You are going to need Elmer's glue, scratch paper to do this on, loose glitter, a matching nail polish to your glitter, and clear nail polish. Make sure that your bottle is pretty full, because you're going to need a LOT of coats. Oh, and TIME AND PATIENCE. This is one of the longer tutorials, so I'd say if you wanted to do both of your hands, then this will probably take an hour or more. But for your first time trying this new technique out, I suggest that you only do this to a nail or two at first. For example, your ring finger and your thumb for accent nails. This can be very frustrating if you need to have this nails done in a rush. :p So take your time and have fun with your glitter. ;) Be careful too! Try to only make a mess on the paper that you'll throw away. :D
1. This is not shown because it's explained in the lovely "Glue Base Tutorial", but before I painted my nails, I put some Elmer's glue onto my naked nails. I let that dry clear and then I painted my nails Mint Sorbet by Sally Hansen which is not very similar to my glitter at all. Why would you do something silly like that? Because you can take this mani off in about 5 minutes, that's why. More details in the tutorial. Anyway! I'd advise you NOT to be like me; try to use similar polish to your glitter because just in case you miss a spot, your less likely to notice because the colors are similar.
2. When your polish is dry, do the "Glue Method" again, but this time to the top of your nail. This is going to assure that your glitter will stay on your nail. People have asked me "Can't you just use clear polish?" Yes, you can, but the glitter won't stay on very well and you have the glue around anyway, so might as well as use it. :)
3. Spread the glue around to cover your ENTIRE nail. I just used my other finger. :p It's just white Elmer's glue -- Kids eat it all the time! ;) It'll wash off or you can just rub it off hehe. ;)
4. Your nail should look like this now. Hurry! Move onto step 5 though while the glue is still wet!!!
5. Pour the glitter onto your nails. Oh and just in case you haven't thought of this, do this on a piece of paper! Newspaper, lined paper, construction paper, basically any paper that you can just throw away with the excess glitter on top would be best. ;) Another method of putting the glitter on is just dunking your fingernail into the glitter bottle or a pile of glitter. I was just showing one of the methods you can use. ;) Behind the scenes, I just dunked all my nails hehe!
6. Now your nail should look like this -- Messy and unattractive. Keep on going though! Don't stop here! You're going to want to scrap off the extra glitter around your nail to clean it up. Here is a nice way to clean up, but you don't have to clean up your nails at this very moment if you don't want to.
7. Here is the most important step: Apply coats of clear nail polish. It can be any clear polish but this step is vital. This will make your nails shiny AND make the glitter stay on. And when I say apply 8+ coats, I'm not kidding. So the first time around, just apply the clear coat. Let that dry for about a minute, and apply another. Repeat that process several times. You just want to make sure the glitter won't come off your nail. And pay attention to the next "step.".
Before dipping your clear polish brush back into it's bottle, clean it off. Just "brush" it onto a clean surface of your paper. You DON'T want little glitters floating in your clear nail polish! You'll only have to do this for the first few coats. After about the 3rd, it won't matter because glitter will no longer be coming off.
Here is a close up of my thumb. :) I just scraped the extra glitter off around my nail and you can see that the nail is super sparkly (more sparkle than you'd get with just a regular glitter nail polish) and I made it super shiny with all the clear top coats.
Another photo of the nails. :) I personally think that it looks like you got your nails done in a salon when they use shellac to do glitter nails. But this is so much cheaper and you did them yourself! I had these on for FOUR days by the way. :) So yes, you can shower with them, wash dishes, and anything else that involves getting them wet. I was just getting bored of them after the 4th day, so that why I took them off. And to remove, just PEEL them off. You heard me, I just used my other hands nails and then it should just come off.
And just because we all love glitter -- I used "Ocean" by Recollections. I bought this in a huge set at Michael's. ;)
And I really like my bracelet that matched my nails wonderfully. ;)
So this concludes our tutorial on how to use loose glitter to make some awesome nails! I think this is perfect for dances, parties, or holiday times, but they're just fun and easy (although time consuming) for any time of the year. :) Let me know if you try this out and how it goes, Until Next Time, Your Polish Pal, Jenna :)
Edit (August 7, 2014): I have an updated loose glitter nail art tutorial which you can view HERE.