Sour-Inspired Nails Are the Hit Mani of the Summer

You can thank Olivia Rodrigo.

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo

It goes without saying, but Sour is officially a phenomenon. Olivia Rodrigo's debut album brought with it critical acclaim, plenty of behind-the-scenes drama, and, of course, our soundtrack to the summer. Besides creating some of the year’s best breakup anthems, Rodrigo is now responsible for inspiring the latest nail look worth trying. (Good for you, Olivia.)

Purple manicures covered in nail accents inspired by the cover art (think: butterflies, flowers, and rhinestones) have been all over our feeds lately. At this point, it’s more than deja vu—this is the pop hit mani of the summer, and we can't wait to try it. We reached out to a few nail artists to get their pro tips for DIY’ing the look ourselves. Read on for some of our favorites takes on the trend and their expert advice.

The Trend

The look's success is part pop culture, part existing trend. Sour-inspired manis bring the Y2K vibes, so even if you're not a Driver's License fan, there's plenty of appeal. "It’s bright, and it’s fun, which should be reason enough, but it’s also in sync with the 2000s comeback I’ve seen across social media,” says nail artist Meagan Knight.

Here are a few ways fans have been taking the album's aesthetic and making it their own.

Nail tech Esli used a pretty purple shade and hand-painted accents on each nail to get the look.

Nail artist Roveena used smaller accents for her version, which left the perfect amount of space to spell out the word Sour.

Without the album title, this trend is still easy to recognize, as demonstrated here by Knight who embraced the purple background. To get this look for ORLY, she started with a base coat of Just Breathe ($10), a dusty periwinkle shade. “It matches Olivia Rodrigo’s album cover pretty well,” says Knight. "Plus, I think the formula and coverage are great.”

She then used the shade Elixir ($10) to add a few silver dots to each nail. Knight says the metallic color is her favorite shade from the brand. “It adds a lot of dimension for being such a small part of the design,” she explains. For the star, flower, and music note accents, she used the Dotter Duo ($10) and Long Detailer Brush ($10) to draw out the designs. Knight recommends a dotter tool for nail art because it's user-friendly and versatile.

We love the way TikTok user @skipperrrebj squeezed the entire design onto a single accent nail, leaving the other nails open for a solid color or contrasting patterns and nail art.

You can also make it your own with a rainbow French tip.

Get the Look

We spoke with celebrity manicurist and KISS Brand Ambassador Gina Edwards, whose work you can spot on couture runways and the hands of clients like Angela Basset, Janet Mock, and Bella Hadid, for tips on recreating this trend at home. "Sour-inspired nail art is a fun look and perfect for summer because you can coordinate with any outfit in terms of color coordination," she says.

KISS, Press on nails
KISS imPRESS Color Press-on Manicure $7
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One simple way to pull off the trend? Press-on nails. Edwards recommends the imPRESS Color Press-On Manicure ($7) in Picture Purplect, which will cut your polish time in half. For designing fun accents, she suggests browsing your local craft store for the perfect application brush. "Fine points, shorter handles, and bristles work best for detailing," she explains, noting that an eyeliner brush is ideal.

KISS, Nail Accessory
KISS Nail Artist Nail Decoration Nail Accessory $5
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You can also use nail decals as another easy shortcut to embrace this trend. Grab a set of assorted stickers (like this pack from KISS), so you have plenty of options that fit the Sour theme. "The easiest way to apply decals is to have a pair of tweezers handy to pick up and place on the nails," says Edwards.

After you've placed your decals on, lock them in place with a topcoat, "I always recommend a thick regular top coat, not a quick-dry," she says. "A slow-set top coat allows the product to settle naturally into the decal for long-lasting results." If a slow-setting topcoat means more time spent listening to Sour on repeat, we'll take it.

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