Everything You Need to Know About Glass Nails

betina goldstein gold crack nails


Korean beauty has long been an inspiration for those of us here in the States—and for good reason. With next-level skin care routines (like glass skin and cloudless skin) and stunning nail looks being shared daily, it's no wonder we're over here doing everything we can to recreate the ultra-effective, undeniably-chic beauty trends coming from the East. Most recently, we've become transfixed on glass nails.

Depending on the layout of the makeshift shatter, the end look of glass nails can range from that of an abstract piece of art to an expertly-crafted stain-glass window. Intrigued?

What Are Glass Nails?

Created by Eunkyung Park (the same manicurist who created lipstick nails), glass nails use finely-cut holographic foil to mimic the appearance of shards of glass.

Ahead, we share 17 examples of glass nails, ranging from simple nudes to bold pops of color.

01 of 17

High-Shine Silver

holographic nail art


This high-shine mani uses a silver base topped off with holographic silver slivers to create the coveted glass nail appeal. Try it out for yourself with Dashing Diva Shattered Glass glittered gel strips ($7).

02 of 17

Cool Blue

blue nails with holographic slices


We love how the color-changing holographic foil complements the cool-blue base of this glass manicure. Not sure which shade of blue polish will suit you best? We've got you covered.

03 of 17

Dark Magic

Dark magic glass nails

@thelabellife / Instagram

Since most holographic foil is translucent, the best way to create a darker glass manicure is to start off with a moody black or dark gray base. The effect is magical.

04 of 17

Silver Rhinestones

Silver glass nails

@ttatheordinarycreations0506 / Instagram

Here we're shown how glass nails and rhinestones can play together for a manicure that's equal parts playful and chic. To get the look, try Windfall 3Pcs Dual-ended Nail Art Crystals ($8) which comes with its own set of tweezers and a rhinestone picker dotting pen.

05 of 17

Summer-Worthy Neon

Neon nails with holographic shattered glass design

@nailsby_kayla816 / Instagram

Glitter, holographic foil, and neon nail polish pair together for a summer-worthy nail look that'll land you compliments wherever you go. However, if you're looking for something a bit more toned down, there are a ton of popular summer shades to choose from.

06 of 17

Colorful Confetti

Confetti glass nails

@hardasnails_studio / Instagram

Talk about a cause for celebration. With its pink glass design combined with colorful confetti art, this mani is a party on your nails. The best part? It's a breeze to DIY.

07 of 17

Milky Almond

nude nails with holographic design


Milky almond-shaped nails are statement-making all on their own. To copy this base, paint your nails with a few coats of Olive & June's 7-Free Nail Polish in BEB ($9).

08 of 17

Purple Monochrome

Lavender glass nails

@mattia_joyce / Instagram

Choose matching holographic foil and polish for a colorful nail look that changes in the light. We love the light lavender base but you can also opt for a darker shade of violet for added drama.

09 of 17

Pretty in Pastel

Pastel glass nails

@nailsbyjole / Instagram

Milky, pale-pink polish topped off with pastel holo makes for a unicorn-esque nail look. Essie Treat Love & Color ($9) in Sheers to You is the perfect shade of pink blush to nail this look.

10 of 17

Gold Cracks

Gold crack glass nails

@betina_goldstein / Instagram

This golden twist on glass nails reminds us of the Japanese practice of Kintsugi, where cracks in pottery are filled with gold. To complete the look, pair it with assorted yellow gold rings by some of our favorite jewelry brands.

11 of 17

"Shattered Metal and Emeralds"

Shattered metal glass nails

@betinagoldstein / Instagram

Nail artist Betina Goldstein elevates #ManiMonday with this inspiring nail design. Green gemstones are reminiscent of emeralds and add a touch of glamour to the shattered metal base.

12 of 17

Minimalist Accents

Pink and shattered glass nails

@studioninetythree / Instagram

Instead of letting glass nails be your single statement, break up a full set with a pale pink nail or two for a minimalist pop of color. It's proof that accent nails need not be complicated to make an impact.

13 of 17

Black Stilettos

black nail design with holographic triangles


If you're interested in turning up the "wow" factor, pointy nails will do the trick. The holographic details really stand out against black polish. Are these glass nails to kill or what?

14 of 17

Oxblood With Gold Flecks

Burgundy nails with gold foil

@eleven2six_ / Instagram

Red nails are timeless, but this darker oxblood hue—somewhere along the lines of Smith & Cult Nail Polish, $18, in Lover's Creep—adds a modern edge. Opt for a gold foil finish to get the glass shard effect.

15 of 17

Bold Cobalt

Cobalt blue glass nails

@euro_nails_tx / Instagram

Want to go even bolder? Ditch a neutral base in favor of a striking blue. Then apply vivid gel strips for a totally bespoke glass nail design. Talk about eye-catching.

16 of 17

Mauve Monochrome

purple multicolored nails


Another monochrome look, this mauve-colored mani is dainty and disco-ready all at the same time. Try OPI Infinite Shine 2 Long-Wear Lacquer ($13) in You Sustain Me to replicate these subtle yet showstopping nails.

17 of 17

Crystal Turquoise

Ocean glass nails

@nail_unistella / Instagram

Leave it to Eunkyung Park (aka @nail_unistella) to come up with these ocean-inspired lipstick nails. Turquoise, blue, and purple holo top off a clear base for a crystal-like finish that makes the shattered glass design even more magical.

  • How long do glass nails last?

    Depending on whether you use regular polish or gel, your glass nails may last anywhere from one to three weeks.

  • What types of fake nails are best?

    There are a ton of options when it comes to fake nails. Perhaps the most popular choices are gel, acrylic, and press-on, each of which comes with its own set of pros and cons. When deciding which type of artificial nail is best for you, keep in mind that gel extensions feel lighter and are quicker to apply than acrylic (but harder to remove) while press-ons tend to be safest for your natural nails.

  • Are fiberglass nails better than acrylic?

    Compared to acrylic nails which may last anywhere from six to eight weeks (with touch-ups in between), fiberglass nails (aka silk wrap nails) are not as durable. However, they are more natural-looking than acrylic nails.

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