Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, you can apply glitter nail polish over regular nail polish to add sparkle and dimension to your manicure.
  • To prevent smudging, it's important to ensure that the regular nail polish is fully dry before applying glitter nail polish.
  • Using a gel topcoat over glitter nail polish can enhance durability and shine, but requires proper application and curing.

Glitter nail polish is a fun and easy way to add a bit of sparkle and personality to your nails. But what if you want to combine it with your favorite shade of regular nail polish? The question arises: can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish? The answer is a resounding yes! This article will guide you through layering these two polishes for a dazzling effect.

The Basics of Layering Nail Polishes

Can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish

Layering different types of nail polish can create unique and eye-catching designs. The process of combining regular nail polish with glitter is straightforward. First, you'll want to apply your regular nail polish as the base color. Ensure this layer is completely dry before moving on to the next step. This is crucial because applying glitter nail polish over wet regular polish can lead to smudging and uneven texture.

Choosing the Right Glitter Nail Polish

When selecting a glitter nail polish to layer over your regular polish, consider the size and density of the glitter particles. Finer glitter will give a subtle shimmer, while larger chunks can provide a more dramatic look. The color of the glitter should complement or contrast with your base color to create the desired effect. Remember, the key is to let your regular polish set fully before adding glitter to avoid any unwanted mixing of colors.

Preparing Your Nails for Polish

Before you start painting, it's important to prepare your nails properly. Begin by cleaning your nail bed with a cotton ball soaked in acetone to remove any oils or moisture that could trap moisture and lead to chipping. Then, use a nail buffer to create a smooth surface. This will help the regular nail polish adhere better and result in a more professional-looking manicure.

Applying Regular Nail Polish as a Base

Start your manicure with a clear base coat to protect your natural nails from staining and to help the polish stick better. Once the base coat is dry, apply your chosen regular nail polish in thin, even layers. It's best to use multiple layers, allowing each one to dry completely before applying the next. This will help prevent chipping and extend the life of your manicure.

Can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish

Adding the Glitter Nail Polish

After your regular nail polish is fully dry, it's time to add the glitter. Apply the glitter nail polish in thin layers, just as you did with the regular polish. Depending on the opacity of the glitter, you may need one or two coats. Allow each coat to dry completely before adding another to avoid a thick, gloopy texture that could peel off easily.

Sealing the Deal with a Top Coat

Finish with a clear top coat to seal in your glittery creation and add extra shine. If you're using regular glitter nail polish, a regular top coat will do. However, for added durability, you can opt for a gel topcoat. This requires curing under a UV or LED lamp, so make sure you're familiar with the protocol of using gel products before proceeding.

The Science Behind Glitter and Gel Polish Compatibility

Understanding the compatibility between glitter and gel polish is crucial for a successful manicure. Glitter nail polishes are typically formulated to stick to the nail bed and trap moisture, sometimes leading to peeling when used with gel manicures. However, when you apply a clear gel topcoat over a regular base coat, it creates a glossy barrier that protects the regular polish from peeling. This combination allows the glitter to adhere better and stay on longer without compromising the health of your natural nails.

The structure of gel nails is designed to cure under UV or LED light, creating a hard, durable surface that can support the weight of glitter particles. When you paint glitter nail polish over gel polish, the gel topcoat acts as a sealant, locking in the glitter and preventing it from wearing off. It's essential to wait for each layer to dry completely, especially with multiple layers of regular lacquer and glitter. This patience ensures that the final gel topcoat cures properly, leaving you with a smooth, long-lasting finish that won't trap moisture or create texture issues.

Can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish

The Gelly Sandwich Technique Revisited

The gelly sandwich technique is a popular method among nail enthusiasts who want the durability of gel nails without sacrificing the variety of regular nail polish colors. To create this look, start with a gel base coat and cure it under a lamp. Next, paint your nails with your chosen shade of regular nail lacquer and wait for it to dry completely. Once fully dried, seal the deal with a clear gel topcoat and cure again. This 'sandwich' creates a durable bond that can significantly prevent chipping and extend the wear of your manicure.

But what about the removal process? When you're ready to switch up your look, you'll want to follow the protocol to avoid damaging your natural nails. Begin by gently buffing the surface to break the seal of the topcoat. Then, soak a cotton ball in pure acetone and place it over the nail, wrapping your finger in foil to trap the moisture. After a few minutes, the layers should peel away easily, leaving your nails ready for their next adventure in nail art. Remember, patience is key—rushing the process can lead to peeling or damage to the nail bed.

Tips for a Successful Gelly Sandwich

To create a successful gelly sandwich, ensure your regular polish is fully dry before applying the gel topcoat. If the regular polish isn't completely set, the gel topcoat may not cure properly, leading to a manicure that doesn't last. Also, be careful not to get any gel product on your skin, as this can cause lifting and premature wear.

Aftercare for Glitter Nails

Glitter nail polish can be more challenging to remove than regular lacquer. To minimize damage, soak a cotton ball in pure acetone and place it over the nail. Wrap each finger with foil to hold the cotton ball in place and wait a few minutes. The glitter should come off easily without excessive scrubbing, which can damage the nail bed.

Can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish

Preventing Damage to Your Nails

While glitter nail polish can be a fun addition to your nail art repertoire, it's important to give your nails a break occasionally. Constantly wearing polish, especially glitter, can weaken your nails. Use a nourishing nail cream and cuticle oil to keep your nails and skin hydrated between manicures.

Alternatives to Glitter Nail Polish

If you love the look of glitter but want to avoid the removal hassle, consider using nail art stickers or foils that mimic the look. These can be applied over regular nail polish and sealed with a top coat for a similar effect without the difficult removal process.

DIY Glitter Nail Polish

For those who want to customize their glitter manicure, you can create your glitter nail polish by mixing loose glitter with clear nail polish. This allows you to control the amount and type of glitter in your polish. Just mix small batches, as the glitter can settle over time.

Can you put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish


In conclusion, you can put glitter nail polish over regular nail polish to add some sparkle to your manicure. The key steps involve preparing your nails, applying and fully drying the regular polish, layering the glitter polish, and sealing it all with a top coat. For a longer-lasting finish, consider the gelly sandwich technique with a gel topcoat. Remember to apply thin layers and allow each to dry completely to avoid smudging and peeling. With these tips, you can enjoy a glittery manicure that shines and lasts.

FAQ Section

Can I use a gel topcoat over regular nail polish?

Yes, you can use the gelly sandwich technique. Ensure the regular polish is fully dry before applying the gel topcoat, and cure it under a UV or LED lamp.

How can I remove glitter nail polish without damaging my nails?

Soak a cotton ball in pure acetone, place it over the nail, wrap it with foil, and wait a few minutes. The glitter should come off easily. Avoid excessive scrubbing to prevent damage to the nail bed.

How long should I wait for regular nail polish to dry before applying glitter nail polish?

It's best to wait until the regular nail polish is completely dry, which can take up to an hour, depending on the polish and the number of coats applied. This prevents the layers from smudging and ensures a smooth application of glitter polish.