How-To: Shattered Glass Nail Art

Like so many other weird and wonderful beauty trends, the shattered-glass nail trend originated in Korea. The iridescent style was first created by Eunkyung Park, founder of Unistella Salon in Seoul. Park found a new source of nail-inspo on the inside of an abalone shell (yep, you read that right) and then turned that vision into this crazy trend, InStyle reported.

And now, Brooklyn based nail technician Sarah Nguyen is slaying this trend all over NYC. See the process below.

The first thing to do is to remove old, broken nails because they’re probably looking a little worn-out at this point. 

To remove broken nails, soak a piece of cotton in pure acetone, wrap the cotton around the nail and then wrap in foil. This helps to lock in moisture. Leave for 10-15 minutes. 

Once your nails have soaked long enough, unwrap the foil and scape away the lifted acrylic using your cuticle pusher. 

File away excess acrylic.


And push cuticles back. 

Prep nails by applying nail dehydrator and nail primer. The dehydrator works to balance the pH of the nail plate – Sarah uses “OPI Bond Aid”. The nail primer helps the acrylic to adhere to the nail – Sarah uses “MIA Secret No Burn Acid Free Primer”.

Next, measure the tips and apply them to the free edges of the nails. 

Cut the nails to the desired length and blend the tips. 

Apply another coat of dehydrator and primer if necessary and then add three beads of acrylic to the tip, stress zone, and cuticle area.

Once the acrylic has dried, file and shape the nails to smooth out the sides and the free edge of the nails. 

Use a lint free wipe – soaked in alcohol – to remove excess dust. 

Apply a clear base gel onto the nail. Sarah uses “Bio Seaweed Gel Base”.

Allow this to cure under LED light for 30 seconds. 

Apply gel polish. Sarah uses “Bio Seaweed Gel in Seashell” and then allow to cure under LED light for 30 seconds. 

Apply 2nd coat and allow to dry under LED light. 

Apply clear base gel then take hologram foil that has been cut into small strips & triangles and apply individually to the nails. 

Set nails under LED light for 30 seconds. 

Encapsulate the hologram foil using clear structure gel. Sarah uses “IBD hard gel”. Set the clear structure gel under LED light for 60 seconds.

Apply top coat. Sarah uses “Bio Seaweed Gel Diamond Shine Top Coat”.

… and there you go, you probably won’t be able to stop staring at your nails for the next week.

Gimme More Beauty

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