Subtle Nail Looks That Scream Quiet Luxury

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

You've probably noticed "quiet luxury" trends — even if you didn't notice that you noticed them. Quiet luxury is all about subtlety; it's about paying both extra money and extra attention for something that seems basic and simple. It's Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's $350 t-shirt. It's Kendall Roy's plain black baseball cap on "Succession." It's no labels and all minimalist, elevated style.

You may have heard of "stealth wealth" before, and these days, more and more people are looking for ways to make their fashion statements a bit more quietly. "Although not totally new, quiet luxury resurfaced again after shows like "Succession," whose characters are known for wearing widely expensive clothing, accessories, and looks from ultra-luxury brands that are understated," celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec told Byrdie.

That said, going the quiet luxury route doesn't have to be all about investing in the most expensive pair of jeans or sunglasses; it's moving into the beauty world as well, and it's all about investing in quality. "It's the opposite of excess purchasing, and instead investing in something that will last longer," Kandalec said. "For example, quiet luxury in nails might mean getting a structured manicure using a soft pink builder gel, which may cost $100 but will last a month, versus a $20 polish manicure that may only last a week." Your manicure is a great place to start your journey into a quiet luxury glow-up — it's all about how you execute it. 

Milk bath nails

If you've wondered what milk or milk bath nails are, they're about to become your go-to. Milk bath nails turn your summer manicure into a work of art without the over-the-top, intricate nail art. Whether you're a fan of the quiet luxury trend or not, this nail style is all over, because not only is it elegant and easy to maintain, but it's also easy to DIY at home. All you need is a milky, light pink nail polish like Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer in prima ballerina. Then, cover it with a matte or shiny top coat depending on your vibe.

Micro French

There's no nail art more classic and sophisticated than a French manicure. What makes this mani a bit more on the quiet luxury side of things? More subtlety, of course. The micro French manicure is exactly what it sounds like — a French manicure with a line that's ever-so-slightly thinner. The effect is elegant, effortless, and utterly understated. That said, to stick with the quiet luxury trend, opt for neutral colors, rather than veering into the modern French side of things. Want to give off a quiet luxury vibe DIY style? Nail stamps like these Saviland French Tip Nail Stamps are your friends.

Subtle metallic

What's more of a sign of luxury than silver and gold? Basically nothing. As a result, a bit of metallic will elevate your manicure and give off some major stealth wealth vibes. Just make sure not to do a manicure in full silver or gold. Instead, you should opt for silver tips, gold dots, or a copper accent nail. This way you're hinting at luxury without hitting your nail admirers over the head with it, which is the key to the trend, after all. You can also try metallic nail stickers, but remember, less is more.

A touch of sparkle

Touches of metallic scream quiet luxury. Okay, maybe they whisper it. But if a bit of metallic looks luxurious, then some sparkle does even more so. You can probably already guess that a hand full of glitter nail polish does not fit in with the quiet luxury trend. A bit here and there, though? Now that's some seriously subtle splendor. This French manicure with an accent nail that has a gold glitter tip is basically quiet luxury-inspired perfection. You can also try a tiny bit of glitter on each nail or an entirely sparkling accent nail. 

Unusual neutrals

To successfully fit into the quiet luxury category, things must always be understated. As far as manicures are concerned, for the most part, that excludes bold, bright colors. When it comes to neutrals, though, all bets are off — barring black and white, which are a bit trickier since they make a statement all on their own. Tans, beiges, soft browns, and light grays are amazing picks for an entirely monochrome manicure. Think of slightly out-of-the-box neutral shades to pair with an extra clean, manicured set of nails, and you'll have an easy, sophisticated go-to manicure that's elegantly understated.

Simple nail art

Nail art has certainly been having a bit of a moment as of late, and if you want to try some out for yourself, you definitely aren't alone. That said, there's plenty of nail art out there that is simply too over-the-top to fit in with the quiet luxury trend. One way to make sure that your nail art fits flawlessly with the style is to choose only thin lines in neutral colors. In particular, a light pink, clear, brown, or beige base color with white nail art makes for a perfectly simple and sophisticated look. 

Classic clear

While rocking a nail polish-free look certainly embraces the subtlety of the trend, it's not exactly luxurious. A perfectly manicured, squeaky clean hand full of clear nail polish, on the other hand? Now that's quiet luxury to a T. The trick here is to choose a super-shiny top coat, as sheen is what visually separates a clear manicure from a no-nail polish look. You also want to make sure your cuticles and nails are always in the best condition possible. A clear manicure will require less upkeep than a colorful one, but make up for it in nail bed maintenance. 

Blush nails

Blush nails have been all the rage each springtime, and they're one nail trend that fits well into the quiet luxury nail genre. They got their name, because they "look like your nails are blushing," according to Nailing Hollywood CEO Mazz Hanna, per InStyle. Blush nails are simply a pale pink manicure with a brighter pink dabbed into the center with a sponge and topped with a shiny top coat, giving a soft gradient look. The result is funky yet mild nail art that shows that you paid attention to your nails without any busyness that's too out there.

Lipgloss nails

If you haven't heard of lipgloss nails yet, then you can probably already hazard a guess as to what they are based on their name. As lipgloss is just a sheer tint with a glossy finish over your lips, lipgloss nails have the same effect. You start with your natural nails and pack on the glossy gel topcoat to give that translucent, shiny finish. This manicure is similar to milk bath nails, but it really lets your own nails show through while also giving them a bit of extra oomph. There's really nothing more quiet luxury-coded than that.