4 New Looks, 1 Old Mani

You know when your gel mani has grown out and you’re left with a gap at the cuticle? Here are 4 ways you can trick anyone into thinking your old set of nails are brand new. All it takes is a little patience and you’ll be feeling fresh in no time!

  1. Ombre with glitter
  2. Ombre with a solid color
  3. Glitter at the cuticle
  4. Solid color at the cuticle

Check out my tutorial for each look below before I move on with some info.

Ombre with Glitter

This is the easiest method, in my opinion. Only because you don’t need to worry about making straight lines and you can’t really screw up. Apply glitter polish to the cuticle with a detail brush, dotting tool, or even a friggen toothpick if you don’t have any of the above. Then lightly pull the glitter towards the top of your nail.


Glitter ombre mani, you did it!

Ombre with a solid color

This is the same method as the glitter, but with a solid color. Apply color at the cuticle and use an ombre brush to pull the polish upwards. Honestly, I’ve gotten away with using my finger to “pull” the color towards the top of the nail. All you have to do is just dab, dab, dab, until you start to see the ombre effect.

Using the ring finger is best for this because it typically allows for the most even amount of gentle pressure to be applied. Ever notice how you blend concealer or apply eye creams/eye shadow with the ring finger? This is why! Our index and middle fingers can be too strong, while our pinkies are too weak or lack control. And our thumbs…well, they just aren’t the best for this particular task all around.

Glitter Cuticle (Reverse Moon with Glitter)

This one takes a little more control because we want a sharp (ish) line to define our reverse moon. Apply glitter to the cuticle in small amounts with a detail brush until you have completely filled in the gap.

Solid Color Cuticle (Reverse Moon with Solid Color)

This one might be the more advanced out of all the looks. We definitely want to have a crisp line so take your time. Apply color to the cuticle until you’ve achieved your desired look. If you aren’t happy with your application, you can always go back with some nail polish remover (on a toothpick or brush) and clean up your moon.

Tip: For best results, push back and remove the cuticles before application. But be careful not to disturb your existing polish too much. Doing this will give you a clean working space and the illusion of a fresh mani.

Note: You can also achieve any of these looks with gel polish, but I’ve done them in regular polish (no curing necessary). You can check out some tips to remove your glitter polish and details on the brushes I used in the tutorial, here!

Would you try any of these looks?

Nail design to make your gel mani look like new