It looks like the ‘cold girl’ make-up trend has filtered its way down to our fingertips – here’s how to nail the look from home.
It’s fair to say we’re all suckers for a bit of nail art. From the popularity of last year’s Hailey Bieber-inspired ‘glazed donut’ nails to the skinny French we all had at least once during the summer, the obsession continues. But for now, it’s time to make space for the newest trend on the block: blush nails, which, as manicurist Alex Philamond explains, is a design coming in hot from South Korea.
“Blush nails feature a contrasting red or pink shade that’s either airbrushed on with polish or patted with pigment onto the centre of the nail, which gives the illusion of a blushed cheek,” he says. “It’s likely an offshoot of the ‘aura’ trend from last summer, but the main difference is that that could be achieved with any combination of colours.”
It makes sense that we’re starting to see nail trends from places like South Korea crop up, especially if you consider the popularity of Korean beauty and skincare that’s slowly but surely becoming a mainstay in our everyday routines.
While a lot of nail art designs and trends require the work of a professional, one of the great things about blush nails is that it could easily be DIYed – although, if you want extra added detail, like the gold marbling below, that’s best done by a nail tech (unless, of course, you have much steadier hands than us).
To create the look, it’s a case of first painting on a fairly neutral base coat, letting it dry and then using a make-up sponge or small brush to blot and diffuse your chosen colour onto the nail.
Finish with a glossy topcoat and that’s pretty much it. If you’re not sure what colour to choose, we’ve done the hard work for you. Keep scrolling to discover our favourite pink and red shades, plus the top and base coats we recommend.
OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red
The ultimate pillarbox red shade, perfect for a more vibrant take on blush nails.
Shop OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red at Boots, £12.50
Nailberry Oxygenated Nail Lacquer in Pink Tulip
Formulated with a so-called ‘breathable complex’ that allows air and water to penetrate the polish, this playful pink would look so good diffused out.
Shop Nailberry Oxygenated Nail Lacquer in Pink Tulip at SpaceNK, £16
Essie Gel Couture in Model Citizen Pink
A muted shade with purple undertones, this is the ideal blush nail colour, plus the gel-like shine will help add to the glossy finish this trend suits.
Shop Essie Gel Couture in Model Citizen Pink at Boots, £9.99
Nails Inc Plant Power Nail Polish in Everyday Self Care
This Nails Inc formula is 73% plant-based, and we adore this soft pink that you could use either as a base or blotted over a more sheer shade
Shop Nails Inc Plant Power Nail Polish in Everyday Self Care at LookFantastic, £9
Rimmel London Super Gel Nail Polish Sexy Santa
Ignoring the name of this (and the fact it’s January), this deep almost-burgundy red feels slightly more grown-up and offers a high shine finish.
Shop Rimmel London Super Gel Nail Polish Sexy Santa at Boots, £6.99
Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat
One of the very best top coats, Seche Vite’s patented formula creates a single coating over the entire nail plate for a more hardy, long-lasting finish with incredible shine to boot.
Shop Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat at Boots, £9
Orly Bonder Base Coat
With its unique rubberised formula, this base coat helps nail polish grip to the nail surface, which helps improve overall longevity of your DIY manicure.
Shop Orly Bonder Base Coat at LookFantastic, £13.50
By Beauty Bay Mini Makeup Sponges
Pour a little bit of your chosen nail polish onto a wipe-clean surface and then use a make-up sponge, like these from Beauty Bay, to pick up the colour and blot it onto the nail.
Shop By Beauty Bay Mini Makeup Sponges at Beauty Bay, £7
Chanel La Base Camélia
Consider this the ideal base coat for blush nails: not only does it strengthen, smooth and nourish, but it correct imperfections, too. Plus, it leaves a beautiful, shiny, slightly rosy finish – it’s your nails but better.
Shop Chanel La Base Camélia at Harrods, £28
Mavala Nail Colour in Natural
The most adorable sized bottle that houses a stunning, natural-looking pink that’ll flatter all hands.
Shop Mavala Nail Colour in Natural at LookFantastic, £5.50
Main image: @nailsbypaular/courtesy of brands
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