Remember the negative-space manicure (aka the cutout dress for nails) from last year that took the runways and our nail-fanatic hearts by storm? Well, you might remember Eunkyung Park, owner of Unistella Salon in Seoul for completely nailing the chic trend (her Instagram is some serious art, guys!). This time around, South Korea’s manicure maven has outdone herself – behold jewel-toned, iridescent nails that’ll give the glitziest red carpets gowns self esteem issues (we’re looking at you, Rihanna’s wardrobe). Holographic manis? So 2000-and-late.
Inspired by the abalone, a sea snail resembling an oyster with a gorgeous iridescent shell lining, Park recreated the effect on nails by pasting slivers of cellophane paper, and that's how it all began – it’s now populating our feeds, and providing us with major #nailgoals. The trend’s gone so mainstream that Park now sells stickers that duplicate the look – they might not be the real thing, but they’ll save you a trip to Seoul.
Here’s some swoon-worthy inspo to help your imagination get running – you can combine the technique with assorted embellishment on different nails, experiment with nail foil accents, pair it up with the negative-space style for a minimalist look and play with geometric facets.
If you can’t get your hands on the stickers, you can DIY the process! Here’s a detailed step-by-step to get your talons all turnt up:
1/5 Apply a layer of your regular translucent basecoat.
2/5 Top with a coat of the nail paint you want as your base – darker colours create an edgy effect, but it all depends on the look you’re going for.
3/5 Cut out shards of cellophane paper (or rainbow film, if you can manage it find some of that) in different geometric, architectural shapes – triangular slivers work well to create an effect of shattered glass, but this is all you, so get creative! (Tip: You could even use candy wrappers but just make sure it’s nothing too thick or chunky.)
4/5 Using tweezers, place the bits in your desired pattern on each nail – you could use nail transfer adhesive (on a dry basecoat) or just stick it directly to a slightly wet one. Wait for it to dry completely.
5/5 Top it all up with a strong topcoat, preferably a clear gel one. Then top it again – you don’t want your ‘gems’ to be chipping!
Finally, marvel at your mesmerizing, light-reflecting, conversation-starting talons and know that you did good.