Nails have long been a way to express yourself through beauty. Thanks to their commitment-free nature meaning you can decorate your fingertips according to any given mood or moment, and WAH, Madeline Poole and Imarni leading the way in intricate and statement-making designs, we thought we’d seen everything. But from among the pierced tips, negative spaces and niche surrealist scribbles, a new micro trend has emerged on our Insta feed: #jellynails.
Currently with 4,000 tagged photos on Instagram – although Kylie Jenner's fluoro pink jelly nails, complete with Nike swoosh, have over 4 million likes – the look might just bring some sweet nostalgia to your beauty routine. Reminiscent of the jelly sandals we wore back in the ‘90s (such a look), we're seeing the translucent acrylics in a plethora of shapes, colours and finishes.
From sharp pointed stilettos to softer, rounder (and arguably more wearable) nails, the trend calls to mind a Jelly Belly beans rainbow, turning our feed into a bonafide sweet shop. "The trend is also known as glass nails," manicurist Michelle Humphrey tells Refinery29. "Although it’s trending now, it’s actually been around for some time," she explains, "with OPI bringing out a Sheer Tint range back in 2014."
So how can we create the look? WAH Nails’ senior nail tech Holli Anna says: "Jelly nails are made by translucent coloured acrylic being sculpted onto your nail. You place a foil under the nail and we apply the acrylic on top to the shape and length you want." Explaining that you can also mix glitters or encapsulate sequins in the colour, she adds: "It’s really fun, Instagram-friendly, and the light shines through like crazy," making it all the better for summer.
While Michelle says you can recreate jelly nails at home, by mixing a clear polish with a colour and applying as usual, she advises that it's best left to a pro nail technician. So this summer you’ll find us scrolling through Instagram, recreating the best shoes of the '90s via brightly hued, glitter-embedded jelly nails. Now, which colour to pick?