Seashell Nails Are Mermaid Meets Fairycore—And Summer’s Coolest Nail Trend

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Written By Paklay Zablay

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Beauty lovers clearly can’t get enough of ethereal aesthetics inspired by the fantastical, from mother-of-pearl manis to fairycore makeup. The latest trend? Iridescent seashell nails, which A-list nail enthusiasts Kylie Jenner, Megan Fox, and Saweetie have all co-signed, as have celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik and his client turned mermaid Hailee Steinfeld.

No two sets are alike—Jenner’s are multicolored while Fox’s and Steinfeld’s are blue and Saweetie’s pink—and the style is essentially another variation on the chrome moment (chroment?).

“Chrome nails have had their moment and a half for the past few seasons, but Kylie Jenner just took it to a new level and brought back a nostalgic Y2K trend: multi-chrome nails,” Juli Russell, Sally Beauty DIY nail expert, tells Glamour.

Jenner’s take in particular, which was created by celebrity nail artist Zola Ganzorigt, is well on its way to taking spring and summer nail trends by storm—especially since Ganzorigt and her client Hailey Bieber are the duo who kicked off glazed donut mani mayhem (IYKYK).

“These color-shifting, one-of-a-kind manicures are formulated with different chromatic pigments that reveal new shades at every angle, giving it that mermaid-tail-like effect,” Russell says of the style. But while they may look complicated, she asserts it’s actually all in the product (more on that below).

Seashell nails are super easy not only to DIY but to customize too. Because the fantastical finish primarily lies in the base, you can design your base coats and polishes according to your personal taste. Fox’s recent take on the trend, for example, was an iridescent icy blue.

Fox’s nail artist, Brittney Boyce of Nails of LA, created the look with Charme Gel’s Twinkle Fairy Iridescent Collection’s Silvermist. Saweetie’s milky pink mani, on the other (literal) hand, was created by nail artist Temeka Jackson, who used Social Claws Lumi Chrome over The Gel Bottle’s Blanc and Riya’s Nails Unicorn Chrome 1. And there are countless more ways to wear the trend.

If that sounds intimidating, don’t be discouraged: “Multi-chrome nails can be done with regular polish, gel, and chrome powder, or a topper polish,” Russell says. “So wherever your DIY level is at, there’s an option for you to achieve the look at home.”

Okay…so what’s the catch (of the day)? There really isn’t one. Seashell nails are user-friendly, personalized, and very much on trend. Fitting right in with mermaidcore and fairycore aesthetics, they are pretty much tailor-(mer)made for spring and summer manis.

“Aquatic mermaid-inspired nails are such a vibe, especially with summer approaching,” says Miami-based nail artist John Avery, who recently created what he calls a “moonlit mermaid mani,” a purple-and-pink-tinted ombré design adorned with cloud nail art, for a client (see above).

“They are such a fun splash of bold eye-catching color perfect for any beach destination or a just fun summer look,” he says. What’s more, Avery notes, is by pairing a set of seashell nails with a wet-hair look, you have a super-simple-to-DIY “mermaid moment.” And who doesn’t want that? Exactly. Here’s how to DIY.

For an ombré look, Avery suggests choosing two colors, applying one on the base and using the second color to ombré from the tip using a brush or sponge. “Once done, apply Daily Charme Aurora Unicorn Nail Chrome Powder, and voilà! You have the perfect summer mermaid nails.”

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