The Dazzling Shattered Glass Manicure Takes Nail Art to a Whole New Level

Style-savvy women around the world are going nuts for the latest manicure fad: shattered glass nails. And for good reason – after all, they’re a dazzling and undoubtedly eye-catching way to switch up a look.

But despite the trend’s name, you won’t have to risk slicing your fingers or smashing any bottles to achieve this stunning style. That’s because the “glass” is actually cellophane – phew.

And that cellophane is cut into little pieces and artfully arranged onto the nails in order to achieve that attention-grabbing “smashed mirror” effect – without the seven years of bad luck that are said to follow. The concept is the brainchild of one Eun Kyung Park, a manicurist from South Korea.

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Park is the founder of Unistella in the country’s capital of Seoul – reportedly the salon of choice for some of South Korea’s most famous people. The nail artist herself, though, has rapidly made a name for herself with her fantastical shattered glass creations.

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But it wasn’t broken shards of glass that first inspired Park to create this trend. Rather, she was influenced by the look of the abalone, a giant sea mollusk that is noted for its gorgeously rainbow-hued shell.

In June 2015, then, Park posted a photo of a similarly iridescent shattered glass manicure on Instagram. Safe to say, however, that she probably wasn’t anticipating the frenzy that followed when the world clapped eyes on her creation.

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Indeed, the internet went a little crazy when Park debuted her nail art online – in a good way, of course. That reaction didn’t go unnoticed by South Korean cosmetics company AmorePacific, which asked Park if she’d be willing to collaborate with the firm to create a range of DIY shattered glass manicure kits.

And whether they have or haven’t used one of those kits, nail art devotees haven’t been backward about coming forward with their own versions of the shattered glass manicure. Take a look on Instagram or beauty blogs for some very impressive attempts in all their glittery, glitzy glory.

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green black glass nails
Image: via eBay

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And best of all, this trend is super-easy to follow. All you need to do is first apply your regular basecoat and any nail polish shade you wish. When the color is still a little tacky, carefully add your pieces of cellophane to create the shattered glass effect, then seal them in place with a translucent topcoat.

What’s more, the effect looks awesome on toenails as well. Whichever digits you choose to experiment on, though, when they hit the light they’ll look like they’re tipped with precious gemstones.

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Of course, you could always take a leaf out of Park’s book and combine the shattered glass effect with a version of the nail art maven’s legendary negative-space manicures. These leave a small part of each nail unpainted for an awesome graphic look – the perfect approach, then, if you’re too busy or lazy to cover the whole nail in cellophane.

But now that packs of the cellophane “glass” pieces are now widely available online, there’s every opportunity to go crazy covering every finger and toe. Not too crazy, though: if you’re going for the all-over shattered effect, be sure that no “shards” creep over the side of the nail in order to attain a streamlined finished product.

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And there’s no need to settle on cellophane pieces to create the perfect on-trend manicure, either. One salon in New York City, in fact, has bucked the trend by using a different material that gives equally glittering results.

Valley has won acclaim for its own take on nail art and has now added the shattered glass trend to its range of styles. However, as company owner Nina Werman told Today in October 2015, its manicurists use an adhesive type of foil instead of cellophane to achieve that shard-like look.

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Its technicians divide the foil into tiny, sharp-looking shards then delicately place them on the nail as part of a gel manicure. The design is all finally cemented in place with the aid of a builder gel topcoat.

If you’d like to try the foil effect yourself, then, grab a thin sheet of aluminum and cut it into pieces that fit the effect you want and that suit the size of your nails. Craft stores, too, are great for cellophane sheets that can be snipped into shards and stuck down into gorgeous shattered glass patterns.

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negative space and glass nails
Image: via Buzzland

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If you use your own cellophane sheet, however, Park recommends that you roll it beforehand to ensure that it more closely matches the curvature of the nail. As she has told InStyle, “The whole point is to make sure it sits perfectly on the nail, otherwise they will just be flat and they won’t lift.”

gold glass nails
Image: via ark

And Park also admitted to the magazine that, despite the myriad of imitators that have followed in her wake, she’s still not bored with seeing shattered glass nails everywhere. “Every color is different from wherever you go, anywhere you are, that’s why I’m never tired of it,” she explained.

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glass nails glitter
Image: via une-deux senses

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She added, “Until I find all of the colors – and so far I’ve found more than 100 – I won’t get bored of this glass nail trend.” And that’s a good job, because this gorgeously glittery nail trend is set to run and run.

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