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how to create “jelly sandwich” nails

August 20, 2012

(Cross-posted from the Birchbox Blog. Check them out here!)

If you’re looking for a fun new way to wear glitter, look no further than the “jelly sandwich” manicure. This nail technique has swept the blogosphere, and for good reason! It’s quick, foolproof for even the shakiest hands, and the color combinations are endless.

You’ll need two polishes to get the look. A jelly polish will serve as the sandwich’s bread, with a layer of glitter polish in between. What’s jelly polish, you might ask? These lacquers are somewhat translucent, even after a few coats, and provide sheer, glossy color. I’m using Essie True Love today, along with four different glitters to show you a variety of looks.

Step 1: After applying a base coat, paint each nail with one or two coats of jelly polish. Allow your nails to dry before moving on.

Step 2: Apply a layer of glitter polish over your base color. I like using chunky glitter, but you can use anything you have on hand. For a little extra fun, try creating a glitter gradient like I did on my ring finger by concentrating the majority of the sparkles at the base of the nail.

Step 3: Once the glitter has dried, apply an additional layer of jelly polish over the top. This coat will trap the glitter in the middle, giving your manicure tons of depth and visual interest. If you choose a white or pale jelly, the final layer gives the manicure a milky effect, which makes the glitter much more subtle. Perfect for when you want to sparkle without going too over-the-top.

Step 4: Even though jellies are quite glossy, I like adding a top coat for extra durability and protection, especially in the heat of summer when my nails take so long to dry.

Super simple, right? The best part about this look is experimenting with polish and glitter combinations – you really can’t go wrong! Looking to add a few jellies to your collection? Try these three bright, buildable shades from Zoya’s Blogger Collection.

Have you tried the “jelly sandwich” look? Let me know in the comments!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tanya permalink
    August 22, 2012 3:32 PM

    How can you tell if a polish is a jelly polish by looking at it in the bottle?

    • August 22, 2012 9:22 PM

      Hey Tanya! You can sometimes see that the polish looks more translucent than usual, like you’d be able to see a hint of your nail through the polish instead of a fully opaque polish like a standard “creme” polish. I often look up the color’s name in my phone or on the computer to see photos of people who have tried it on their nails, even if I look a little silly standing in front of the nail polish at the store for such a long time!

  2. Kahryn Boase permalink
    August 23, 2012 10:50 AM

    Love the glitter on your ring finger- what is the name of that polish?

    • August 23, 2012 1:17 PM

      Hi Kahryn! The multi-colored glitter is Milani “Gems” – it’s a drugstore brand, you can find it for pretty cheap at CVS, etc.

      • Kahryn Boase permalink
        August 23, 2012 4:57 PM

        Thank you!!

  3. September 3, 2012 2:39 AM

    Does your nail polish have those kinds of glitters?

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