How To: Red Glitter Nails (On a Budget)


Last night, before a 10:30 p.m. fire drill in my apartment complex, I gave myself a glittering manicure.  While climbing down the fire escape stairs, I decided I deserved some Korean BBQ tacos.  Because of reasons.

I ordered everything spicy, of course, and when I handed over my debit card the cashier said, “Whoa!  I love your nails.  Are they Stella?”  And that’s when it hit me.

That’s a $14.00 nail polish and I got this using two layered polishes I had lying around my bathroom cupboard.

What you’ll need:

Dark Purple Nail Polish


Red Glitter Nail Polish (Or even Red Glitter will do)


Clear Top Coat Nail Polish (Especially if you do choose to use actual red glitter)

*Note: Use what you have, unless you don’t have these colors or just want an excuse to buy some new shades.

Step 1: Clean and File

Make sure your nails are clean and dry.  This will help your nail color stick to your nails.

You can file your nails with a curve/rounded-edged or straight-edged.  I’ve gotten really into the straight-edged look, but you can choose whichever you prefer.

Step 2: Base Layer, Dark Purple

If you are using a cheaper brand, you’ll want to use a solid base coat of your preferred “Base-Coat” nail polish.  I tend to use a nail hardening Base-Coat because my nails are always ripping and ruining my day.

If you trust your Dark Purple, apply a couple coats right away and let them dry.  It is essential that they are dry before applying your Red Glitter Nail Polish because the purple will stain your brush and Red Glitter Nail Polish.

Note: If you are using Red Glitter, apply the desired amount to each purple nail while they are still wet.  You can use more glitter to make a more bold look or less glitter for a subtle shine.

Step 3: Red Glitter Polish

Apply your Red Glitter Polish.  You can add as much as you would like.  It really depends on how well the glitter stands against your Dark Purple.  Again, use a lot of the Red Glitter Polish for a dazzling look or less glitter for a bit of a more demure, eye-catching shimmer.

Step 4: Clear Top Coat

After your Red Glitter settles or your Red Glitter Polish dries, add your Top Coat.  This will keep your manicure safe and cut down the likelihood of chip-tastrophes.


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