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Glitter nails made easy
M: I can do whatever I want, E.
E: Is that so, M?
M: Yes. Anything at all. Eat brioche. Sleep on piles of feather mattresses. Run over peasants.
E: I see. Mattresses, peasants, brioche. Got it. Giant powdered wig optional.
M: I'M A PRINCESS, E. LOOK AT MY NAILS, HOW THEY SPARKLE.
Nude nail with gold glitter Topshop's Costume Ball looks pretty on understated nude nails.
E: Good lord, what happened? Did a unicorn throw up on you? Did you get trapped in the Claire's Accessories stock room and have to claw your way out with your bare hands?
M: No. I just love pink and glitter and bubbles and fairy dust. Weeeeeeeee!
E: Oi, Tinkerbell, who are you, and what have you done with M? My M is as hard to impress as a capybara in a petting zoo. She would not go giddy over sparkle. GIVE HER BACK.
M: That's the power of glitter nails, E. They make you feel special. Luminous. Invincible. And I'm here to tell you that glitter nails aren't just for five-year-old girls and obnoxious teenagers.
E: My rough-hewn, kitchen-scissor trimmed fingerclaws and I are dubious.
M: Then behold: my guide to glitter nails for grown-ups.
SOUND THE TRUMPETS!
E: Consider the trumpet of glitter-nail ambivalence sounded, M. Continue.
Pick your polish
I love sparkly nails in the winter: cack-handed application gets covered up, chipped polish goes unnoticed, and they look great against cosy knits, dreich gloomy skies and the dark despair of the soul.
Gold nail polish Revlon's Gold Coin is your new winter neutral.
But I digress.
Need office-appropriate nails? Step away from the Teletubby-rolled-in-Swarovski look. Choose classic bases in nudes and glossy dark reds (hunter greens and navies work a treat, too). Fine, chunky and multi-coloured sparkle usually comes in clear bases, ideal for applying to just the base of the nails, or their tips. If you can't be bothered faffing around, grab a foil-effect metallic – my favourite Revlon one hovers somewhere between gold and silver and never fails to receive compliments from young, trendy and beautiful things. Ka-ching.
Dark nail polish with glitter The beauty of glitter: even a cack-handed smattering of Topshop's Magpie can dazzle.
How to apply glitter varnish like a pro
If, like me, you lack the dexterity of nail-art pixies, take your time. It's hard to get it wrong, but these few tips might help.
1. Before you start, push back as much of the cuticle as you can, so you get plenty of nail-bed space to play around with.
2. Start with a good base – you'll thank me later, as getting every last fleck off your nails is a time-consuming bore.
3. Remove the brush from the bottle carefully: without letting it touch the sides of the neck, let the excess polish drip off for a few seconds. You'll be left with enough of the sparkly stuff for a good coating.
4. Long strokes won't work here: dab with the side and end of the brush to deposit the glitter.
5. Keep an orange cuticle stick handy: they're useful for shifting the glitter around to where it needs to be.
6. Glitter's surprisingly resilient. To get rid of it, soak some cotton wool with nail polish remover, wrap it around your fingertip, then enclose it in a bit of tin foil. Leave for a few minutes, and hey, presto! Clean(ish) nails.
Mavala Cuticle Remover, £10
This makes speedy work of neglected nails. Brush on, wait a minute or two, then push back the softened cuticles with a cotton-wrapped orange stick.
Sally Hansen Double Duty, £5.25
I've tried OPI, Sèche Vite and their ilk, but this no-frills base and top coat is heavy-duty perfection.
Topshop nail varnishes, from £5
Cheap, fashion-forward colours in pretty bottles: I am completely, but completely hooked on Topshop polishes. I want them all, like a Pokémon collector. Try Magpie, a pale iridescent gold, or Costume Ball's thin pink-gold flecks. The minis come in little packages you can hang from the Christmas tree, so if you're reading this, Santa, you know what to do.
Revlon Gold Coin Nail Enamel, £6.49
This is your new neutral. Buy it. Wear it. Bask in the warm glow of admiration. Now.
Much as it pains me to say this, M, I'm sort of coming around to the sparkle. I'm speculatively eyeing my ragged cuticles and imagining my stumpy fingers coated in a whirling snowdome's worth of bling. I AM A PRINCESS!
M: My work here is done, E. Now go forth and glitter.
Are you ready for some fingertip sparkle this winter? Have you tried glitter polishes and what did you think?
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