Shine Bright Like a Diamond: We Tried a Gemstone-Infused Gel Manicure

Shine Bright Like a Diamond: We Tried a Gemstone-Infused Gel Manicure
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There's a new way to wear your gems on your fingers: DIY gel nail brand Red Carpet Manicure just launched a line of nail polishes that are infused with real crushed gemstones. We asked InStyle.com assistant editor Marianne Mychaskiw to choose a color, try it out and report back on the results. Keep reading to see what she thought!

I tend to follow the "What Would Rihanna Do" mantra when it comes to my hair and nail choices. So when I heard that Red Carpet Manicure was releasing a line of gemstone-infused nail colors ($12 each; redcarpemanicure.com), which contain ruby, sapphire and emerald among many other elements, I naturally went straight for the diamond option. I'm still pretty new to the DIY gel mani game--I previously tried out Ciate's 60-second kit. But though Red Carpet Manicure's set required a few more steps to achieve the effect, the instructions were spelled out clearly enough for a beginner to master. After prepping my nails with the required products, I applied a layer of the diamond polish to each of my digits. It certainly didn't lack for sparkle, but the formula was very sheer, so it took numerous coats and a few passes under the LED light for a more opaque payoff.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a silver base color before using the gem-infused lacquer, but I was being stubborn and wanted a pure diamond manicure. I kept applying layer after layer, not realizing the color would be more saturated once I completely cured the gel polish, so thanks to my own error, I ended up with a pretty thick finish. Manageable for sure, but a bit thicker than I would have preferred. Still, I was pleased with the overall result. I'm not sure how different the finished effect is from a traditional silver glitter gel polish, but the addition of the diamond element makes me feel pretty fancy. And the final result is slightly sheer, but completely luxurious--not unlike RiRi's risqué Swarovski gown from the CFDA awards. Win!

See the trendy nail colors you have to try this fall.

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