Subtle and sparkly at home manicures by

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not afraid of giving myself an at-home manicure. In fact, it’s something I do often. It’s a skill that comes in pretty handy whenever my schedule gets more hectic than usual (read: no time to go to the nail salon). We’ve covered how to master the at-home mani here on the site before, so I won’t be going over all of the basics today. Instead, I’m sharing three subtle and sparkly manicures that I created recently on the hands of one of my editors. All three are easy enough to DIY from the comfort of your kitchen counter or bathroom vanity. These manicures are simple when it comes to execution, but the finished result looks pretty professional (if I do say so myself). So without further ado, take a peek below and don’t miss the tips I share for perfecting these nail designs…

 Polish Colors:

The polish colors I used for these manicures were Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Game of Chromes, Sally Hansen in Golden Rule, and Essie in Jazz. I also used a nail art brush for details, but you can use a very thin paint brush or even a makeup brush from your local drugstore.

Lauren Conrad's favorite metallic nail polishes

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 Subtle & Sparkly French tips

How to DIY your own metallic manicure

How to DIY your own metallic nails

This summer try metallic nails on

I love the look of a French manicure that uses different, unexpected polish colors. I’ve done a reverse French manicure before, but for this mani I wanted to use a neutral base (with Essie’s “Jazz”) and add a metallic tip with sparkles. Creating this look is pretty easy—simply paint your base color, then paint your French tips using a nail art brush and go over the tips with glitter. Expert Tip: Using small, quick brushstrokes makes it easier to get the perfect line.

 Subtle & Sparkly Simple Line

The best summer manicure by

Metallic nails are the new summer trend

DIY metallic nails

The method for creating this simple line manicure is similar to the steps for creating the French tip manicure above: simply paint over with your base color, then, with a steady hand, draw a vertical line going from the tip of your nail to your cuticle. Go over it with a touch of sparkly polish and you’ve got yourself a manicure that looks much more complex than it was to create! Expert Tip: Using a swipe of cuticle oil (or even a creamy hand lotion) on your cuticles will make the imperfections disappear instantly when you want your nails to look flawless in a pinch.

Subtle & Sparkly Reverse Triangle

DIY metallic nails on

Lauren Conrad's favorite summer nails

Subtle metallic nails on

I’ve seen triangles painted on nails a few times before, so I wanted to create the reverse effect for this mani. This is easy enough to do freehand if you have a steady hand! Simply paint one half of the reverse triangle, then paint the second. Expert Tip: Dip an inexpensive drugstore makeup brush in polish remover and go over any areas where you painted outside of the line for that perfect, finished look.

So… what did you think?

Which of these manicures is your favorite?

Will you be giving them a try?

Let me know in the comments below.

XO Lauren

Photos: Stephanie Todaro for
  • Kendall

    LOVE these manis!! Also – need deats on those rings too!

  • Love the subtle pop of glitter!

  • OMG! These nail designs are so unique and I’m in love with them! I’m really happy they’re super easy to do! Lovely post!

  • I love how simple these designs are yet so elegant!

  • I just love all three of these manicures!! Now I know what I will be doing while watching The Bachelorette tonight 😉

  • These are all so pretty! I love how elegant they all look 🙂

    xo, Liz

  • Gorgeous styles! I need to get the Golden Rule polish, so cute!


  • Love these so much! The last one is my favorite, simple but different!

    xo Bree

  • These are so pretty! I love glitter, but tend to keep my nails neutral so these seem perfect! Especially can’t wait to try the last one!

  • Helen Harm

    This is so gorgeous! I love minimal details on my nails.Adding the glitter just makes it so perfect!

    XO Helen @

  • Subtle manicures are the best, I am yet to try proper nail art with brushes and everything but these manicures really make me want to try right now! My favourite is the first one 🙂

    Julia x
    Last post: A Pastel Manicure |

  • Glittery french tip nails are one of my favorite looks (and the best part is that when the nails grow out a little, it’s not too noticeable) 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing these other great ideas! Can’t wait to try it this weekend!

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Anna

    Great ideas! My favorite is the Subtle and Sparkly Simple Line… so beautiful and classy.
    Anna From Italy

  • Jessica DiMaggio

    Lauren, rewatching the 16 year special…always a class act. My only dissappointment your Kohl’s Department store line never offers plus sizes unlike say the Jennifer Lopez line. Anyway I can persuade you to create plus sized, classy fashion? Kohls home is here in Wisconsin and we are just starting to embrace healthier California lifestyles. Help. Jessica

  • Miriam

    My big questions is how do you go about cleaning the brush afterwards without ruining it, so you can keep using the same brush? I think this looks super cute, but I’m afraid the nail polish remover would also dissolve the glue holding the bristles in the brush, or that cleaning it will ruin the shape of the brush.

    • Nail art brushes are designed to avoid fall out when cleaned with acetone. Most rely on the metal clamping down on them, not glue, to hold bristles in. I find my brushes and tools on eBay (for under $5), but if you dont do the online ordering thing, most drug and beauty stores have them too. With a little practice, you could also draw a line or shapes using a metal dotting nail art tool. Or, easiest solution of all, try the cruelty free brand of L.A. Color (which doesnt animal test like her recommended Sally Hansen!) Nail Art Polishes that come with a long thin brush in a cylinder shaped bottle. They’re specifically made for nail art and come in hundreds of colors for just $1. Overall though, don’t let anything stop you from having fun with nail art. You can always wipe it off and start again!