Dua Lipa's Future Nostalgia tour may have come to a close, but that doesn't mean she's stopped turning out some shimmering fashion and beauty looks. She's road-tested silvery tinsel eyes, dipped a toe into mermaidcore with a sequined netted two-piece, and rang in the new year in a chainmail dress, complete with exposed thong. While her NYE look was all over social media, it's actually her manicure from a few days later that we'll be copying.
On January 3, the singer took to her Instagram Stories to share her first manicure of 2023. Lipa opted for a variation on "aura nails," with a black base and baby pink and grey gradient. She tagged her nail artist, Michelle Humphrey, who shaped Lipa's nails into a medium-length almond tip.
Aura nails incorporate the colors of your own energy essence into trendy, bright, freeform nail designs, usually with a softly gradated effect. The trend can include getting a photo of your aura taken with a special camera and then recreating the colors on your nails. "Color is a great tool to help you know more about yourself, and to connect to your manifestations, what you want to heal," Susanna Merrick, known as The Aura Stylist, previously told us. "Color is a great way to experiment with your mood, your energy. There's so much psychology collectively behind it that we all can tap into."
Of course, you don't have to go off the colors of your own aura, you can just be inspired by the way the colors bleed into each other, like Dua. To get the hazy, realistic finish of an actual aura photograph, the most popular style of aura nails uses an airbrush tool and a professional nail tech. But if you're looking to DIY—or your salon doesn't have the right equipment—nail artist Angie Bonilla of @amelodyxnails has a hack.
"You can use a few drops of gel polish and mix it with acetone instead, she says. "My usual ratio is three drops of gel and four of acetone." When considering colors, bold is almost always better, too. Bonilla says she's seen virtually every style of aura nail, but the most memorable keep a neutral background with stand-out shades. "Personally, I think the best pairings are the colors you really wouldn’t expect to go together," she says. "I’ve done blue and orange and also brown and pink, and they look so good!"
Nail artist Hanina Ibrahim of @nailsbyhanin has another method to try the look at home. All you need is an eyeshadow palette and wedge beauty sponge. Just dab the shadow over a base shade before sealing it with a top coat. Bonilla adds that a blooming-style gel polish can help create a similar feel, too. She advises applying a thinner, uncured layer of your base gel polish to start before depositing the blooming gel aura color with a dotting tool to avoid interference.
"After applying your desired color, wait a few seconds before curing so that the colored gel can bloom and expand into that aura look," she says. "After that, repeat the same steps with a different color in the center, and you have your dual aura look!"
While an exposed thong may be a bit much for the office, a pastel aura nail is the perfect way to channel Dua Lipa's cosmic style.