This week I did my mother’s nails and she requested her favorite holly berry nail art. We decided to do the holly berry on a glitter nail to help create a very sparkly, attention-grabbing nail art design. Here’s what we did. . .

Note: I will be providing instructions on how to achieve this look with plain polish, along with Gel Polish.


Step 1: Prep Nails

View my post on Nail Polish Prep.


Step 2: Paint Color onto Nails

Paint all of the nails, except the ring fingers, with two coats of red polish. I used the Shellac color called, Wild Fire. Paint the ring fingers with two coats of gold polish. I used the Shellac color called, Locket Love.

Gel Polish: Apply two coats of polish. Cure 2 minutes in the UV light, or 1 minute in an LED light.


Step 3: Glitter

While the second coat of polish is tacky, not wet, gently dust a fine layer of gold glitter onto the ring finger polish and red glitter onto the middle finger, just as I did for my Simply in Love nails. I used Martha Stewart craft glitter, colors florentine gold and garnet. Then gently press the glitter into the tacky polish. This will create a different look than applying the glitter when the polish is wet. Now apply a top coat to seal in the glitter so that as you adjust your vinyl it won’t remove the glitter.

Gel Polish: Apply glitter after the second coat of polish is cured, but still has that tacky residue on the surface. Now apply a top coat over the glitter and cure 2 minutes in the UV light, or 1 minute in an LED light.

Glitter Nails


Step 4: Holly Leaf

Now paint two holly leaves onto each ring finger. I have put together a little picture guide to help you visualize how to paint a holly leaf. Begin with a line. Then add two perpendicular lines. Then do a curved line to connect all the end points.  Now do a half circle for the middle lines. Now fill in.Holly Berry Sparkle

Note: When hand painting images on your nails use acrylic craft paints, not polish. You will get crisper lines and much more pop than you would with polish. Some polishes can sometimes dry almost transparent which makes the image hazy and you won’t get the wow factor you are going for.Holly Berry Sparkle

Step 5: Rhinestone Jewels

Apply a health top coat to all the nails. Make sure the paint is completely dry before adding top coat to help avoid smearing. While top coat is very wet, apply a red jewel next to the holly leaves, gently push the jewel into the top coat. This will create the jewel to be sealed into the top coat layer.

Shellac: Apply top coat and jewel. Cure in UV light for 2 minutes. If needed, do another application of top coat and cure in light.Holly Berry Sparkle

The best way to pick up the little jewel is to use a toothpick. You touch the toothpick to a damp cloth and then to the top of the jewel. Place on to the nail.Baby, It's Cold Outside


Step 6: Allow to Dry and Apply Cuticle Oil

Allow your polish to dry completely. Apply a cuticle oil just around your nails on the cuticle and rub into the skin.

Gel Polish: Remove sticky residue on top of nails with a little alcohol or polish remover and apply cuticle oil.
Holly Berry Sparkle


Remove gel polish after 2-3 weeks, check out Gel Polish Removal for the quickest, easiest and best way to remove gels.