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Glass Nails Are a Thing, and They're Beautiful

Hand with press-on glass nails My press-on glass nails. Ignore any sizing issues, I applied them in a car before a wedding.

Do you look at shattered glass and think, "wow, the way the light catches those shards is super pretty!"? You might after seeing glass nails.

This nail art, AKA shattered glass nails or broken glass nails, attaches pieces of reflective film to nails to mimic the effect of glass shards. When the film catches the light, the nails become mesmerizingly shiny. It's the perfect manicure if you can't seem to get enough of sparkly things (so, if you're a human person).

The nail trend originated in Korea in 2015 when celebrity nail artist Park Eunkyung, the owner of Unistella salon in Seoul, began gluing pieces of cellophane candy wrappers to nails. Interestingly enough, she wasn't trying to create a glass effect; rather, she was trying to mimic the pearlescent inside of an abalone shell she found on the beach.

After some trial and error—she eventually switched to a thinner reflective film sourced from a Japanese company—her nail design went viral on Instagram, inspiring thousands of nail artists and DIYers to try to re-create the look in the U.S.

It's now pretty easy to walk into your local nail salon and walk out with glass nails. You can also find holographic film stickers to create your own version or order press-on nails with the stickers pre-applied.

I picked up some press-on glass nails recently for a casual barbecue wedding in St. Louis, and I got lots of compliments on them from strangers, despite the fact that I glued them on during the five-hour drive from Chicago. I didn't quite get the sizing right (see pic above), but the shininess distracted people from that fact I didn't file everything the way I should have. All people saw were pretty nails that sparkled in the light of the bonfire during the outdoor reception.

Ready to try glass nails yourself? Click the banner below to find a deal for a manicure at a nail salon near you:

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