Dreaming Of The Beach This Winter? Try The Seashell Nail Trend

In the middle of the dark, cold winter, it makes sense that you'd start dreaming of warmer weather. Imagine this: You've driven to the beach with the windows down, music on, and sunglasses poised atop your head. As you saunter across the warm sand in search of the perfect spot to shake out a towel, eager to flip open your favorite summer read, your nails catch the light of the sun. But these are not just any nails. They're seashell nails, a new manicure micro-trend reminiscent of a pearlescent shell.

According to the creator of the trend, Kim Truong, "It's an edgier take on the glazed-nail trend, so I can definitely see it trending for the summer" (via PopSugar). It's clear that opalescent nails are the new glazed donut nails. And with the dark mermaid look on the trend tidal wave for 2023, these nails could be the perfect complement. 

But just as no two seashells are the same, this manicure becomes one-of-a-kind when combined with a 3D element using builder gel, mimicking the natural contours of a shell and introducing the elements of light and shadow, which are all the more brilliant in the sun. Nail artist @ohmynails on Instagram even uses clear gel on top of a chrome color to add dimension to the look. 

How to create seashell nails at home

Manicurist @douxnailsbb on Instagram created a nail look that appears to be modeled after the natural colors and contours of an abalone shell, complete with faux pearls and green gems. However, you don't need to be a professional to get this style.

After your nails are primed and cured, begin by taking a small brush to scoop out a glob of builder gel. Then, gently mold the gel with the brush into your desired shell-like pattern. After curing the nails with another coat of gel, you are ready to go in with the color of your choice. For a single, all-over color, we recommend using a pearlescent or opalescent shade such as "Quicksand" from ILNP. (Note: This is not a gel nail polish.) Or, to be more precise with your placement, you could take another clean, small brush and dust a multi-chrome powder over just the gel shapes, such as this "Mermaid Nail Powder" from Vettsy. After adding a finishing top coat, dot the nails with any gems you may want to use, and cure once again. 

When it comes to the gel shapes and colors on your nails, however, the world is your oyster. For example, Tik Tok user @artofnails_ uses builder gel to create the outer shell (rather than inner shell) design on the nails, complete with a gorgeous, sea-glass green shade and a few extra faux pearls. The result is absolutely gorgeous.