The Translucent Nail Trend Is Making Its Comeback In A Big Way

Jelly nail designs take us back to the '80s and '90s as nail artists take inspiration from the jelly sandals that were popular during those decades. With the resurgence of nostalgic fashion — think everything from '70s chic to Y2K camp — these nails have also recently returned to the trend cycle.

If you're unfamiliar, translucent nails are often referred to as jelly nails since they evoke the opacity and glossiness of the glittery shoes they're inspired by, creating a really fun and dynamic effect. You can ask for translucent nails at the salon, but you can also recreate this design pretty easily at home. In this way, brightly colored jelly nails are the perfect DIY look for the summer, but there's also a lot of room to expand on this core glassy design. It works with practically any color polish, as long as it's translucent, though bold colors may create the best see-through "jelly" look.

If you take a look at social media, you'll see that nail enthusiasts are constantly finding ways to elevate translucent nail sets, adding custom finishes, patterns, and charms. So, if you're looking for your next summer nail designs, jelly nails may be just the colorful trend you need.

Add designs to translucent nails

The fun and interesting designs that social media users have been adding to their translucent nails are one of the biggest ways this trend shows it's made a comeback. With this elevation, we've seen everything from glittery top coats and gold foil details to butterfly patterns and heart motifs adorning the glass-like bases of jelly nails.

A great example of this comes from @chjfilms, who shows off a DIY process of creating a jelly polish color using a few drops of red nail polish mixed into a bottle of clear polish. Shen then draws a few white hearts on each nail. Not only do we love the soft pinkish-red color of the translucent base, but we also adore the simple-but-cute design. This look would be great for a Valentine's Day-themed set, but it also has the perfect coquette nail vibes if you're loving that aesthetic.

For more ideas on how to customize your translucent nails, we love the butterfly shapes encapsulated in the multi-colored look from @issa.nailcessity, which provides a really playful vibe to the overall set. The sparkle-shaped stickers shown off in the look from @colorbarcc similarly bring a special touch to the blue jelly color that makes the eye-catching design all the more fun. Otherwise, feel free to experiment with adding your personal favorite pattern to your jelly nails.

Charms are also common with Korean jelly nails

K-beauty trends have often had an influence on Western fads, with translucent nails being no exception. We've been seeing the impact of Korean jelly nails on recent adaptations, as more and more sets incorporate 3D designs and charms that are characteristic of popular K-beauty designs. For example, TikTok user @sweetnailsbysab pulls inspiration from Korean nail trends for their pink jelly look, adding heart charms, rhinestones, and butterfly stickers to create a super cute set. The airbrushed effect used is also reminiscent of Korean blush nails, another K-beauty fad that has become popular among Western nail enthusiasts lately.

We're also big fans of the press-on nails shown off by @caidys_nails, which feature cherry blossom-inspired flower charms and small pearls on a pink polish for a delicate, Japanese-influenced look. For a Y2K-inspired set, the post from @lasexysnails incorporates chunky charms in the shapes of hearts, bears, and butterflies that channel the fun, kitschy style characteristic of the early 2000s. Overall, there are lots of ways you can customize translucent nails with K-beauty-inspired charms, so don't be afraid to decorate your own nail look with your favorite embellishments.