Forget Flared Jeans—the Y2K Resurgence Has People Trying Flared Nails

AKA "Duck Nails."

Flared duck nails


While they may not be for everyone, the re-emergence of fashion and beauty trends from the early 2000s is undeniable. We've seen the return of halter tops, baguette bags, and even the much-maligned low-rise jean. On the beauty front, space buns, thin brows, and frosted lips are also popping up again, especially among Gen Z beauty lovers who weren't a part of these movements the first time around. Collective nostalgia for decades prior is fueling a lot of today's looks, and with multiple micro-trends emerging at once, trends are moving at a much faster pace than the traditional 30-year cycle.

The latest aesthetic resurgence from the aughts? Say goodbye to stiletto nails. Anyone with their pulse on the return of Y2K has probably heard the buzz surrounding the internet's divisive new mani trend: flare nails. So to the point, we found it highly necessary to dive into the trend that’s taking on a new name, "Duck Nails."

Ahead, learn more about the trend that’s taking over social media and find out why these Instagram creators are fans of the bold style.

The Look

"Duck Nails'' feature a fanned-out nail shape, which slightly resembles webbed duck feet. Before its recent rise in popularity, duck nails were referred to as "Flare Nails." According to Megan Melissa, best known by her Instagram handle @pinksartistry, the rise of flare nails began in the 90s/early 2000s. “Personally, I think they’re resurfacing because they’re different and everyone wants to stand out,” she tells us. “Also the Y2K style is making a huge comeback and this nail shape was popular then.”

Nail technician Heather Sheppick Clark reminds us that trends vary from place to place. “I find that in the nail world, different shapes are popular in different places at different times.”

Why It’s Trending

The desire for "duck nails'' largely grew thanks to social media. The over-the-top nail trend really saw a surge in popularity when rapper Danielle Bregoli, better known as Bhad Bhabie, showed off her french manicure duck nails on TikTok. Below, see the video that has been viewed over 4.4 million times.

"I've always thought duck nails were soooo cute," Bregoli captioned a video that showcased her eye-catching manicure. "These remind me of the early 2000s."

The influencer later switched out her French mani with pink duck nails, featuring a cherry design. "The French was too extra for me, this look more classy," she captioned the video, followed by a heart-eyes emoji.

“This nail shape is great to try for summer/fall because they’re cute, stylish, and the attention will definitely be on you,” Megan explained about the trend, which she often uses on her personal client, rapper Yung Baby Tate. “I feel everyone should try it year-round.”

How To Get "Duck Nails"

When asking for this look at the salon, Megan Melissa and Daniela G tell us that both time and pricing can vary depending on length, design, and other details. However, they estimate the average time can take 2-3 hours, with prices that start at $55. Interested in getting this look at your next manicure appointment? You should probably know that our nail techs mention that the functionality of these nails can be a bit “uncomfortable.” 

“For someone that's new to the duck shape, they can be a bit uncomfortable depending on how flared they are,” Megan explains. “Just like any other shape, you’ll get used to it over time and experience.“ Heather adds, “If you're wanting to try this shape, I would say start a bit shorter and grow into them. Give yourself time to adjust.”

If you’re looking to achieve the look at home, Daniela advises against it. “These are not nails to try at home; they require a different way of shaping.” Agreeing with Daniela, Heather concludes, “I always suggest going to a professional for any artificial nail service.”

The bottom line: this trend is a bit more complicated than what most mani-lovers can achieve at home. Tap a pro if you're looking to try out this throwback look, and don't be afraid to put your own spin on it.

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