Mixed Metal Manis: Get the Party and Conversation Started with a Silver and Golden Glitter Ombre Manicure

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Nails

Yes, ma’am, I’m still in a metallic mani mode, also known as a mixed metal mani state of mind. Why? Because it’s magnetic! — not literally, of course — but I think there is something bewitching about nails that look like shiny baubles shimmering in silver and gold. Perhaps it’s because they remind me of disco balls, or perhaps it’s an ancient urge more primitive and primal than that.


This particular metal mani, a silver and gold ombre affair, is a manifestation of this MAC purse from holiday 2007, and how its tweed pattern melts from silver to gold (LOVE!).

Since the look required a number layers, I grabbed two polishes that I knew would dry quickly, a silvery glitter from Essie called Set in Stones, and a golden glitter from China Glaze called Blonde Bombshell. Of course, you could substitute other silver and gold glitters from your personal stash.

After applying a base coat to prime and even out the surface of my nails, I applied three (!) coats of Essie Set in Stones to build up the glittery silver backdrop that covers the surface of each nail. To ramp up the bling even more, you could always apply four. πŸ™‚

Next, to initiate Project Ombre Effect, I applied Blonde Bombshell, beginning at the base of each nail, and tapering as I moved toward the tip.

Then, I added one extra layer to intensify the transitional effect where the gold meets the silver, concentrating a little more glitter at the base of each nail.

Once the nails were dry, I added a protective clear top coat to enhance their durability and shine.


What I really love about this look is the subtle shift from silver to gold. From far away, it’s hard to notice, but right up close it’s a great conversation starter. πŸ™‚

Pair it with a cocktail ring like this one from Betsey Johnson, and you’re good to go!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 39 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. adelle says:

    You have such pretty hands! (cute ring too)

  2. Kejal says:

    oohhhhh!!! super!!
    Kejal recently posted … Ho-Ho-Ho!!

  3. Kejal says:

    and I love the ring!!
    Kejal recently posted … Ho-Ho-Ho!!

  4. DalaLuz says:

    Bling πŸ˜€

  5. Inday says:

    Your manis have been on hit lately Karen! I think this one is one of my favorites! I’m going to try it tonight with some craft store glitters and clear polish, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Rads says:

    Loved the nails…I need to get myself a decent top coat and some glitter fest nail colours πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  7. Karen, your manicure is beautiful, but oh my goodness, your adorable ring just stole the show! Haha, I like how she even has a pearl necklace. What a classy animal! πŸ˜›
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Blog News: The Nail Polish Tag

  8. Sunny says:

    I’ve always stayed away from silver because I don’t think it’d work very well for my skintone. This is a genius way of wearing it though! So bling and festive! PS: LOVE the ring!!!
    Sunny recently posted … FOTD: Purposefully Pink with Urban Decay Naked Palette

  9. Nina says:

    the ring is gorgeous and fits right in w/ the even more gorgeous mani! πŸ™‚

  10. Erin says:

    Love this! Great post!

  11. Stephanie says:

    Pretty! I’m wearing a gradient manicure with blue polish and lots of different glitters on the tips of my nails.
    Stephanie recently posted … Favorite China Glaze Polishes for Christmas

  12. Nancy says:

    Oh love this!! Such a good idea! I already have some gold glitter polish..just have to go grab the silver!

  13. DanaJae says:

    These are stunning! Looks like I might have to make another trip to the nail store! lol

  14. Chris25 says:

    I actually considered collecting cat jewelry, but I feel that it would make me too much of a cat lady. I have to set limits before I try to get myself a cat house:


  15. gio says:

    So pretty! Love the ring too!
    gio recently posted … 5 Myths About Skincare Products Busted!

  16. Marian says:

    Pretty! I just now got the Essie Luxeffects set. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to do my nails!

  17. Lisa says:

    Karen – love the nails…so festive:-) And I WANT that ring. omg…my parents gave me the matching necklace last year for christmas….I get tons of complements on it. Did you get the ring recently?

  18. Vijaya says:

    This year I used a press on mani. Hooray for cheatcodes? xD
    Vijaya recently posted … Influenster’s VoxBox Holiday 2011

  19. Love this! I do a lot of layering with gold glitter+another color and the same with silver, but it never occurred to me to combine them πŸ™‚ Guess I know what I’ll be wearing on my nails for the holidays! Thanks for this tutorial, and I love your ring hahaha
    Makeup Morsels recently posted … A Very Merry DIY + Affordable Holiday Gifts

  20. Solangel says:

    Looooove <3

  21. mn says:

    I’m definetely borrowing this idea.

  22. Kayleigh says:

    Love this mani, such a great idea!

  23. Rachael says:

    I bought the essie the other day so I can apply it over my grey polish for my engagement photos!

  24. Britany B. says:

    Wonder if I can substitute the china glaze polish with the gold essie polish….

  25. peach_ says:

    Awesome idea and the result is STUNNING, Karen! That kitty ring is so fun!

  26. Aquelle says:

    I am so in love with Ombre nails…. I working on mastering the technique now. Tried every Trend color for spring so far…LOVE IT!!!!!

  27. Sarah says:

    Love this look. I think I’m going to try something similar later this week!

  28. Sarah says:

    This a fantastic look! So pretty and creative!

  29. Jess says:

    loveeee this look! definitely going to try it out πŸ™‚

  30. Kim says:

    This looks awesome! And I can’t believe you put 5 layers of polish on. I just know that if I did that, one nail would chip in about 5 minutes!! πŸ™‚

  31. Frosso says:

    Gorgeous!! Such a great idea πŸ™‚ And I love the betsey cocktail ring, I have her panda face ring and love it too πŸ™‚
    Frosso recently posted … Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie

  32. Hazel says:

    oooooooh i hellllla love this! i did this with another glitter nail polish but it was so many layers that it came off easily lol

  33. Danielle says:

    Pretty! I took my Sephora Flurry Up Topcoat with me on my holiday trip, but don’t think I have my gold one. I definitely might need to just buy another one and try this though…lol.
    Danielle recently posted … Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color in Crimson Noir Review, Swatches, and Pics

  34. Julie says:

    After reading your post, i was inspired to copy it but in silver and red! I already had Essie Set in Stones, so I just picked up a drugstore red polish that had flakes of glitter and followed your instructions! Looks gorgeous and so festive! Great idea!

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