The Unexpected Nail Trend That Will Be Everywhere This Summer

With nail salons back open for business, my Saved folder on Instagram is rapidly filling up with manicure inspiration for the season ahead, and I've noticed one unexpected look that's trending right now: glitter nails. Yes, while pastel hues and cute nail art still look set to be classic summer staples, the coolest girls are dressing up their nails with sparkly polishes and pops of shimmer. And I'm not mad about it. After all, while glitter nails have traditionally been popular during the winter months, the fact that party season was nonexistent last year means that glitter is coming out to play this summer instead.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Still need some convincing? While glitter nails might conjure images of 7-year-old you at a birthday party, this nail trend is surprisingly wearable. In fact, from minimalist hints of shimmer to full-frontal sparkle, there are so many ways to embrace twinkly nails. Ahead, I've pulled together some of my favourite glitter nail looks right now and the polishes you'll need to re-create them at home.

#1: Negative-Space Shimmer


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

The grown-up way to wear glitter? With a negative-space manicure, of course. Leaving lots of natural, glossy nail shining through means this glitter nail look feels fresh and ready for sunshine season. 


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Placing the glitter polish at the sides of the nails rather than the tips gives this mani a modern feel.


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

Keeping the centre of the nail bare means that mixing and matching your glitter polishes at the tip and base of your nails doesn't feel too much.


(Image credit: @varnishlane)

Gold glitter tips look sparkly and fun.

Get the look:

#2: Full-Frontal Glitter


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

There's nothing like an opaque slick of glitter nail polish to put an instant smile on my face. It looks so good and surprisingly chic in the sunlight.


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

Why not opt for just one glitter-adorned nail if a full manicure feels too much?


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

The glitzier, the better. Look out for nail polishes with a chunky texture for an embellished glitter nail effect.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Glitter isn't just about the silvers and glitters, you know. This lilac glitter nail look screams the '90s to me. So fun.

Get the look:

#3: Nail-Art Sparkle


(Image credit: @imarninails/)

With salons reopening, nail art is having a huge resurgence in popularity, and glitter nails are up front and centre as one of the biggest trends. From sheer sparkly bases to intricate metallic designs, glitter adds both colour and texture to summer nail looks.


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

This half-and-half look is so cute, and the colour combination possibilities are endless.


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

You have to look closely to spot that this simple nail design is created using a sparkling silver polish. It looks so beautiful when it catches the light.


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

This psychedelic, '70s-inspired manicure teams a two-tone glitter base with a bold flower design layered on top.

Get the look:

#4: Tinsel Tips


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

This has to be one of my favourite ways to wear glitter nails—just a sprinkling of sparkle at the very tips as a subtle homage to the trend. 


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

This neat, rose gold–tipped French manicure looks so chic.


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

These golden tips prove that glitter can really shine in the summer.


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

A subtle dusting of sparkle at the tips of this glossy manicure will look good even as your nails grow out.

Get the look:

Mica Ricketts