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A few newspapers have written about “Glitter Tears Nail Art” as though it were a recent craze. I only wanted to clarify that nail artists were doing this long before Glitter Tears became popular. Not disparaging, just granting credit where credit is due!


It’s actually simply your standard glitter gradient over a clear polish base—that is, without any base colour. It seems a bit… reductive to refer to it as a trend. It’s among the most classic stunts ever and will never go out of style.


Hannah Rox is the one who inspired this specific interpretation of the look; she has posted the instruction on her YouTube channel.


I get what you’re thinking now, and it does indeed take a very long time! I had to arrange each glitter particle separately. But if you’re a perfectionist with an intense need for accuracy like me, that’s just half the pleasure, isn’t it?


The entire hand took less than 45 minutes, and because Gilmore Girls was playing in the background, I think I could have finished it in 25 if I had been focused.Continue reading to learn about a simpler method to achieve the look.


How to Paint Your Nails


  1. Apply the base coat as normal.
  2. Choose a top coat or clear polish that isn’t meant to dry quickly; the longer it is wet, the more time you have to adhere the glitter.
  3. Starting at the tip of your nail, pick up each piece of glitter one at a time with a pointed object (toothpicks work well for me). Apply them in a falling pattern, using less as you approach the cuticle and more at the tip.
  4. Simply apply another clear coat or dab on the areas that require the most attention if the one on your nails dries before you’re done.
  5. Apply a few coats of top coat to finish. Using a fairly thick top coat will help to truly smooth over the pieces of glitter.


The Phishing


All you need is a beauty wedge and your preferred glitter polish to achieve the effect in half the time.


Start by using a clear base coat.

  1. Apply a small amount of glitter polish to the sponge’s edge and apply it directly to the tip of your nail.
  2. To achieve the fade, keep dabbing softly halfway down your nail (never dragging or wiping).
  3. Apply a few coats of top coat to smooth everything out.


A Few Pointers


Try to be patient and practise on fakes initially. Perfectionism comes from practice!

utilise a fine glitter if you plan to utilise the sponge hack, and have fun! Have you noticed the glitter alternatives that are currently overtaking stores? There are countless options available!


Items Utilised


Hexagonal holographic glitter/glequins from Born Pretty Store combined with OPI Nail Envy base coat (Option #1)

Elegant Glassy Top Coat in NYC (Dries a little slowly)

Fast-drying Seche Vite Top Coat