Lip Gloss Nails Will Be Your Go-To Winter Mani

So fresh, so clean.

Lip Gloss Nails

Le Manoir

Glazed donut nails, patent leather nails, pierced nails, ornate nail art… experimenting with your manicure is so much fun, but sometimes you just want to hit the reset button in favor of something simple and a touch more subtle. Enter “lip gloss nails,” a new twist on the classic pale pink polish that could just be the manicure you’re looking for as we head into 2023.

But what exactly are lip gloss nails? We’re not telling you to swipe lip gloss over your manicure—for one, that would be a sticky mess. That said, lip gloss nails are exactly what they sound like: a light, sheer coat of color with a glossy, shiny finish. Just like a swipe of pink lip gloss brings life and light to your lips, lip gloss nails go with everything and look great on all nail lengths, from pointy stilettos to short, squared-off tips. They’re like the little black dress of manicures: always on-trend and easily customizable to your skin tone, personal style, and daily routine. 

The Trend

Lip gloss nails have their roots in a few existing trends: jelly nails, a bright but sheer wash of color on the nail or the tips; the controversial, minimal “Clean Girl” aesthetic; and the frosty, shimmery glazed donut nails popularized by Hailey Bieber. If all these trends got together and had a baby, you’d have lip gloss nails. They’re also similar to a pink and white service at the nail salon minus the white tips, and are the grandchild of the Dior Nail Glows ($30) and other nail concealers of the world.

While a classic lip gloss nail is pale pink and shiny, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to an exact formula to get the look. The manicure style is easy to tweak to your mani-pedi preferences. A quick scroll through TikTok is an easy way to see the many facets of lip gloss nails, from super-sheer jellies to a classic everyday sheer pink and super glossy natural pinks. The cornerstones of the trend are that super pale pink, sometimes almost translucent against the nail, and a shiny finish—just like your favorite Lancôme Juicy Tube ($20) of yore or today’s Tower 28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss ($15). 

Lip gloss nails aren’t a totally new nail innovation, but rather a clever name for a twist on an existing mani style. “This trend is like the neutral version of the jelly trend that was big during the summer,” explains celebrity nail artist Sonyua Belakhlef. “This year we've seen a lot of really intricate and bold nail arts trending, including cool geometric looks and bright, neon colors. With nail trends, the pendulum always swings, and more minimal looks like this are like a breath, or a pause, between the bigger looks.” 

Belakhlef adds that lip gloss nails are piggybacking on the current sheer, glossy trend for skin, lips and even hair. “It’s a very simple way to elevate any look,” they say. Celebrity manicurist, Gina Eppolito, agrees. “Lip gloss nails, the subtle sister to glazed donut nails, are once again on trend!” she says. “It’s the perfect pop to your natural nail manicure.” 

How to Get Lip Gloss Nails

If an easygoing shiny pink manicure is just what you’re craving this time of year, Belakhlef recommends trying ORLY’s First Kiss and Rose-Colored Glasses, a pale pink and sheer rose creme, respectively. “They offer this semi-sheer, glossy neutral look,” they share, noting that the colors are available in both gel and regular polish. “Gel also gives the extra ‘jelly’ look more naturally as it’s more viscous,” they explain. Belakhlef also likes Cirque Color’s Rose Jelly, a milky sheer pink, and Chiffon, a sheer ballet pink.

Eppolito loves Londontown’s Perfecting Nail Veils ($20), particularly the sheer dusty rose Nail Veil #4, which act almost like a concealer for your nails, and the Gel Genius Top Coat ($20) for that super-shiny finish. We also love Le Manoir's line of sheer jellies.

Perfect, manicured cuticles and nail beds are key to the lip gloss nail look. To groom cold weather cuticles, Eppolito submerges a bottle of Londontown Nourishing Cuticle Oil ($20) in hot water for a few minutes. “Gently massage into your cuticles for two to four minutes, as it stimulates [the cuticle] and makes it easier to push back,” she says. Once you’re done grooming your cuticles, clean off the nail, apply your chosen shade and follow with a top coat.

Lip gloss nails are an easy-to-wear crowd pleaser, but Belakhlef especially likes the look on longer nails. “While you don't need to have super long nails to rock this, they look great on nails with a little extra length,” they share. It’s also versatile. “This manicure is perfect to wear anywhere,” says Belakhlef. “It's a great bridal look, for holiday parties or  special events, and even just a good daily look. What's fun is that you don't have to worry about matching your outfit or jewelry specifically to your nails.”

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