DIY: How To Do The Viral Velvet Nails Trend At Home On A Budget

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Each season, nail trends come and go, and it seems that lately, social media can’t get enough of metallic and chrome nails. Cue: Velvet nails aka cat/tiger eye nails aka galaxy nails. Whatever you care to name it, this TikTok-approved mani is the classic spin on glitter nails and the best part about this trend is that it’s super easy to do at home. Here’s an easy-to-follow velvet nails tutorial to show you how to recreate the look with links to different velvet nail colors that match any aesthetic.

This uber viral seasonal take on the chrome trend for the holidays practically screams fa la la la la. Velvet nails are perfect for the holiday season, as it’s a great compliment to one of fashion’s most divisive fabric textures, velvet. Despite the name, the velvet manicure has more to do with sparkles than the texture of the fabric, & doesn’t require you to put anything fuzzy at the end of your fingertips.

Velvet nails are simply an illusion created with sparkling nail polish and magnets (yes, really). When you place a magnet near these nail polishes before they dry, a magnet is used to attract the shiny, magnetic particles in the gel toward the surface of the nail. Easy peasy. When done correctly, your nails will resemble a piece of soft and luxurious velvet fabric as it catches and reflects light.  

It’s time for the self-care day you deserve! Let’s start off with this velvet nails tutorial that will bring luster and shine to your hands.

Nail Prep

  1. First, file your nails with a nail file to your desired shape and length.
  2. Apply a good quality base coat to create the perfect foundation for your polish. We love OPI’s Natural Nail Base Coat for this.

Nail The Look

Velvet Nails with Gel Polish

The effect is also relatively simple to DIY, as long as you have the right tools. The absolute necessities for creating velvet nails at home are a polish with magnetized glitter particles and a small magnet. It is important to find a polish that has a higher concentration of glitter particles and a strong magnet that will easily pull and push the particles. We’ve shared a few magnets we used after the step-by-step process that can be used as a starting point for your perfect shade.

  1. To start, apply a gel base coat like Beetles No Wipe Gel Top Coat and Base Coat
  2. Go in with a base coat (Black or nude-colored polish works well), then apply the first coat of magnetic polish. Using magnetic polishes can be tricky, as they require you to work fast while the polish is still wet, otherwise, the magnetic particles won’t move. It is recommended to work with one nail at a time because you may accidentally cause the uncured glitter particles on the other fingers to move as well.
  3. Completely cure the nail under UV for 30 seconds. Once the nail is cured, the magnetic glitters will not move anymore.
  4. Finally, seal it with a top coat. Mesmerizing, right?

Like the velvet polishes, there are many types of magnets you can use such as a bar magnet or a circular magnet. Here are a few of our favorites:

ILNP Magnetic Wand
15Pcs Cat Eye Nail Magnets
Beetles 6 Colors Holographic Glitter w/ magnetic wand

Velvet Nails With Regular Nail Polish (no UV light required)

If you are looking for a simple glitter polish (or don’t want to invest in a magnetic wand) there’s an abundance of nail polishes that create the magnetic effect with sparkles and a few extra coats. If you want to use the magnetic wand with regular lacquers, you need to work quickly to move the glitters before your polish completely dries. Here’s our velvet nails tutorial using regular nail polish:

  1. Apply a clear base coat. Our personal favorite is the OPI Natural Nail Base Coat. Some magnetic polishes require a black base coat so make sure to check on the product page of the polish you choose.
  2. Next, working finger by finger, apply a coat of magnetic polish (some people like to apply two coats before using the magnet for better color coverage).
  3. Reach for your magnet, and move the glitter particles into the center of the nail.
  4. Let it dry, then apply a topcoat. For this look you want to aim for a top coat that’s glossy. We love the butter LONDON Hardwear Shine UV Top Coat
  5. That’s it—you’ll get easy velvet nails at home. 
Cirque Colors Halo
Cirque Colors Nail Polish 
velvet nails tutorial
ILNP Cloud Nine Collection

Et voila!!!! Hope you enjoyed this velvet nails tutorial by the Gloss Gurus! For more tutorials check out our Nail Tutorials page.

Check out the variations below for some velvet nails inspiration.

Cirque Colors BAE (Big Aura Energy) 

Regular polish. No UV light is required.

Cirque Colors Halo

Regular polish. No UV light is required. We love a velvet manicure in action. Here, witness how magical a neutral champagne hue can look. We’re getting major crystal vibes. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

So, what exactly are velvet nails? Velvet Nails is a nail trend and manicure that can be recreated using metallic nail polish and a magnet. First apply a base coat, followed by a metallic nail polish. Next, you want to manipulate the glitter to come up to the surface using a magnetic wand. Apply a top coat and you’ve got velvet nails!

Are Velvet Nails gel or dip? You can achieve the velvet nail manicure using gel or regular nail polish. You want to make sure that you manipulate the glitter to the surface using a magnetic wand before the polish drys. Once the polish is dried or cured, the glitter will stay in place.

Velvet nails, cat eye nails, and galaxy nails are all the same manicure that is achieved by using glitter polish and a magnet.

Why should you trust

The Gloss Gurus?


The Gloss Gurus is your trusted squad of nail care experts dedicated to helping you grow beautiful & healthy nails. We deliver the latest scoop on nail care, manicure trends, and offer advice for crafting salon-quality manicures, right from the cozy confines of your home.

Our ethos embraces a holistic, chemical-free approach to nail care. We are currently in the process of developing an organic nail care system that will keep your nails long, healthy, and strong. Visit our About Us page to read our story.

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