Gen Z and Millennials have more in common than TikTok comments would have you believe. Sure, Zoomers love to tease Millennials about avocado toast, doggos, and "adulting" while Millennials make fun of their bucket hats, LED lights, and music that sounds like a Tesla being crushed in a trash compactor. But as someone straddling both generations (a zillennial, if you will), I can tell you one thing unites us all: adorable nail art.
In a cutting-edge, search-skimming report by Pinterest, searches for "smiley face nails" are experiencing a massive spike, primarily by 18-24 year-olds, which means they're about to be all over your Explore page and timeline. The cheerful nails are part of a larger "indie beauty" trend among Gen Z, who gravitate towards cheeky, colorful products and under-the-radar companies in lieu of the sleek, expensive, minimalist brands favored by older generations. According to the report, Zoomers are also into bright crop tops, emoji-spangled everything, and bold pops of color in their makeup.
Smiley face nails are a seamless way to combine all of these trends into one very wearable form, plus they're easily customizable with different shades, shapes, and details. Keep scrolling for all the inspiration you'll ever need for the happiest nails ever:
The Instant Classic
Let your painted-on happy faces hang out against a nude polish shade to emphasize their color and make them pop. A fresher, more straightforward version of the trend (like this one) can feel more palatable if you're just starting with nail art experimentation.
Some pastel-and-pattered nails with subtle smiles are perfect as temperatures start to warm up and flowers begin blooming. If you're stuck on colors at the salon, keeping everything in the same color family with one complementary shade for pop (it'll be opposite on the color wheel if you need to check) is a foolproof method.
You've probably already seen slime-colored everything trending the past few summers, but these slime-y smiles give the trippy neon shade some new life.