Sunday, July 7, 2013

9/20/13 Update: Now that summer's over it seems like the demand for these seashell studs has died down, but that means they can actually be FOUND! Here's a small list of places I know currently have the shells in stock:
I've actually purchased from all three of these sellers and have had no problems. :)

8/22/13 Update: has started selling Pieadra seashell studs! She's got the 4mm and 5mm sizes, but is sold out of the gold 4mm as of this writing. Keep checking back at her site!

7/25/13 Update: has gotten in contact with me and is offering a special discount to anyone visiting through my blog! Use discount code GELISHGEEKERY to get 15% off orders over $20 (expires September 14th)! I just ordered my shells and am planning on featuring them in my next manicure. So excited!

7/22/13 Update: just opened and began selling their own gold seashell nail studs. On their instagram, @shopthenailroom, they're offering a 15% off discount code, GRANDOPENING, that expires July 26th. I'm definitely gonna grab some up!

About a month ago I was browsing nail art on Instagram when I suddenly came across a manicure and immediately said, "HOLY SHIT BALLS I NEED THAT."


I just fell crazy, crazy in love with it. Especially with the seashell. How classy! How beachy! I had to have it, I just needed to pick up some seashell studs and I'd be fine, right?

Little did I know that I was about to embark on an obsessive, epic search that would suck up days of my life. That classy little seashell was, literally, NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. I googled my face off and could not find it ANYWHERE. I Yahoo Answer'd it, Redditted it, got the GF on board, woke up in the middle of the night thinking, "oh, I didn't use this search term..." Nothing. I stared lurking through comments left on any nail art that featured that gorgeous golden shell - I saw a lot of other people asking, "where'd you get that!?" and no answers.

Finally, my GF discovered miniature scallop shells on eBay. The sizes checked out and I figured I could paint a couple of them with gold nail polish and apply them to my nails, so I grabbed up a bag of mini shells. Immediate problem solved, but epic Mystery of the Golden Seashell Nail Stud still ongoing.

Through my searches I noticed a trend - most of the nail art featuring these gold seashell nail studs were coming out of Japan. I pulled up google translate, popped in "gold seashell nail stud", translated it to Japanese, and googled it.


There they were, hiding on the Japanese sites. The seashell nail studs are made (predominantly, it seems) by a Japanese brand, Pieadra. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like these Japanese sites ship internationally. Poop. I emailed when I saw they sold th Pieadra brand, but she said as far as she could see the seashells were sold out.

I live near quite a few asian-oreinted beauty and nail supply places, checked those out, but no luck there.Then, about a week later, after I'd given up on my search and applied my copycat mani... I FOUND THEM! Now, I've never used this site and I can't vouch for it, but it seems as though, theoretically, possibly, they'll ship to the US. So, for anyone that was like me, looking for these damn seashell metal nail art studs... you're welcome. A good 25+ hours of my life to find this.

However IF you know of any place in southern California or any other shop online that sells them, PLEASE comment here!

And now, on to my version of the mani!

Gelish Seashell Nail Stud Art

For the manicure above I did the following:
  1. Mixed about 4-5 drops of Take Action with one drop of Orange Cream Dream and one drop of Sheek White in an attempt to get a nice coral color. I put three coats of "coral" on.
  2. 3 coats of Seafoam on the ring finger
  3. Dipped a nail art brush into gold glitter and "scrubbed" the glitter into the cured polish
  4. 1 coat TIO on all
  5. Ring finger details:
    • A couple days before I took the smallest of my mini seashells and painted them with 2 coats of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Golden. I put a drip of foundation in the underside of the shell and cured it
    • Dotted Foundation where I wanted the studs, set studs, and cured
    • Finished with 2 coats of TIO
I'd like to note that I'm writing this up about 5 days after I applied the manicure and I'm noticing some definite fading on the coral color I mixed. The pink pigment is all but gone and the nail color really just looks like a pale orange. It still looks nice, but it's ineresting to note that the Candyland and Breast Cancer Awareness lines might not mix too well.


  1. Same! Wish I would have found this first-I found Oshima a couple days ago on Instagram and ordered a bunch! I order many of my supplies from the Rakuten Japanese nail shops, but sadly none of them would ship to the US (despite my monetary bribes and skillful persuasion!)
    What do the ebay ones look like and how big are they?

    1. YES! I came across Rakuten, too, but I couldn't tell if they'd ship to the US so I just kinda hung my head and walked away. As for the shells I got on eBay, if you look at the (admittedly crappy) pic above with my blog watermark you can see the little gold shell on the green nail. I bought shells like these off eBay then painted them gold with the Sally Hansen gold polish. It worked, but it wasn't quite the same. I'm excited about the shells I'm getting from!!

  2. I'm so glad I found your blog. I am looking for gold shells too. I found someone on instagtam that sold some too, stylishnailart. she is selling tiny 3.5 mm ones. also I have wondered about knockoff gelaish and I'm not too proud to willingly buy some if they work exactly the same!

    1. YAY!! Not even gonna lie - one of the main reasons I started the blog was because of my epic seashell stud search. I wanted to try to help other people looking because, like, there was NO info on those shells anywhere! First World Problems, right? ;)

      I actually JUST bought some 3.5mm shells from StylishNailArt as well, but I was a little weirded out by the Paypal buying process, and it seems like her stock tends to fluctuate quite a bit so I didn't want to add her as a reliable resource for the shells. I'm totally not getting any kind of kick back from, but I bought 5mm shells from her and she's trying to get 3.5mm shells as well. Her website has a typical shopping cart and you can use Paypal or Credit Card, which was nice, and I got my shells within about a week. :) She's just been really nice and offered me the blogger discount, and I'm like, "YAY! I wanna help people out who are selling Japanese studs!" so I've been mentioning her store everywhere ;)

      As for the CCO polishes, while the colors seem fine, the Foundation may be another story. I actually JUST used the CCO Foundation I have last night and it smelled different and wasn't nearly as thick. We'll see how it wears, but I think I'll be sticking with the legit Gelish Foundation

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  3. Hi you can also buy it on ebay :

  4. Here's an other link from ebay :

    1. Thanks for the heads-up on these! Nice to know someone other than Pieadra is making - and in bulk for cheap! I have a feeling the gold will probably fade under a top coat, but it's great to have options. Thanks!