shattered glass nail art manicure
Image: Instagram

Everything You Need To Know About A Shattered Glass Manicure

Perhaps you’ve seen them on Pinterest—those gorgeous Korean nails that reflect light perfectly and look like shattered glass. This look, a shattered glass manicure, is credited to Eun Kyung Park, who owns Unistella Salon in Seoul. Park hit upon beauty gold, or in this case glass, when she came up with the unique look. The multifaceted look appears truly otherworldly. If you’d like to get the shattered glass manicure yourself, below are some top tips for pulling it off.

Have The Right Materials

Park states that she uses rainbow film to create the shattered glass manicure. A common mistake is that people try to use cellophane paper, but that won’t give the proper arched shape of the nail. The trick is rolled rainbow film. You can even buy film stickers that make it much easier to apply this look, offered from Park’s salon.

Granted the look did start with cellophane. Park created the look after being inspired by iridescent abalone shells. She started by setting cellophane candy wrappers in in gel polish. She decided the cellophane was too heavy and moved to the more versatile, lightweight rainbow film.

Know The Process

Getting rainbow nails is far easier than it appears. A shattered glass manicure just requires a basecoat of any nail polish in any color you like, the film stickers, and a clear gel-based topcoat. Place the stickers after your basecoat has dried, then paint the topcoat over them. Use tweezers to place the stickers. A few layers of the topcoat can give the look a more 3-dimensional look. That’s it, you’re done.

As a note, the stickers come in little shattered segments, like the shattered glass true to the look’s name. Park recommends arranging them closely together so that the perimeter of the nail is clearly defined. That way, the topcoat can cover the stickers better. That method will also give your nails a more highly reflective look.

Easy DIY Method

Another way to get the shattered glass manicure at home is to cut up bits of nail foil and arrange them on your nails to form a shattered glass pattern. Keep the bits close together like Park recommends, or space them out in creative ways for a unique look. Use the method above to set the foil with a basecoat of polish and a few topcoats. Additional gems and studs can also ramp up the look.

Get A Unique Look Each Time

Due to the highly reflective nature of the shattered glass manicure, each one appears different wherever you are. The film simply reflects different light at different angles at different times. So much so that Park is on record as saying that, as of after five months of doing the look, she still hasn’t grown tired of it. It’s truly like getting a different manicure every time you move your nails as the colors and reflective light continually shift.