How To: Super Easy Graduated Glitter Tips on Nails


For Thursday's Best in Awards, nails needed attention and with a patterned green dress to wear, I toyed with hot pink before deciding on white with glitter tips, inspired by a post Lynnie had done back in March on nails at AW11 catwalk shows. Easy, super-quick and requiring little precision - uhuh, just the sort of in-a-hurry mani I can get down with.


Here's how it turned out. Yes - I did ZERO tidy up on the finished result cos I totally ran out of time. White's an unforgiving colour so if I do this again, I'll have a paintbrush soaked in remover at the ready to tidy up the cuticle line and get things looking a little smarter. As it was, on the evening itself, when anyone admired my glittery talons I just made sure I waved my hands about quickly so they couldn't *really* see the finished result; merely get an impression of my mad skillz. A genius move.

So, what'll you need? Just three things plus a basecoat of your choice:

  1. For my white, I used Nubar White Tip. Any white polish will work for this
  2. My glitter came courtesy of Rescue Beauty Lounge Look Rich, Be Cheap (best name ever) - but you can use whatever you have to hand, including those new Gosh glitter pots. I picked up a couple in London recently thinking they'd make a great post for the blog, brought 'em home, put them down and promptly lost them. DOH
  3. Topcoat to seal the deal was Ciate Speed Coat - again, anything you have will be fine, but you do need one to level off the glitter and bottom color and keep the glitter from shearing off in chunks. Which always happens to me. Sigh

And what do you do? Oh, it's so simple.


  1. Paint on your base shade, white in my case. This particular Nubar colour is intended for use for painting French tips so behaves poorly over an entire nail. It pulls, drags, creates bald patches and is a right pain in the arse to work with. It's the only white I have so currently I'm stuck with it. Three coats are what's required to get it to opacity and even then I'm not gone on the finish - it's not great. But in fairness, it's not designed for use as a polish really
  2. Once that's done, the next thing is to apply a thin layer of glitter about two thirds of the way down the nail. You don't need to be precise here - in fact, being imprecise works best.  Just lay it on quickly and quite roughly and allow it to dry
  3. Add another layer of glitter to the top third of the nail. Depending on how dense your glitter is you may need to repeat steps two and three a couple more times; the Rescue glitters are fabulously wonderful and whizz up to a really good finish quick-smart so I got away with two. Again, let this dry. You may - like me - need to do some tidy-up so do that before the next step
  4. Now lash on your top coat and you're good to go!

And that, ladies and germs, is really it. Super quick and easy glitter tips. Will you give it a go?

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