35 Glitter Nails to Make Your Next Manicure Sparkle

35 Glitter Nails to Make Your Next Manicure Sparkle featured image
Mooncat / IG: melly.k.nails

A good glitter never goes out of style. And these days there’s the data to back that up as the tag has over 2.1 billion (with a b) views on TikTok. The app is all about beauty experimentation and creativity, so it isn’t necessarily surprising that glitter nails have seen such a strong resurgence on the platform. According to Gitnux’s 2024 market data report, 40 percent of women are choosing a glitter polish for parties and events. That’s causing another major surge in shimmer designs.

Even Shaq is a fan of some good glitter, saying he gets sparkle and glitter pedicures frequently.

According to Sally Hansen global partner Sigourney Nuñez, this year is going to be dominated by glitter. “Things like the color pink, pastels and lace, have previously been associated with being too girly,” Nuñez explains. “But now there’s a shift in power and reclamation. It’s 2024’s version of girl power. Some of my favorite new pink shades this season are Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Party of Hue ($13) and Pink an Outfit ($13). To take the colors up a notch, you can layer a coat of Affair to Remember ($13) to give it a dewy, pearlescent and glowy finish.” 

It’s clear that sparkle isn’t just for kids, and there’s no end to how you can dress up and inject elegance into a good set of glittery nails. And don’t let the name trip you up—these days, a good shimmer comes in dozens of different exact formulations, from a Barbiecore chunky glitter to a fine holographic shine. We’re talking about taking the French manicure into the modern world. Whether you’re looking for a statement, eye-catching mani or a subtle, shimmery look, these are the grown up glitter designs inspiring our next salon appointment.

Shape Tips

Glitter and shimmer are the kind of accent that compliments any nail shape, but there are definitely some standouts. If you’re looking to up the elegance, longer nail tips like almond or oval are a great way to establish a refined look.

“The oval shape features gently curved sides and a rounded tip, like the shape of an egg,” explains Charlotte Knight, nail tech and founder and CEO of Ciate London. “Unlike an almond shape, the oval shape tends to have a broader and a duller rounded tip.”

Longer looks, like coffin and ballerina nails, prioritize drama over practicality. That makes them the perfect platform for a truly eye-catching shimmer. You also have more real estate to work with, allowing for bolder designs and more dramatic halo results.

Grown Up Glitter Nails

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Mermaidcore French

Dive in to the summer with this aquatic set of shimmer nails that balance a nearly turquoise bright blue-green with a glitter that looks almost yellow in light.

Aqua French Nails
IG: madnails
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Buildable Shimmer

Used as a top coat or on its own for a smooth, frosted shimmer, Our Holy Night from Après Nails lets you build the exact amount of glitter and pigment you want.

glitter nails
Courtesy of Après Nails
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A Hint of Glimmer

Sometimes the best way to use sparkle is minimally. This abstract and fresh manicure establishes the perfect balance between a creative mood and a touch of luxe.

Glitter Nails
IG: denver_manic
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Barbie Girl

Glitter is for grown ups, and so is Barbie. If you’re like us, and haven’t totally abandoned the Barbiecore moment, then this chunky glitter, Y2k-inspired mani is just for you.

IG: julieknailsnyc
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Silver Spark

We all know there’s nothing quite as elegant as the all-white manicure, but you can take elegance to a place of glamour and experimentation with a spark of silver glitter. Choose just a few nails to create contrast.

Glitter Nails
IG: denver_manic
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Galaxy Glitter

Glitter over a black background has a uniquely galactic effect, and the holographic glitter shifting between purple and blue is out of this world.

Glitter Nails
IG: denver_manic
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Matte and Glitter Glam

Don’t be afraid to play with opposites. The bold statement of a packed glitter alongside a solid matte creates a unique manicure that can easily transition from day to night.

Glitter Nails
IG: denver_manic
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Dipped in Gold

Go further than the French tip with this enrapturing gold-dipped mani that lets sparkle drift perfectly along the nail for an enchanting effect.

IG: nailsbykarenm_
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Red Hot Shimmer

Keep that vixen red, but give it a girly edge with this fire-engine glitter. The halo effect makes this manicure a standout in sunlight.

IG: melly.k.nails
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Current of Sparkle

Nail designs that utilize abstract designs and ink-through-water looks can be easily complimented by a thin stream of glitter. Using a neutral tone like gold or silver can help add an edge of luxury to your look.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Fake Halo

The ultimate in sun-catching color from Mooncat, Fake Halo is the rainbow glitter of your dreams. Watch it change from subdued to a pride disco as soon as the light hits it.

glitter nails
Courtesy of Mooncat
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Elegant Shimmer

Get the best of all the latest trends with a milky, 3-D and glitter-dipped mani. Choosing just one nail to accent with shimmer will catch attention without making the glitter the whole story.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Red Nail Theory

Embrace your inner vixen with this glitzy deep red glitter. This look does best longer nail extensions to drive home the diva.

glitter nails
Courtesy of Mooncat
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Bare Nail Glitter

A good glitter look doesn’t need a thousand coats or even a base color to stand out. Just check out this fine particle gold shimmer on bare nails for a naturally gilded look.

Image via @bugnails on Instagram
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Barely there glitter? Yes please! This subtle shimmer is appears best in sunlight for a holographic effect that will have you falling in love.

glitter nails
Courtesy of Mooncat
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The Straight and Narrow

If you’re not feeling bold but still want the glitter effect, consider just a thin line of your favorite sparkle. Set against a set of milky pink nails, the glitter of your choice will stand out without overwhelming your look.

Glitter Nails
IG: Denver_Manic
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Square French Sparkle

Square nails make an elegant statement, and capping it off with a gold glitter French tip creates a luxe look we can’t get enough of.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Fine Shimmer Pink

Combine an almond nail shape with a pink glitter French tip manicure and you have the perfect summertime look. Ideal for the beach, brunch with the girls or just soaking up the sun, this light pink sparkles like a gemstone.

Glitter French Manicure
IG: rachelsuenails
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Big Glitter Moment

While a lot of glitter goes small, there’s nothing wrong with a big chunky glitter to make a statement. This Valentines Day inspired sets has us head-over-heels.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Disco, but make it refined. Multidimensional glitter sparkles in deep purple to make this mani a traditional shimmer look.

glitter nails
Courtesy of Ciaté London
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Marble Glitter

The perfect choice for a wedding or important event, this white and silver combination provides just the smallest hint of sparkle. Silver foil or large glitter here creates a marble-like effect that draws the eye, while the white base keeps things luxe and refined.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Frozen Blue Shimmer

Embrace the icy this summer and beat the heat with this frozen-looking glitter in cool blue. Holographic sparkle meets super-fine shimmer for a sea of blue you just want to fall into.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Purple Night Sky Sparkle

Get galactic with this short purple glitter look. With particles fine enough to be distant stars, a galaxy unfolds along your nails with this night sky mani.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Contrast Dip

Perfect for when you want to really show off, a contrast paint job shows you just how much work a good glitter puts in. This fun and flirty set is the perfect summer mani to catch the sun’s rays on the beach.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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A Refined Sparkle

A thin glitter French tip is the epitome of elegance, and choosing a complimentary milky shade will help drive home the luxury look.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Gold Marble

Big particle glitter and gold foil are the perfect choice for creating a marble current of shimmer through your nails. Use it as a small accent to pack a big punch in your next mani.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Two’s Company

Keep the sparkle confined to just a few nails for a more balanced look with a little wink of sass.

glitter nails
IG: nashly_nails
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Have it Both Ways

Why choose between a French manicure and a reverse French when you can have it all? Choose just a few nails (the pointer and middle) to cascade glitter down from the cuticle, while the rest stay in a traditional glitter French tip.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Neutral Glam

Just because it’s glittery, doesn’t mean it needs to be pastel or vibrant. Pairing a warm neutral brown or copper tone with a fine-particle glitter is the perfect way to get a holographic effect that will match any outfit and mood.

IG setsby.lex
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Abstract Glitter

Keep your glitter look office-appropriate with the clean lines and comfortable neutral colors, offset by just a glimmer of gold shine.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Strawberry Sparkle

Recapture the Strawberry Girl trend with this fun and flirty shimmer set that looks good enough to eat. A touch of fine pink glitter turns this look from a strawberry milkshake to a strawberry soda, and we’re loving how they play together.

IG: denver_manic
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Cuticle Kiss

Like a reverse French manicure, this brush of gold at the cuticles is an easy way to establish a refined, elegant look. The small touch of sparkle offsets the milky base coat for a true glimmer of gold.

IG: denver_manic
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Astral Lights

A starry sky isn’t just one color, and with the gorgeous aurora borealis-inspired waves play with light and punches of color for a multidimensional look. That little touch of gold glitter takes it to the next level.

glitter nails
IG: denver_manic
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Subdued Sparkle

Embrace your “villain era” with these dark-sided matte-finish nails. The secret shimmer of red glitter makes this black mani stand out by catching the light in the most wicked of ways.

IG: denver_manic

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