The first time I tried to do this glass nail art I f*cked it up on a royal level. It took a few attempts to figure out the best way to do it, but that’s sort of a good thing because now I can tell you guys what pitfalls to look out for, and what not to do. I took one for the team!
Glass nail art is basically just made with thin cellophane sheets that you cut up and apply to the nails and it looks like broken glass (or stained glass depending on how you place it) It’s really simple but it gives a super cool effect.
The first step in getting it right is to buy good cellophane sheets. The first pack that I bought were terrible. They were so thin that you could barely cut them up and when they were applied they were nearly invisible. The second pack that I bought are way more expensive, but you do get a ton of them so you can split them up amongst friends if you want, but the thing is that they are actually useable. Who cared how cheap something is if it doesn’t even work right? Right.
Now the application method itself is pretty straight forward, but I’ll walk you through and show you what I learned along the way.
Don’t wait until your nails are painted and damp to start cutting the cellophane into pieces. Learned that lesson the hard way. I also found that placing the tiny cut up pieces on a dark plate helped to keep track of them.
Next you want to do your base coat and two coats of your color polish as usual, and wait until they are about half dry. Then…
When you place the piece down with the tweezer you will notice it sticks to the damp polish pretty readily. There may be a few spots where it doesn’t stick perfectly though and that’s where you want to just gently tap it down with the end of your tweezers. Emphasis on the gently, because the polish is still damp under there and it won’t be cute if the polish is smushed and lumpy underneath…I also learned that the hard way. Don’t come at them with full on silverback gorilla strength like I did the first time, kids. That was a mistake.
Once it has been placed where you want it simple apply a top coat to seal it in. Personally I prefer a thick, glassy top coat so that it smoothes everything over nicely. I used Essie gel setter duh because that stuff is my jam so, duh.
And that’s your glass nail art, done. Simple and really cool and different to look at. Tons of people asked me about them and complimented them this week, which made me feel like a real nail boss I’m not even gonna lie.
I found that with that thick top coat they lasted for about 6 days before the edges of the cellophane started coming up a bit, so that’s pretty good longevity.
You could also get really creative and cut patterns and place them in a stained glass style, or overlap them or make shapes. Endless possibilities, people! Endless!