Embrace the ambiance and sparkle of the holiday season with gorgeous glitter nails! Perfect for playing up a lustrous, theatrical look, glitter nail polish is an easy way to add instant brilliance to your festive aesthetic. December nights are full of glamour, vibrancy, and intrigue, and glitter nail polish is the perfect portal through which to tap into the requisite winter mood! Today, we will guide you through applying and removing glitter nail polish so you can achieve the stellar sparkly nail look of the season flawlessly!

How to Apply & Remove Glitter Nail Polish

Your Guide to Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Contents

How to Apply Glitter Nail Polish: 5 Ways of Getting Sparkly Nails
How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish: 4 Glitter Nail Polish Removal Techniques
Glitter Nail Polish Tips & Tricks to Keep in Mind
11 Best Glitter Nail Polishes to Try

How to Apply Glitter Nail Polish: 5 Ways of Getting Sparkly Nails

Glitter lovers have no fear! While glitter nail polish can certainly be more challenging to apply than an opaque, monochromatic shade, there are a wealth of creative and innovative ways to apply your glitter nail polish to achieve a flawless, evenly coated look.

Why is glitter nail polish more difficult to apply? The glitter specks, whether small or large, can impact how the nail polish dries and can promote the formation of clumps and pools of denser polish. The glitter specks can drag the base polish, creating divots and bumps.

Another concern is that many products lack the density of glitter necessary for a truly dazzling look. This subtlety is perfect for daytime wear or the office but can fall short of expectations for a late night nail look.

Unfortunately, applying multiple coats of sparkly nail polish increases the likelihood that clumps and color warp will occur. We advise choosing a lighter glitter nail polish for a subtler, more girlish look, and a more dramatic one for an eye-catching appeal.

Traditional Brush Technique of Applying Sparkly Nail Polish

To best apply your glitter nail polish with a brush, ensure that you are being strategic and patient. This is the most traditional aplication method and is perfect for all those women who want to apply glitter nail polish without a sponge or any other additional tools.

• Your first step should always be applying a base coat to ensure your nails are protected and your glitter manicure lasts longer.

• Instead of lopping on a thick coat of polish, dab the brush along the inside of the bottle and brush the polish on conservatively.

• Let the brush sit for a moment so the excess polish can drip into the bottle. The brush will hold onto the thicker glitter pieces, leaving more to be distributed onto your fingers!

• Sweep the glitter brush over your nails, and if you don’t get the desired opacity, layer it with more glitter.

• Placing too much product on your nails will promote clumping and will create an unattractive and inconsistent appearance. Another method is skipping the above-mentioned step and using a paper towel to soak up some of the excess base, instead.

• Swirl the nail polish brush delicately against the paper towel to soak up the thinner base and to ensure that more glitter remains for your nails. Dab it gently against your nail to transfer the glitter, and repeat this step again and again until you get the perfect dense glitter nails.

• Whichever of the above-mentioned two methods you choose, finish off with a top coat to get a smoother finish.

How to Apply Glitter Nail Polish

How to Apply Glitter Nail Polish Using the Q Tip Method

The Q-tip method of applying glitter nail polish is a sound choice for women with a more skilled hand. The Q-tip method is wonderful because it allows you to reach the cracks and beds of your nails without getting product all over your fingers. It ensures that you will have an even, perfect nail with no excess lining the sides of your nails.

The Q-tip method may leave strays of cotton string on your nail, which you can lightly remove with a pair of tweezers. The Q-tip method of applying sparkly nail polish does involve patience, but the damp cotton will soak up some of the base, allowing you to achieve a thicker glittery consistency on your nails.

• Apply a clear base coat, and a nail polish color of your choice (you can skip the latter step, if you want to achieve a kind of see-through glittery look).

• Wet the Q-tip so it is lightly damp and then dip it into the polish bottle.

• Dab the glitter-loaded Q-tip against your nail to precisely place the sparkly particles, and repeat this step until you achieve the desired density of glitter nails.

• Finish off with a top coat to ensure a longer-lasting wear.

Manicure Stick Technique to Apply Glitter Nail Polish

A manicure stick is time intensive but prevents the mis-application of sparkly nail polish. We don’t want glitter all over our fingers, after all!

A manicure stick ensures that the glitter nail polish remains on the nail and not on the bed or cuticles alongside the nail. This is the perfect technique for precision and for women looking to add designs and patterns to their glitter nail look.

If you want to add strategically placed glitter onto a monochromatic coat, the manicure stick would be our recommendation for creating an even and intentional design.

• As always, first apply a clear base coat, and then the manicure of your choice.

• Dot the glitter nail polish onto a piece of thick paper towel or wax baking paper.

• Dip the manicure stick into the sparkly nail polish liberally and apply to nail. Repeat this step until your nails are completely covered with glitter.

• Seal off your glitter nails with a top coat.

Sparkly Glitter Nails: Tips for Applying Glitter Nail Polish

Applying Glitter Nail Polish Using the Makeup Sponge Technique

One of our favorite innovative ways of applying glitter nail polish? Use a makeup sponge!

Using a makeup sponge to apply sparkly nail polish may take some getting used to but is one of the best ways to get a dense, luscious dose of deep glitter goodness perfect for holidays and special occasions.

We advise a drugstore beauty blender or wedge, which can be purchased in packs of 5 and 10.

• Use a clear coat of nail polish or a monochromatic shade as a base for your nail polish. If you want the glitter to take precedence use a clear coat. This will create a smoother base for your glitter nail polish and will provide a priming effect, holding onto the color for a longer-lasting wear.

• Apply some liquid latex around the edge of your nails so that you avoid a messy look at the end.

• Pat the polish from the nail polish brush onto the edge of the makeup brush. The sponge will absorb the excess base and leave a more concentrated glitter behind.

• Gently dab the glitter-loaded sponge on your nails, going from top to bottom until you completely cover your nails with glitter. You can apply a few layers to get the perfect glitter nails that are dense and fully opaque.

• Once you have removed the latex and cleared the cuticles off of the excess glitter, apply a top coat and you are done!

Loose Glitter Technique to Get Glitter Nails

For a high-octane look, try loose glitter in place of glitter nail polish! This method adds some texture to your nails, and the glitter will catch the light for a disco ball effect.

This application method has the added benefit of being easy to remove excess glitter from the cuticles and fingers. The loose glitter can be removed with a damp paper towel or a manicure stick.

Remember to place some paper underneath your hand in the event of excess glitter falling on your counter space. This technique need not be dramatic. You can also use a loose dusting of glitter to create a sparse and delicate effect.

• Apply a coat of clear nail polish and let it get slightly tacky. You can pair your glitter with either a base coat or a colorful polish of your choice.

• Then dip your nail into the pot of glitter, rolling it back and forth to get the desired amount of glitter. Gently tap your finger to get rid of the excess glitter, and if you feel the need, press the glitter on your nails so that it sticks better.

• There is one more way of applying loose glitter on your nails, so if you don’t like the second step, you can skip it and pass to this one instead. While your base coat or nail polish is still wet, sprinkle a pinch of loose glitter on your nails using your other hand. Tap off the excess glitter, and gently press the glitter against the nails to get an even distribution. If you choose this technique, you should make sure your hands are completely dry as you take a pinch of glitter to avoid a messy look.

• Once you have wiped off all the glitter from the cuticles and your fingers, apply a top coat to create a cohesive look that will endure the whirlwind days and nights of the holiday season.


How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish: 4 Glitter Nail Polish Removal Techniques

Removing glitter nail polish is a challenge because the product is designed with a thicker glue-like substance to hold the glitter pieces and the base polish together. Challenging as it may be, glitter nail polish need not be a lifetime commitment!

Though the hassle of the removal process can be a deterrent for many women, it shouldn’t be! Removing glitter nail polish is a dream with these easy tips.Throw a movie or some music on and turn the removal process into a ball!

Removing Glitter Nail Polish Using the Aluminum Foil Technique

Who would have guessed that kitchen equipment would play a starring role in the beauty arena? All it takes is a few tools and a bit of patience.

• Tear ten pieces of aluminum foil that are roughly four to five inches in length and three inches in width.

• Saturate a cotton ball or pad with acetone nail polish remover and place in the center of each sparkly nail. Acetone, while a little harsher, is the best option for removing the hardier glitter nail polish. It is more intensive and will remove your glitter nail polish faster and more effectively.

• Wrap each piece of tin foil around each nail, ensuring that each cotton pad is fully placed on each nail. The tin foil should be tight enough that it holds the cotton pad in place. Your fingers should look like they are wearing little finger warmers, and the tin foil should be fashioned so it sits around the nail and the first inch of the fingertip.

• Leave on for three to five minutes. Applying a light pressure, pull the tin foil off; dragging the cotton pad off with it. If you want to speed up the process of removing glitter nail polish with aluminum foil, stand in the sunlight or in a warm room.

• Rub off any remaining glitter using a cotton ball and acetone.

• As a final step, always hydrate your nails and apply a nourishing hand cream to repair them.

Makeup Remover Pad Technique to Remove Sparkly Nail Polish

For women who have less time to dedicate to removing their glitter nail polish, there is another way! Using a facial cleansing cloth or pad that has divots allows you to remove the sparkly nail polish using the dual magic of acetone remover and friction.

The texture of the pad will drag the stubborn glitter flakes off of your nails. Exfoliating makeup pads will be your best choice for this method, as the ridges create a natural friction.

• Coat the pads in your acetone remover for a simple and effective glitter nail polish removal technique. Rub it up and down, back and forth your nails as many times as needed until you completely remove the sparkly nail polish.

• Once you get rid of all the glitter, wash your hands with soap and apply a hand cream to repair your nails.

How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish Using the Rubber Band Technique

Don’t have aluminum foil lying around? This cheap and cheerful technique of remivung sparkly nail polish may become your new best friend.

Using mini hair elastics (the kind that comes in a pack of 50-100) is an innovative and simple way to ensure that the acetone-soaked cotton pad achieves its maximum effectiveness. The rubber band will hold the pad down and will ensure that your glitter nail polish dissolves swiftly and neatly.

It works similarly to the aluminum foil technique but without the cutting and shaping element!

• Soak cotton balls in acetone nail polish remover and place one on each of your glitter nails, sliding a hair elastic around to ensure the cotton balls stay in place.

• Wait for some three minutes and remove the cotton balls.

• Take makeup remover wipes and saturate them with nail polish remover to gently remove the remaining glitter from your nails.

How to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

Glue Technique to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

You can take steps to make the glitter nail polish removal process easier before you’ve even applied it.

• Begin by mixing a craft glue like Elmer’s with some water to create a liquidy consistency. You can mix the combination in any container but an empty nail polish bottle is preferable.

• Coat your nails with the mixture and let dry for at least five minutes before applying a clear nail polish. Apply your glitter nail polish using your method of choice.

• When it comes time to take your sparkly nail polish off, the glue will create a barrier between your nail and the glitter nail polish and will make it easier to remove. You can use your acetone nail polish remover and then chip away the remainder with a manicure stick or toothpick.


Glitter Nail Polish Tips & Tricks to Keep in Mind

• Shake your glitter nail polish bottle prior to application to ensure that the glitter fragments are evenly distributed throughout the bottle. We don’t want all of our shiny, sparkly fragments sinking to the bottom out of our reach.

• To prevent the glitter from migrating to the rest of your fingers and cuticles, apply liquid glue, liquid latex, or eyelash glue to the cuticle area. After application the glue will have dried, and you can simply peel it off with the liquid fragments!

• Add complexity to your glitter nails with varying shapes of glitter flakes. Mix up the colors and textures of your glitter nail polish for a dynamic and eye-catching appeal. You can add the various glitters with a manicure stick for a more controlled and even application.

• Create a gradient or ombre glitter nail for an unexpected and playful look. You can use two tones of monochromatic polish followed by a thick coat of glitter along your tips for a creative look or rock an ombre nail with a monochromatic base and a helping of glitter nail polish in a half moon shape along the base of your nail.

• To get a shattered, edgy nail look, apply your glitter nail polish as a base and cover with a slightly translucent monochromatic shade. This will allow the glitter to peak out in a distorted way for an extra dose of edge and eclecticism.

• Glitter nail polishes are not reserved for the bold. By incorporating neutral base colors like grey and beige into your nail polish look, you can play with the glitter nail trend without committing to a radical new nail style. Glitters come in shades of cloud white and baby pink, too, which allow you to indulge your glitter craving in an unassuming way.


11 Best Glitter Nail Polishes to Try

Once you have learnt how to apply glitter nail polish right to create a dramatic, party-ready look, and how to remove sparkly nail polish easily, it’s high time to check out the best glitter nail polishes available now to try your hand at the sparkly nail trend!

1. Smith & Cult Glitter Nail Polish in Shattered Souls

Embrace the golden age with this gorgeous, sumptuous glitter nail polish. Rich, prismatic golden flakes make a wonder-filled first impression and lend themselves seamlessly to the drama and spectacle of the holiday season. While show-stopping in the bottle, this potion is actually designed with a clear base, making it absolutely pairable with a neutral undercoat for a less robust style.

For the punchiest look, ensure you use the manicure stick or beauty sponge techniques to apply this glitter nail polish as we outlined above. Seal with a clear top coat to get the most endurance out of your sparkly mani. Pick it up at Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Smith & Cult Glitter Nail Polish in Shattered Souls

2. Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Candy Shop

A delectable treat at the tips of your fingers! Both sweet and playful, this sugar coated delight will take you from day to night with a feminine flair. A light barbie pink is specked with candy toned blues, greens and reds for a multicolored, dimensional look that will have you craving an ice cream sundae!

Be the most fabulous girl at the party with two coats for maximum glittering gorgeousness. Find this glitter nail polish online at retail giant Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Candy Shop

3. Dior Diorific Vernis Nail Liner

This supernatural concentration of dazzling liquid gold looks like it fell off a spaceship and into our hearts. With a molten mixture of lightly milled glitter flakes, this nail polish is more of a shimmer than a traditional glitter nail polish.

For a unicorn appeal, layer on two coats, letting the sparkly polish dry in between applications. This richly pigmented product will go on in a multidimensional, consistent fashion and has the added benefit of being easy to remove! Pick up this party-ready shade at Nordstrom!

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Dior Diorific Vernis Nail Liner

4. Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in Gold Glitter

As metallic and theatrical as a New Year’s Eve ball, this speckled delight is the perfect companion for late nights on the town, and one of the best glitter nail polishes to add to your manicure collection. The gold flecks are paired with a lustrous, high impact lacquer to ensure that your nail catches the festive city lights.

It comes with a precision angled brush for smooth application and looks beautiful either worn for an effortless dose of glitter or as an accompaniment to a base color. Pick it up at Net-a-Porter!

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in Gold Glitter

5. Nails Inc. Snowglobe Nail Polish in New Globe Walk

Futuristic and marvelously energetic, this sparkly nail polish is part of the Snowglobe collection by Nails Inc. Snow globe you ask? Shake it and you’ll see why, as dense flecks of glitter dance in the translucent base.

Shake your polish to ensure that you are getting a concentrated helping of glitter. This glitter nail polish consists of glitter flecks of varying shapes and sizes for a textured and dynamic nail look. Pick it up at Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Nails Inc. Snowglobe Nail Polish in New Globe Walk

6. Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Across the Universe

Be a siren of the sea with this glittering aquatic gem. With jewel tones of sapphire and emerald, this spectacularly rich glitter nail polish will be an eye catcher when the lights go down. Incorporate the appeal of a mermaid and the shades of a coral reef by applying this glitter nail polish with a makeup sponge or manicure stick to achieve the most concentrated gleaming effect possible. It’s available at Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Across the Universe

7. Yves Saint Laurent Dazzling Lights La Laque Couture Nail Polish in Gold Fire

This sparkly nail polish is chock-full of festive gold confetti! This is one of the best glitter nail polishes for women who want to embrace an intoxicatingly original nail look. Thin strings and piecey flecks of golden glitter create a disco ball and streamer effect for a most delightful seasonal look.

Thinly milled gold shimmer ensures that this nail polish will go on thick and consistent. Using a traditional method like a brush or Q-tip will be sufficient for achieving a phenomenal 5 karat look! You can get a bottle at Nordstrom.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Yves Saint Laurent Dazzling Lights La Laque Couture Nail Polish in Gold Fire

8. Smith & Cult Sparkly Nail Polish in Take Fountain

As any beauty insider knows, rose gold is the It color of the season whether you’re wearing it in your hair or on your nails! This thinly milled rose gold glitter nail polish is perfect for achieving a lush, delicately pretty look with attitude.

The milled glitter creates a supernova effect and results in a concentrated stardust effect on your nails. Pair it with a neutral shade of gray or silver for an additional dose of warmth and vibrancy. It’s available at Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Smith & Cult Sparkly Glitter Nail Polish in Take Fountain

9. Nails Inc Luxe Boho Nail Polish in Notting Hill Lane

Blinded by the light! This glitter nail polish has all the electric beauty of a lava lamp with none of the campy Sixties associations! Breathtaking shades of violet, rose, fuchsia and magenta play well with others as they glitter away in this cosmic concoction.

Apply over a base of nude polish for a mod Factory Girl appeal or as a stand alone polish for a fruit punch look. It’s also available at Net-a-Porter.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Nails Inc Luxe Boho Nail Polish in Notting Hill Lane

10. Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Can’t Be Tamed

Wear your wild gypsy soul on your nails with this fabulous sparkling delight. Laced with honey gold flakes, this glitter nail polish will brighten up your look and will be especially flattering for women with warm skin tones.

This polish is densely concentrated and will allow you to achieve a consistent glittering base. Embrace the prism with this party girl approved shade. It’s available at Net-a-Porter, too.

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Can’t Be Tamed

11. Smith & Cult Glitter Nail Polish in Glass Souls

This shimmering steely shade of icy silver will have the crowds tantalized. Pair it with a white or black nail polish for a hyper-modern, Blade Runner aesthetic or alone for a dazzling disco ball look.

The silver flakes of this glitter nail polish are thick enough that they can be worn subtly over a lighter base polish but look enticingly original with an unexpected base shade like hot pink or azure blue. Pick it up at Net-a-Porter!

Best Sparkly/ Glitter Nail Polishes: Smith & Cult Glitter Nail Polish in Glass Souls

Photos via @thatsotee, @vivaluxuryblog, @zhenya_lit, @lisleary