Boyfriend Nails: The Manicure Trend That Shows Off Your Love

Public displays of affection can take form in many different ways. Tameka "Tiny" Harris, the wife of Grammy-award-winning rapper T.I, famously rented out a billboard in Atlanta to wish her hubby a happy 37th birthday. W Magazine dubbed 90s mood board couple Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson the "originators of the celebrity PDA game." While you and your boo may not be as boisterous with your PDA, there are plenty of milder and less controversial ways to put your adoration on display for all to see. In fact, a new trend in nail art has introduced a subtle yet romantic way to achieve this in the form of "boyfriend nails."


The term is just as literal as it sounds, incorporating your significant other's initials into your manicure. Though not an entirely new concept, Kim Kardashian, a leader in ushering in recent fads, helped revive this adorable nail art. In May 2022, during her relationship with comedian Pete Davidson, Kardashian uploaded a photo of her pink gel acrylics with rhinestones in the shape of a "P" on her ring finger. And she is not the only lover to partake in this sentimental manicure.

You don't have to drastically switch up your nail routine to get boyfriend nails

The beauty of boyfriend nails is that you won't have to stray from your usual nail style to achieve them. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles put her spin on it in February, showing off milk, oval-shaped mani with a red "J" and accompanying heart, referencing her fiance Jonathan Owens. With the exception of the solitary letter adorning their chosen finger, or "accent nail," Kim K and Biles both had simple designs.


For those who go all out with their claws, such as Cardi B, the boyfriend nails offer an opportunity to not only express your love but to outright build murals on your hands dedicated to your spouse. Take, for instance, her viral 2017 extra-long acrylic set that served as a finger tribute to her now husband, Kiari "Offset" Cephus. Her longtime nail tech, Jenny Bui, uploaded a photo of the musician's extreme nails that went beyond initials, including actual portraits of Cephus' face surrounded by colorful stones. Perhaps a little early for the boyfriend nail craze, this is another example of how your man doesn't have to ruin your go-to manicure style.

In case of a breakup, boyfriend nails aren't permanent

If you are torn on boyfriend nails, remember this is not a permanent decision. This symbol of devotion can be easily removed when it's time for your next fill-in. Since ​​72% of millennials decide being single is more rewarding than a relationship, a small act of love is much brighter than a permanent grand gesture such as a tattoo.


If you don't want to commit to paying a manicurist for the boyfriend nails, experiment with them at home. Shein has a vast collection of nail accessories, and letters are a hot item on the site. The 26pcs 3D Letter Design Nail Art Decoration is only $2.00 and is a blinged-out set with silver letters decorated with rhinestones. If you fell in love with the gold foil letters seen on Jennifer Lopez's set of boyfriend nails, Shein also has a three-sheet pack for just $1.50. It may be too late to pull off this look for Valentine's Day, but who says you need a specific holiday to show your fondness for that special someone?