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Glass Manicure Tutorial | Video

DIY the Hottest Nail Trend on the Internet: The Glass Manicure

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Shattered-glass manicures are taking over Instagram and nail salons alike. Like many trends these days, the look originated in South Korea by Eunkyung Park, owner of Unistella Salon in Seoul, and has caught fire online due to the reflective finish of cellophane strips and the architectural design.

There aren't many tutorials out there that show you how to re-create the look at home, mostly due to the fact that they should be done with gels. "It has to be done with gel, or else it will peel off," says Fariha Ali, an LA-based nail artist — and my personal nail guru. She explains how the look will last longer with gels, saying, "You have to put a layer of clear structure gel to encapsulate the cellophane before the top coat." Fariha suggests you can use holographic tape to achieve the look as well, but it needs to be a thin material — nothing too thick or chunky.

But who am I as a beauty reporter if I can't figure out an easy, at-home version of this look? Sure, I have my own gel manicure kit. But not everyone else is a crazy nail lady, such as myself. After testing various methods — using nail foil, layering cellophane, trying holographic duct tape — I found a way to achieve this look so it's not only gorgeous but also easy to achieve, and it doesn't require a trip to the salon.

Take my advice and buy nail transfer adhesive. This isn't nail glue that is used on acrylics or to adhere 3D nail art; it's not a resin, either. It is used to transfer stickers or foil to the nail, is super thin, and isn't damaging, either. It dries clear and will hold your cellophane strips down right after applying them.

To keep the look set, first apply a topcoat with resin in it, then a topcoat for a glass finish. Mine have lasted five days without lifting (thus far)!

Check out the video to learn how to get the look for yourself!

Products used:

  • Nailing Hollywood Nail Lacquer in Denim and Vinyl Gel Top Coat (
    Available at Bed Bath & Beyond in November 2015)
  • Nail transfer adhesive
  • Cellophane
  • Tweezers
  • Dotting tool
  • Cina Top Coat
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