Picture this: You're at the beach, reading a book, maybe even sipping on a cocktail in your plastic cup, and decide, I’m going to go on my silly little walk. Although there’s an entire ocean full of life and wonder for you to gaze into, your nose is pointed to the ground, searching for shimmering shells washed up on shore. Now, you can bring those gorgeous shells to your fingertips with the seashell manicure trend.
Almost as if out of nowhere, chrome nails, velvet nails, and even “naked glitter” nails have taken the Internet by storm in the past few months. Why? We're beginning to move away from traditional, soft, "clean girl" manicures and opting for colors and designs that basically turn their nailbeds into gems. Still, fully diving into a lime green glitter polish or a ruby red shimmer polish can be a lot for someone who's just coming from a years-long love affair with nude-y pink polishes—the seashell mani offers the same pastel colors they're used to with just a touch of shimmer to keep their nails on trend.
As the name suggests, seashell nails are inspired by shells and mother of pearl, offering an iridescent finish overtop a pretty pastel color. Consider it the glazed manicure 2.0—it has the same mesmerizing shimmery effect, but is a little more colorful and fun. And, because it just needs a glimmering top coat and not a chrome powder, it's much easier to DIY.
Plus, we recently dubbed Y2K frosted eyeshadow as the new it-girl beauty product to covet, and it's only natural that as people dip their toes into more shimmery shades on their faces, they're also painting their toes (and fingers) with similar pearlescent polishes.
How to Get Seashell Nails
Honestly, DIY-ing a seashell manicure is a walk in the park (or, you know, a stroll on the beach). To fully mimic a seashell, take an opaque, matte pastel nail polish color and apply two coats of the polish overtop a base coat. (It doesn't really matter which pastel color you choose, but opt for a creamy white for an oyster finish, a midnight blue for a mussel finish, or a grey for a classic abalone finish.) Next, apply an iridescent top coat to your nails—make sure it reflects a few shades instead of a straightforward shimmer—et, voila, you now have seashell nails.
The aforementioned technique is perfect for adding a pearly finish to any nail polish that's already in your collection. Still, if you're looking for something that'll add both color and holographic sheen, Olive & June just released its new Seashell Collection, which is perfect for the trend.
The collection includes four easy-to-apply nail polish colors with a pearlescent sheen finish: Sandy Scallop offers a golden iridescent; Pink Capiz offers a warm-toned pink iridescent; Purple Puka offers a lavender iridescent; and, finally, Pink Goldfish, which offers a cool-toned pink finish. The full collection will run you about $36, or opt for your favorite polish of the line for $9 each. To use these, simply apply them to your nails as you would regular nail polish for a mermaid-approved mani.