Textured Nails Are Having a Moment — and It's Easy to See Why

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The best parts about social media nowadays are the hypercurated "for you" pages. If you're a beauty-lover, they can act as your own personal mood boards, spanning everything from makeup inspiration to skin-care recommendations. The latest trend sweeping our feeds? Textured nails.

As the name implies, this manicure style is all about raised textures, which means there's lots of room to play into that 3D effect. "More than ever, people are willing to be more adventurous with their nail-design choices," nail artist San Sung Kim tells POPSUGAR. "Texture plays a huge part in the overall vibe of [a manicure]. It's a cool way to push the boundaries of traditional nail art while simultaneously creating a unique and personal look."

The options of what you can create with a little texture are endless and can vary in boldness depending on your preference. You can also combine trends for even more jaw-dropping results. "Popular textured nails include reptile skin, water droplets, or knitted nails," Sung Kim says. Of course, that doesn't include seashells and pearls, liquid molten, or any combination of abstract shapes or designs. Like we said, the sky is the limit.

How to Do Textured Nails

First, know there are a few different options to choose from. "Texture is done using a really thick structure gel or 3D gel, which can come in clear or a variety of colors," celebrity manicurist Laura Malarkey tells POPSUGAR. "I personally prefer using a clear gel and combining the textured elements with chrome or iridescent powder over a solid-colored nail." Textured nails take raised nail art to new heights, and the swirls and see-through globs currently getting a lot of attention add an abstract, more fluid quality to the original trend.

Because of the special sculpting gel (and steady hand) typically required for this look, it's recommended you go to a professional for best results. That said, this type of specialized nail appointment can cost up to $150, depending on where you're located and the salon you attend, so you can also opt to DIY the trend. "This look can definitely be achieved at home with the right products," Sung Kim says. For starters, she recommends marking exactly where you want to place the gel to get your desired effect. "Start with small amounts of product. You can always layer and make the texture look more exaggerated. If you do the opposite, you run the risk of the gel bleeding and ruining the intended design."

Additionally, there's a way to ensure that the rich texture you're going for doesn't get lost in the rest of the manicure. "To really get height on these bubbles, I would suggest curing in between fingers," Miami-based nail artist Leslie Ayala tells POPSUGAR. This technique acts similarly to a flash cure, keeping the textured nail art in place and allowing you to complete the rest of the look before locking everything into place with a final cure.

If you're ready to try textured nails at home, there are a few products you'll want to have in your arsenal. "A viscous clear hard gel is one of the most important products to use in order to achieve this look," Sung Kim says. The IBD Clear Builder Gel ($20) and Gracia Crazy Non-Wipe Top Gel ($23, originally $42) are two of her favorites. As for Ayala, her nonnegotiables for textured nails are the Young Nails Inc. Synergy Nail Hard Gel ($55) and the Nail Labo Presto No Wipe Top Gel ($25).

Textured-Nails Inspiration

Ready to book your next appointment? Allow us to fuel your (already packed) mood board with textured-nail inspiration ahead. Mix and match to create your own one-of-a-kind design, or use these as a starting point for something new. Whichever you decide, once you try this trend, the rest of the world will be at your fingertips.

Metal Textured Nails

Pearl Textured Nails

Molten-Tips Textured Nails

Lace Textured Nails

Water-Droplet Textured Nails

Puffer Textured French Manicure

Gumdrop Textured Nails

Melting Textured Nails

Silver Textured Nails

Molten Textured Nails