10 Glitter Nail Designs That Still Feel Elegant

For weddings, work, and everything in between.

<p>Anna Efetova/Getty Images</p>

Anna Efetova/Getty Images

Listen, we love a bold manicure moment—bright colors, intricate nail art, light-reflecting glitters, and all—but we also understand that they aren’t exactly appropriate for every situation. Luckily, you don’t have to give up those glitzy, fun manicures for your corporate career; well, not entirely. Used sparingly and thoughtfully, glitter nail designs can still feel elegant, elevated, and, dare we say, even neutral. Don’t believe us? Scroll on for 10 sparkly nail designs you can rock at weddings, work, and everything in between.

Disco Nails

Swap out your traditional sparkly nail polish for some larger nail gems, like this mega-pack of 5,000 nail-friendly rhinestones and gems (plus nail stickers, tweezers, and a nail brush) for under $10. Not only will it create a more elevated, concentrated effect, but it also allows for far more control over gem placement and frequency.

Fancy French

A traditional French manicure is about as elegant as it gets—making it the perfect base for a little bit of sparkle and shine. Stick with a traditional milky pink color to start, trading out your usual white tips for a silver, nude, or pink glitter hue. The result is refined but fun, without feeling too out there.

Neutral Magnetic Mani

Opt for a neutral color for an easy way to ground your glitter nail design. This sparkling magnetic polish would certainly pack a punch in a bolder hue, but by pairing it with a brown bronzed shade, it feels a bit more understated and chic.

Glitter Accent Nails

Rather than going all out on the glitter, limit it to an accent nail or two—and be sure the glitter complements the rest of the manicure. But let’s be clear: That doesn’t mean you can’t create a great pop of color. While the silver definitely stands out against the rest of the tan manicure here, it doesn’t actively contrast the base. That harmony is the difference between an elegant accent and an overpowering eye sore.

Peek-A-Boo Shimmer

For a more minimalist take on glitter, try a negative space manicure with just a pop of glitz and glimmer peeking through. The gold sparkles add just enough visual interest without stealing center stage.

Glitzy Tips

For an easy, elevated glitter manicure, start with a pink base color. Using a silver sparkle polish like Olive & June’s Exclamation Point ($9), paint half of the rectangular side of a makeup wedge. Blot the makeup wedge onto the nails (make sure your base color is dry!), focusing the polish on the outer fourth of the nail and repainting the wedge as needed. Let dry and add a top coat before applying a couple gems on each nail. Voila!

Sparkle Trim

We can’t stop thinking about this take on a negative space design. While you can certainly get creative with the color of your glitter trim, there’s something about this nearly nude, pink shade that’s perfectly understated yet eye-catching.

Melting Sheen

Focusing glitter on the upper third of the nail is a great way to keep things feeling elevated and elegant, and this melting manicure is no exception. Paired with the relatively simple nail art and neutral color palette, there’s something undeniably chic about the end result.

Pearly Ombré

It’s hard to tell, but every single nail in this picture is painted a slightly different sheer pearly shade. The light base color and the super subtle ombré effect work in tandem to tone down what might otherwise be a fairly out-there glitter manicure.

Elevated Outer Space

Galactic, but make it chic. For an out-of-this-world glitter manicure that still feels appropriate at, say, your workplace, opt for a concentrated smattering of sparkles paired with—you guessed it—a neutral color palette. Add some stars and dots in black and white for a true space feel.

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