Sheer "Pantyhose" Nails Are a Cool Twist on Basic Black

Meet the vanilla manicure's alter ego.

Pantyhose Nails


Ever since Hailey Bieber kicked off the "glazed donut" nail trend at the 2022 Met Gala, the coolest trending nail looks—frosted, "naked" glitter, vanilla—have one thing in common: sheerness. Most of these nail designs either offer a barely-there natural shade, or include hazy pops of colors. But the latest nail trend is taking things to the dark side. Enter: "pantyhose" nails.

What Are Pantyhose Nails?

Don't let the semi-ridiculous name fool you—this nail trend is actually very sophisticated. Sure, it sounds as though people are gluing cut up tights on their nails, but in reality pantyhose nails offer a high-shine finish and sheer wash of darkness that looks great on practically anybody. Much like other see-through nail designs, pantyhose nails let your natural nails peer through the subtle dark tint—the same way pair of sheer black tights let your legs shine through.

Nail artist Betina Goldstein coined the term, layering a translucent coat of black nail polish, lining the tips with black polish to mimic the stitching at the feet of a pair of stockings.

Why Are Pantyhose Nails Trending?

Since the glazed donut mani hit the scene, translucent nails (like Nicola Peltz Beckham's ice nailslip gloss nails, and the glass French manicure) have been rising, offering a neutral look with just a bit of oomph. Even for those looking to add color to their nails, hazier trends like aura and airbrush nails have taken over, putting classic bright, opaque manicures on hiatus.

The only problem is that the aforementioned manicures are essentially all or nothing: you can either opt for something that is so natural you could almost miss it, or choose a manicure full of elaborate designs that need the help of a pro. Pantyhose nails bridge the gap between the two, offering a darker color, while still being able to hop into the sheer nail polish wave. 

How to Get Pantyhose Nails

Luckily, pantyhose nails don't require a trip to the salon, and are extremely simple to do with polishes that you already have in your collection. In her video, Goldstein demonstrates the step-by-step process for getting the look, starting with a base coat of Chanel's Le Vernis Longer Nail Colour ($30) in shade Ballerina (you can also opt for any sheer baby pink nail polish that you have on hand).

After that fully dries, Goldstein mixes a few drops of the CND Shellac Power Polish ($16) in shade Black Pool with a base coat, and applied two coats of the sheered-out black nail polish onto her nails. She then created a micro French tip using the same CND Black Pool Polish—this time, undiluted—and the soon-to-launch Doublemoss Arte 3 Brush to draw on a simple line at the end of her nails. Finally, using the CND Vinylux Gel-Like Effect Top Coat ($8), she sealed the manicure and added a high-shine finish.

If you only have time for a quick paint job, any sheer, jelly-like black nail polish should suffice, like Cirque Colors' NSFW Jelly ($13). Or, try a gel nail wrap with a see-through finish like Gellydrops for a one-and-done mani, And don't be afraid to think outside the box: if you're into creating lacy designs overtop your pantyhose nails, try free-handing floral patterns overtop for a boudoir-ready nail look.

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