DIY: Gold Leaf Manicure

Gold nails are everywhere.  I personally blame Beyonce for this – it all started a few years ago with Minx, which instantly swept the nation with their gold & silver foil manicures.  But Minx is expensive.  Besides, I’ve heard so many people’s complaints – lifting after a day or two, fungus, ew.  There are a million other ways to get the look.  Gold glitter, Chanel Peridot… or… do it yourself!  Today’s DIY costs about $.50, but provides a look that would cost $50.00 if you went to the salon.

What you need:

Manicure tools
Nail Polish (I like a full coverage nude, like this one, from Zoya.)
1/4 of a sheet of imitation gold or silver leaf
A good top coat  (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is my personal favorite.)

Start by snipping your gold leaf into several small pieces.  Try not to let it crinkle as you cut.

Then, paint on one coat of nail polish.

Once polish is tacky (read:  not wet, but sticky,) apply a strip of gold leaf to your nails or toes.

Carefully press it to your nail, to ensure that the leaf bonds with the polish.  Smooth out any wrinkles with your finger.

Continue on each nail.

Seal it with top coat, and you’re done.  Seriously.  (Easiest DIY ever, right?)

Revel in the fact that your gorgeous pedicure (or manicure) cost way less than even a standard New York City $8.00 on the corner of the street manicure cost.

Yes, this is real life… now go out and buy some gold leaf!!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Dani Apple:

     you can get gold/silver/copper leaf at any craft store ore art supply store.

    3.30.12 Reply
    • Ann:

      You can buy Aurum & Argentum co gold leaf for nails online. It’s 24k gold.

      6.5.13 Reply
  2. ceeyracatastrophe:

    This is beautiful. Thank you for this, I’m going to use it in a photo shoot as part of my coursework next week!

    5.28.12 Reply
  3. Ana:

    DO WANT :O .

    1.5.13 Reply
  4. Mona:

    Great idea. Thumbs up! I can’t really believe that it will be as easy as it looks like. I think I have to try this.

    3.13.13 Reply
  5. Julia:

    Do you think you could use foil?

    5.30.13 Reply
    • Grace Atwood:

      Hi Julia! I don’t think so… it would probably be too thick! Would be curious to see how it goes though!

      5.30.13 Reply
  6. Ramya @ Beauty Blog:

    Wow so lovely…

    6.13.13 Reply
  7. Fallon Carmichael | Sage + Sparkle:

    Love the look! How is the removal process?

    9.29.13 Reply
    • Grace Atwood:

      not bad! the gold just flakes off when you take off the clear top coat.

      9.29.13 Reply
  8. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures:

    This is so awesome!!!

    9.29.13 Reply