This Might Be The Most Handy Nail Trend Yet

Illustrated by Elysia Berman
Fruity drinks, bright bikinis, pastel accessories — summer fever has officially begun. The long awaited seasonal shift away from our bulky winter musts is as refreshing as it gets. And the same goes for our beauty regimes: Out goes the dark swatches of lipstick and liner, in comes metallic makeup, pastel lids, and sunset-hued eyes. Usually, the nails follow suit with clean strokes of bright color or vacation-ready ocean designs — until now.
This time around, it's all about futuristic nails that combine a little bit of punk with some mechanical magic. We took notice of the trending look, thanks to nail artist Tony Ly, who’s take on tech-y tips took 3D nail art to another level. He incorporated a spinning wheel — yes, really — into the design, and finished with colorblocking and lots of gems.
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While getting a rolling disk onto your own fingernail may not be feasible, have no fear: There are mechanical and steampunk designs of every level to try out. Some people have even taken the fidget spinner craze to the next level, miniaturizing it down to their nails. This summer, in honor of trying something new, we’re going full gadgets and gizmos galore. Click through for Instagram’s finest mechanical, steampunk, and geared up nails.
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via @tonysnail
Does it get much cooler than the OG nail swag?
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PHOTO: VIA @NATASHALEEBLOGGER.
The fascination (read: obsession) with fidget spinners is still going strong. For all of you devotees out there, this one’s for you.
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PHOTO: VIA @TONYSNAIL.
Simple, yet so intricate — split nail, metal bridge, rhinestones — this design will put a little spring in your step.
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PHOTO: VIA @MATILDA_XY.
Gears are an icon of the steampunk movement, with inspiration from the Victorian Era. But with mixed metals, the look is extra modern.
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PHOTO: VIA @MUSHROOM.2552.
Machinery may be involved, but you definitely don’t have to give up your favorite summer hues.
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PHOTO: VIA @NAILSALON.CREA.
Opt for a single mechanical nail that pops against the rest of your mani. In black and gold, the trend gets a formal upgrade.
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PHOTO: VIA @NAILARTIST321.
Or, go all clear to really make your machinery pop within your polish.
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While most of these manis are probably best left to the pros, this standout version is (somewhat) easier to DIY.
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PHOTO: VIA @VDNAILART.
This all-out mani has goth written all over it, and we are here for it.
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So this is the right way to mix metal, color, piercings, and gems.
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PHOTO: VIA @CAS_LEI94.
More is definitely more.
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PHOTO: VIA @ANNOMUNDIZ.
If you like structured nails, this is the look for you. But fair warning, they may get snagged on your clothes.
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PHOTO: VIA @STEAMPUNKHATS.
Mixed with glitter at the tips, the mechanical mani reads ultra glam.
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