Sophia Panych, Allure magazine
There is nothing subtle about glitter nails, and that's precisely the point. After years of advocating only the most tasteful glint-more flicker than glare-we've found ourselves besotted with the latest nail craze of mega-size, mirrored flakes in metallic and jewel tones. It's like a trip back to the Palladium circa 1984. And we're totally digging the trend: It's a little rebellious, very luxurious, and gaudy in the best possible way. Here's how to shine on.
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Neat nails are a must. Glitter on ragged nails looks like a kid's art project. Nails should be at least an eighth of an inch long and filed into a soft, round shape. "Glitter looks more feminine that way," says manicurist Jin Soon Choi.
Size matters. Fine glitter looks best on short nails. The longer your nails, the bigger the glitter can get; just apply a thin layer so the flecks aren't too close together. It should resemble stars in the sky, not a disco ball. And avoid glitter in shapes you could find in a box of Lucky Charms.
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Go tone-on-tone. The simplest way to wear the trend is to choose opaque polish that contains the same color glitter. Stick with metallic shades or dramatic hues like deep green, blue, and purple.
Bling out your basic manicure. The other sparkly polishes we love have flecks of glitter suspended in a clear or sheer base. Layer them over a contrasting shade to add glitz. (Don't wear them on bare nails; they look unfinished.) Our favorites: gold over nude and silver over navy.
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Try a gradation of glitter. Once your base color is dry, sweep glitter across the tips. Then, using little strokes, brush some flecks down the length of the nail. "It has a bit of flash without being overwhelming," says manicurist Julie Kandalec.
Don't forget topcoat. "The glitter should shine like a jewel," says Choi, who suggests using a glossy topcoat, such as Jinsoon Top Gloss or Sally Hansen Diamond Flash, and reapplying it after a few days when nails start to look dull.
Tip: To take off glitter, hold a cotton ball soaked in remover on your nail for a full 15 seconds, then swipe.
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