Blake Lively's "Antique Grandma" Manicure Is Surprisingly Chic

And perfect for fall.

Blake Lively


Most of us visit estate sales to score deals on designer clothes and precious antiques—but we have good reason to believe that Blake Lively goes to marvel at the décor. Our evidence? Lively recently posted her whimsical nail art that she called a “grandma antique wallpaper” manicure.

In an Instagram story, Lively posted a photo of her manicure, which features a mustard yellow base along with sheer brown flowers on each nail. She sang the praises of celebrity nail artist Elle Gerstein for giving her the manicure that was, in her words, the “'antique grandma wallpaper' nails I’ve been begging for.” The manicure features soft black dots to act as the flower's centers, and olive green leaves that decorate each flower.

Blake Lively yellow floral nails

Blake Lively

“The initial thought was to create a blonde tortoise to be the opposite of the last tortoise [I created for her], but then Blake suggested tapestry flowers,” says Gerstein in a statement. “Coincidentally, it ended up matching her wallpaper—talk about inspiration!” Lively tagged House of Hackney, a British lifestyle brand that sells a range of wallpapers, which is likely where Lively purchased said wallpaper. There’s no telling which wallpaper design Gerstein drew onto Lively’s nails exactly, but it looks like the yellow base in the Aurora Wallpaper in Chartreuse helped Lively bring her manicure dreams to fruition, along with the dark flower design in the Indienne Wallpaper in Ochre.

To create the look, Gerstein mixed the LeChat Perfect Match in Golden Boy-friend ($16) with a bit of LeChat Perfect Match in Risque Business ($16). She made the flower petals by mixing LeChat Perfect Match Wine and Unwind ($16) and LeChat Perfect Match Risque Business ($16), "washing them a bit by adding little specs of clear at the base of the flower.”

“I used my favorite olive green, LeChat Perfect Match Olivia ($16) to create the green leaves," says Gerstein. "I then added the slightest amount of LeChat Perfect Match Seriously Golden ($16), brushing it over the design to create a little light and dimension.” The finishing touch was to blend all the colors together for the slightly translucent look. “To get the antique effect that blends it all together, I took a clear polish adding a little hint of the brown, almost like you’re going to stain it," Gerstein explains. "Using this as the layer on top to finish the look creates the antique grandmother effect. We chose to keep it shiny, but you could also make it matte if that’s your preference.”

While the design in and of itself is gorgeous, here’s what stopped us from scrolling past Lively’s story post: Over the past few years, pastel and shimmering colors have reigned supreme not just in manicures but with practically everything from fashion and makeup to décor and even art. There has been a dulling of luxurious, rich colors over the years—but Lively’s manicure contains hues that bring us back to a time when deep reds and royal blues were the it-colors in fashion.

Yes, her manicure contains dark fall colors that might seem more moody than peppy—but its vibrancy shows that muted hues can bring as much joy to the digits as "millennial" shades can. Also, Lively’s manicure is the perfect reminder that going against the grain doesn’t only have to look like the black, cream, and white color ranges that alt-trends like “dark academia” or “balletcore” push—you can still wear fun colors in not-so-popular ways. If you need a boost in your manicure game (or general color story), we think Blake Lively’s antique grandma wallpaper mani is the perfect place to start.

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