Taking a more architectural approach to your nails, broken glass nail designs are fast becoming all the rage, developed by manicurist to the stars and celebs, Eunkyung Park. Based in Seoul, the trend was said to have been started in South Korea although social media such as Instagram and Pinterest has made the trend travel fast.
Just in case you were wondering, the same person behind these broken glass nail designs is also behind the negative space nails we were all rocking recently. She know’s what she’s doing. If she wants them, we should all be wanting them.
Now everyone’s after these special and unique styles and when you take a closer look, you’ll be part of that club.
Take a peek at these:
30 Broken Glass Nail Designs
1 – Pointed Nails
Glass nails, broken glass nails, broken mirror nails, shattered glass nails… Whatever it is you want to call them, they are the must-have nail trend for right now, giving you a new and unique way to create wonderful, eye-catching and light-reflecting nail designs. Although they look complicated, they’re actually pretty easy to achieve once you learn how.
Using segments of different colored cellophane, a weird and wonderful mix of designs can be created, layered up or in single-file, to create the broken-glass look. This look is very easily achieved with some bluet-green cellophane pieces on top of a black backdrop. You could do all the nails, or just one featured nail, but everyone will be asking where you got them!
2 – Neutral Nudes
It really is as simple as cutting tiny strips and segments of cellophane and sticking them to your nails. These broken glass pieces reflect the light well and offer that holographic appeal so when used on a dark backdrop, such as black nails, you have a really stunning look.
Even when you use these cellophane strips on lighter colored backdrops, the look is just as perfect as you can see here. Shimmering like diamonds, they will switch your nail from something generic to a complete work of art. It doesn’t take forever to do either! These nails would be classically simple without the embellishments but we like the little bit of extra sparkle they add! Great New Year’s Eve nails we reckon!
3 – Square Nails
Do you like square nails? Squoval nails? Stiletto nails? It doesn’t matter. The good thing about these broken glass nail designs is that YOU can cut the cellophane pieces to whatever size and shape you like, making them perfect for any length or style of nail.
These square nails are easily finished off with the broken glass pieces in a greens-gold over the top. Once again, there’s that simple black backdrop we keep telling you about! 😉
4 – Diamond Bright
We love this silvery-purple broken glass effect diamond over the top of the pastel pink. It’s a really simple and elegant look and again, is very easy to achieve at home if you want to give it a shot yourself.
Once you have your cellophane pieces in place, you should make sure you use a decent top coat to cover them with. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of them sliding around and this will alter the look dramatically. Imagine off-centre diamonds! The shock! The horror!
5 – Black Backdrop
The good thing about broken glass nail designs is that you can use the cellophane pieces to hide a multitude of sins. If you get a little chip or crack, or maybe even a gouge, out of your base coat and you don’t have time to go to the salon to get it fixed, you can cover the offending parts of your battered nails with these cleverly-placed shattered glass-style segments.
You will need to ensure you let your nails dry completely before you attempt to do anything. If your top coat isn’t dry, these shiny cellophane strips will again, slide all over the place, completely ruining your look.
6 – Fifty Shades of Grey (+ Silver)
The transparent, holographic nature of these cellophane pieces make them perfect for using in the broken glass nail designs because they take on the undertones of the base color you use perfectly.
You can make the look clash and be bright and bolshy, or you can keep things muted and understated. There are so many looks you can achieve, and so many mixes of colors, there is always going to be something that suits you perfectly.
7 – Black + Silver
The nail genius, Park, has recently clubbed together with a big Korean beauty company, Amorepacific, to create stickers you can apply on the nail bed to achieve the same look. Until they are released and we can cheat this perfect mani / pedi, try using the cellophane you find in craft kits – it’s the perfect place to start.
(Or keep reading… We’ve found some sheets of cellophane and foil you can use!)
Start by adding some simple silver cellophane pieces over the top of plain black nails, one featured nail at first, possibly adding to it later on, eventually resulting in two full hands of broken glass nail designs?
If you have some tin foil and a steady hand, you could also achieve the same effect but be careful that the foil edges aren’t too sharp because that’ll cause cuts. Ouch!
8 – Boldly Blue
If you want to go bright and bolshy, you can and we love this body blue broken glass nail design, perfect for something to stand out!
Simply piece blue and green effect cellophane or holographic pieces over the top of your existing blue mani. Go as nuts or as liberal as you like. They’re your nails and if you don’t like them, you can just start again!
If you’re going to use a bright colour like this Essie blue (which we adore!), make sure you take good care of your nails. The paint can easily stain but if you apply a base coat, remember to take your polish off properly every now and again, and treat your fingertips to a lemon juice soak every once in a while, you should avoid that yellowing look.
9 – Just the Tips
We fell in love with these nails as soon as we saw them and if you don’t like green, just imagine how good these tip-effect, almost negative-space nails would look with red, blue, purple, pink, or even just a silvery or gold effect cellophane?
The sharp edges of the cellophane broken-glass pieces work perfectly with abstract designs. If you want to try something a little new and unique, don’t be afraid to do it.
10 – White + Gold
You will need to apply your cellophane pieces to your base color AFTER you have put on an initial top coat. While the top coat is still somewhat tacky, but not too wet, place the cellophane pieces on carefully and deliberately, making sure you’re not pushing too hard that you smudge the clean paint-job underneath. The smudges would show up really obviously if you’re drawing attention to them too, just like you are here with the broken glass, negative space, and gold nail foils.
Once the cellophane pieces are in position, apply a second layer of top coat and leave to dry completely. Finish with a quick-drying spray and away you go!
11 – Multi-Coloured
If you have the luxury of different coloured cellophane segments to hand, go a little nuts with them. Use each nail to create a completely different colour look, shown off brilliantly with the simple black backdrop.
You know… For those days where you don’t have a clue what mood you’re in or what wardrobe-colour choice you’re going to go for that day. Even though it’ll probably be black because that goes with everything.
12 – Barely There
If you want to start with something small, subtle and discreet, these barely there nude broken glass nail designs are perfect. You’ve only got the broken glass effect itself over the top of two of the nail tips here but you could go all-out and have the look on every one.
Not everything has to be super obvious and we love how discreet these nails are. Perfect for those days where you want to be professional but you still want your nails to shine! Nail embellishments and bling optional obviously.
13 – Green Fingered
One of the best effects you can make with these cellophane pieces is a mosaic. Remember those photo frames and mirrors you make with your mum and Grandma as a kid? You can recreate the same look on your nails.
Cover as much or as little of your nails as you’d like. Piece different colours together and you’ll get an almost stained glass effect, or create a mosaic with fitting shapes like you can see here. It’s a versatile look and one that is easily switched up. Your nails will never look the same two attempts in a row, that’s for sure*.
*We’re speaking from experience.
14 – Shimmering Toes
If you thought your toe nails were too small to get in on the broken glass action, you were wrong. This look shows you just how versatile the nail design is.
Simple yet effective, it makes a change from just making one toe nail a different colour to the rest. We’re actually tempted to have a shot at this pretty little look ourselves.
Perfect for night-out shoes and tootsies!
15 – Frozen Inspired
The whole world is still seemingly going nuts for the Frozen movies and we’ll be honest, we’ve been known to let out a cracking rendition of “Let It Go” from time to time…
There’s something very pretty about this holographic, Frozen-inspired look and you can recreate it yourself very easily. When you have applied your base nail coat, like the shimmering blue you can see here, add a layer of glitter before your first layer of top coat. then when you add the holographic segments to the top, it’ll give you another level or layer. It’ll completely three-dimensional. Add your second layer of top coat before leaving to dry and we promise you’ll love it so much you’ll never want to change the look.
16 – Broken Mirror
You could get the kids involved with this one. Think about it – you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. They’ll have something to do for half an hour and it’ll probably keep them quiet, and you’ll get a nice shiny new manicure out of it. What’s not to love about that?
Letting the kids loose on your beauty regime might seem like a total nightmare but we’re just showing you how easy this look is to recreate yourself. Even a kid could do it!
(Probably better than we could to…)
17 – Short + Broken Glass Nail Designs
Just because you have short nails doesn’t mean you can’t get away with more intricate designs. This look covers a couple of tends in one – you have that cuticle colour which was popular a while ago, plus the negative space idea, then the black tips. It’s a lot to do and it will take a little while to recreate but you must admit, it does look super pretty.
It looks more complicated than it is really but it’s just there’s a few more steps to this look. The peachy / nude base coat has been used, followed by a layer of top coat and when tacky, those peachy, gold-toned broken-glass segments. Another level of topcoat has been added after that and when that has dried, the black tips and black cuticle half-moon style has been added after. Then you’ll want to add another layer of topcoat.
It’s an all-day job, we’re just saying.
18 – Keeping It Simple
We love the fact that you can barely see the pinky-pearlescent holographic pieces on the white nail here whereas the green one really pops from the black background. It’s a great way to mix and match two contrasting looks.
If you don’t have time to completely redo all your nails before a big night out, cheat and just redo the ones that are chipped or in desperate need of a re-paint.
What’s the point in doing more hard work than you need to? Being female is hard work enough!
19 – Half Moon Broken Glass Nail Designs
The half-moon effect was another of those nail designs we all fell in love with and we did a bit of a happy dance when we saw these half moon broken glass nail designs. We did even more of our happy dance when we saw those beautiful gold nail balls.
It’s all about the details with nails as intricate as this and although they take a while to achieve, they’re well worth it. Stunning, simple, not too long and left natural. What’s not to fall in love with? Let the happy dance continue.
20 – Mermaid Broken Glass Nails
Mermaid hair was a big thing for 2015 and is a trend said to continue well into 2016 also. Mermaid nails are also coming in, an easy to recreate look when you have these mermaid coloured broken glass nail designs pieces.
We managed to locate some broken glass nail stickers on Amazon in case you’re interested. You’ll find them here: Newest Awesome Nail Decals Stickers Glass Pieces Nails Transfer Foil DIY Decoration Beauty Care 12 colors – 12PCS
They’re not that expensive either!!
21 – Black Love
These nails are very easy to recreate with nail foils or masking tape. The chevron will take a bit of practice but what a fabulous look. You could leave the look just black for your office Friday but when the evening time comes, throw on those holographic pieces and get the party started!
A great look if you get them airbrushed at a salon, they’re also not too difficult to achieve yourself. You will need a steady hand though and I recommend having a look online for tutorials on drawing hearts. That’s how we learned to paint ours!
22 – Boldly Gold
We think these would make for great natural wedding nails. Or just for a quick jazz-up of natural nails when you don’t have time to do anything else. Either way, it’s quick and simple – two things we definitely have time for.
It really is a case of sticking those holographic pieces to your nails. Don’t worry about base coat, just make sure your nails are clean and free of old polish. Throw some top coat on over the top and you quite literally have five minutes nails. What more could you want?
23 – Ice Queen
If you have a little more time but still like that neutral finish, keep the nails minus base coat or colour, but add a clear shimmery or glittery polish instead.
It’ll add more depth to the nails and will stop them looking quite so unfinished. We also think these would make for great wedding day nails and you could even add white tips beneath the glitter and broken-glass segments if you wanted to.
24 – Blue + Grey Broken Glass Nails
Asymmetrical styles and those holographic broken glass pieces go really well together as you can see from these blue and grey broken glass nails. Using masking tape, wait until the grey base coat is completely dry before adding a splash of the bright blue to random nails, or all of them, depending on what you feel like.
We like the keeping with the silvery-grey colour scheme with the silver segments on top, but there’s nothing to stop you throwing a third colour in there if you wanted to complete an outfit + shoes + bag + nails kinda look.
25 – Negative Space + Broken Glass
You see – another asymmetrical style, another great nail design.
Working in the black with a neutral nail beneath, these are nails that really stand out for all the right reasons and is easy to achieve by taping off the sections of the nails you don’t want to paint.
If you’re doing these from home, we recommend doing this look in stages. Add the black tips in one layer and when that has dried, the bottom edges of black colour after. Trying to do the whole thing at once will result in smudges and you’re likely to get more than a little frustrated.
26 – Simply Red
We hadn’t seen red nails yet so we’re glad this one came along! Perfect for Valentine’s Day perhaps? Either way, we love them, especially with the one black feature nail and the silver broken glass segments over the top.
Let’s face it, if you don’t have a rock on your ring finger, it might be feeling sad and blue. Liven things up by adding your own diamond finish like these broken glass nail designs!
27 – Purple + Blue Shattered Glass
There’s something rather magical about these broken glass nails and we won’t lie, we lusted after them a little bit ourselves after we saw them for the first time.
We’ve shown you a lot of random, unstructured looks with the broken glass pieces but we love that this one has more of a definitive design to it.
They almost look like little crowns, don’t you think?
28 – Broken Glass Triangles
Sticking with the theme of structure and we also love these green broken glass triangles which we think would make the perfect base for Christmas Day nails, what about you?
You don’t need to go overboard with these shiny pieces to have a wicked nail design, and this look just goes to show that. Keep things simple if you want to, or add more on if you want to. Try a whole bunch of different looks at once. It’s down to you so go and get creative!
29 – Broken Glass Coffin Nails
Coffin nails are beautiful nails and although not the most practical, certainly work well for those long, elongated broken glass nail designs.
We love the gold on red look you can see here and we think this would be great for Valentine’s day with silver streaks, or Christmas day with the gold you can see here. In fact, we don’t think we need an excuse to lust after nails like these. We just love them.
30 – Unicorn Nails
Another hair trend getting bigger by the day – unicorn hair. And what better way to perfect the look than with some killer unicorn nails?
Using pink, purple and silvery / shimmery holographic pieces, you could easily recreate this magical look, applying them over an off-white shimmering base.
So there you have them, 3o of the best broken glass nail designs we’ve seen and can’t wait to try for ourselves. What about you? Are there any on here that you’d love to try for yourself? If you, don’t forget to show us. Tag #CherryCherryBeauty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we’ll feature you and your design!
(To your nails!)