A woman painting glitter nails

Stand Out With Glitter Nails: The Best Way To Use Glitter In Your Nail Designs

Manicures aren’t just an excellent way to keep your nails healthy and strong. They’re also an exciting and limitless opportunity for self-expression and creativity. With so many unique methods and styles to pick from, there’s a manicure to fit the season, your mood, or the next can’t-miss event. 

For those looking to stand out at parades, celebrate the new year in style, or add a little bit of luxe to the everyday, glitter nails might just be the way to go. You can use glitter on your whole set, try out an accent style, or mix and match your favorite shades for a manicure as individual, bold, and unapologetic as you! 

And Nailboo has you covered. Not only are we dedicated to making salon-quality manicures inexpensive and easy to perform at home with our dip kits, but we also want to share our growing expertise and resources surrounding all types of manicures and nail styles. Here are a few of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to perfecting your next glitter nail polish style. 

Glitter Nail Polish at a Glance 

Have you ever gone to apply a glitter nail polish, only to end up with spotty, uneven coverage? Maybe you’ve applied so many layers that the nail polish chips right off, even though you can still see the color below? You’re not alone. While glitter nail polish may look the same as traditional paint, you’ll want to approach the application process a little bit differently. Here are some of the most effective ways to get the glittery look you love without the stress or mess. 

Sponge Style Application

One of the most popular ways to get even coverage and glittery shine is with a makeup sponge. The reason a makeup sponge is such an effective method for glitter nail polish application is that the sponge actually works to absorb the paint and liquid of the nail polish, leaving just the glitter you actually want behind. 

Aside from your makeup sponge and glitter polish, all you’ll need is your base coat, top coat, and liquid latex if you want to protect the skin around your nails. Apply your base coat, which serves to keep your manicure lasting longer and your nails healthier. Then dab your makeup sponge into the glitter polish, a little at a time. The sponge will absorb the paint, which will allow you to apply the remaining glitter in an even layer. Return the sponge to the glitter as many times as you need for a solid coat. Add your top coat and enjoy shiny, glittery nails that last. 

Cotton Swab Style 

If you don’t have an old makeup sponge lying around, don’t worry. You can achieve similar benefits with a cotton swab or a cotton ball, though they might be a little less precise. After applying your base coat, dab your cotton swab into the glitter polish and then apply the glitter to your nails. Add your top coat for a smooth, shiny finish. 

Marble Glitter Nails 

You can achieve a beautiful marble design and get the glittery looks you love all in a single style. A marble nail design is simple and easy to perform at home if a little messy. Start by applying your base coat and then your liquid latex, if you can, since the skin around your fingernails will be dipped into paint. 

Add room temperature water to a shallow bowl, and then drop in a few of your favorite nail polish colors, adding as many glittery polishes as you want. Then dip your finger into the paint on the surface of the water, taking care to cover the nail completely. Set with your top coat. 

Marble styles are striking and glamorous, but you probably won’t achieve full glittery coverage with this method, so consider the sponge or cotton swab style if that’s what you’re after. 

Glitter Vs. Glitter Nail Polish 

Using a glittery nail polish is one of the most straightforward ways to get a gorgeous shimmer, but you can actually go straight to the source, as well. If you’re using a craft store glitter, try to find a thin grain, which will stick to the polish more easily and create that filled-in look. 

Begin with a base coat and base color that matches the glitter you’ll be applying. Remember, you only want to do one hand at a time since you’ll need the paint to be sticky in order for the glitter to adhere. Over a napkin or sheet of paper, coat your wet nails in glitter. You can do this by shaking the glitter onto the nail, using a damp brush, or even a cotton swab or toothpick if you’re looking for a specific glitter design or color pattern. 

Apply your glitter, taking care to shake off and remove any excess glitter from the nail, and then apply your top coat to seal it into place. This is a guaranteed way to get that bright, shiny, glittery nail look you can’t help but love. 

Styles and Methods for Glittery Nails 

When it comes to the best styles and designs for your glitter manicure, the only limit is your imagination. Here are some great options for adding glitter to your next nail look. 

Nail Art

What kind of nail patterns do you love? Consider trying them out in glitter the next time you get your nails done. Geometric patterns like diamonds and stripes can be balanced in different shades of flat and glitter paint, or with the right stencils, you can make hearts, flowers, or any other style you can think of. 

A lot of gorgeous nail art patterns also include decals, stickers, or gems, so consider adding a little extra bling to your glittery nail art design. 

Accent Nail 

There’s a reason that the accent nail is a classic. Not only can your accent nail be gorgeous in different colors or with unique decals, but an accent nail in your favorite glittery polish is sure to pop every time. It’s also a fun and unique way to add shades of polish into your next manicure without taking away from the star of the show—the glitter, of course! 

Glitter Tips 

If you’re looking to take a subtler approach to the glitter in your next manicure, consider your tips. Glitter tips can be as thin or as bold as you want them to be. Add them in a straight, fine line, or allow them to fade into the other colors of your nails for a truly unique look. This is an excellent option for a professional nail style that doesn’t give up any of the shine or luxury of glitter nails. 

You may also want to consider starting with a glitter base near the nail bed and then fading into flat colors for another unique approach. 

Glitter Ombre 

Why stick to just one shade of glitter? If you just can’t get enough of a glittery manicure, then an ombre glitter design is the perfect option. A simple and easy way to get this look is to apply your cascading colors to a makeup sponge and then stamp them onto your nail. Start or end with a glitter shade or use glitter polish the whole way through. 

Mix and Match

Glittery nails are all about the fun. That’s why this is a great style for mixing and matching your favorite manicure looks. Add an ombre accent nail to your set, try out some glitter tips or bases, or have a little of each. The trick is to make your next manicure fit your style and preferences. 



You deserve a manicure that’s as bold and joyful as you are—and that’s where a glittery shine comes in. There are many easy ways to get a glittery nail polish look you love, with a sponge or by simply applying the glitter straight to wet nail polish. You can use glitter in all of your favorite designs, no matter what shape or style you like your nails, and whether you’re into acrylics, gels, Shellac nails, or a natural look, glitter can be a great option for you. 

For more information on proper nail care and treatments, exciting new at-home manicure options like an easy-to-use dip kit, and the best ways to add a little glitter to your next manicure, trust the team here at Nailboo. We make it easy to get the looks you love at the right price, so get started with one of our kits or guides today! 



Fingernails: Do's and don'ts for healthy nails | Mayo Clinic

How to Make Hand-Marbled Fabrics | The Spruce Crafts

From ancient Egypt to Cardi B: a cultural history of the manicure | The Guardian 

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