How To: Use loose glitter on your nails

By Lynnie | November 9 2011 | 18 Comments

black glitter

They’re thirsty for topcoat and an absolute pain in the hoop to remove, but in spite of their drawbacks I absolutely friggin’ LOVE glitter polishes. I love them so much that I can’t seem to stop buying the damn things, which means that an entire drawer of my nail polish storage unit is devoted solely to all things bling and sparkly. (Just pulling that drawer open makes me smile.) Until recently, though, I’d never tried using loose glitter on my nails before.

Not since I was about four and supposed to be sticking said glitter on to a flower made from a pipe cleaner rather than to my nails, I mean.

With a new shipment of Gosh nail glitters due to hit stands any second now, I thought it was about time I got me some glitter to make a mess play with. The advantages of using loose glitter on your nails are obvious: it can also be used to decorate pipe cleaners, and can be got year round from craft suppliers in a wider range of colours than glitter polishes, which tend only to be widely available around Christmas, and then only in gold, silver or red.

Since I already have a gold, a silver, and a red glitter polish in my stash (surprise!) I picked up a packet of black loose glitter with the intention of creating a sophisticated accent nail on a black mani.

glitter on paper

If I’d had a small screw-top jar around the place, I’d have decanted the glitter into it for convenience; in the absence of such a receptacle I just tipped a small amount out onto a piece of paper with a fold down the middle and then poured the excess back into the main bag of glitter when I was done.

Waste not, want not and all that.

revlon topcoat and dipping wet nail into glitter

I applied a layer of topcoat all over the nail I wanted to get glittered up – of course you could just do the tips, or a half-moon at the base, or wherever you want the glitter to wind up – and then immediately dipped and rolled the nail into a pool of glitter before the topcoat dried, pressing the glitter in place with my finger to help it adhere securely.

glitter on fingers

After leaving it to dry for a few minutes, I rinsed my finger under running water to wash away the excess glitter.

glitter - the finished look

Adding a topcoat will give a smoother finish but it’ll also dull the sparkle; if you can bear to, go without.

Bada bling!

On a Budget, Tutorials , ,

18 Replies to " How To: Use loose glitter on your nails"

  • dreamgirl says:

    SOooo pretty!!

  • Kirstie says:

    Now if only those pots of Gosh glitter I bought would turn up …

  • littlemisswonders says:

    Looking at the bag of glitter first I thought it said “creative crap”….

    I love this, unfortunately considering the fact that I can turn white clothes green in a matter of minutes (with no idea how) and that somehow a closed bottle of top coat opened on one of the leather recliners last week (thank god it was clear!) I don’t think loose glitter and I would have a happy relationship!

  • sweetie1 says:

    LOVE this!

  • Heather says:

    I wonder if that would work with those fine sparkly loose eye powders…

  • char says:

    Love it doing this for the weekend :)

  • The black is beautiful, Lynnie.

    I’ve experimented a little with the Gosh glitters, have found you can’t get away with no topcoat though, some nails it’s just rubbed right off.

    Genius idea with the paper for application. So simple.

  • BerG says:

    The finish looks really professional. Love the fact you have a glittery ring finger to match the new sparkler. You must be under pressure to have the nails perfect at the moment, with everyone looking at the ring.

  • Laoise says:

    OOOH I likey likey!!

  • littlesis says:

    Beautiful. I spent hours looking through your blog the other night, Lynnie. Love it.

  • Lynnie says:

    littlemisswonders – ha ha, creative crap! :lol:

    Heather – definitely worth a go, although if the particles are very very fine it might come off as more of a metallic finish than a true glitter.

    CherrySue – yeah, I think for that reason I’d be more inclined to use loose glitter on one accent nail than on the whole lot to minimise sparkly fallout.

    littlesis – ah thanks!

  • Denise says:

    Wow very pretty or should I say glitastic haha!

  • miffyonline says:

    Funnily enough, I love glitter polish but I hate loose glitter. With a passion. It may have something to do with the fact that I work with school-children and am regularly asked to look after art & craft, involving glue and glitter. Needless to say I am picking glitter off myself for weeks afterwards :)

    Your mani looks great though! Need to find out more about these GOSH glitters – are they nail-specific?

  • Lulu the Diva Cat says:

    Does anybody know where in Dublin I can to get nails painted with dice design!. I’m going to Las Vegas in December and I thought that it would be fun for the trip. Suggestions please?

  • Jacinta says:

    I have a stack of Bella Pierre glitters that my sister bought me a few years ago and I never knew what to do with them! I done my nails with them one night and she ATE me for using them on my nails! I thought it was better than gathering dust in my makeup case but she obviously didn’t think so!

  • Rose says:

    Nah sorry i’m not liking this Ooooops :)

  • Kathy says:

    How well does it work with no top coat? I have been wanting to do loose glitter nails and do not want to top coat but am affraid the glitter will come right off in shower, etc. It would be awesome if there were some kind of a spray sealant or something to hold it on without dulling or smoothing it out.

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