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From “bubble bath” to “digital lavender” and every “clean girl” nail look in between, it’s impossible to deny that neutral nails are having a moment. This, coupled with social media’s ability to coin beauty trends after delicious foods, has landed us here, in the era of the “milk-tea” manicure.
As you’ve likely gleaned, the trend is named after the wildly popular warm beverage of black tea with milk. The combination of ingredients typically results in a creamy light brown hue, which not only ends up tasting delicious but also lends itself to the perfect minimal nail polish color.
If you’re interested in your own milk-tea nails, an expert explains everything you should know about the trend, from the exact colors to use to designs that will complement it, ahead.
What Are Milk-Tea Nails?
“Milk-tea nails are essentially just a light brown manicure,” Mazz Hanna, chief executive officer of Nailing Hollywood, tells POPSUGAR. While other popular varieties include Thai or matcha tea, this version sticks with the basics for a neutral manicure that goes with any outfit or beauty look that you can think of.
How to Get Milk-Tea Nails
Since the look is more about color than it is shape or length, the base of your milk-tea nails is a matter of personal preference. Do keep in mind, however, that in order to be true to the trend, you’re going to be working with a very limited color palette. You can opt for shades that are anywhere from a milky white with a hint of brown to a true caramel shade.
Where you can play around a bit more is with the undertone of the nail polish color that you choose. “You can opt for a cooler or warmer-toned brown, depending on your personal preference,” Hanna says. “You could even opt for a different shade for each nail for a gradient effect.” Determining your skin’s undertone can help you find the most flattering shade, as some milk-tea colors lean warm while others are cooler.
Milk-Tea Nails Inspiration
Some colors that you can use to achieve milk-tea nails are Orly’s Faux Pearl ($11), Dazzle Dry’s Textbook ($22), and Gelcare’s Archive Beige ($20). In addition to the gradient effect, you can also jazz up the manicure by adding simple gold decals or even swirls to mimic the look of the tea and milk mixing together. If you still want some more inspiration, we rounded up the best examples of milk-tea nails to bring with you to your next appointment, ahead.