I’m lucky enough to pick up a ton of great hair and makeup tips watching top beauty pros in action at Allure’s photo shoots. While on set at a recent shoot, I noticed one cool technique that I’d never seen before: mixing loose glitter with clear polish to create a customized, super-sparkly shade. I asked manicurist Bernadette Thompson, founder of the Bernadette Thompson nail collection, to explain the method she used for the shoot.
1. Look for loose glitter at a crafts store. To create a dense, opaque polish, pick the smallest texture of glitter that you can find.
2. Take a half-full bottle of clear polish, and tint it with a few drops of lacquer that’s the same shade as your glitter. (You can also choose a different color, if you want to experiment a little.) This will prevent your nail from showing through the glitter for a more polished look.
3. Using a creased piece of paper, funnel your glitter into the polish, filling about a quarter of the bottle. Shake the whole thing, and then you’re ready to paint!
Want some artistic inspiration? Here are Thompson’s favorite color combinations. (For all of these, mix just a few drops of the colored enamel into clear polish, as described above.)
“I love red. It’s flirty and fun,” says Thomspon. “It reminds me of a flamingo dancer.” Try mixing Thompson’s red polish, Shirly, with red glitter for a sexy look.
“Blue polish with aqua sparkles, or aqua polish with blue sparkles, looks like disco lights,” says Thompson. “Every nail polish has a mood, and this combination reminds me of Studio 54.”
When it comes to metallics, you can’t beat gold or silver, says Thompson. Do gold polish with gold glitter, or silver with silver.
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