Okay so I’m always coming up with Moderately Interesting Ideas for nail shit, but I often don’t share them as a “tutorial” here, because they generally require some arcane bit o’ kit — a specific duochrome pigment that you gotta order from a nail supply place, or some weird glass beads …
… but SOMETIMES, I think of a thing that’s pretty fun, and doesn’t require an Extremely Specific Ingredient. Yay! I was digging through my craft stash — okay, one of my craft stashes — and it occurred to me that I could probably reproduce that “sugared fruit” Christmas ornament look on my nails, which would be nifty lookin’ AND pleasingly textured (assuming you enjoy textured nail polish, which I do). LET’S DO IT .
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
* Seche Vite or similar quick-dry clear top coat
* Regular nail polish in the color of your choice, or already-polished nails
* An orange stick or similar for quick cleanup
* A tiny spoon or scoop, like a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon
Okay about the glitter : this ONE TIME, it doesn’t need to be cosmetic glitter, or glitter that’s solvent-stable polyester, or glitter that’s specifically for nails/nail polish. Since you’re not going to be putting it *in* nail polish, it can be regular ol’ cheap craft glitter from Michael’s or wherever! The one I’m using is called “Crystal” and it’s labeled as “Fine” — more technically/precisely speaking, it’s a sheer white, and the flake size is appx .015 inches. You could also use a sheer opalescent if you wanted some magical multicolor shiz happening, but I thought I’d go straight for the “frosted fake fruit” motif.
FIRST, paint your nails as usual. You can do this over literally any base shade, but for maximum “sugar” impact, use a color that’s not suuuuuuuper light, and definitely one that doesn’t already have a lot of sparkle or glitter in it. I’m using a kinda cool-toned khaki shade with some low-key (for me) blue and gold shimmer.
To minimize your chances of gacking up a bunch of your nails, wait until your polish is dry before proceeding. Then, take the cap off your sugar-glitter, position your little spoon/scoop so that you can easily pick it up with one or more wet nails (I placed mine with its handle overhanging the edge of my desk; you could also balance it atop a coffee cup or candle holder or whatever), and, for ease of cleanup and also glitter conservation, plop down a clean sheet of paper to work over — that way when you’re done, you can just fold up the paper and dump the leftover glitter back in the jar.
Now, paint ONE NAIL with a coat of clear fast-dry top coat stuff as neatly as you can, and quickly scrape/squeegee off any that you accidentally get down in the crevices or pooled at the cuticle. Then, get a scoop of glitter, hold your wet fingernail over the paper (over the glitter vial too) and dump that shit all over your nail. Make sure you get it covered completely! Don’t worry about getting it everywhere! It’ll only stick to places you’ve got wet top-coat on! (Which is why you need to be pretty neat with the top coat.) Now turn your finger upside down over the vial or just over the paper and tap/whack it to knock of the excess glitter.
Continue the same process for the rest of your nails. If tend to be as clumsy as I am, you might want to wait about 15 min for the first hand to dry before starting the other hand?
After all your nails are done and COMPLETELY, COMPLETELY DRY, use a small stiff paintbrush or similar (synthetic shadow brush, clean spoolie, etc) to vigorously brush away the excess/loose glitter on the tops of your nails and particularly down the sides of your cuticles. And then you’re done!
IS IT ROUGH AS HELL? YES it is rough as hell! :D However, after a couple of hours, mine smoothed down somewhat to the point that it felt approximately like one of Zoya’s “Ultra Pixie Dust” polishes — you know, not the OG line, but the ones that have bigger glitters added? It’s still nicely gritty-feeling, but not as “holy shit don’t accidentally touch your eyeball owwwwww” as it was at first. And YES, I did try glopping on some top coat to see what would happen :
That’s one layer of my super-thick clear bulking top coat (it’s similar to Gelous) and then Seche Vite … this process both pretty much killed the sugar-frosted effect, AND it didn’t even 100% smooth it out, womp. (It’s still mildly texturey, but now it’s slick and texturey, which is not very much fun.)
NOTE : This is also a potentially useful methodology when you’ve chipped your extant manicure, tried to patch it, and now have a very obvious polish-spackle-job — the glitter-texture TOTALLY obscures any flaws in your finish! Hooray!
TEXTURED NAILS : love or hate? Anything else you’ve ever adhered to them with top coat? (I tried dried oregano flakes once and it looked nasty and smelled even nastier.) (Do not judge me, I am an artist.)