Glitter Toe or Rock Star Toe Application- UV cured

Black with confetti
Black with confetti
Red wtih confetti
Red wtih confetti

If you are a practicing nail tech or cosmo and haven't heard of glitter toes, rock star toes, sparkle toes or gel toes (oh, the many names) you are probably living on another planet! They are quick to apply, taking 20-30 minutes, and cost you around five to seven dollars a set. This enhancement has gotten me more referral business than any other! Your clients become your advertisement - their toes catch everyone's eye with their sparkle. I'm telling you, as soon as someone sees glitter toes for the first time they HAVE TO HAVE THEM. If no one else in your area is offering these you are in luck... prepare to be swamped!

Application is easy no matter what line of gel you use. There are two application methods I will outline in this hub. I prefer the "sprinke on" method because you always get a solid color and and I feel I can offer more colors without wasting gel. But the "mix in" method is quicker to apply (especially if you premix the gel and glitter) and you may find that some product lines work better this way. I personally use Young Nails gel and Art Club glitter (check it out at or Roberts Crafts, they have a million colors). Just like any gel will work, any ultrafine glitter will too. Keep in mind while one foot is curing you are working on the other foot.

Sprinkle On Method

  1. Prep the nails. Remove all that shine with 180 grit file, cleanse, and dehydrate.
  2. Apply primer. This product will vary based on the line of gel you are using.
  3. Apply base gel and cure 2 minutes. Some product lines don't have a base gel. If yours doesn't just skip this step.
  4. Apply builder gel. Brush it on like you would polish- no need to float it in place on this step. You don't want this layer to be thick and use caution not to get it on the skin or cuticle.
  5. Sprinkle glitter over entire nail then gently shake the foot to get any loose glitter off.
  6. Cure 2-4 minutes. The cure time will vary depending on the strength of your UV lamp.
  7. Using a manicure brush, brush off any loose glitter. Check for coverage at this point. Some colors you may need to repeat steps 4-6 to achieve a solid color.
  8. Apply builder gel and cure 2-3 minutes. This time you may need to float it on... this layer needs to be smooth and even.
  9. File any major imperfections. If you do feel you need to file make sure you remove the tacky layer first. Don't sweat this step too much, though. Toes are much more forgiving than fingers!
  10. Apply sealer gel and cure 2-3 minutes. This gel varies by line but it should be a high shine top coat.

Mix In Method

  1. Stir glitter into builder gel with birchwood stick. You need enough glitter that one layer of this will achieve a solid color but keep in mind the gel still has to cure. A good rule is 1/3 glitter to 2/3 gel.
  2. Prep the nail. Remove the shine with a file, cleanse and dehydrate.
  3. Apply primer. This product may vary depending on the line of gel you are using.
  4. Apply base gel and cure 2-3 minutes. Some product lines don't have a base gel. If you don't, just skip this step.
  5. Apply builder gel containing glitter and cure 2-4 minutes. You will need to float it on so you achieve a layer that is smooth and thick enough to give the enhancement strength.
  6. File any major imperfections. If you do need to file make sure you remove the tacky layer first.
  7. Apply sealer and cure 2-3 minutes. This product varies by brand but it needs to be a high shine top coat.

There are a lot of different products out there! If you have any questions about how to make these steps work with your gel line let me know, I'm more than happy to help!

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Comments 16 comments

Katie 7 years ago

Thanks, I've always wondered how to apply these. My clients are already going crazy and it's the middle of fall!

christina 7 years ago

perfect.. i have tried sina.. beauties factory and now IBD and thus far IBD is the best product for me.. but watch out ladies its very expensive! ladies where i live pay 65.00 for rockstar toes! holy cow!

Nail Technician profile image

Nail Technician 6 years ago

Yea Uv gel nails can get a bit more expensive because they have the strength and benefits of acrylics without the drawbacks of lifting or yellowing. I really like your application method, Great Hub!

more on uv gel nails below :)

nailsthatrock profile image

nailsthatrock 6 years ago from Provo, Utah Author

Just wanted to add a little update that I've been offering a "soak off" version of these with Dashing Diva's gel line. Works great and not only saves me lots of filing time but gives my clients the option to remove at home! Thanks for your comments, ladies!

healthgoji profile image

healthgoji 6 years ago

Thanks for your hub. I will pass it on.

Scentsy Candle Consultant 6 years ago

I really like these glitter toes! You did a great job of explaining the process. Love the photos too.

elnin profile image

elnin 6 years ago from Ha Noi

Great Hub! thank for shared! :)

Check out this for Some great Nail Art:

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Nailsthatrock, Great tips! Peace & Blessings!

Garret 6 years ago


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Could you please place this link in the sidebar of your blog.

I am doing this service as charity. I want to help people make their

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Please help by placing this link in your side bar.

~Glitzy Nails

Garret Merkley

If you have any questions please contact me.


Jean Paul Gaultier Men 6 years ago

Great job on the instructions. These are so hard to find online. Your instructions are simple and easy to understand.

Deborah 6 years ago

I am usiing the ibd line but when I apply the builder gel to the glitter sometimes it takes it off. What do you think I am doing wrong?

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FOREX NINJA 5 years ago

Very attractive piece of pics in here.I love this work because it was well organized.

william.fischer29 profile image

william.fischer29 5 years ago

Beautiful nails. They rock!

melony brown 3 years ago

The pink toes are mine!!! someone has RIPPED my pic off, and they are gel and NOT done the way this lady has explained... This is now on my facebook business page... You have even taken my watermark off!

RUDE!!!! ~ you obviously CAN NOT do your own nails

Belinda Curry 3 years ago


These nails (pink glitter toes) were done by my nail tech Mel Brown. They are just a glitter mix nothing "ROCK STAR" about them... It was this exact pic that made me decide I wanted my toes done!


Jen Hallis 3 years ago

I don't know Mel personally, but she is apart of a nails forum that im on. I have had the exact thing happen to me by another local Tech in a town very close to mine. There is nothing more FRUSTRATING & DISCRACEFUL...

YOU should be ashamed! you are allowing people to believe that you are a tech and that you have done this work... one word LIAR!

Its people like your LAZY self that now have people in need of tagging & water marking there work...

You may be on the other side of the world, but you got caught out & Mel has certinally spread the word... WELL DONE MEL... Stand up for yourself...

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