Seashell nails are mermaid meets fairycore — and summer’s cutest nail trend |

Seashell nails are mermaid meets fairycore — and summer’s cutest nail trend

Beauty lovers clearly can’t get enough of ethereal aesthetics inspired by the fantastical, from mother-of-pearl manis to fairycore makeup. The latest trend? Iridescent seashell nails, which A-list nail enthusiasts Kylie JennerMegan Fox, and Saweetie have all co-signed, as have celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik and his client turned mermaid Hailee Steinfeld.

No two sets are alike — Kylie’s are multi-coloured while Megan’s and Hailee’s are blue and Saweetie’s pink—and the style is essentially another variation on the chrome moment (chroment?).

“Chrome nails have had their moment and a half for the past few seasons, but Kylie Jenner just took it to a new level and brought back a nostalgic Y2K trend: multi-chrome nails,” Juli RussellSally Beauty DIY nail expert, tells GLAMOUR.

Kylie’s take in particular, which was created by celebrity nail artist Zola Ganzorigt, is well on its way to taking spring and summer nail trends by storm — especially since Zola and her client Hailey Bieber are the duo who kicked off glazed donut mani mayhem (IYKYK).

“These colour-shifting, one-of-a-kind manicures are formulated with different chromatic pigments that reveal new shades at every angle, giving it that mermaid-tail-like effect,” Juli says of the style. But while they may look complicated, she insists it’s actually all in the product (more on that below).

Seashell Nails


Kylie Jenner

megan fox nails manicure seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure


Megan Fox




Hailee Steinfeld

Seashell nails are super easy not only to DIY but to customise too. Because the fantastical finish primarily lies in the base, you can design your base coats and polishes according to your personal taste. Megan’s recent take on the trend, for example, was an iridescent icy blue.

“Multi-chrome nails can be done with regular polish, gel, and chrome powder, or a topper polish,” Juli says. “So wherever your DIY level is at, there’s an option for you to achieve the look at home.”

seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure
seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure  purple pink

Okay…so what’s the catch (of the day)? There really isn’t one. Seashell nails are user-friendly, personalised, and very much on trend. Fitting right in with mermaidcore and fairycore aesthetics, they are pretty much tailor-(mer)made for spring and summer manis.

“Aquatic mermaid-inspired nails are such a vibe, especially with summer approaching,” says pro nail artist John Avery, who recently created what he calls a “moonlit mermaid mani,” a purple-and-pink-tinted ombré design adorned with cloud nail art, for a client (see above).

“They are such a fun splash of bold eye-catching colour perfect for any beach destination or a just fun summer look,” he says. What’s more, John notes, is by pairing a set of seashell nails with a wet-hair look, you have a super-simple-to-DIY “mermaid moment.” And who doesn’t want that? Exactly. Here’s how to DIY.

seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure
seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure

For an ombré look, John suggests choosing two colours, applying one on the base and using the second colour to ombré from the tip using a brush or sponge. “Once done, apply a chrome powder and voilà! You have the perfect summer mermaid nails.”

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If rainbow multi-chrome seashell nails feel like too much, you can also opt for a different nail polish on each hand or every other finger. Alternatively, you can use a chrome topcoat over a simple shade of pink, purple, or blue.

Basically, the world is your oyster when it comes to nails like these.

seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure blue pink
seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure

For a rainbow chrome look like Kylie’s, Russell recommends investing in a multi-chrome polish. “They’re easily identifiable with their jewel-like tone and colour-shifting effect,” she says. “The Deviantly Daring Nail Lacquer from China Glaze is a great option because it shifts from a midnight navy to deep teal with a seafoam green flash. Very mermaidy!”

But the best part? There no need for any special tools, powders, or topcoats. “Apply the polish as you would a traditional polish — base coat, two coats of colour, and finish with topcoat,” she says. “A smooth finish is crucial to getting that multi-chrome effect to pop, so keep your coats thin in order to prevent air-bubbles in your manicure.”

Also of note: “A baby blue shade of polish paired with Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Busy from the Mini Soak of Gel Polish line by Gelish is perfect as a Gel topper for a multidimensional chromatic mermaid effect,” she says.

seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure
seashell nailschrome iridescent mermaid fairy manicure

Alternatively, you can always throw a shimmer topcoat over your favourite pastel polish

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