Crocodile Print Is the Wild Nail Trend Coming for Your Next Mani

Match it with your favorite accessory.

Croc Print Nails


If you thought there was no way to top the cow print, allow us to introduce you to the new pattern that will soon be everywhere: croc print. This trend is already taking over social media—and our next manicure appointment. Inspired by the crocodile's unique scales in the wild (and chic faux-croc shoes and handbags), this trend has appeared in every shade outside of the animal’s standard grayish-green tone.

We've spotted multiple takes in muted shades, bright neons, and monochrome. We've also seen it mixed in with a few of our other favorite manicure trends, like the French tip and mismatched manicures. For more on the style and how to try it at home, we tapped Smith & Cult nail ambassador and nail artist Jessica Tong-Ahn. Read on for her expert advice.

The Trend

Like cow patterns before it—not to mention enduring classics like leopard and cheetah spots—the croc print mani is rooted in fashion. "It definitely started to trend around this time last year, and I did a ton of it over the holidays in darker and jewel tones. And by spring, everyone was asking for matching shades to their Brandon Blackwood bags," Tong-Ahn explains.

"I definitely a fan of animal prints, and croc has such a luxury texture to it," she adds. And we couldn't agree more. Let's look into how trendsetters are making the print their own.

Nail artist Kim Truong crafted a glossy, pink textured look for Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn, that perfectly matched her luxe bag.

An entirely new take on the classic French mani, nail artist Savannah outlined bold blue croc print in crystals. 

Why not mix colors and patterns like the nails pros at Creative Rebels? One hand features cool blues while the other features glossy textured orange shades.

No need to stick to one color family. In fact, contrasting tones can elevate the look—nail artist Angie expertly mixed blue and orange for this chic mani.

No color at all is also an option. We love this clear take on the mani by Kouture Nails that combines the textured mani trend with croc print.

No need to stick to one pattern. The croc trend pairs well with all your favorite looks, and the muted tones in the mixed mani keep it surprisingly subtle.

Get the Look

Now that you're inspired, it's time to try it out. Jessica admits her method is a little unconventional, but the result is a cute look with a bit of that croc texture. All you need are your two colors and a toothpick.

  1. After applying a clear base coat, apply your base color and let it dry.
  2. Next, she grabs the main color and a toothpick. Applying a generous layer and working quickly, she carves out the croc shape with a toothpick. "That way, you can see the base color a tiny bit, and you also get a bit of texture from the layers."

Layer on a glossy top coat, and you have a look fit to match your favorite bag. Stuck on color combinations? She also has a few favorites to try. "I love seeing traditional richer shades like black, nude, dark red, and of course dark green," she says.

Smith & Cult, yellow nail polish
Smith & Cult Color Me Curious $18.00

However, since summer isn't over just yet, the nail artist also recommends some lighter tones. "This could be so fun to do in summery yellow like Smith and Cult Color Me Curious or even a coral tone like Smith and Cult Plastic Beach ($18)."

Now that you have your color combos and extensive knowledge of the trend, the only thing that's next is to try it out for yourself.

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