"Polly Pocket" Nails Are the Nostalgic Mani We'll Be Wearing All Spring

Channel your child self.

Polly Pocket nails


When I was a child in the early ‘90s, Polly Pockets were the ultimate status toy. If you had one, you were practically guaranteed to be the coolest kid in the room—as long as you didn’t lose your teeny tiny Polly doll, that is. (In case you're wondering, I had a pale purple heart shaped Polly set, and my brother had the “boy” version, Mighty Max.) While Polly may have transformed a bit throughout the years, going from a miniscule plastic doll in a compact-style home to a slightly more sizeable toy you could actually play with and dress up, one thing never changed: Polly’s commitment to living her most colorful life.

Now, her signature brights are coming for your manicure. Ahead, everything you need to know about the Polly Pocket nail trend we'll be wearing all spring.

Selena Gomez rainbow Polly Pocket nails


The Trend

Polly’s palette has transcended her plastic world and invaded the nail salon, with multicolored manicures reminiscent of a Polly playset taking over the trendscape. Candy colors are everywhere! For example, Selena Gomez recently wore a few rainbow manis painted by manicurist Tom Bachik, including a brightly colored version and a more pastel-leaning set. Another famous doll, Barbie, has taken over with her signature bright pink and her pastel-soaked dreamworld, a la the recent trailer from the forthcoming movie. 

Rainbow Polly Pocket nails


Of course, you don’t have to wear a different shade on every single finger to channel the adorable little plastic doll; a Polly-worthy manicure can be any combination of cheerful hues, but especially bubblegum pink, pastel yellow, baby blue and pale grape. If it looks delicious, give it a go! (Hailey Bieber’s recent lemonade nails are the perfect example.)

Heart Polly Pocket nails


The magic of this manicure is that it just makes you happy; wearing such bright and adorable colors is a simply way to lift your spirits and remind you of your younger self. They’re also a way to stand out in a crowd of French manis and lip gloss nails. “Unlike neutral manicures, colorful nails make a statement on their own. These playful Polly Pocket manis are especially popular because they bring out our inner child,” explains Nailing Hollywood manicurist San Sung Kim. “They are also a perfect way to change your ‘mani wardrobe’ as the weather warms up.” 

Hailey Bieber with lemonade nails


How to Get Polly Pocket Nails

You can interpret this colorful trend in a few different ways, depending on how colorful you want to be. “These multicolored manis can be executed in many different ways. You can simply achieve the Polly Pocket mani by painting different colors of the rainbow on each nail,” says Kim. Just like you could change Polly’s outfits or rearrange her room, you can add a pop of delight to your single-color manicure too. “For a more playful look, mix and match kitschy patterns such as flowers, hearts, swirls, and checkers.” (Polly herself would probably love stars and hearts.) If you like the rainbow look a la Selena, paint each finger on one hand a different shade, then repeat the pattern on the other hand. You can also follow the ROYGBIV rules or try an ombré pattern—it’s really up to you! 

Polly Pocket manicure


Kim recommends using sweet, candy-coated shades as the base for your Polly-esque manicure. “To embrace the fun and retro mood of this mani, I would use shades that have bright neon and pastel elements,” she explains. “For a monochromatic pink mani, pair similar tones such as ORLY’s Taffy To Be Here and Burst Your Bubblegum.”

Purple Polly Pocket nails


Step out of the box and pair complementary shades like the bright lemon lime  Sour Time To Shine? and creamy violet Don’t Sweet It. If you prefer blues and greens, try Essie’s sky blue Ride the Soundwave or minty It’s High Time. Move over, Barbiecore! There’s a new doll in town.

Related Stories