It used to be that nails were an afterthought or forgotten about altogether. Backstage at fashion shows, on red carpets or in high school homerooms, talk mostly centered around your clothes or your hair. Sure, you might notice someone’s makeup, but almost never their nails.
This has changed drastically over the past decade, as social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have become a virtual portfolio for nail artists to share their creative designs from around the world. Since then, our idea of nail art has expanded far beyond a glitter accent nail or one type of white-tipped French manicure. Now, we have every type of French mani you could ever think of, 3-D designs and nail jewelry (think: small hoops and charms) to entertain.
By 2020, nail art was already deeply embedded into mainstream culture, but when the pandemic began, it became even more relevant for many people. Painting your nails at home became a way to unwind, and DIY designs (via press ons and nail stickers) offered a small, fingertip-sized window of escape from the difficulties of daily life.
As such, the recent wave of nail art we’re seeing is light, bright and fun. It’s less centered around one specific trend and more about an overarching mood: joyful. We’ll show you what we mean ahead.