When it comes to choosing the perfect crystal colour for your project, the options are vast, and it becomes even more overwhelming when you think of colour combinations too – Mix and match? Contrast or compliment? Bright and bold or neutral and chic? The possibilities are endless!

But Crystal Parade are here to help… with over a decade in the industry, we have the experience and knowledge to advise which colours work together, and we are always keeping up to date with the latest seasonal trends.

Our top selling rhinestone brands Preciosa and Zodiac, produce an amazing array of colours, effects and coatings in their flatback crystal range. Here we will guide you through each of these and how they can be used:

Clear Crystal – This is a colourless, diamond effect stone, with a mirrored foil backing to reflect the light. It is one of our most popular colours as it adds a luxury feel to whatever you’re crystallizing. Clear rhinestones are often used for nail art, card making, bridal design, jewellery making, fashion and many other crafts. Because of its colourless nature, clear crystals can be used on almost anything and will work with every other colour. Here’s an example of a stunning Chanel bag that has been totally encrusted with clear crystals, by the brilliant CrystalledbyJane. The addition of the clear diamante rhinestones instantly elevate the handbag.AB Crystal – AB (Aurora Borealis) gets its name from the natural phenomenon that occurs in certain skies at night known as the Northern Lights. It is a coated crystal that has a rainbow effect, much like a soap bubble, or sometimes described as an ‘oil on water’ effect. This is the most popular colour by far, especially in the performing arts world, the stunning AB coated crystal reflects light superbly and looks gorgeous under spotlights. The coating reflects the colours that surround it so use against pale colours for pinks, purples, pale blue and golds to shine through. Or use on a darker background to see greens, yellows and darker shades of blue. It is most commonly used in nail art, bridalwear, dance dresses, costume design and fashion. Like the Clear crystal, AB crystals work with any other colour so the possibilities are endless. Primp My Costume is a fantastic designer of all things burlesque, just look at these dazzling pasties covered in AB crystals.

Standard Colour – Standard colours make up the majority of the range, these are crystals that are just one colour throughout and have no effect or coating over the top. If you’re looking for a simple block colour in a variety of shades, go for one of these. Examples of standard colours are Light Siam (red), Fuchsia (pink), Citrine (yellow), Sapphire (blue) and Peridot (green). These are great for adding a splash of colour to your project and are used predominantly in costume making, Irish dance dresses, card making and general craft projects. You can choose between bright bold shades, pastel vintage style shades or neutral tones – they really do spoil us for choice! Crystalled by Jane has used a range of standard colour rhinestones to bring this Chanel bag to life.Special Effects/Coatings - Special effect crystals, also known as rhinestone coatings, are where a thin layer of material has been laid over the top of the crystal, coating it, to create an unusual effect. This could be metallic or two-tone. These special effect crystals often give off more sparkle, looking amazing under the lights and are mainly used by nail technicians and Irish dance dressmakers. There are two different types of coating: metallic and two-tone.

  • Metallic rhinestones such as rose gold, aurum (bright gold) and chrome are really on trend at the moment especially in the nail art and beauty industry. The solid metallic finish has a different kind of effect – it shines with bright flashes of light, rather than a twinkle like the standard colours. They are great for steampunk, rocky or edgy designs.
  • Two-tone rhinestones are just that – two (or sometimes three) tones of colour coming through. For example, Preciosa Volcano shines purple, red and blue. Two-tone, sometimes referred to as multi-tone, crystals have the magical quality of appearing to change colour at certain angles. So with movement comes the effect of lots of different colours. These work well for dancewear, fashion and basically anything that moves! Check out another brilliant creation from Jane using Meridian Blue.Neon – Neon rhinestones are as bright and bold as the name suggests and some even glow in the dark! Neon crystals are perfect for creating eye catching designs within nail art, Irish dance, costume and jewellery making. A timeless trend for the summer and festival season is to wear neon face gems, or even crystallise your festival accessories with neon rhinestones and embellishments.

  • Choosing the right colour for your project

    With the huge choice of colours and coatings on offer, it can be hard to decide which colour to choose. Don’t worry if you have no idea where to start when it comes to choosing the perfect colour, here are a few useful tips and ideas to try:

    Look at the Pantone Colour of the Year – this will tell you which colour is on trend each year and may give you a good starting point. For example, the colour of the year for 2023 is ‘Viva Magenta’. Many designers choose to base their designs on the current trending colour

  • Check out what other people in your industry are doing on social media; fashion designers and nail technicians are always keeping on top of the latest trends, so take a look and see what works for you. Nail artist Lisa Johnston is constantly turning out designs featuring the latest trending colours, which can be applied to other sectors such as costume, fashion and craft.
  • Take inspiration from your surroundings and interests. Designers often use ideas from nature, the time of year, events in the calendar or travel to create themes and colourways in their work. Seasons are a popular starting point for many people – use pastel and neutral shades in the springtime, bright bold colours in summer, deep warm jewel-tones in Autumn and cool shades of blue, silver and white during the winter. By creating these colourways, you can tell a story or take a journey through your design.
  • A popular way of showing off your favourite colour is to use multiple shades of that colour to create an ombre design. Also known as colour fade, the ombre effect is a great way of bringing depth to the design and also allows you to get creative with colours. Starting with a clear crystal, it is easy to fade into the lightest shade of a colour, then medium, then dark. We love this embellished fountain pen in pink ombre, by CrystalSkins.

If you need some more tips or inspiration on crystal colours, you can order a handy colour chart from Crystal Parade to see all the colours, coatings and effects available. Or if you have an idea of colour but would like to see the different shades available, you can speak to one of our team who will happily send free samples. Alternatively, if you have a piece of fabric and you would like to match, you can send an image or a sample of the fabric to us and we will do an exact match for you.


Rhinestone application