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.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

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.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

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


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

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.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Next: The "Red-Nail Theory" Is Viral on TikTok, But I'm Not Buying It—Experts Weigh In

Maya Thomas
Assistant Beauty Editor
Maya Thomas is Who What Wear's assistant beauty editor based just outside of Seattle, Washington. Her strong love for all things beauty and fashion stems from a strong childhood interest in the fine arts. During a gap year spent in Paris studying the history of French fashion, she shifted her focus to English literature and journalism as a student at Loyola Marymount University with the goal of one day pursuing a career in fashion. After graduating in May 2021, Maya began freelancing for as a contributing commerce writer while also building a following on her lifestyle blog, When she's not writing, Maya spends her free time catching up on reading, perusing art galleries, and enjoying a night out at the ballet every now and then.