How To Design Extravagant Swarovski Crystal Trail Designs & Tips


Although I already have a blog post on how to style Swarovski’s, I thought I would do another one focusing on how I use them to cover a full accent nail. I did one of these on both sets below and I have received quite a lot of questions about how I choose what I want to use and how to design them.Processed with MOLDIV
As mentioned, in my last Swarovski blog post, I do have my go-to layouts for accent Swarovski nails, but this is something I have recently started doing and it seems to work well on my plainer sets. It’s all about selecting the right colours, cuts, and sizes that work best with the rest of the nails. If you pick complimenting colours, and manage to avoid making the nail look bulky, then I think it ties the set together beautifully. Not only that, but I find it’s the perfect way to get clients to warm up to the idea of crystals as it jazzes up the box standard set.Β 
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So, last night I decided to have a play with some new Glam & Glits coloured acrylics. I always take time out to swatch, test out and match new colours to get the most out of my collection. This encourages new colour combinations that you wouldn’t normally try, better skills with ombre’s, acrylic marble, glitter acrylic, encapsulating etc. After all, practice makes perfect right? Sure does. So I then decided to get my Swarovski collection out and have a play.
Here I chose to use ‘Sunkissed Glow’, ‘Seashell’ and ‘Good Karma’ to do a subtle ombre, and a glitter trail. I used ‘Fire Opals’, ‘White Opals’, ‘Colorado Topaz’, ‘Jonquil’ and ‘Crystal Clear’. Using a glitter mix like ‘Good Karma’ across the nail in an ‘S’ shape is always a good guide for the direction in which I place the crystals in on a nail like this.Β 

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For the second one I took the opportunity to finallyyyyy do a yellow and grey ombre. I’ve wanted to put these two colours together for ages as who doesn’t like this colour combo? ‘Karen’ (one of my favourites) and ‘Gray Gray’ are the perfect colours for this. I used a loose glitter for the glitter trail and for the Swarovski crystals I used; ‘White Opals’, ‘Colorado Topaz’, ‘Crystal Clear’, ‘Jonquil’, ‘Jonquil AB’, and ‘Luminous Green’.Β Processed with MOLDIV
So for this one my motivation was clearly Autumn πŸ™‚ Who doesn’t love a good Khaki green? ‘Autumn’ and ‘Fog’ are the perfect combination for a Khaki green theme (Annabel’s idea). I used ‘Crystallite Opals’, ‘Pacific Opals’, ‘Peridot AB’ and ‘Peridot’. Having varied sizes of your crystals is important. I know it’s tempting to just get one size of every colour, but having your main three sizes in each colour will make all the difference when trying to make them look in proportion with the nail.Β 
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This one, inspired by a sea/beach colour palette, was done using ‘Blue Rain’, ‘Strut’, and ‘Veronique’ (another one of my favourites – it’s the perfect denim grey!!). I added ‘Crystal Clear’, ‘White Opal’, ‘Crystal AB’, ‘Light Sapphire’, and ‘Sapphire AB’. I always start with an SS20 on a cluster like this. There are two on each (White Opal and Crystal AB), I then add a few matching colours in SS10 at either side, and then finish off the nail with as many SS5’s needed to surround the larger ones. This gives the effect of a crystal ‘gradient’ if that makes sense. As apposed to just sticking on some large ones on their own making it look bulky and out of place.
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This next one had probably the most acrylic colours used out of all of them. This doesn’t matter. As few as two or even one colour could look just fine, however I like to use as many as it takes to make the feature nail as glam as possible. Here I used ‘Jazmin’ and ‘Saltwater’ for the ombre, and ‘Icey Blue’, ‘Bliss’ and ‘Nova’ for the glitter trail. I used ‘White Opal’, ‘Crystallite Opal’, ‘Air Blue Opal’, ‘Sapphire AB’, ‘Light Turquoise’, ‘Peridot’ and ‘Peridot AB’ crystals to tie all colours and glitters together.
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For this one, I used two of my favourite Glam & Glits colours to create the ombre: ‘Cruise Ship’ and ‘Scuba Dive’. I then used ‘White Opal’, ‘Crystal Clear’, ‘Crystal AB’ and ‘Province Lavender’.Β 
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Ok so I really enjoyed doing this one. A vibrant ombre with ‘Boardwalk’ and ‘Kaylah’, with a beautiful glitter trail using ‘Dazzlelilac’. When doing a glitter trail as a ‘guide’ for a crystal trail, or just a glitter trail in general, it’s always made easier whenever using one of Glam & glits’ diamond shaped glitter acrylics. It’s like the pencil before the pen. It’s so easy to follow if you’re new to figuring out where to place your crystals. I used ”White Opal’, ‘Crystal AB’, ‘Light Rose AB’, ‘Light Rose’, ‘Province Lavender’ and ‘Fuchsia’.
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I had to leave the prettiest till last. It wouldn’t be right if I called it anything but ‘The Princess’ one would it? So as you can see, there’s a LOT of crystals on this one but it always works well to get a variation of opal, clear, crystal AB, baby pink and fuchsia pinks on a ‘princess’ nail. It’s just a waste of opportunity if not haha. So, I used ‘Made In Sweet’ and ‘Sandals’ for the ombre, and ‘Pinkarat’ for the glitter trail. For the crystals I used ‘Rose Gold’, ‘White Opal’, ‘Crystal AB’, ‘Fuchsia’, ‘Light Rose’, ‘Light Rose AB’, ‘Light Amethyst’ and ‘Square Flatback AB’. It’s a medley for sure but it’s always worth it πŸ™‚Β 
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Again, here they all are together… and although they look a little too much laid out together, they are the perfect addition to any subtle set of nails. It’s always good to have these tricks up our ‘Fancy Nancy’ sleeves especially when trying to demonstrate our creativity with ‘Plain Jane’ Clients. Or even when trying to make them comfortable enough to step outside their comfort zones. Tell them “It’s just one nail” lol. Don’t you just love that feeling when you convert someone from block colour to something like this? Don’t get me wrong, I think we all love doing the odd simple set, but it makes our jobs exciting when we know we have clients who put their trust in us – even more so when as creative as this haha.Β 
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  1. What does ‘AB’ mean?Β 
    AB is an abbreviation forΒ AuroraΒ Borealis and it is named after The Northern Lights. AB is a coating that enhances the crystal. A crystal with no AB will be just that one colour. It will sparkle and reflect what is surrounding the crystal but AB coatings make the crystal reflect more than one colour.Β 
  2. What does ‘SS’ stand for?
    SS stands for Stone Size. The crystals that I get are from Annabel. (Details are below) and the common sizes that they sell are SS5’s, SS10’s and SS20’s. SS5’s are roughly 1.8mm in diameter, SS10’s are roughly 3.0mm and SS20’s are 5.0mm’s.Β 
  3. What do you use to stick on your Swarovski’s?
    I use Kiara Sky’s Dip Essentials BASE to adhere my Swarovski’s. I have already done an in-depth blog post on this product πŸ™‚ It’s a strong resin-like glue. It air dries and does not need to be cured. Rubbing the top-coated nail with Isopropyl Alcohol is always advised before using this glue. Use tiny amounts for one to two crystals at a time for best results.
  4. Where do you buy them from?
    I buy all of my Swarovski’s from Nails By Annabel. she has a large range that is constantly being updated and as you can see… they are just STUNNING!Β 

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Base Glue

I hope this has helped. If it has, be sure to leave me a comment below πŸ™‚ Sharing is appreciated!! Please tag me in any recreations or nails that you feel I have helped with. It makes me smile ❀

Love to you all xox



7 thoughts on “How To Design Extravagant Swarovski Crystal Trail Designs & Tips

  1. Thank you…..a very informative and helpful blog about using crystals I always find this and akward exercise placement and making the nail look amazing rather than thrown together also the info at the bottom explaining AB and sizes πŸ‘πŸ½ Thank you again for all your hard work sharing this information xx


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