My Favorite Glittery Nail Polish

If Pinterest is correct, then I think this is how you’re supposed to photograph your nails for polish-related posts, right?

Hi friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. As you might know, I was away at Alt Summit this past week, and just returned home last night after an extremely long day of travel. So first let me start this post by admitting that I am only somewhat conscious as I type this. Now that that’s out of the way…

I have to now confess that I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to fingernails. I do not consider myself to be a nail art pro by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve had a professional manicure fewer times than I have fingers on my right hand (or left hand for that matter), and I’m still not really sure what cuticles are…even though I get the sense that they are bad and I’m not supposed to have them. An actual nickname of mine is “man-hands.” In any case, I do like to throw on a coat of polish every once just to surprise people…and myself, and tried on a couple new ones before my trip to Alt. I was surprisingly happy with how they turned out, and ended up getting so many compliments and questions about my nails during my trip (so flattering) that I figured the topic would make a good post for my first day back (am I right, or did you leave already? Hopefully you’re still here).

So, anyhow…this isn’t really a how-to for painting your nails with detailed kitten faces or anything of that sort, but rather a recommendation for a few great polishes that I love. Again…I’m not a pro. For my sparkly nails here, I first applied a coat of silver “Trixie” by Zoya, let it dry completely and then applied a coat of “Set in Stones” by Essie. I finished the whole thing off with “Double Duty Base & Top Coat” by Sally Hansen. Possibly the best thing about this combination is how chip-friendly it is. Even when little flakes eventually come off, you can’t really tell because it all just blends in with the super glitteryness of it all. Case in point: these photos were taken this morning…five days after painting them (with the wear and tear of travel and a conference to boot)!

My daughter has also used the “Set in Stones” by Essie on top of black and colorful polishes and the effect is gorgeous. The one caveat that I would actually feel bad about not mentioning, is that it is the pits to take off (I don’t put things in bold all that often, but this warrants it). For some reason those tiny specks of glitter hang on for dear life, and you just might need a chisel to release their hold. Obviously that hasn’t kept me from using it…in fact it will probably remain a favorite of mine for months to come, but at least I’ve done my part to keep you fully informed. Do you have a favorite polish that you can’t get enough of? I’d love to tuck it away in my to-try file for the next time ol’ man-hands needs to dress up. xox Ez

P.S. The other colors shown on the paper above are: Licorice by Essie, Gargantuan Green Grape by OPI, and Sunrise Skies by Piggy Polish (purchased at Ulta).

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  1. indreams / / Reply

    piggy polish! i love them! (we carry them at the store i work at, but i don't remember "sunrise skies" so i'll have to look out for that…) these ideas are awesome, ez! :)

  2. Christina / / Reply

    I love glitter nail polish, too. So SPARKLY! I've found that the easiest way to get the glitter off is to take a cotton ball with nail polish remover and just hold it against the nail for a couple of minutes and then slide off the cotton ball… no rubbing or lifting. There's lots of tutorials on the web!

  3. Nicole / / Reply

    My favourite method for removing glitter polishes (nearly all I wear) is similar to Christina's. But instead of just holding the cotton ball there, you can make it even easier, if it's a really stubborn chunky glitter.

    Try soaking a cotton pad (or ball, but pads are easier) in remover (pure acetone for preference, I always have it around for crafts anyway), then pressing it to your nail and making a little foil sleeping bag around the tip of your finger. Acetone evaporates rapidly which is why it feels like it's never penetrating. The foil holds the acetone on until it can soak through the glitter. After about a minute you just slide the entire contraption off your finger and it comes off all in one smooth swipe!

  4. Kendra / / Reply

    I loooove glitter nail polish. I'm really into the OPI Liquid Sand polish right now, it's so weird and hard to describe but it's kind of matte until the light hits the glitter. Getting it off really is annoying, but I like to do what Nicole suggested with the cotton balls and foil – it has always worked well for me.

  5. Ash / / Reply

    I just saw a gold combo of the same sort over on pinterest and I fell in love!! And the silver is so nice too.

  6. Krisztina Williams / / Reply

    I love this post!! My daughters and I do our nails all the time and they always want more glitter for the top coat. We've yet to find one glittery enough, but the one you've shown looks perfect!

  7. Sandi / / Reply

    Love the silver glitter! In the past six months I rediscovered my love for nail polish and have taken it to extremes. I have too many to have just one favorite, but one of the top would be For Audrey by China Glaze, especially when it's topped by a big gold glitter – not thick, just large pieces.

    To remove glitter polish, you really need acetone. It takes off regular polish in a few seconds, and glitter in a minute or so. I take a large cotton ball, unroll it, cut it into fingernail sized pieces, then dip it in the acetone place it over all of the nails on one hand. Make sure it's saturated – don't press on the cotton. After a minute or so, try sliding the cotton off. If it sticks, dip it in a little more acetone and wait a bit longer. Eventually it will come right off. I like to keep a little acetone in a baby food jar so I can dip into it.

  8. lyann / / Reply

    The caption for the first picture-too funny!
    I love the combo. I also love essie's nail stickers. They last forever.

  9. Monica / / Reply

    I love the glitter polish! 'Set in Stones' is such a cute name. How do people come up with the perfect names? A tip with the glitter polish removal, I use a clear base coat first and do a few coats of the color, and then when I want to take the nail polish off, its a bit easier than without the base coat.. but still usually a pain and a half.

    I'm loving my oxblood nail polish from OPI right now [I forget the name!!], and any metallic colours!


  10. Pauline / / Reply

    My favorite is the green grape topped with sparkles. I'm a sucker for anything green / mint right now. I do have an unopened bottle of silver glitter, too (from the Korean brand Face Shop) but the difficulty of taking it off kinda holds me back from using it. Thanks for posting this… makes me want to try it now!

  11. Leanda / / Reply

    LoL! On many fronts this post makes me laugh. I too have had less manicures than fingers on one hand. Toenails I paint, fingers I don't for the pure reason the damn stuff comes off faster than you can say 'acetone'. But I'm inspired to give it a try now :) x

  12. Melissa de la Fuente / / Reply

    No detailed kitten faces?!!! :) I LOVE it hun and how in love am I with "Sunrise Skies"?! Love….and you know I LOVE me some glitter! This is a great way to go!
    ps you do NOT have man hands. So there.

  13. Stephanie / / Reply

    Yes! Salon manicures are so overrated! Your house smells way better, and you can watch a movie or something while they dry! My favorite glitter is a chunky gold one by Milani. I've worn it on my ring fingers paired with mint, coral, and plum. You're inspiring me to go silver now, though!

  14. Casey / / Reply

    I love glitter polish! Expecially when it has different sizes mixed together like the one you show. Do you ever use your "Double Duty" as base coat? I never use a basecoat but I'm wondering if it would help to prevent chipping. My favorite colors lately are an Essie metallic dark gray (almost black) and a Revlon gold. I also love Sally Hansen brands.

  15. Reina / / Reply

    Gorgeous silver sparkles! Read a great tip on Pinterest, if you only need the glitter polish on for a night, paint a layer of pva glue before the polish – you can then peel off all the layers in one go. It really does work, but you have to be a little careful as you can lose a whole 'nail' in a split second!

  16. Megan of Dressed By Style / / Reply

    Hi Ez! great post, especially the bit about trying to get the glitter off! I can SO relate to that! I've got the gold glittery polish which is gorgeous, but I'll get the silver one for our winter season in a few months. I think putting the nail polish on paper with the hand written notes is fab!!

  17. Lucía / / Reply

    I hear you… I once tried this thing I saw on pinterest, a diy nail polish where you mix clear top coat, eye shadow powder and some glitter… the flecks wouldn't come off for the life of me!

  18. Trude E. / / Reply

    It turned out so pretty! Glitter polish is definitely good when you don't want to show wear and tear. :) I have a polish addiction, I figure its cheaper than shoes and easier to keep up than hair color! ;) A go-to fave of mine is Butter London's HRH, its the perfect royal purple with a slight shimmer, even if I hate their short and puny applicator handle thingy!

  19. Heather / / Reply

    Try using glue as a base for glitter, Elmer's school glue and then you can peel it right off!

  20. helen h / / Reply

    well I'm intrigued by everyone saying 'you must have acetone'…when I used to wear nail varnish all the time I only ever used acetone nail varnish remover, yet used to struggle with glitter polish. Then one day I got an unexpected nail job sat on a sunny pavement outside the Body Shop (before they were owned by Nestlé, le sigh) and the woman used some hippy-dippy non-acetone nail varnish remover and WHOOSH! off came the glitter! I was astonished. So I was going to suggest that you shop around for a hippydippy 'kind to nature' type remover. but I like the suggestions for making your acetone work harder, maybe that's all it takes. and perhaps nowadays (ten years at least since that sunny day in Edinburgh) glitter nail varnish behaves differently anyway.

  21. Valerie / / Reply

    EZ! This is amazing. I tried it last Sunday and I can say that as I sit here typing this, after a week of teaching 4th grade (aka extreme hand washing), scrubbing my apartment (what's a girl to do while snowed in?), and digging my car out of knee deep snow (plus part of the enormous mound so thoughtfully parked in front of my parking space by the snow plow, sigh) my nails still look great! Thank you for a great idea :)

  22. Tahara / / Reply

    Im a bit of a polish fanatic and love these combos-looks more exciting than plain polish. And yes the glitter is a bear to get off-get yourself the remover that comes in a jar -100% acetone – and it has plastic bristles and you put your finger into jar and comes off fairly easy with the bristles and acetone doing the work.

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