DIY Rock Star Glitter Manicure

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Last week in preparation for my best friend’s bachelorette in Vegas, I wanted a flashy, all out, glittery gel manicure. My friend Andrea first introduced me to this years ago as “rock star” nails, basically a gel manicure that consists of a layer of pure glitter dust, leading to a 3D glitter look that stays for 2 weeks without chipping.

Examples here:

However, I a). didn’t have time to actually go to a salon during business hours and b). am scared of gel manis because my nails are so thin to begin with (once I had a hole broken in the bottom of my nail during the gel removal process…ouch! never again!) and c). didn’t want to spend $45 on nails. I decided to try to recreate the rockstar mani look at home using regular nail polish, and got enough compliments on them that I wanted to share the look with you!

Step 1. Apply a base coat. This will still shine through so if you want a uniform look choose a color that closely matches the color of your glitter. I wanted the gold glitter look, so I first applied a coat of Julep Winnie, a rose gold metallic color. On its own, with at least 3 coats, the Julep Winnie Bombshell will be sparkly like in the pictures below; however, for the rockstar mani, I wanted bigger more obvious glitter specks. If you don’t do a base coat, you’ll need a LOT more coats of glitter to compensate.

The Julep color on me

The Julep color on me in natural lighting

Step 2: Apply your glitter coat. The size of the glitter particles and how you apply this coat determine how your finished look will appear. I like the Sally Hansen’s Golden Rule glitter coat because the glitter is the right size and it’s easy to apply. The key to this whole look is to blot the glitter on so that you can get a high concentration of glitter in each area. Don’t paint the nail in strokes because that won’t be enough glitter. After blotting in each area of the nail, go back and fill in the empty spots with more directed blotting.

Step 3: After the glitter has dried, apply your quick drying top coat. My personal favorite is the INM Out the Door Top Coat because it dries super fast and protects against color chipping.

Finished product:

Index and middle fingers on the upper left photo have Julep Winnie Bombshell on them, the rest of the photos have the Sally Hansen glitter coat on top

Another way you can use the Sally Hansen Golden Rule glitter:

Glitter fade nails for a Christmas party

Glitter fade nails for a Christmas party

6 Comments on DIY Rock Star Glitter Manicure

  1. Helen
    March 10, 2015 at 5:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow! Beautiful hands!

    Reply
    • Joyce
      March 13, 2015 at 10:34 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Helen!

      Reply
    • Joyce
      March 13, 2015 at 10:34 am (3 years ago)

      Valentina, thanks for stopping by! Hope you can try it!

      Reply
  2. Lourdes @ Tribeloco
    March 13, 2015 at 9:22 am (3 years ago)

    Your nails look fab! Like a rock star’s! Thanks for sharing this tutorial — can’t wait to try it out.

    Reply
    • Joyce
      March 13, 2015 at 10:33 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lourdes! Let me know how it works out – would love to see your pics!

      Reply

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