply than others. All glitters with large particles are a bit tricky. And yes, you can definitely dab glitter on rather than paint it on, just before that wipe nail polish brush on the polish bottle neck or use a piece of paper to remove some of the clear base. Essie, Sally Hansen and OPI glitters are all quite good though and super easy to apply. Hope this helps! x

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