Pearl nail art is one of our favourite looks right now, and it's probably yours too. If you’ve been keeping an eye on overall street style, chances are you’ve noticed that pearls are having a moment. While a string of pearls has long held a connotation for being stuffy, the new crop of accessories, often featuring single irregular-shaped pearls, are more Carrie Bradshaw than Charlotte York.
Oversized pearl earrings have been spotted recently on Zendaya and Gigi Hadid, and Ashley Graham is a fan of pearl pendants. But it’s in the beauty sphere that pearls are making an unexpected appearance – it’s impossible to scroll through Instagram without seeing a pearl hair clip, arguably the must-have accessory of the season, or headband, and now the trend has evolved into pearl nail art.
Think about it: Pearls are the perfect accent. They’re not as expected as diamonds, yet they add a cool touch without being too flashy. And, just as a french manicure mirrors the '00s nostalgia movement in fashion, pearl manis are directly inspired by what’s happening in our jewellery boxes.
The look is also surprisingly versatile; choose a single stone if you’re a minimalist, or go all the way with gem-encrusted nails on all five fingers. “Adding a small pearl is easy, and you don’t need to be very savvy with a paintbrush,” says nail artist Betina Goldstein, whose renditions of pearl nail-art ideas have racked up thousands of likes on Instagram. “It allows you to play with colour, design, or gems without overwhelming your look or hands.”
While the trend is probably easier to get if you take a photo into the salon, Goldstein has some advice if you want to go the DIY route. “Start by painting your nails with a sheer nude like Essie in Gossamer Garments, then apply nail glue on your nail where you want the gem to go,” she says, adding that tweezers make it easier to have complete control over where you’re placing your pearls. “Cap it by applying more glue on top and then paint over it with a top coat to ensure the pearls don’t get caught in your hair.”
Another helpful tip? Look for flat-back pearls (which you can buy as stickers or craft supplies on Amazon) since they’ll stay put on your nail better.
Scroll on for some of our favourite takes on the trend…
These Christmas nail art designs are all the inspo you need for some *seriously* festive fingertips
More of a maximalist than a minimalist? These giant bubble-like pearl designed nails will be for you.
A subtle pop of colour always adds something extra to our manicures and this white and gold tip perfectly compliments the pearls.
Sharp tips are a favourite and these mini pearls are adorable. We're sold.
Love a little sparkle? These velvety gold tips are stunning, and they look even more glam with the tiny pearls dotted around the nail. Obsessed!
We're living for this chic take on a classic French manicure. Add a few pearls and it's a whole new look…
One of the more simple (but still undoubtedly cool) pearl nail-art options is a single stone near the base of your nails. Use a neutral like Chanel’s Ballerina for the most effortless look.
Pair a colour-blocked mani with studs for double the fun.
Up the ante of a pearl mani with different-size embellishments.
Play up the pearls with dotted tips and combine two trends in one.
Tiny pearls are even cooler in unnatural colours.
At Adeam’s spring 2020 show, nail artist Mei Kawajiri paired pearls with “water drops.’ This might be a bit much to request at the salon, but it sure makes for great eye candy.
This was originally published on Glamour UK.