HOW-TO: Shattered Glass Gel Manicure

Jamie Newman | December 29, 2015 | 11:55 AM
Photo By @Ireneisgood Photo 1 of 4
Photo By @SweetbCreations Photo 2 of 4
Photo By @nail_unistella Photo 3 of 4
Photo By @Unistella2_by_ek_lab Photo 4 of 4

After emerging in South Korea, “shattered glass” nail art has reached the U.S., thanks to social media. The trend can be traced back to Eunkyung Park, a Seoul-based celebrity manicurist and owner of Unistella Salon. According to Lead Education Ambassador and Global Team CND member Fiona Wallace, after being featured on a few high-profile blogs, the internet went crazy for the concept.

“It seemed as if I woke up one morning with all my messenger apps packed with links to articles and images from friends, colleagues and my own nail clients asking, ‘have you seen these nails?!’, ‘how do I create this?!’, ‘can I have these at my next appointment?’, Wallace says.


The material used to create the “glass” isn’t glass at all but rather a solvent-resistant plastic film, commonly known as Mylar. Mylar is a trademark owned by DuPont but has become the general term for this type of material.


Wallace said she doesn’t see shattered glass nail art going away anytime soon.


“I believe this trend to be more than a fad and I already see several nail art product manufacturers producing materials designed specifi cally to create new versions of this look,” Wallace says. “The industry, and more importantly the consumer, is hungry for it.”



"As nail professionals, we love and are excited by trends like this, as they allow us to take 'painting nails' to a new level," Wallace says. To create a shattered glass manicure, Wallce likes to use the CND additive Crystal Crush, an icy blue-green iridescent, solvent-resistant film, already cut into perfect little shards. 


STEP 1: P.E.P. the natural nail.

STEP 2: Apply a thin layer of Shellac brand base coat. Cure for 10 seconds under the CND LED lamp.

STEP 3: Apply two thin layers of Peacock Plume Shellac. Cure each layer one minute.

STEP 4: Apply a thin layer of Clearly Pink Shellac. Do not cure.

STEP 5: Use the tip of an orange wood stick and apply the CND Additive Crystal Crush piece by piece. Select a variety of medium and smaller shards and press into the sticky layer of uncured Shellac. Cure one minute.

STEP 6: Apply the Xpress top coat. Cure one minute.

STEP 7: Wipe with 99% IPA to remove top film. 



More from Inspiration

Hair Color
Hair Color

Rollers are Your New Best Friend for Balayage

Mary Kaleta | April 29, 2019

Over the past few years, the trend to make hair coloring more eco-friendly has continued to rise. In addition to companies seeking new ways to make their foils and meches more reusable and recyclable, stylists are taking their own initiatives inside the salon. Norwegian colorist Julie Jakobsen has found success using rollers.

Load More