DIY: Glitter Nails

Glitter nail polish is one of those things I buy alot of but hardly ever use. Cosmetic glitter can be put in that same category. I use it for the occasional party or on Halloween, but otherwise I don’t have much use for it. One day I was sifting through some of my makeup and all I could think was how pretty a few of these glitters would be as nail polish. So I decided to give it a try.

This is super easy to do and I really did like the results. There are some positives of this method over traditional glitter nail polish. I find this wears longer. Glitter polish tends to chip in large chunks. This is less expensive. Sally’s sells a large variety of glitter for under a dollar, and since this isn’t being used on the face, you don’t even have to use cosmetic grade glitter. This method also provides a great deal of creative freedom. Especially if you start mixing glitters.

There is one major negative to this. No matter how many layers of top coat you use over the glitter it will remain bumpy. Much more so than traditional glitter polish.  Due to this the manicure doesn’t appear to have as shiny of a finish to it making it slightly less sparkly.

Step by step instructions are below the jump!

What you will need:

  1. Any kind of glitter. I used Sally Girl Sparkle Effects in Lavish Lavender that I got at Sally’s for $.89.
  2. Nail Glue (optional). The brush on kind is the easiest to use. This is no more than a couple bucks at Sally’s.
  3. A top coat or clear nail polish.

I used Essie Nice is Nice as my basecoat. I like to use a color that is similar in color to the glitter I’m going to be using. Using just a clear basecoat is fine as well if that’s the look you are going for. Either way, your basecoat needs to be completely dry before applying the glitter.

Next apply the glue to a single nail (or if you don’t have glue, a slow drying top coat or clear polish will work, though I find glue works much better). Working somewhat quickly sprinkle the glitter over the wet glue then gently pat the glitter on the nail so the entire nail is evenly covered. Tap off the extra glitter onto a paper towel or piece of paper (whatever surface you are working on). Repeat this on all 10 nails (or however many you want to have glitter).

If (and only if) you intend to use the glitter for nail art I recommend working over a piece of paper. Once all nails are completed the extra glitter can be easily funneled back into the glitter container. I use my glitter for other cosmetic purposes, so I don’t save the extra glitter.

Once there is glitter on all desired nails rinse off the excess glitter in cold water, towel hands dry and then add at least one layer of a top coat.

And then you’re done! Super simple, right?

If you give this a try I’d love to know how it goes for you. Feel free to Tweet me a picture of post it on TDV’s Facebook page!


  1. I’m going to try this right now! I have every color of that glitter from Sally’s that has been tucked away since I bought it. Now there’s a use for it! Thanks! 🙂

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