In the grand scheme of things, worrying about a grown-out gel manicure is admittedly low on the priority list right now. But it’s an unexpected consequence of social distancing nonetheless. Now that numerous salons and spas are closed for the foreseeable future, women are left wondering how self-isolation will affect their usual beauty routines.
This most certainly goes for nails, since booking a manicure is out of the question for at least a few weeks. But that hasn’t stopped creative minds on the internet from brainstorming new ways to adjust to the disruption. The latest to gain traction is a brilliant hack shared by Olivia Smalley, a hairstylist in South Florida.
As noted by Allure, Smalley first posted the trick a few months ago when she had to film a video for work—she’s a content creator for the hair care brand Joico—but noticed her overgrown gel manicure. Instead of panicking, she grabbed a glitter polish and filled in the unpainted area. She recently reshared the video, thinking it would be extra relevant now that no one has access to their usual salon.
In the video, she starts by freshening up the shape of her nails with a file, and then filling in the grown-out area with a chunky glitter (she used Essie’s Rock at the Top). She notes that you can stop at the cuticle for a reverse-French look, but she brings it about halfway up her nails for a pretty ombré effect.
“I love the idea of covering your regrowth with a chunky glitter,” nail artist Brittney Boyce tells Glamour. “I think the glitter ombré look is very approachable for doing at home.” Not only does it look good, Boyce notes that it’s absurdly simple to do. “Chunky glitter is great to ombré with because it comes out in an uneven disbursement making it easy to avoid harsh lines,” says Boyce.
Glitter also helps fill in the physical space left behind because of the thickness of the gel. “Glitter is the best to use to fill in grown out nails because it sticks well to the nails,” adds nail artist Hang Nguyen. “It doesn’t show any bumps of the grown out nail when being applied, whereas any regular colored polish, you’ll be able to see the lump if painted over the old and new nail.”
Not only is this trick genius, it’s actually on trend. Some of our favorite nail artists have been rocking cuticle art for a while, so now’s as good a time as any to try. Plus, it saves you from panic peeling off your gels and destroying your nails in the process.
Shop our some of our favorite glitter nail polishes.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.