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Over the last few months, maximalist nail trends have been popping up left and right. Last week it was “embo” manicures, and the week before that, it was all about “bimbocore” nails. Just when it seemed like minimalist trends were officially taking a back seat, a new craze has taken over TikTok: “old money” nails.
The mostly neutral look is one part quiet luxury and one part sophisticated elegance, which really just means no one will be able to tell you have $800 in overdue parking tickets just waiting to be paid. Even if you’ll never be able to say, “Sorry I’m in pajamas, but I just got off the PJ,” à la Kanye West, your manicure can still make it look like private jets and elaborate European vacations are a possibility. Still, there’s a lot of variation and fun to be had.
For everything you need to know about old-money nails, celebrity nail artist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough and Nailing Hollywood CEO Mazz Hanna are breaking down the trend. From what they are to how to get the look at home, keep reading.
What Are Old-Money Nails?
“Old-money nails are all about chic, classic colors paired with super-clean cuticle work,” Hanna says. “Reds, soft pinks, and neutrals work very well for this trend.” Sanchez McCullough agrees, saying, “Old-money nails represent class, elegance, and status. The perfect powerful red, the nude that complements your skin tone, a french manicure that’s perfectly natural.” It’s a minimal, pared-down, timeless look that will go with every outfit in your closet.
While the trend is most often associated with neutral shades, rich red tones are also seen quite frequently. As for the shape and length, “Old-money nails look best on a nail that is a natural active length,” Sanchez McCullough says. “A medium-length squoval or short soft square will look best.”
How to Get Old-Money Nails
If you’re visiting a salon, Sanchez McCullough says to ask your nail technician for a deep, rich red tone; a diffused french manicure; or a semi-sheer nude. Hanna suggests visiting a nail artist certified in Russian manicures since clean cuticles are a key part in achieving the look. “Ask for short square nails with rounded edges and opt for a color that pairs well with the aesthetic,” Hanna says. “You’ll get the best results if you bring a reference photo of the shape, length, and color that you prefer.”
If you’re planning to DIY at home, Hanna says it’s important you start with clean and hydrated cuticles and hands. She suggests prepping the skin every night before bed with a hand lotion like the Retrouvé Dermal Defense Hand Cream ($55), as well as a cuticle cream like the Dior Crème Abricot ($30).
As for shades, Sanchez McCullough suggests Chanel Le Vernis Ballerina ($32) or Chanel Le Vernis Rouge Noir ($32), while Hanna says OPI Big Apple Red ($12) and Dazzle Dry Peacefully Me ($22) are her favorites for this trend.
Old-Money Nails Inspiration
If you’re ready to book your next salon appointment or start DIY-ing at home, keep reading for some of our favorite old-money nail looks that you can check out for inspiration.