“Sea-Glass Nails” Are a Subtle Way to Try the Mermaidcore Aesthetic

“Sea-Glass Nails” Are a Subtle Way to Try the Mermaidcore Aesthetic

We can no longer deny it: “mermaidcore” is having a moment. We’re not sure if it’s the new “The Little Mermaid” movie finally hitting theaters, or the fact that summer is just around the corner, but people are ready for their looks to embody that “just got back from the beach” feeling. Whether it’s mermaid waves so you can look just like Ariel, iridescent eyeshadow looks, or “wet” hairstyles, it seems like everywhere we turn there’s a new mermaid-inspired beauty moment to drool over. When it comes to embracing the trend yourself, especially if you’re just trying it out, the nails is a great place to start. Everyone from celebrities to friends have been wearing “seashell” manicures and pearl french manicures, but there’s a new look we’re already booking our nail appointments to try out: “sea glass” nails.

If the name isn’t enough to get entice you, the inspiration photos will be. Think of it as a minimalist version of “The Little Mermaid” in nail form — subtle yet chic, it’s the perfect look for anyone who wants to embrace the mermaidcore trend but doesn’t want anyone to take away their minimalist club card. For everything else you need to know about sea glass nails, we tapped two nail experts for the details on what they are, why they’re trending, and how to achieve the look for yourself. Keep reading below for more.

What Are Sea Glass Nails?

Sea glass nails, as the name implies, is a new nail trend that mimics the look of sea glass. “The nail itself is polished with semi-sheer glass colors and finished with a matte top coat,” Hemi Park, Lechat Nails brand educator, tells POPSUGAR. The trend typically features colors in the blue family, like teal, turquoise, aqua, cyan, and aquamarine, but the matte top coat is what makes the entire look and helps imitate a realistic piece of sea glass.

As for what nail shape looks best with a sea glass manicure, you can choose whatever you feel most comfortable with, but both Park and Deborah Lippman, celebrity nail artist and founder of the eponymous nail brand, agree that either a round, oval, or almond shape will help accentuate the look. Whether you choose to opt for a short, long, or medium nail length is entirely up to you.

How to Get Sea Glass Nails

Whether you’re visiting your favorite nail salon or trying to achieve the look at home on your own, it’s best to start with proper nail care. Lippman always starts by using a cuticle pusher like the Deborah Lippman Smooth Operator ($24) and a good nail file. We love the Tweezerman Nail Files ($6). “You should mimic the shape of your cuticle to guide the shape of your nail,” Lippman says.

From there, it’s important to start with a base coat before opting for a polish color that mimics the look of sea glass, so you’ll want to stick with sheer colors and steer away from anything too opaque. If you like working with gel, Park suggests using the Lechat Perception Gel in the shade Sea Glass ($16), or the Lechat Dare to Wear Anew Blue ($6), a semi-sheer light blue with opalescent flakes. The last step is the most crucial: using a matte top coat. This is what will make sure your nails look like they just washed ashore. Our current favorite is the OPI Matte Top Coat ($12).

If you’re heading to a salon, Park says the most important thing to do is bring along inspiration photos. Otherwise, you can ask for sheer teal-blue nails with a matte finish. Keep scrolling to check out sea glass nails inspiration photos you can bring with you to your next nail appointment.

Sea Glass Nails Inspiration

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