Get Groovy for Fall With Sparkly Disco Nails

October 18, 2023
Reece Andavolgyi
By: Reece Andavolgyi | by L'Oréal
reeces hands rocking the groovy disco nail look

DIY nail art is not for the faint of heart but for me, it is the ultimate act of self-care. I get to combine creativity with some quality alone time, and I’m left with a clear mind and a trendy set of nails. Disco nails have been on my radar since the very moment I laid my eyes on them; they’re over-the-top, glitzy and attention-grabbing in all the ways I want my nail art to be. To get some advice on how to recreate the look, I tapped Eunice Park, Research and Development Manager at Aprés Nail. Read on to learn how to recreate disco nails at home. Spoiler alert: I tried it out and the process is not hard. It is a little lengthy, but worth every second once you see the end result!

How to Recreate Disco Nails at Home 

Step 1: Prep the Nails

Prepping your nails before any type of nail art is key because when you’re putting in that much effort, you want your manicure to last. Start by removing any nail polish, cleaning up your cuticles and buffing your nails. 

“This kind of fun disco nails work best on nails with length,” says Park. “In case you don't naturally have longer length nails, using Gel-X from Aprés Nail to create easy and beautiful extensions would be a great option.” My natural nails are very small, so I used the Aprés Nail Neutrals Gel-X Whitney Natural Square Medium Box Of Tips, and applied them with the Aprés Extend Gel Gold Bottle Edition. I love using these tinted tips because they allow me to skip base color, which helps keep my nail color from looking thick.

Step 2: Paint Your Nails

Once your nails or gel extensions are prepped, you can apply nail polish. Silver is the obvious choice for disco nails, but another metallic shade would also work. Essie For the Twill of it All is a great choice if you're not using gel polishes. Alternatively, Aprés Nail Gel Colour in New Year Wishes is a shimmery silver gel polish that would serve as a perfect base for disco nails.  

Step 3: Apply a Sticky Base

“One of the tricky parts of creating a look like this is making sure the glitter bits do not shift as you apply them,” says Park. “To prevent this, applying a bit of a thicker base coat can help with the glitter bits staying put.” Per Park’s recommendations, I applied a thin layer of the Aprés Nail Base Coat X, cured it, and followed up with a thin coat of the Aprés Nail Diamond Gel to create a sticky layer for the sequins.  

If you aren’t using gel polish, apply a rubberized base coat like the Essie Here to Stay Base Coat.
reeces sparkly disco nails in pink and silver

Step 4: Apply the Sequins

The “disco” part of this entire design comes from square shaped sequins; I bought mine on Amazon. I also bought a wax dotting pen to apply the sequins, which I highly recommend.

I worked on one nail at a time to avoid smudging. The Diamond Gel was a game-changer for creating this design because it provided a firm hold and ensured the sequins did not slip around as I was applying them. Basically, I applied a layer of rubberized base coat, applied the sequins to the nail and cured it (or let it dry) before repeating this process on the next nail. 

Step 5: Apply Top Coat

Once you’ve applied the sequins to each nail, (or a few if you’re looking to create your own design), you can seal everything with a top coat like Aprés Nail Non-Wipe Glossy Top Coat or Essie Stay Longer Top Coat. You may find that you need to apply two coats to give your nails a smooth finish. 

Step 6: Apply Cuticle Oil

Finish everything off with the Essie On A Roll Apricot Cuticle Oil: not only will it nourish your cuticles, but it will make your sparkly nail art pop. 

My Thoughts After Trying DIY Disco Nails

My disco nails are my favorite manicure to date, and that includes nail art I’ve done at home and nail art I’ve gotten at a salon. They’re so sparkly and gorgeous to look at, it’s hard not to instantly fall in love with them. Plus, I got so many compliments from strangers about my nails! 

As I mentioned, the whole process is fairly easy, but time consuming. Truthfully, disco nails aren’t a look I’ll rock all the time, but for special occasions, like concerts, Halloween or holidays, they add just the type of wow-factor I’m looking for. 


5 Disco Nail Art Ideas to Try 

Head to Toe Disco

If you’re one for bling, sparkle and shine, go with a multi-color disco design on every nail for a next-level look you can’t ignore.

Jelly Ombré Disco

Apply your disco sequins first, then layer a jelly nail polish on top to create an ombré gradient look with a diffused sparkle peeking through.

Naked At the Disco

If you could dare to call disco nails subtle, this would be the design to earn that label. With a bare milky base, the round sequins are the prettiest minimal touch.

Disco Tips 

If you’re looking for a quick way to get the look of disco nails sans the effort, try painting your nails with a chunky glitter nail polish like Essie A Cut Above.

Disco Neutrals

Silver is the obvious choice for anything disco, but in shades of brown and gold, this glittery design pairs gorgeously with this neutral short set.

Photographer: Reece Andavolgyi Design: Juliana Campisi

Read more



Back to top