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Glitter nails do it yourself: Make your nails sparkle with these cool ideas for designs!

One of the biggest trends in nail art 2022/2023 is the use of materials other than nail polish to create unique, textured designs. Short or long nails with glitter and stones can be surprisingly sophisticated. A little glitter is really all you need to spruce up an otherwise boring manicure or take your nail art to the next level. Get inspired – we’ll show you pictures of elegant, simple nail designs below. Also learn how to make glitter nails yourself to sparkle on New Year’s Eve!

Make glitter nails yourself – white or red nail designs for New Year’s Eve

Red manicure for New Year's Eve - cool ideas for nail designs

There are two main techniques for applying glitter powder. The first technique results in a nail that is completely covered in glitter and is perfect for special occasions or simply making a bold statement. The second technique results in a more sparse glitter (to a glitter gradient) that creates a really cool effect when applied over color for a wearable everyday look. For a nail design that is stylish and can be worn every day, you can choose French or pink manicures with glitter, for example!

Do it yourself pink glitter nails - tutorial

What you need:

  • Base coat
  • Nail polish
  • Top coat
  • Glitter powder

Before you begin, you should place something on your work surface, such as printing paper, so that you can easily remove the excess glitter and pour it back into the container. As with any manicure, you should remove any nail polish you are currently wearing. Now it’s time for the fun part.

Instructions for technique #1 – glitter everywhere.

Purple glitter nail polish - glitter nails do it yourself

  1. Apply a clear base coat. Make sure to apply it evenly so the glitter sticks to the entire nail!
  2. Dip your nail into the glitter container, lay it flat on the surface and roll it back and forth a bit to cover the sides.
  3. Tap your finger to remove any excess glitter. If you find that the glitter is chunky or not quite even, you can press it down with your fingers.
  4. Glitter will likely get on your cuticles. Be sure to wipe it off so the finished product looks precise. An eyeshadow brush is perfect for this because it wipes off all the glitter without getting it on your other hand’s fingers or dirtying your nails.

Instructions for technique #2 – a little glitter.

Glitter nails do it yourself - white or red nail designs for New Year's Eve

  1. Apply a clear base coat and color, just like you would for a regular manicure. You can use a very light pink or purple, as mentioned above, but darker or brighter colors – black and neon, for example – look great too.
  2. While the polish is still wet, take a pinch of glitter with your other hand and sprinkle it on the nail.
  3. Tap off the excess and wipe the cuticle clean.
  4. Make sure the nails on one hand are completely dry before painting the nails on the other hand.

Glitter nails do it yourself - neon color as a trend

Apply top coat:

Repeat these steps for the rest of your nails. Or leave it alone and just do a few nails that shimmer. The choice is yours. After applying the glitter, we recommend at least two coats of top coat to get a really good seal and smooth texture. Be sure to proceed carefully to avoid wiping off glitter pieces as you apply.

Glitter nails do it yourself with nail polish

Golden nail polish - trends 2023

You can beautify your square, oval or stiletto nails with a new design. Take a makeup sponge (you should not use an expensive beautyblender, a cheap makeup sponge is also suitable for this purpose). The quality doesn’t matter much here. You just need the texture of the sponge to soak up the polish and get the glitter.

Black nails with glitter - ideas and pictures

To get a full glitter manicure, it is important to use a high quality nail polish. If you use a cheap nail polish that is more tacky than glittery, it will take forever to get the right effect.

Nail polish trends 2023 - beautiful glitter colors

Opt for affordable, classic nail polishes or spice up your look with a holographic nail polish. A dramatic silver holo glitter nail polish or a super chic gold holo glitter nail polish will make this manicure festive.


Once you’ve chosen a glitter nail polish, add it to the edge of the sponge and dab it onto your nails. You will probably only need one coat.

Matte nails with glitter

Homemade matte nails with glitter

One of the easiest ways to create an eye-catching nail design is to combine matte nail polish with glitter. Enhance a cool matte manicure with matching accent nails. Want to make it really pop? Use a matte top coat over your glitter nail polish.

Nail pro tip: It’s especially important to use a high-quality matte top coat and take your time. If you miss spots or don’t use a full coverage polish, it will quickly look like a messy mix of gloss and matte.

Idea for glitter gradient

Create nail design at home - tips

There are several ways to do faded glitter nails. You can use a sponge to create a faded effect, but you can also use the good old brush.