HOW TO: Gold Leaf

Glimmering gold leaf shines against velvety black for dramatic, old-world elegance. This look is all about special occasions, from the red carpet to a candlelit dinner.



  • Gold leaf flakes Tweezers (optional) Black polish
  • Angled-edge eyeliner brush (completely dry)
  • Clear top coat

Step 1

Pour gold leaf flakes onto your workspace and space them out so you can clearly see the size and shape of each individual piece. Pieces smaller than 1⁄4 in/6 mm wide will work best for this project. (Use tweezers or your fingernails to tear larger pieces into smaller sizes.)

Step 2

Apply one coat of black polish to all nails and allow to dry.


Step 3

Apply a second coat of black polish to one nail and allow it to dry for 60 seconds. The slightly wet polish will act as an adhesive for the gold leaf.

Step 4

Use the angled-edge eyeliner brush to pick up a large piece of gold leaf by lightly touching it with the bristles. Transfer it to the wet nail, placing it wherever you like and gently pressing down with the bristles until the gold leaf adheres. Do not let the bristles touch the wet polish, and don’t worry if the gold leaf is crinkly—that is its natural appearance.

 Step 5

Repeat step 4, applying a medium-size piece of gold leaf to the nail, followed by a smaller piece. Allow to dry.


Step 6

Proceed to the next nail, repeating steps 3 to 5 until all nails feature gold leaf.

Step 7

When dry, apply clear top coat and allow the completed look to dry.


Would you give this funky nail look a try?
What’s your favourite nail art to wear and why? Tell us in the comments below…


Extracted with permission from: Nails, Nails, Nails! By Madeline Poole
Pictures: Supplied
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