Whether you call them glitter gels or rockstar nails, there's no denying that the smooth, glassy finish of this gel style is to die for. They're super easy to do -- all you need is your gel foundation and topcoat, plus a loose glitter of your choice.
Rockstars are fun, whether you're wearing them as a full manicure like this or using them as an accent to nail art. They have great staying power, and DAT SPARKLE! Read on to learn how to get this gel look for yourself.
I was taught this rockstar method in nail school. Some of the students there had previously learned different methods, so there are other ways to do these, but I think this process produces the best (and sparkliest) results.
- Prep your nails for a gel manicure. Push back your cuticles, remove any dead tissue from the nail plate, buff your nails, and cleanse with a nail cleanser solution and a lint free wipe.
- Apply your gel foundation/base, and cure in your LED or UV lamp. Curing time will depend on your lamp type and product of choice.
- Apply another coat of gel foundation. DON'T cure.
- Sprinkle loose glitter over the wet gel. I like to do this over a piece of paper or a small paper cup so I can put the extra glitter back into the jar afterwards. Lightly tap your nails to remove any excess glitter, but remember that the nails aren't cured yet!
- Pop your nails into the lamp and cure.
- Using a nylon brush or other stiff bristled brush, brush away any glitter that did not get cured into the base gel. You can be pretty vigorous with this, as most of the glitter should be cured onto the nail.
- Apply one coat of gel topcoat and cure.
- Cleanse the sticky layer off of your nails, and then use a fine grit buffer (240 or higher) to lightly buff the gritty glitter smooth. Cleanse off any dust that you generated.
- Finish with a final coat of topcoat to bring back the shine. Cure and remove the sticky layer.
I know it looks like a lot of steps, but rockstars are SO easy once you get the hang of it.
Your options are endless when it comes to choosing a glitter to use. You don't need to use cosmetic grade or solvent resistant glitter, because it won't have a chance to bleed into the gel. At school, we used the Recollections glitter sets from Michaels (don't forget your coupon!). This manicure features Artiglio by Sarah Bland's "Heather" glitter.
Just keep in mind that finer glitters usually produce better results (and they're easier to work with, too).