Mother of Pearl Nails Are the Coolest New Way to Do a Shimmery Mani

Iridescence has never looked better.

Mother of pearl nails


Scrolling through snaps of Mother of Pearl nails is sure to make you happy as a clam. Super iridescent and eye-catching, it’s no wonder this manicure is taking over our feeds—and our tips. Like many mani trends these days, the focus is on high sheen and shimmer, almost to a 3D effect. 

“The Mother of Pearl trend is all about color travel and dimension in soft shimmers, sheer chromes, and iridescence,” says Heather Reynosa, OPI's Director of Global Education. “It’s a fabulous play on the glazed donut nail and takes it a step further with a color shift into translucent pinks, greens, and aqua blue reflections.”

Pearly nails


Where You’ve Seen It

Though the name might be new, the aesthetic has been around for a while. “It’s been circling for too long to tell,” Reynosa says. “I've been doing versions of it my entire career—and that's since 1995!” 

Mother of Pearl nails really took off when chrome finishes first started appearing a few years ago. “The newer spins on it are great timing as we come into spring, as this type of style is perfect as we are stepping out of winter and into warmer months,” Reynosa says. “You can go light or dark—there are a number of ways to spin it.” 

Who Can Wear Mother of Pearl Nails?

Anyone and everyone, which is the beauty of the trend. You can find the right hue of nail polish to flatter every skin tone. “I love how soft it is, how much dimension you see, and how versatile the look is to wear,” Reynosa says. “It’s neutral, but still exciting.”

How to Get Mother of Pearl Nails

Another fantastic perk of the look is that it’s a cinch to execute. “The Mother of Pearls trend is another shimmery look that can be achieved with simple polish,” says Essie Celebrity Manicurist Steph Stone. “Nails Inc. has a collection specifically catered to this look and all you have to do is paint it!” Try Nails Inc in World's Your Oyster Babe Iridescent Nail Polish ($11) or Shells Aloud Iridescent Nail Polish ($11). 

Reynosa agrees that a DIY job is easy as can be. “You can apply super simple colors to achieve this effect,” she says. “OPI Nail Lacquer in Funny Bunny ($12) topped with OPI Nail Lacquer in This Color Hits All The High Notes ($12) will offer an instant simmering holographic pearl.”

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