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37 Sparkling, Showstopping Glitter Nail Designs To Try ASAP

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When it comes to nail art, we’re firm believers that there are no rules. Neons, three-dimensional nail appliques, rhinestones—you name it, we’re here for it. And when you add a sprinkle (or heap) of glitter nail polish to the mix, we’re instantly obsessed. There’s so much to love about glitter nail designs. They’re eye-catching, attention-grabbing, and undeniably gorgeous (we could watch our glitter nails shine in the sun for hours, tbh), and they’re always on-trend, too.

Celebrity nail artist Queenie Nguyen, says, “I love that glitter nails are festive, fun, and long-lasting. They are quite versatile nowadays, and one can choose to go all out or rock them subtly.” Nguyen doesn’t see glitter nails disappearing anytime soon, whether they’re in the form of glitter ombré, glitter French tips, glitter stars and snowflakes, or accent nails. Like something more minimal? Nguyen has also been seeing glitter outlined around solid nail colors for a more chic and unique effect. There you have it, glitter is versatile and if you haven’t tried it, now’s your time to shine. Keep reading for the 40 best glitter nail art ideas that’ll have you gleaming through the year.

About the Expert:

Queenie Nguyen is a celebrity and editorial nail artist based in Los Angeles, California. Her A-list clients include big names like Halsey, Constance Wu, Kate Hudson, Saoirse Ronan, and more.

1. Midnight Magic

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It doesn’t need to be spooky season for this witchy-meets-glam manicure by creator Vivian W to capture our spirits. We love the use of silver and charcoal glitter polish scattered over nails and concentrated at the tip for a sparkling ombre effect—and with mini white moons and stars, it’s the perfect mani for countless magical nights. (Want inspo for Halloween? Check out our spookiest nail looks!)

2. Pink Glitter Nails

Two classic nail looks—nude-pink polish and a stiletto shape—are taken to the next level with super sparkly, glitter tips by Emily Jane Beauty. It might be best to leave this one to your nail tech, but if you dare to DIY, use a thin paintbrush to paint deep inverted-V’s onto each nail, then fill them in to your nail tips with glitter-packed color. (Check out the Best Nude Nail Polishes for Your Skin Tone to find your forever nude polish.)

3. Silver Linings

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Need a reminder to look on the sparkly sides of things? This pretty pink mani with silver lines by Luca Linda will do the trick. Gorgeous on short nails, long nails, and every shape in between—it’s one of the most versatile nail looks on our list. Even better? It’s so easy to create. Choose any nail color base you love (like SUNDAYS Nail Polish in No. 6), then use a thin paintbrush to outline your nails with a glittery, silver polish.

4. Champagne and Confetti

We’re always in the mood to celebrate—holidays, birthdays, random Tuesdays—and this champagne-flecked mani by Katie Dutra guarantees we’ll keep the party going. Champagne goes with just about every makeup or outfit look, and when you add some confetti to the mix, it’s a go-to for every occasion.

5. Baby Pink and Gold Glitter

Whether you love it or hate it, baby pink nails are a classic. And we’re pretty sure this glitter-tipped version by juw_nail will gain countless pink nail converts. The best part about it? It gives your nails that chic French mani effect without the need for precision. Just use your brush to polish the tips of your nails with glitter (it’s OK if it strays onto your nail beds–it just looks prettier!) and add another coat to build up color. A layer or two of clear topcoat (like MISCHO BEAUTY Nail Duo in Topcoat and Unbothered, if you like options!) seals it all in and you’re done!

6. Ice Vibes

Channel your inner ice queen all winter, or manifest chill vibes all summer with this white and blue glitter mani by Szabo Esztella. Just use a stark or frosty white polish like PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Ice Queen all over your nails, then concentrate your glitter nail polish near your cuticles (like an opposite French!). Pull color downward toward the center of your nails, keeping it sheer and light, and finish with a two coats of clear.

7. Hearts and Sparkles

This adorable pink heart glitter mani by tripled_dips gives us all the romantic vibes. For a look that’ll make your heart flutter, reach for a super shiny pink glitter polish mixed with colorful flecks (like gold, silver, and purple) to fully coat each nail. Then, use nail decals (like MISS BEAUTY Nail Bling) or an opaque pink polish to paint on your hearts wherever you please.

8. Crown of Gems

Once look at this royally gorgeous glitter nail design idea by Allie Reese and we were ready to binge The Crown all weekend. If you love a little (or a lot) of bling, this gem-topped mani is for you. Keep your base minimal with a light nude or clear polish, then paint the tips of your nails in a coat of glitter gold polish. Use nail glue to scatter rhinestones and gems across the tips of your nails, then lock it all in with a clear top coat.

9. Blue Bling

Blue is more than just an always-buzzy nail color, it’s the perfect base for getting creative with your nail looks. If you're new to color, blue is an easy intro. If you add some sparkle like Convoite Nails here, you’re already in the big leagues. Start with a baby or powder blue base (we also like PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Wanderlust to brighten things up), paint a line of deep blue straight across, then fill in the tips with the most glittery clear polish you can find (Bonus points if it’s mixed with icy white and blue glitter!).

10. Pink Clouds

For days when daydreaming is all you want to do, or when you need a reminder to reach beyond the clouds, this beautiful pink cloud mani will be your inspo. Use white polish (or cute cloud nail decals) to paint tiny clouds onto as many nails as you like. Then, use a pink-champagne glitter polish all over a few of your nails—it makes the perfect accent nail for a hint of glam.

11. Glitter Halos

Remember that silver-lining mani above? This one by gelpolish_bar takes it up just a notch with a full halo of glittery silver. Use a thin paintbrush to paint all around the inner perimeter of your nail–it doesn’t need to be perfect to pop–-then, apply two coats of clear. Don’t love silver? This halo nail design will be just as eye-catching in gold, pink, purple, or any color you love. (Check out 10 Best Glittery Nail Polishes for Sparkly Nailsi for more inspo!)

12. Cosmic Waves

For a mani that’s light-years beyond gorgeous, try this stellar look by Freya Murphy featuring milky white and glittering black galaxies dotted with shimmering stars. You’ll need that trusty thin paintbrush to create tiny plus signs for your stars, and to outline and fill in your shapes with nail color. It’s an out-of-this-world nail design idea that’s easier to create than it looks.

13. Rainbow Stripe

OK, who doesn’t love a side of rainbow with their mani? In this case, it takes center stage with ombre blue, orange, and mint green covering each nail. The trick to that cool negative space shimmer? Use a clean, thin brush dipped in nail polish remover to swipe down the center of each nail, then add a thin coat of gold glitter in its place. It’s a modern rainbow mani for any time of year.

14. Fallen Snow

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We’re obsessed with this glitter manicure for two reasons. First, it’s like a winter wonderland snowglobe on your fingers (and giving us all the cozy, snowy vibes). Second, it’s so easy to recreate, and chances are you already own everything you need. Check out the tutorial above from manicurist Hannah Lee to see for yourself.

15. Barely-There

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If your idea of glitter nail art is over-the-top, think again. This look from Stephanie Loesch proves that even glitter can be minimal. To recreate this soft shimmer look at home, try PEOPLE OF COLOR Nail Polish Duo in Rodeo Drive & Makeda. Madeka has the perfect subtle iridescent sparkles, and Rodeo Drive would pair perfectly as a pedicure.

16. Holographic Hues

On the complete other end of the glitter nail design spectrum lives this holographic dream from editorial nail artist Steph Stone—and we’re here for it. Start with a couple coats of glittery silver as a base, then layer on some rainbow foils to get this color-shifting looks.

17. Shimmery (Faux) Snakeskin

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We’re calling it: faux snakeskin is the new cheetah print. Watch as Lee takes you through the step-by-step to recreate her glittery snakeskin nail art. It looks intricate, but we promise it’s much easier to do than it looks.

18. Monochrome French

Like every other beauty trend from the ‘90s, the French manicure is having a major comeback. We love editorial nail artist Miss Pop’s colorful, glittery take on the trend. It’s stunning in this lilac shade, but the best part is that you can recreate it with any colors in your nail polish stash. All you need is a solid polish then a glitter in the same color family.

19. Shimmer Swirls

It’s got shimmer! It’s got red! It’s got organic swirls! This negative-space, swirly look from nail artist Kesang Gurung has everything we love from a glitter nail design. Dot a bright red shade (like COMPLEX CULTURE Get Set Nail Polish in Hustle) in random spots across all your nails, then take a striping brush (those skinny, long nail art brushes you’ve seen at the salon) in a gold glitter to drag swirls around the red. We love COMPLEX CULTURE Get Set Nail Polish in Dream.

Three shades of COMPLEX CULTURE nail polishes against sparkly gold background

20. Confetti Sparkles

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This glitter nail design gives a whole new meaning to the party nail. For those of us that are really into glitter, this design—which uses both small glitter and jumbo confetti flecks—will be right up your alley.

21. Rose Quartz

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Meet the new marble nails: rose quartz. This design from COLOR CAMP proves that you really can have it all when it comes to nail art. Cool, trendy designs (like rose quartz) and glitter (thanks to the flecks of gold foil scattered around the design).

22. Shooting Stars

Stone does it again with the glitter looks. The trick to this multidimensional design is to really layer on the glitters. Start with a small silver glitter, add a coat or two of something a bit chunkier, and even glue on a few shimmery star rhinestones, like Stone did here.

23. Blush Pink

Manicurist Vanessa Montoya knows how to use glitter sparingly. While airbrushed tips and graphic lines are the star of the show on most of the nails, bold flecks of gold complement the other designs perfectly.

24. Pearl Accents

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French-style tips, gold glitter, pearls—another glitter nail design from Lee that delivers it all. This nail art takes a little patience and some extra tools (like nail glue, a sponge, and tweezers), but it’s totally worth it.

25. Molten Tips

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Nail artist Sigourney Nuñez managed to create a completely new French nail design, and we can’t look away. Start with a shimmery gold along your tips (like you would with any French manicure). Once it’s completely dry, layer on a bit of clear polish—lash glue also works— and press on some gold foil. 

26. Holo Drips

Miss Pop’s glittery design is total holographic magic. Start with a few coats of a holographic polish (make sure it dries in between each coat to get full glitter coverage), then paint on pastel drips across your tips. We recommend switching to a small nail art brush to make the detail work much easier.

27. Rainbow Fade

Just when we thought we’ve seen every rainbow nail art imaginable, Stone comes through with this ombré rainbow jelly fade that gives us complete heart eyes. We will be bringing this image as inspo to our next mani appointment.

28. Matchy-Matchy

Miss Pop flipped and reversed the monochromatic glitter mani from above to bring this cuticle moment that we love. Stick with blues to recreate her design exactly, or swap out any color you’re loving at the moment. We’re currently obsessed with deep green, like the LAW BEAUTY ESSENTIALS Nail Polish in Net Worth How Much.

29. Purple Tips

Not only do these pointy talons feature opaque purple glitter, but they have a pop of polish on the flip side, too. How cool is that? This style is tough to do on natural nails without getting nail polish all over your fingers. Instead, try some press-on nails. Paint both sides before gluing them to your nail bed. As the nail artist noted, she had to apply multiple layers of purple glitter to get it this opaque, so try Nguyen’s trick instead! (Love press-ons? Check out our 18 Best Press-On Nails!)

30. Sandy Coral

Glitter doesn’t have to just be for a festive occasion! Sure, gold and silver often give off a holiday vibe, but a pastel hue with a glitter top coat feels fresh for summer. This peach color already has glitter built into the polish, but to recreate the color at home, you can use any pastel shade and pop a gold glitter nail polish on top. It’s so easy and you can use a different nail polish each time. You can even try matte nails with glitter on top for a mix of cool textures.

31. Butterfly Nails

Colorful butterfly-accent nails just got even more fairytale-like with iridescent glitter. Here, there are multiple types of butterflies, crystals, ombré nails, and also clear tips. If you create an intricate nail art design and you feel like it’s missing something, try adding a swipe of iridescent glitter. This type of glitter is easier to use because it doesn’t have to be layered multiple times to get the look. It’s supposed to be a bit sheer and looks pretty that way.

32. Iridescent Flecks

Pastel nails get a glam update for spring with glitter on top. These lavender coffin nails would look great on their own but look even better with chunky glitter. The nail artist applied multiple layers of glitter on top of the lavender polish (like COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Can You Not?) to ensure the glitter really shows up. If you notice too many chunks concentrated in one area, use a toothpick to move the chunks around and get a perfectly even distribution.

33. Accent Nails

Shorter, square nails aren’t boring at all in this blue color with glitter accents. This nail artist painted all her nails the same blue nail color and added glitter to two fingers. You can do this with pretty much any color and you’ll have glitter nail art done in just a few minutes. Because darker nail colors make cuticles stand out, apply a cream or oil to each finger and it’ll look like you got a professional mani.

34. Snowy Tips

Looking for white nail art ideas for a wedding or graduation? This glitter accented mani is pretty and easy to create. Here, every other nail is stark white (like TINCT COSMETICS Nail Polish in Bilbao) and the opposite nails have silver glitter. Plus, they added Swarovski crystals to the white nails to up the glam factor. To get the most opaque white nails, you’ll have to add three or more layers. Be sure to let each dry a little before the next layer. This way, you won't be able to see your natural nails underneath. This looks great on long acrylic nails or short natural nails.

35. Barbie Nails

Bright pink never looked so fun! Instead of pastel, try a vibrant Barbie pink shade with a lighter or darker pink glitter on top for a fun spin on spring and summer nails. We love how instead of one accent nail, they chose to paint two with contrasting glitters. It really makes the pink pop. To get the brightest Barbie pink imaginable, prime your nails with a stark white shade first. This will ensure the color in the bottle is the color that shows up on your nails. (Check out our Best Pink Nail Polishes for everyone.)

36. Jelly Nails

Gradient jelly nails are similar to ombré nails, but often use two contrasting colors blending into each other. Here they used orange for the base, pink for the tips, and added chunky glitter on top. You can recreate the look using the sponge method. Start with the lower shade (the orange, here) and paint about halfway up each nail. Wait until they dry. Then, stamp the contrasting color up towards the tips. Add glitter when dry and finish with a top coat to seal it all in.

37. Subtle Shimmer

If you don’t think glitter nail art is for you because it’s too bold or has more bling than you’re used to, try a natural nail color close to the shade of your skin. The look is always classy no matter the hue. Nude glitter looks chic on short nails but you can rock the look on long talons, too. With a color this light, you don’t have to worry about getting the color as opaque. It looks great when it’s a little sheer, too.

Want more eye-catching nail art inspo and products to create them? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram @IPSY.

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About the author
Elizabeth Denton
Elizabeth is a freelance beauty writer. Previously, she was a beauty & fashion editor at Time Out New York, Seventeen, & Allure. She has more than a decade of experience in the beauty and fashion world, writing for Nylon, StyleCaster, Cosmopolitan & more.
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Article Last Updated November 15, 2022 12:00 AM