How To - Glass Nails

Note: Glass or “jelly” nails will look best on clear nail extensions. They can also be done as an overlay or as a gel polish manicure; keep in mind it will appear slightly less translucent-looking due to the colour of the nail underneath.

PREP: Prep the nails and apply a clear base such as Ugly Duckling Natural Base (soak-off) or Light Elegance PowerBond (hard gel). Proceed with method 1 or 2 below. 


  1. To create extensions, build on forms or use clear tips – we recommend Aprés Gel X-Tips or Light Elegance Clear Stiletto Tips. Use your favorite clear non-fiber builder gel for sculpting, such as Light Elegance Extreme or Fuzion SL Clear.
  2. Once you are ready for colour application, check that the nail surface is smooth. Glass or jelly colors can settle into deep file marks and ridges that haven’t been buffed away.
    TIP: Apply a layer of Light Elegance Tack to create the perfect base before colour application.
  3. It is best to use colors formulated for a translucent result such as the Ugly Duckling Gelly Polish collection. In a pinch, you can mix a small amount of clear gel with any colour, but it will be slightly trickier to achieve even application as the pigments settle differently. Look for colors labelled as “translucent” or “sheer” in the product description on the Creata Beauty website.
  4. Cure your colour for the recommended time. Try adding flakes, foils, glitter, chrome, and more underneath the jelly colour for unique colour customizations!


  1. Use a translucent/tinted builder gel such as the En Vogue Ice Modelling Resins. These are beautifully smooth gels to work with, yet stay perfectly in place without running. Cure for the recommended time.
  2. Cure your sculpted enhancements and finish-file if needed.
  3. If you’d like, you can stop here. You can also try baby boomer-style fades, blending & layering different jelly colors, encapsulating glitter, and more!

COMPLETE THE LOOK: Apply your favorite top coat, or try something different like the Fuzion FX Shimmer Top Coats! For the classic glossy look, you will never go wrong with the Ugly Duckling No Wipe Top Coat. You could even try a matte finish for something unique!