"Pop Art" Nails Will Take Your Manicure to New Heights
From "shadow french" manicures to aura nails, fun nail art has been having a moment. An intricate manicure can act as a form of self-expression and creativity, and that is especially true of the latest trend hitting our feeds. Enter: "pop art" nails.
Inspired by the 1950s Pop Art movement and comic books, the look involves a colorful, cartoon-like effect that jumps out at you. "This is a super new trend," celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec tells POPSUGAR. "It's not as classic as red nails or the glazed-donut trend, but it's still very fun to look at."
Not only are pop art nails particularly eye-catching, but they're also getting more popular because of how versatile they are. "The comic book nail technique can be done on all types and shapes of nails," Kandalec says. "This is one of the main reasons why it's trending. It looks good on pretty much everyone."
While the designs look complex, they aren't as difficult to achieve as they seem. "The most important thing is to get a really good brush," Kandalec says. "You're doing this because you're going to need two coats of your base color, but instead of painting all the way up to the cuticle, you'll be leaving a little bit of space around the perimeter of the entire nail. You want to make sure your brush is thin and agile enough to make sure that the addition of the rest of the nail art doesn't make your nails look too thick."
To re-create the look yourself, Kandalec suggests you opt for a long liner brush with bristles that are three quarters of an inch long, like the Three-Piece Nail Art Brush Set ($8) from her brand. This allows you to have more control when dragging the brush across your nail.
To give your manicure the faux-3D effect, Kandalec has another tip. "Take the same black color that you used for the outline and make it almost like a seven shape or a crescent in the upper corner of each nail on the side of your choosing," she says. This is what will give that cartoonish look. Then, Kandalec recommends finishing with a matte topcoat, like the Light's Lacquer's She's All Matte ($13). "We use matte because not only does it replicate the pages of comics but they also make the color really easy to photograph," she says.
Get some inspiration for pop art nails ahead.