Remember when jelly shoes were all the rage? Well, now you can enjoy the same fun on your nails. Thanks to Kylie, jelly nails have become a huge trend on social media, with lots of different styles and colors coming out to play. They're so much fun, especially when they're in neon colors because they're such a 90s throwback.
Jelly nails are interesting because they're totally transparent. Having see-through nails might not seem like a big deal or a cool thing to have, but this detail elevates a standard manicure in a solid color. It makes nails look shinier and more interesting. Long red nails have never looked so good as when they're transparent!
However, as with any beauty trend, sometimes people take them a little too far, with the result being OTT. It's really easy for jelly nails to cross the line from being playful to being a fad that you get tired of after one season. To prevent that from happening, or feeling like you're in the third grade, you have to choose the chicest nails that you won't have to throw out after the summer. Not sure where to start? Here are 10 jelly nail trends to choose and 10 that you shouldn't even bother with.
20 To Love: Sporty Manicure
The Nike tick on the bottom jelly manicure in the above picture is such a cool touch to give your jelly nails a sporty edge. You don't even have to play sports to enjoy this fun manicure. What's so cool about it is that you give your jelly mani a totally unexpected touch, which is what beauty trends should be about.
If you're not into having sport-related details on your nails, consider putting other brand logos on them, such as those of clothing or jewelry brands.
This is a fun way to display some of your personality through your nail art, giving the world a glimpse into what you're about and what brands you totally adore. It also adds a touch of style to your manicure without being too over the top. You should avoid putting logos on all your jelly nails, though, as that can be a little too much and it makes you look like a walking advertisement! You want the effect to be understated. After all, you don't want the brand logo to overshadow your awesome jelly nails, which honestly look fabulous without any extra touches anyway. Just look at how those pink jelly nails are so sublime!
19 To Lose: Flame Nails
Flame nail art has been around for a few years already, but it actually originated in the 90s when skating was so huge, according to PopSugar. Since the trend keeps coming back into fashion, it's no surprise that it would find its way into jelly nails. The problem? Flame nails have become a bit cliche and outdated. Even when colors other than black, red, and orange are used to decorate nails, the look just doesn't seem to create a spark. On jelly nails, flames might seem to work well because the transparent base makes it look like the flames are arising from the pointed tip of the nail up to the middle of the nail, creating an upside-down torch effect. But they make the jelly nail almost invisible. Instead of putting the glassy, shiny effect created by jelly nails on display for a fun summer trend, these flame nails are used over it so you can't even really tell that they're part of a jelly manicure. Where's the fun gone? Unless this look is used to patch up shoddy nails or enliven an old manicure, it really needs to go back to when the flame nail trend started back in the 90s, and stay there for good.
18 To Love: Neon Nails
Neon colors aren't going away anytime soon, and that's a really good thing because they're so juicy and fabulous. They scream long summer days, and just looking at your neon nails will make you feel happy, especially when you choose a gorgeous lemony yellow color for them. Now, take them one step further and make them jelly nails. You can see how divine they look.
The bright color is what first pulls your attention, but then when you see that the nails are transparent, it makes them even more attractive.
They look like glass and they're instantly so much shinier than regular manicures, which is a plus because shiny nails are so dreamy. The only catch is that you can see your natural nails underneath the false nails, which means you've got to ensure that they're in perfect condition. Same goes for your cuticles and skin around your nails. When your hands are perfectly polished, the jelly neon manicure really stands out and looks super-chic. This is a trend you can rock whenever you want, and it definitely doesn't have to end when the summer does. Is it just me or is it hard to look away from those gorgeous nails?
17 To Lose: Wizard Hat Jellies
Glitter nail tips have become a style staple for every nail beauty guru out there, but this trend is taking the idea a little too far. While glitter tips can be fabulous on jelly nails because they give it an interesting personality when the nails are so sharp at the tips it causes the nails to look like wizard's hats. They're too narrow and pointy, almost bordering on being ridiculous. The jelly nails are gorgeous, though, and it would've been better to be able to properly see all the fine details on the nail tips. Sadly, those are going to get damaged in no time and you can't even focus on the glittery details in them because the nail tips are so skinny. Separating the transparent nail and glitter section with a pointy shape also makes the nails lose effect. It looks like the nails are too big for the glittery "hats" they're wearing! Besides, what's the point of walking around with pointy fingernails that everyone will be afraid of getting poked in the eye with? Jelly nails are supposed to look fun and playful, but there's nothing playful about having glittery knives at the end of your fingers. Yikes.
16 To Love: Color Block Jellies
You can do really fun things with your jelly manicures. If you love wearing lots of different nail colors, you don't have to stick to just one. Hey, there are so many to choose from! You can combine two colors, such as red and purple, which creates a totally different look when compared to having just a solid color on your nails. As you can see in the pic, you can get away with two bold colors without worrying about the look being OTT.
In fact, because jelly nails are see-through, this makes the bold colors a little more subtle, so you can color-block your nails without missing a style beat.
If you don't want to have half your nail in one color and the other half in another, consider painting the tips in a different shade to the rest. These jelly nails catch the light and look absolutely stunning. The choice of colors also makes them chic instead of too playful, which is important. It's easy for jelly nails to become a little childish because they're all about bright pinks and feminine touches, but this manicure is proof that the look can be rocked by people who aren't in the school playground, while still remaining full of fun.
15 To Lose: OTT Jellies
There's nothing wrong with having more than one type of art on your nails. The problem is when you have loads of different looks on one hand that it's hard to know what's happening. This manicure has four different looks - four! They are the neon yellow nails, the bejeweled nail, the solid pink nail, and the neon yellow jelly nail that has a diamond base. Phew! Creating contrast with different nail colors and textures can be really good, but it takes a turn for the worst when the nails are clashing instead of contrasting. Every nail is fighting for attention, with the result that there's just too much going on simultaneously. Although it's tempting to go crazy with jelly nails and combine them with other nail trends, doing too much of that can backfire, leaving you with a crazy manicure that leaves people dizzy! If you want some contrast in your nail art, consider making one nail on each hand different from the rest. Working with two different looks in this way can have so much more effect. So, for example, if you have jelly neon yellow nails and then one nail that's in a bright pink color, these will balance each other out without either one competing for all the spotlight.
14 To Love: Clear Tips
If you like the idea of jelly manicures but you don't want to commit to a full one, then the clear tip look is perfect for you. It's a nice twist on a classic French manicure because you've got a solid color on your nails and then a transparent jelly on the tips. The key is to use a bright and striking color on your nails, such as yellow so that you keep the jelly nails on trend. Clear tips are shaking up nail fashions, and they're so classy it hurts.
Using false nails to create this look also serves the purpose of making your nails longer without them being impractical.
As you'll notice, these nails are much shorter than the other jelly nails that have been gaining lots of attention on social media. This is proof that anyone can pull off a jelly manicure, even if they don't want long, talon-like nails (hey, it's hard to do stuff with your hands when your nails are so long). Keeping the jelly nails short and sweet makes them much more versatile without being boring. They're still a nice nod to the jelly nail trend, proving that there are many different ways to make the jelly nail manicure unique and gorgeous.
13 To Lose: Gap Nails
There are always new and exciting ways with which to use glitter to decorate your nails. Coming up with your own unique design is a good way to set some trends of your own while unleashing your creativity. Some styles just shouldn't be tried, though. Here's how you know if the glitter look gets a "yay" or "nay": if it makes the rest of your mani or your hands look weird, then something's not right.
If you've got jelly nails, you might think that decorating them with glitter but creating gaps in the design to showcase the transparent nail is a good thing, but it just looks strange, as can be seen in the index fingernail in the above picture. The reason why it's unflattering is that it draws attention to absolutely nothing. It would've been better to apply the glitter to the nail base and leave the tips bare to show off their jelly quality. After all, the whole point of using nail polish and nail art is to draw attention to certain parts of the nail. If you have unsightly cuticles, putting glitter at the base of your nail will just highlight them. Similarly, randomly leaving the transparent part of your jelly nail bare can look unfinished. Give it a miss.
12 To Love: Ocean Nails
One of the big beauty trends we've seen this summer is about bringing more blue into your appearance. Blue is everywhere! We've noticed this with hair trends that feature gorgeous denim dyes and mermaid colors, as well as in how blue nails are all the rage this year. As reported by Glamour, ocean-blue nail tips have become one of the best colors to rock in spring. Combining the blue nail trend with jelly nails is a match made in heaven.
Since the nails are sheer, they make the blue color look sun-kissed just like an ocean on a hot summer's day.
You can take the look even further by choosing jelly nails that have glitter in them. This really makes your nails look straight out of the ocean, which is a beautiful way to get into the summer holiday feeling. From some angles, it almost looks like the nails are snow globes, revealing a sparkly ocean wonderland that's straight out of your wildest dreams. You'll feel like a mermaid when you wear these nails. For maximum effect, team the look with stunning silver jewelry to accentuate the glittery bits in your jelly nails, adding even more sparkle to your appearance.
11 To Lose: Stilettos
Stiletto nails can look super-glamorous. They make your nails longer and glossier. Using bright colors on them can also make them look attractive. But these nails are just way too long and pointy! Although the jelly nails give them a glassy, beautiful appearance, especially with the use of such rich jewel colors, they're simply not practical. How will you ever get anything done with such claws on your hands? These might be fun to try out for social media purposes, or when you're going to a party and won't be needing to use your hands much, but on a daily basis, they're just not worth the trouble to keep them looking gorgeous. As reported by Bustle, stiletto nails require you to file off precious side nails, which ruins your natural nails. Yikes! In addition, the site mentions how they're dangerous - you really don't want to poke yourself in the eye with them! - and can get you some weird looks in public. You might love these stiletto nails, but they just seem to be a big hassle to wear and maintain. Some of the best nail trends are those that are pretty without getting in the way of your day, after all.
10 To Love: Glam Red Nails
Red nails never go out of style. They're an easy way to achieve glamour, and they're a huge trend this year. As reported by Harper's Bazaar, there's really nothing more classic or bolder than having a set of long, glossy red nails, as was seen on the Adam Selman spring 2018 fashion runway. But you don't have to stick to a solid red nail if you want something a little trendier. That's where jelly nails come in.
By making your nails look transparent, red jellies will ooze shine and style, while still being a little playful.
This is a nice touch for classic red nails which can sometimes feel a bit boring to wear all the time. Super-long nails keep the glamour going strong, but the jelly effect will still make your reds look racier if you want shorter, rounded nails. To make sure you choose the right shade of red nail polish for maximum prowess, take your skin tone into account. As reported by Style Caster, if you have a pale skin tone, a blue-toned red color can look beautiful on you. Olive or medium skin tones should choose orange-red colors, while darker skin tones look fabulous with richer red tones.
9 To Lose: Tropica Nails
These nails could've really looked gorgeous. There are just too many things that are wrong with them. For starters, they're painfully in the wrong color. This pale shade of orange makes the nails look washed out, and the subtle glitter effect makes no real effect because it gets lost in the orange. The eye looks past the glassy nails and gets stuck in that horrible color. Secondly, the pointy tips give the jelly nails a harsh appearance. Although pointy tips can look good, if they're too pointy they can look like talons and lose their chicness. And, of course, you need a really beautiful and rich color on your mani to make stiletto nails look gorgeous. Third, these stiletto nails are way too thick, which prevents them from being stylish and sleek. They probably won't last very long because they're so sharp and can easily snag on clothing and jewelry, along with many other items, which will cause them to pop off. Although you might think that jelly nails are all about going big or going home, the truth is that overdoing the nail length and pointiness, as well as choosing the wrong nail color, can make the trend something that looks ugly!
8 To Love: Rainbow Pastel
If you like wearing lots of different nail polish colors on different nails, you can totally pull this look off with a jelly manicure. In fact, the pastel shades create a soft and beautiful result, without being too OTT. Combine different shades to create a rainbow effect, as seen in the picture. Avoid any shade that's too bright, though. For example, stick to a softer yellow instead of a neon shade. The best thing about this manicure is that you'll satisfy your craving for lots of different colors, without feeling stuck to one.
Since the look is supposed to be soft and feminine, you want your nails and cuticles to be in great condition so that nothing ruins the beautiful effect of your jelly nails.
Although you might think pastel colors are subtle enough to complement every skin tone, choosing the right ones for your specific skin will make these jelly nails even more eye-catching. Pale skin tones look great with candy floss colors such as pink and blue, while medium skin tones come alive with mint greens and pastel grey tones. Colors from the same family work best, according to Be Beautiful. Darker skin tones, on the other hand, look gorgeous with subtle pastel shades instead of anything too distinct, but you should avoid color-blocking with two pastels as this can look washed out and dilute the effect.
7 To Lose: Too-Long Tips
We've seen how transparent jelly nail tips can look sublime, and this is the case even if the rest of the nail has a clear nail polish on it. But this image is taking the glassy nail too far so that it becomes weird instead of stylish. The nails are just too long and pointy, which makes the jelly nails look gloopy and too thick. By having a more natural nail with rounded, slightly shorter tips, these nails could've looked trendy. As you can see by how some of the false nails are pointing in different directions, they haven't been properly applied. These small flaws totally ruin the jelly manicure. When choosing minimalist jelly nails, always get them done by a pro and avoid wide, or too pointy, nail shapes that make the jelly appear strange. Having thicker stiletto nails can also make your hand look less flattering, so give it a skip! Less is more with jelly nails that are minimalist. Their transparency is enough to keep your look on point. You really don't need fancy shapes or long nails to make them more glamorous because trying too hard can make them fall flat. When in doubt, go with the ballerina-shaped nail that's much more flattering.
6 To Love: Diamond And Jelly
If you love glamour and glitter, chances are you'll want to decorate your jelly nails with diamonds. And why not? The look is perfect for parties and serves to upgrade your solid jelly nail color so it doesn't become boring after a while. The trick when decorating your nails with diamonds and studs is to avoid covering up the transparent tips of your nails because then your jelly nails won't be on display. The best way to use diamonds on your jellies is to highlight the point between where your natural nail ends and the transparent nail begins.
You can decorate this part of your nails with a line of diamonds, or an arch of diamonds to further accentuate your natural nail shape.
Doing this is also a clever way of hiding your natural nails underneath the false jellies if you don't want them on show. Sneaky but so stylish! You don't even have to stick to the same diamond pattern on all your nails. You can create different styles and patterns to keep every nail fresh and unique. Mixing up the diamond jelly look with some nails that are more understated than others will create a beautiful contrast that makes your mani fresh.
5 To Lose: Cartoon Jellies
When you think of jelly nails, chances are you think of having more fun and channeling your inner child who likes to be playful. While glassy jelly tips can be a great foundation for creating artistic nails, going overboard with the playfulness can make your jelly nails appear childish or too crazy. Case in point: using cartoon decals on your nails is something you can get away with, provided you only decorate one or two nails. This gives your mani a dash of fun without being a faux pas. But, if you decorate all your nails with different cartoons and even keyrings (what on earth?), the effect is messy instead of being a magical throwback to your childhood. It's hard to notice all the different things that are going on with this look, and the jelly tips get completely lost in all the noise! Rather keep the look subtle and stylish, without giving the fun a skip. You just have to be a bit smarter about how you balance it with the jelly tips. Smaller doses of playfulness go much further than doing too much at once, and they make the jelly nails look much better too, which is a bonus.
4 To Love: Bright Tips
Sometimes you want to focus on the tips of your nails, such as by painting them in a bright color and keeping the rest of your nails minimal and clear. That's been a classic move for a long time - think French manicures - but it has been upgraded into a lot of different looks. For example, you can have clear nails that have red or black tips, or sometimes even glitter tips. The jelly nail trend now brings a new way to flaunt your tips.
The colorful nail tips in the image look fruity and fun, and their glassy appearance makes them look like jelly babies.
Without the jelly consistency they have, these colorful nails would just be colorful tips that you've seen lots of people wearing. Their see-through quality makes them so much more intriguing and unique. You can choose to wear one color on all your nail tips if you're into something a little less bold or be daring with multicolor nails. They really do look good enough to eat. Hot tip: to prevent the juicy nail tips from looking OTT, square or rounded tips work best. Avoid anything too pointy which can be a bit much with the bright colors.
3 To Lose: Glitter Overload
Glitter and jelly nails look fab together, but there's a balance you should strive for. It's not a case of anything goes. If you get a little too enthusiastic about applying the glitter and sparkles to your nails, you can end up with nails that just look... odd. If there had been less glitter used in the above picture, they nails would've looked really good. Instead, it looks like large clumps of glitter have been applied to the nails. This creates an unflattering shape. In addition, the pointy nails can easily get scuffed and damaged. The nails should've been a bit longer and less pointy, which would've helped to create length and give the mani a much more stylish appearance. When choosing glitter, studs, or diamonds on your nails, less really is more. However, if you're going to dare to be a bit bolder, just make sure that what you're choosing for your nails doesn't overpower them or look like it won't last a day before the nail jewelry starts to come unstuck, leaving bare patches in your mani. That means lots of nail maintenance is required, which is just too much of a hassle and totally zaps the fun out of getting your nails done.
2 To Love: Cracked Glass Effect
You might assume that jelly nails have to be sleek and smooth, but this "cracked glass" look is proof that they don't have to be. Remember the trend of crackling nail polish that made your mani look smashed up on purpose? Well, this jelly mani takes that to another level. They're really creative without becoming weird.
Most of the nails in this picture are decorated with loads of glitter and stars to create a blurry, sparkly effect that's really striking.
Painting the natural nails underneath the false jelly nails in a nude color, such as pale pink, also works to give the jelly nails a burst of color underneath their crazy glitter so that the effect is warmer. The whole point with this look is to be daring, but it's easily achieved with false nails that are already decorated to look crackly. You can also break up the crackly look by having a nail on each hand do something completely different, such as by adorning them with diamonds and painting them in a completely different color. Those two nails can also be clear and smooth, which creates a nice contrast with the rest of the nails that look cracked. These jelly nails are packed with personality!
1 To Lose: Bumpy Nails
Glassy nails make it easy to experiment with lots of different manicure styles and decals. They create a smooth, silky finish on which to create interesting looks, while also boosting your nail length so you have more nail on which to try different things. But be careful when adding too much texture to your jelly nails as this can fall flat. Creating bumpy areas on your nails can make it look like something's gone wrong with your nail art. Using pale textured items, such as white or beige, might also seem out of place. You sometimes need a distinct polish color on your nails so that your nail art is more striking. This image just looks like something weird is growing on one's natural nail! Although the effects can sometimes be pretty, putting lots of decorations on jelly nails is something with which to tread carefully. The glassy effect of jelly nails also causes them to seem a bit rubbery and thick, which can make decorative elements that are placed on them OTT. Rather give them a skip for something that's not too over-styled. The bonus is that you won't have to spend too long doing your nails or worrying about getting them ruined.