"Glass" nails are the latest, prettiest, most need-right-now trend to come out of South Korea. Segments of cellophane reflect light like facets on a gemstone, which light up the hand like it's outfitted in diamonds. It's the manicure equivalent of Rihanna in her CFDA naked dress.
The technique was developed by Eunkyung Park, owner of Unistella Salon in Seoul, who’s done the nails of just about every celebrity in Korea. Park first shot to fame for totally owning negative-space manicures. Check out her Instagram: I’ve never seen such a keen understanding of design harmony between fingers. It’s friggin' art, people.
The inspiration came from the abalone, a sea snail with a very pretty mother-of-pearl-like lining in its shell, similar to an oyster. Park snipped bits of cellophane and pasted them into a mani. One post on Instagram, and Korean women just lost it. It reached such a fervor that Amorepacific, Korea’s cosmetic giant, approached Park to manufacture stickers so people can replicate the look.
The trend’s now gone fully mainstream, with other salons mimicking it and mani-lovers using the stickers to DIY their own renditions at home. Park gave me some stickers to try, and not only is it easy to do, it’s kind of amazing how much glamour comes out of such a simple process. It goes: basecoat, nail polish, stickers, and topcoat. You can use whatever color you want, and because the cellophane is transparent and holographic, it beautifully takes on the undertones of your chosen shade.
The stickers are pre-cut to fit each nail, which makes them easy to arrange and apply. Park recommends packing them in tight, to leave a clean perimeter around the nail. Click through for some major nail-art inspiration — along with information on where to get the stickers, so you can try glass nails yourself!