Glitter polish can be hard to keep on point, especially as a grown up. Allure's April issue explains how to make your nails a little more cocktail hours, and a little less sweet 16. 

1. Find your match. Top off a basic, one-note manicure with a clear polish that contains glitter in a similar or matching hue (such as sparkly turquoise over deep navy). At arm's length, the effect is shimmery and clean; up close, it has an edgy holographic feel.

2. Get a grip. Combining flecks of different sizes creats a cool, gravelly texture with intense shine. Manicurist Gina Edwards likes to layer Essie Luxeffects in Set in Stones (a mix of large shards and small pieces) over Morgan Taylor Professional Nail Lacquer in Fame Game (tiny microparticles). "It looks like crushed jewels," she says.

3. Give your neutrals some flash. A dash of sparkle can kick shades up a notch, but not so far that you can't wear them to work. Try topping beige nails with a wash of sheer glitter, or copy the geometric look that Lippman created for Honor's spring runway: shimmery ballet pink polish finished with a pyramid of tiny crystals starting at the base and tapering upwards.

4. Lighten up. Dar polish can look flat and inky, as though it were drawn with a Sharpie. Shimmer gives it depth and dimension. Case in point: Singer-songwriter Lorde's scary-beautiful dip-dyed manicure at the Grammy Awards.


Allure also encourages readers to try Kiss' Gel Fantasy Nails. They are the easiest glitter gel manicure fake-out they've tried. And it comes with nail glue for a look that lasts! Plus, for a new gel manicure without all that time under the UV lights, readers can try L'Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque 1-2-3 for a smooth, glassy finish. 


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