Glass Nails Are Everywhere—Five Looks You Need to See Before Your Next Manicure
If you haven't yet seen the glass-nails trend claim a permanent spot on your TikTok For You Page or disrupt your Instagram feed, then you're in for a surprise. Glass nails are trending again, and this time, there's a good chance they'll stick around for a while. Need proof? Take a look at the eye-catching manicures celebs have been rocking on the red carpets lately. While there may not be a major departure from the viral glazed donut nails that Hailey Bieber sported at the 2022 Met Gala (created by celebrity nail artist Zola Ganzorigt), glass nails are, in effect, their antithesis.
They've staked their claim as the minimalist approach of long, healthy, and gorgeous nails that relies on an imperfection-free appearance. I like to think of them as a fail-proof seal of approval from talented manicurists like Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of Nails of LA. Read on to learn what she has to say about the glass-nails trend and check out four of her manis. Then, shop 18 products to create them based on Boyce's creations.
Everything to Know About Glass Nails
Boyce was beyond excited to share her take on glass nails. "I'm obsessed with the glass clear nail trend. This is something I've been doing for the last five years or so," Boyce begins. "But it's definitely a hard look to get down correctly." A quick scroll through Boyce's official Instagram account reveals a strong appreciation for the trend that can be traced back to early 2019. How's that for dedication to an art form? Boyce, as a celebrity nail artist whose work often involves striking twists on trending nail designs, has approached the glass nail trend with a new energy and vision every time. Her secret weapon for creating the perfect glass-nail look? A gel builder to alter the length and overall appearance of natural nails so that they appear healthy, strong, and of course, glass-like.
Be forewarned: The process of creating glass nails may be more tricky than a 30-second clip on TikTok will have you believe. According to Boyce, glass nails can be difficult to achieve without the right tools (or an open mindset). "You want to make sure that you're not getting bubbles during the application because that will show throw at the end," says Boyce, describing the extent of the clear gel extension building process. "[Glass nails] are definitely more of an advanced type of nail because it's really hard to hide perfections," she continues. As difficult as they may be for a nail novice, committing to the style and finding a manicurist who can bring it to life makes this trend achievable. Be sure to screenshot this story for nail inspo before you head to the salon.
While it's always fun to try new nail looks at home, glass nails largely depend on experience and skill to be captured. Because it's so detailed, Boyce recommends going to a manicurist for glass nails rather than trying it on your own unless you're confident in your abilities and okay with the possibility of very visible imperfections (after all, the trend is called glass nails). For those of you bold enough to try this without the aid of a manicurist, Boyce recommends Orly's GelFX Builder in a Bottle in the shade Crystal Clear to build extensions for the natural nail. If home manicures are more your style and you would prefer to opt for non-gel polishes, here's a list with 15 of my favorites that will give you a glass nail–inspired look.
Products to Re-Create the Look of Glass Nails
As mentioned before, Boyce recommends saving the glass-nails trend (which can require a gel polish) for your manicurist to attempt. To create a similar barely there look, shop these neutral-toned polishes and apply them in a thin layer across the nail for a clean, glass-like finish.
I threw Sally Hansen's French Manicure White Tip Pen in this list for anyone hoping to re-create Boyce's minimalistic glass nail designs. It may take a steady hand, but if you're able to do it, you'll have some ridiculously cute and trendy nails.
Your glass nails wouldn't be complete without a stellar base coat. Dior's Crème Abricot Base Coat offers subtle color while also providing the nail with strength and endless shine.
This is one of my favorite sheer-white polishes that adds just a hint of soft, natural-looking color to the nail. It provides a high, glossy shine finish that will look like your natural nails but better.
Looking for a color with a light, rosy hue? OPI's Tiramisu for Two is a creamy café au lait–inspired shade for the perfect classy, nude manicure.
If you haven't discovered Deborah Lippmann's nail polish line, where have you been? This one, Amazing Grace, can be as pigmented or as sheer as you like for a glass nail look that's uniquely you.
One of Hailey Bieber's go-to OPI shades for her viral glazed donut nails, Put It In Neutral happens to be one of my favorite base colors for a pearly pink finish. For the glass-nail look, opt for a thin layer of this one.
This is a longwear, nude nail color with a pearly white finish and a hint of a beige, nude blend. I love how versatile it is—perfect for the glass-nail trend and any other one you may want to try your hand at.
I'm putting this one out there for all those committed to wearing Bubblebath (and only Bubblebath) as their everyday shade. My Vampire Is Buff is truly one of the best mauvish-pink shades on the market.
Here's another Dior nail polish find you'll want to add to your basket ASAP. Petal Pink adds the perfect rosy hue to the nails while maintaining a clean and sophisticated look.
One of my favorite things about JinSoon's amazing nail polishes is how smooth and shiny your manicure ends up being after using one of them. Absolute White absolutely lives up to this tradition.
Sticking with the natural rose theme, this one by Hermès Paris will always be one of my go-to polishes for adding a healthy glow to my nails. The best part? You can count on it to last.
Loaded with rich pigments and natural antioxidants in its formula, Static Nail's Liquid Glass can last up to 10+ days without chipping when paired with the brand's base and topcoats.
One of my favorite shades from Emilie Heathe, Just the Nip, is a semi-sheer, buildable color with an ultra-fine iridescent shimmer. It'll give you that glass-like look without having to depend on any gel polish.
Essie's Expressie nail polishes have been one of my favorite quick-dry products. I like Word on the Street for a powdery-pink color that's simple and sweet for all your glass nail needs.
Here's another mauve pinky shade that would add the healthiest glow to your glass nails. Its warm tone makes this polish versatile, timeless, and great for everyday wear.