DIY manicure with glitter nail polish by Uslu Airlines

© Julia Zierer

The time for wearing colorful, shimmering, glitter nail polish has passed: You quickly get your fill of it, and as soon as it’s split or scratched, it looks uncared for. I always went for something more pure, that is until, not long ago, I found a golden glitter polish by Uslu Airlines.

The polish is from the Berlin-based brand founded by Feride Uslu, and when it comes to the colors and application, there’s little left to be desired. They are also all “Five Free,” which means that the five most harmful substances that are otherwise found in nail polish are left out.

A few rose tones and the golden polish made their way home with me, and I came up with an idea to slightly reduce the glitter factor. Instead of covering the entire nail with glitter I only used a single piece per nail. The application was both quick and easy, and the result is incredibly beautiful. Since then compliments on my manicure have been raining down and now I can only be found out and about with glittering fingertips. Sometimes, less really is more!

Because only a clear coat is applied over the piece of glitter, manicured hands and nails are important. That means the glitter manicure should also include time for a small hand care session.

When there’s not enough time for a full manicure (in Berlin, for example, the manicures at Cowshed Spa at the Soho House) are especially worth recommending), it’s possible to fall back on this quick DIY variation, which can be done at your desk, mornings in the bathroom, or just before going out.

How’s it done?

1. Free nails from any old polish with nail polish remover. The small, natural wipes, impregnated with nail polish remover from Fresh Therapies are convenient for travel. Rub hands with a peeling and follow by washing off the residue.

2. With a glass file, file the nails short and straight, push back or remove cuticles.

3. Briefly massage the hands with a cream, for example with hand cream from the Swedish brand L:A Brucket, which smells wonderfully fragrant of sage, lavender and rosemary. Then, for five minutes, slip your hands into manicure gloves from Sensai. This ensures that the cream will be properly absorbed and enhances its nourishing effects. Practical: No cream comes through the very fine gloves, which means that you can flip through a book or the phone while drinking coffee, without everything that touches your hands getting smeared with lotion.

4. Once again, wipe the nail polish remover tissues over your nails so that no residue from the cream remains on your nails and the polish will be properly absorbed. Then apply a layer of base coat, UIT Jaluit on the nails. This is important because when the small glitter pieces come into contact with the nail, they leave a difficult to remove adhesive residue. The base coat protects against this.

5. The main part of the process requires a bit of feeling for your fingertips and concentration. Fish out a single golden piece of glitter from the BEL Val de Cans from Uslu Airlines nail polish and place in the center of each nail. Tip: First, swipe a brush stroke of polish on the edge of the bottle in order to get a single piece of glitter on the brush, and then transfer to the nail. Follow by brushing on one or two layers of topcoat over the glitter, for example Fix TOP Topeka from Uslu Airlines. Definitely use clear coat and not the glitter polish, otherwise you will  end up with more glitter on your nails.

Finally, add a few drops of nourishing nail oil to the cuticles. For example, the OKU Mokuti Lodge oil, which was the result of a collaboration between Susanne Kaufmann and Uslu Airlines. It softens the sensitive, dry skin around nails with macadamia and sesame oil.

I think it’s prettiest with gold glitter. But the dark blue in the LAS McCarran Intl or the bronze of MAD Madrid Spain also work for me.

Shop the Beauty Trend

Translation: Alicia Reuter
Julia Alfert

Originally from Hamburg, Julia Alfert moved to Berlin from Paris in 2010. After completing her studies in Art History and trying out different jobs, her path led her to Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as Fashion & Beauty Assistant until mid 2015. While she’s harboured a love for all things beauty-related for as long as she can remember, her discovery of the written word is recent. When Julia isn’t busy trying out different creams, oils, and sprays she writes and styles for an assortment of magazines and websites.