A How-To: Jelly Sandwich Nails

I don’t, by any means, consider myself a nail expert. There’s so much to learn, so much to practice and try.
I am always on the lookout for new polishes and new techniques.


The “Jelly Sandwich” isn’t exactly new, but it is new to me, and I thought it would be fun to show you guys how to do one, because it’s a really simple and fun twist on a common manicure that you could probably do right this second. No extra tools or products necessary!


I always recommend starting your manicure with a base coat. I ignored this step for a long time, and I can’t believe I did that.
Base coat is important for several reasons. On a vanity level, it helps smooth any ridges or bumps on the nail, creating a nice surface on which to apply the polish. If you get a milky base coat, it can help the natural color of the polish pop, because it will have a whiter base to lay on (instead of the various colors of your nail plate). On an even more important level, the right base coat can protect your nails from discoloration and damage that can occur with different polishes. I prefer Essie’s Fill the Gap! and Protein base coats.
I’ve also started to use a nail strengthener beneath the base coat for added protection (I learned that one from Chalkboard Nails, I’ve only been doing the last week and I’ve already noticed a different in my nails). But that’s optional.

Alright…so, what is a jelly sandwich, you ask?
A jelly sandwich is when you take a glitter polish and layer it between two “jelly” polishes. A jelly polish is basically a sheer polish that is still pigmented. If you were to do one coat of it on your nails, you would still be able to see the nail underneath it…it isn’t opaque like a crème.


Hopefully, you can tell in the photo above that the wand/brush is still visible despite being covered in polish. That’s a good indication that you’ve got a jelly on your hands. Even if you have a very basic and small nail polish collection, you probably have a sheer nude or pink that you can work with. Most people tend to have them without even realizing it (i.e. me).


This is Keepin’ It Teal from China Glaze’s Summer 2013 Sunsational collection. They have 6 jellies in the collection, so I stocked up on a blue and purple as well, just to keep a nice variety of sheer polishes to choose from for this. As I mentioned before, the only sheer polishes I had were nude and pink. They work just fine, but it’s fun to change it up, don’t you think? This is one fairly thick coat of the polish, just to set a base.


Next, you’re going to apply your glitter. Come on, folks, I know you have glitter in your collection! It can be any kind…shimmer, flecks and flakes, holographic hexes…whatever. I find the more, the merrier. It adds to the dimension, which is why I chose this Urban Outfitters polish, Chilly, as my glitter. Lots going on, so that when the layer of jelly is applied on top, it won’t get too diluted.
Honestly, you could slap a top coat on this puppy and be good to go…but don’t give up yet!!!


Once you put that layer of jelly polish on top, you’ll have a nice suspended glitter look on your nails.
At first, I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, but this photo shows the color change between the basic polish/glitter (left) and the jelly sandwich (right). I love the deeper teal, and the fact that it almost looks Little Mermaid-esque.

And that’s all there is to it!
You could add more layers of jelly polish to suit your fancy, but I chose to stick with just one coat so that the glitter would still sparkle. More coats would’ve minimized that. It would still look cool, but it’s a different effect.

The possibilities of this manicure are endless, from the color combinations to the types of glitter you use to the amount of layers you choose to do. If you’re looking for a fun twist on your basic glitter mani, this is right up your alley!

Hope you enjoyed!
(And next time I promise to use my actual camera, I used my iPhone in a pinch!)

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