The 12 Best Glitter Nail Polishes for Grown-Ups

Consider Essie Luxe Effects in Set in Stones for your next mani.

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The 12 Best Glitter Nail Polishes for Grown-Ups
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When I was first introduced to glitter as a child, I was mesmerized by how sparkly and pretty it was. As an adult, I can concur that not much has changed. I still find myself subconsciously walking toward shiny things, but instead of the chunky, arts and crafts type of glitter, my sense of style has become a little more refined.

Glitter nail polish is one of the most stylish ways to wear this trend, but not all glitter nail polishes are created equal. They run the gamut from sloppy formulas that look less-than-chic, to radiant, high-quality lacquers that redefine elegance and glamour. "I love a glitter with dimension," Miss Pop, a New York-based celebrity nail artist whose stylish manicures can be regularly found on fashion runways, and on celebrities like Ariana Grande and Gwen Stefani', tells InStyle. "[Nail polishes with] different metallic colors, sizes and shapes, really makes a glitter look chic and goes with every outfit! It's more stylish and adult, but still 100% fun," she adds.

If you're looking for a quality glitter nail polish to add a sophisticated sparkle to your DIY manicure or pedicure, Essie Luxeffects in Set in Stones received best overall. Its versatility worn as both a top coat and all on its own, make this a top pick for adding an elegant twinkle effect to nails.

Scroll below to browse and shop the no B.S. list of the best glitter nail polishes to glitz up your next manicure.

Our Picks

Best Overall: Essie Nail Lacquer in Set In Stones

essie Luxeffects Nail Polish
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Also available at Amazon

What We Love: The mix of large and small flecks makes this polish extra twinkly.
What We Don't Love: There's no base color, so you may see nail ridges and unevenness.

This dazzling platinum glitter polish strikes the perfect balance between dainty and badass. It's the easiest five-minute manicure that leaves your hands looking pretty and polished, without going full on glitter bomb. It goes on smooth, wipes off easily, and looks equally as beautiful worn on bare nails or layered over your favorite color polish. "I used this platinum polish over a clear press-on for a Moschino runway show", Miss Pop says. "It was fuss-free glamour—a rare combination."

Color: Silver | Type/Finish: Clear polish with silver glitter | Size: .46 fl oz.

Best Value: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Out of this Pearl

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
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Also available at Rite Aid

What We Love: The wide brush makes for easy at home manicures.
What We Don't Love: The finish is more metallic than glittery.

If you're looking for a stunner manicure that will last all week, this gorgeous pearly rose gold polish delivers. It has a high gloss finish that lends a sophisticated metallic twinkle to nails and is a more subtle alternative to traditional razzle dazzle glitter nail polishes. The wide, flat brush holds makes for exceptionally even, smooth, easy-to-master at-home manicures and since the formula combines color and top coat in one bottle, you can complete your mani in less than five minutes. The polish dries fast, and lasts up to 8 days which is certainly something worth celebrating.

Color: Rose gold | Type/Finish: Metallic | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best Splurge: Jimmy Choo Glitter Lover Nail Polish in Stardust

Jimmy Choo Nail Colour
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Also available at Jimmy Choo

What We Love: This nail polish and bottle is a work of art and it's cruelty-free.
What We Don't Love: The fancy bottle comes with a fancy price tag.

One look at this stunning nail polish is enough to understand what all the fuss is about. It's easily one of the most gorgeous nail polish bottles ever designed, with an extended bottle top that makes painting your nails feel extra fancy. It also gives your hand better grip and control as you paint. The elegant, geometric glass bottle is full of sparkling tiny gold and silver stars, inspired by Jimmy Choo's iconic golden emblem, which give off a diamond-like twinkle from every angle. Worn alone or layered as a top coat, this splurge-worthy polish makes a statement.

Color: Gold | Type/Finish: Clear top coat with gold and silver stars | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best Color: Zoya Professional Lacquer in Elsa

Zoya Nail Polish
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What We Love: The iridescent flecks reflect the rainbow spectrum.
What We Don't Love: The blue-purple color is more sheer than the bottle suggests.

As the name suggests, this 10-free polish is fit for a Snow Queen with a glittering iridescent finish that is completely enchanting. The cool-toned blue-purple color is littered with rainbow glitter that reflect and twinkle no matter where the light catches the nail. The color goes on sheerer than the bottle suggests, but a second coat of polish intensifies the gorgeous shade for a statement manicure.

Color: Blue-purple | Type/Finish: Iridescent | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best Gel: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro in Candy Shop

nail polish
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Also available at Bluemercury

What We Love: The long wear gel polish doubles as a nail treatment and doesn't require a UV light.
What We Don't Love: It can be difficult to remove from your nails.

If your mind just filled with a rainbow waterfall of Skittles and Sour Patch Kids to the tune of 50 Cent, you're not alone. This cheerful blend of rainbow colored glitter will instantly make you smile, and that's before you learn about the nail-loving magic hidden inside. The patented formula features 10 nail treatment ingredients including biotin, keratin, and rice protein, which promote strong, healthy nails, and make your mani look even better. The pink base color applies very sheer and leaves the same glossy, cushioned finish of a salon gel manicure, minus the UV light, making this a considerably healthier alternative to a traditional gel manicure.

Color: Multi-color | Type/Finish: Gel | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best Holographic: Nails Inc. Flower Topper Nail Polish in Partying in Piccadilly

Nails.INC Partying in Piccadilly Silver Holographic Flower Topper
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Also available at Nails Inc

What We Love: The large, flower-shaped confetti looks great on bare nails and layered over any colored polish.
What We Don't Love: It takes some maneuvering to get the flowers where you want them on your nails.

The holographic silver flower confetti is suspended in a glossy, clear polish, adding a touch of pizazz to a basic, clear manicure. The flower glitter bits are big enough that you can manipulate how many you want to paint on to each nail, allowing you to control just how glittery you want your manicure to be. The patented bottle top is slightly pinched in the center, creating an ergonomic handle, which, when paired with their wide brush, makes for an easy DIY manicure. It's also a forgiving glitter polish that will conceal any chips or smudges until you get around to fixing them.

Color: Silver | Type/Finish: Holographic | Size: .47 fl oz.

Best Top Coat: Jin Soon Nail Polish in Daisy

Jin Soon Nail Polish
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What We Love: The cheerful, multi-color topcoat is 10-free.
What We Don't Love: This glitter polish has a higher price tag.

Leave it to celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi to come up with a multi-dimensional, rainbow top coat that somehow manages to look chic and sophisticated, instead of cheesy and childish. It looks like a party in a bottle, with a mix of chunky and fine glitter that add a playful confetti garnish to nails. "Chunky glitter is such a statement," Miss Pop told InStyle. "I love to just wear a coat over a bare nail. It's an easy look for someone who washes their hands a lot because you can never tell when it chips and it always feels like a party!"

Color: Multi-color | Type/Finish: Glitter | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best Metallic: Olive & June Nail Polish in Sundance Shimmer

Sundance Shimmer Nail Polish
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What We Love: It has a high-shine gel-like finish and lasts long.
What We Don't Love: The metallic finish makes chips more noticeable.

If you're someone who likes the shimmery glitz, but doesn't want their nails to look like a disco ball, this bronzy metallic polish was made for you. The warm shade manages to pull rose gold from some angles, and bronzy-taupe from others, but no matter what angle you catch it from, it's equally as gorgeous. Plus, it's a 7-free formula that is vegan and cruelty-free which is a big plus in our book.

Color: Bronze | Type/Finish: Metallic | Size: .46 fl oz.

Best Gold: PaintBox Single Nail Lacquer in Like Gilded

nail polish
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Also available at Paintbox

What We Love: The 10-free formula is vegan and cruelty-, gluten- and paraben-free.
What We Don't Love: The chunky gold glitter can be hard to remove.

Nothing feels as opulent as gold, and this dazzling polish only further confirms that fact. It sparkles with the same brilliance as a piece of fine gold jewelry and leaves nails looking every bit gilded and glamorous. There's absolutely nothing subtle about a manicure with this polish, but that's precisely what we love about it. It's perfectly over-the-top and extravagant, delivering a blinged-out manicure that will get noticed.

Color: Gold | Type/Finish: Glitter | Size: .34 fl oz.

Best Silver: ORLY x Lisa Frank Iridescent Top Coat in Star Glaze

Orly x Lisa Frank Iridescent Topcoat - Star Glaze
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What We Love: The superfine glitter paints on smooth.
What We Don't Love: The rainbow iridescence may be too childish for some.

Cue the nostalgia. This shimmery bottle of superfine glitter brings the whimsical Lisa Frank fantasy of your childhood to life. The iridescent silver glitter polish has hints of pink, blue, and lavender glitter sprinkled throughout, which give it that sparkly finish reminiscent of the glitter you were obsessed with as a kid. However, the smooth formula layers beautifully over any polish and gives nails a multicolor rainbow shine that give this polish a sophisticated edge, fitting for adults too.

Color: Silver | Type/Finish: Shimmery | Size: .6 fl oz.

Best Pink: OPI Infinite Shine Longwear Lacquer in Pixel Dust

OPI Xbox Infinite Shine Collection
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Also available at OPI

What We Love: The high-shine formula will last chip-free for over a week.
What We Don't Love: This long wear lacquer can be difficult to remove.

The Barbie-pink color may be more youthful than the other glitter polishes on our list, but it's the playful, flirty polish perfect for summertime and vacation. The pink pearlescent shimmer is extra twinkly, and extra mesmerizing, particularly when reflecting the sunshine at the beach. Added bonus: the long lasting polish dries to a high-shine, gel-like finish that remains fresh for well over a week.

Color: Pink | Type/Finish: Glitter | Size: .5 fl oz.

Best 17-Free: Ella + Mila Dream Nail Polish in After Party

ella+mila Dream Nail Polish Collection
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Also available at Ella + Mila

What We Love: The creamy 17-free polish applies smooth and dries fast.
What We Don't Love: The glitter sometimes clumps on the brush.

This exceptionally clean, pretty glitter polish will make you smile for a myriad of reasons. For starters, it is rose gold, which is as good a reason as any. The mix of fine and chunky rose gold bits give nails an elegant and multi-dimensional sparkle that will have you admiring your hands throughout the day. The clear polish is surprisingly creamy and paints on smooth, without any gritty roughness from the glitter. It also dries impressively fast, which will speak to anyone who has zero patience for dry time. But our favorite part is the meticulously crafted 17-free formula which gives you a squeaky clean conscience as you paint it on.

Color: Pink | Type/Finish: Glitter | Size: .45 fl oz.

What to Keep in Mind

Size of Glitter

Glitter can range in size from fine to chunky, and each delivers a different twinkle and sparkle effect. Fine glitter tends to add more of a shimmery finish, while chunky glitter gives nails more twinkle. You can also look for nail polishes that feature a mix of fine and chunky glitter for a multi-dimensional effect.

Color

Some glitter nail polishes are suspended in a clear lacquer while others have a colored base. The color is a matter of personal preference, however it's good to note the glitter polishes with a clear, translucent base can also double as a topcoat and can be layered over bare nails or any colored polish making them a bit more versatile.

Your Questions, Answered

What's the best way to apply glitter nail polish?

Unlike crème nail polish that you brush on, glitter nail polish should be dabbed. "I do my best to wipe the excess top coat off of the brush, leaving the best collection of glitter on the tip. Then I dab down on the nail, delivering glitter all over. If too much collects in a corner, then I brush. Otherwise, dab away!" notes Miss Pop.

How do you remove glitter nail polish?

Glitter nail polish gets a bad rep for a tough removal, but if you do it correctly, it should be a fast and easy process. "No foils required, just cotton and remover," notes Miss Pop. "First, I break up my cotton into finger sized pieces. Then I soak each piece with remover and lay it on top of a nail. Let the cotton sit for a couple of minutes to soak around the glitter flecks and loosen the polish. Then, wipe away each little finger cotton piece with a big cotton ball soaked in remover."

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