Sea Glass Nails Are The Perfect Look For Your Next Vacation

Did you ever find yourself taken aback by the beauty of sea glass, those broken pieces of colorful glass that were softened and shaped into pebble-like figures by the tumbling seawater? With the trendiest summer manicure called sea glass nails, you can capture that wandering-through-the-waves feeling of an ocean vacation every time you look down at your hands.

Sea glass nails are characterized by an almost jelly-like look, but they're not as shiny as your typical jelly nails. They can have either a matte finish or a tad glossier one, as both are reminiscent of the glass one can usually find on the beach, and are also quite easy to do on your own. You'll need a good jelly polish to nail the glass translucence, and you don't need much of it, according to nail artist Erica Hipp. "Two coats are better than three for a sea glass look; then, you're still able to see some of the nail line, and it looks like translucent sea glass," she shared with Byrdie.

Other than that, you're free to interpret the trend as you wish. Nail lengths and shapes of all types work with the look and will give the same effect. You can also combine multiple techniques and nail art to elevate the trendy manicure and have everyone staring at the glass on the tips of your fingers all summer long.

Less is more

Nailing the sea glass manicure requires so little — all you essentially need is jelly polish. However, the difference between regular Y2K-inspired jelly nails and the sea glass look is the finish; you'll want to go for a more matte finish to create that weathered-down look of glass that's lost its shine. Shades of green, blue, and white are most often represented among sea glass and are spot on for this manicure trend, but feel free to get creative with your choices as glass can come in virtually any color.

Out at sea

Sometimes, the most literal interpretation of a trend is the perfect way to rock it. If you want everyone to know what your manicure has been inspired by, go for the water droplet effect in addition to your sea glass nails. Simply choose a color for your sea glass mani and add the 3D drops on top; your nails will literally look like pieces of glass that were in the sea just seconds ago. Shorter, almond-shaped nails would be ideally reminiscent of glass shaped by waves, but no length or shape is off the table.

Sea glass pebbles

Another way to make the sea glass manicure a bit more obvious without it being too on the nose is to opt for an abstract variation on the theme — try mimicking the shape of sea glass pebbles on your nails. Have fun here! You can go for one pebble shape per nail, or you can do multiple ones on each. Start with clean nails and paint the pebbles by hand, after which you'll finish off with a matte top coat for that frosty sea glass aesthetic.

Sea glass Frenchies

French tips are a manicure classic that can be incorporated into almost every nail trend that emerges. Pulling off a matte French manicure is easier than you might think, especially when it's paired with sea glass nails. To get the most from this unexpected combo, go for colored matte tips for all or most of your nails. You can opt for an accent nail with nail art or charms, but stick with a single color overall to avoid your mani being too busy.

Charmed up

Charms are never a bad idea when it comes to nail art. Incorporating them into your sea glass manicure is as easy as doing a few accent nails. For a more minimalist approach, go for a single sea glass color for all of your nails and add a pearlescent charm to some of them. In the case that you're more of a nail maximalist, try different-colored nails, make your charms colorful, and arrange them to form a shape.

Go for an unexpected color

Pastel colors are the ultimate warm-weather manicure staple, and they're perfect for rocking the sea glass trend. Make them matte to evoke the frosted finish of sea glass, and feel free to incorporate any nail technique you usually love. For an interesting twist, opt for a shade that's rarer to come across among sea glass, like pastel purple or coral. Longer nails will work best here to highlight the see-through effect, especially if you go for one color overall.

Beach marble

Combining multiple nail trends you love is a surefire way to fall in love with your manicure. The marble effect will elevate the sea glass nails beautifully, so if you're looking for an enchanting vibe for your vacation, this is the pair for you. Again, shorter nails with softer edges would be more reminiscent of shaped glass, but this mix is so cute, you might want a bit more space to play. Finish off with a glossier top coat if matte is not your favorite, as sea glass sometimes still has a shine to it.

Sea glass blobs

For the extra manicurists out there, there's no need to tame yourselves for this breezy beach trend as it's open to interpretation. If just painting your nails is too simple for you, you can still play with the pebble theme. Ask your nail technician for a 3D application of larger, differently shaped blobs in the colors of sea glass on a clear nail foundation to evoke some serious out-of-water vibes. As this approach requires a bit more nail space, long and square-shaped nails might be the best option.