This year’s biggest nail trends fall into two general categories: color overload or barely there neutrals. With the latter, you’ve got the sheer-beige “supermodel” nails trend, whereas “coquette” nails are all about hyperfeminine, over-the-top embellishments and designs. Now, there’s a new and emerging design taking front and center for summer: watercolor nails. Like a watercolor painting, the options for this nail-art design are truly limitless — the only condition is that you incorporate multiple colors.
When you paint with watercolors, the different pigments are slightly translucent (thanks to the addition of the water) and blur together; watercolor nails have the same effect. You can opt for a rainbow motif, combining a large range of colors, or stick to a theme with different shades of the same pigments.
That’s what celebrity manicurist Kim Truong did for her client when they requested a watercolor manicure and showed an image with charms for reference. “We customized it to her own liking by adding more of her favorite color, purple, and opted for no charms,” Truong tells POPSUGAR. The look is not too far off from marble nails, or even the viral “aura” nail trend that has been a popular choice of late.
While this manicure probably looks like something only a professional can do, Truong explains there are ways to do it at home. At a salon, “These nails were created using an actual airbrush machine to blend the various colors together seamlessly,” she says. But if you’re looking for a DIY version, “You can re-create this look at home by using regular polish and a makeup sponge to dab and blend the colors together.” The key is to use a light hand to get that airy, harmonized finish.
If you consider yourself to be a maximalist and the colors alone in this manicure aren’t enough, you can incorporate things like 3D charms, glitter, and even a glazed finish. To prove just how many different ways you can spin it, keep scrolling for more pictures of watercolor nails to inspire your next manicure.