If there is one manicure that keeps on reinventing itself, it’s the barely-there nail. Since Hailey Bieber brought out her “glazed donut” chrome cuticles, it seems every few weeks there’s a new rendition of the “your nails but better” trend just waiting to make it to our fingertips.
Bieber’s shiny manicures have inspired countless variations, including cloud nails, milky nails, oat milk nails, lip gloss nails, and so many more clear, glossy, and iridescent manicures. (The looks have also inspired Many New York and LA salons to create bundles of the necessary polishes, so they’re ready to go as soon as someone utters the words “Hailey Bieber.”)
Ready to get in on the (many versions) of the trend? Ahead, discover all the barely-there manicure trends that have gone viral in 2023, plus our recommendations for the coats, colors, and chromes to recreate the looks at home.
Glazed Donut Chrome Nails
Ah, the ubiquitous glazed donut chrome nails. Like most of the trends on this list, TikTok (and #NailTok) helped blow glazed donut—also called “chrome”—nails into the stratosphere after Hailey Bieber was seen sporting the ultra-trendy style.
Though there are countless ways, colors, and shades to sport chrome nails—likedrippy chrome, aquatic chrome, and star designs—the barely-there glazed iterations have us coming back for seconds.
Glazed donut chrome nails are basically what they sound like, a manicure that leaves your digits looking fresh out of the bakery with a clear or nearly clear base and light glittery chrome on top. Hailey Bieber’s manicurist, Zola Ganzorigt, achieved the look using OPI’s Funny Bunny Nail Polish ($14) and Tin Man Can Chrome Powder, which most likely will need to be done in a nail salon because chrome is a professionals-only product.
Cloud nails—also referred to as milk bath nails—are basically glazed donut nails with a few extra layers of “icing” so to speak. Named after clouds, of course, this barely-there manicure will have your cuticles on cloud nine with its wispy, all-white finish.
This rendition of the barely-there trend appears simple at first glance, but due to the white-sheer nature of the look, it requires precision, so there are no visible ridges or streaks.
First, you will want to massage some cuticle oil on them; then, after they soften, push them back and wipe them clean. Afterward, you will follow with the Dazzle Dry Transform Ridge Filler ($24) for a smooth finish. Then, for the first coat, apply a thin layer of sheer white nail polish like the Jinsoon Nail Polish in Dew ($18). After it has dried, apply another thin coat of the same polish, and, once dry, finish off with a high-shine top coat, like the Butter London Hardwear Shine UV Top Coat ($18).
Milky nails are just what they sound like–creamy, delicious, and best served cool…or, rather, with cool tones.
This muted manicure–which, like cloud nails, is a combo of my nails but better and the barely-there trends–is a favorite of celebs like Nicola Peltz, Kourtney Kardashian, and Jennifer Aniston and can be easily replicated at home. Zendaya, Hailey Bieber, and Megan Thee Stallion even rocked the same look in its strawberry, light pink flavor.
Lying somewhere between white and nude with an almost glossy-chrome haze on top, you can achieve the look with a base layer of light, white polish like OG White ($10) or OG Cotton ($10) and a top coat shimmer gel polish like OPI’s Funny Bunny ($11). If you are looking to match Zendaya’s strawberry milk iteration, swap the light basecoat for LK Nude Rubber Base Coat 04 – Milk Pink ($30) to get that Nesquik realness.
Oat Milk Nails
If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, maybe ditch the milky nails for their plant-based counterpart, oat milk nails.
The original, unsweetened, unflavored oat milk nails have a soft white tint that allows just a bit of your nail beds to peek through. However, there is also the neutral oat milk mix rendition that uses a handful of light shades to create an ombre effect cascading on all your nails to reflect all the brands and flavors of the beloved oat beverage.
To achieve the mixing effect, you can use Hansen’s Almond Milk ($10), Milk Cashew Butter ($8), and Roasted Chestnut ($10) colors, with the first being your middle finger color and the others following on each nail.
Lip Gloss Nails
Despite the name, there is no lip gloss included in this barely-there nail trend. Instead, lip gloss nails are a manicure that leaves your nails with a sheer, glossy, shiny finish reminiscent of the lip product where it takes its name.
Though the original look is pale pink, you can choose any of your favorite gloss colors to replicate on your nails. To achieve the OG lip gloss nails, try Londontown’s Perfecting Nail Veils ($20), particularly the sheer dusty rose Nail Veil #4, for a nice concealer layer for your nails. On top, add the Gel Genius Top Coat ($20) for that super-shiny finish. Maybe even give Le Manoir’s line of sheer jellies a try.
Similar to jelly nails, glazed donut nails, and most of the styles on this list, you will need a perfectly manicured nail bed and properly maintained cuticles to get lip gloss nails to their glossiest.
Vanilla Chrome Nails
Another trend Hailey Bieber can take some of the credit for is vanilla chrome nails. A spin on the glazed donut chrome nails, just with vanilla flavoring, vanilla chrome is noticeably whiter than its plain glazed counterparts.
To get the look, it will be a similar process to their unflavored counterparts. Start with a sweet vanilla-y base, like Kiss’s Vanilla Glazed press-ons ($12), or polish in similar shades. Then, on top, try an iridescent top coat like Urban Outfitters ($6) or an all-in-one pearlescent polish like Nails. Inc’s What the Shell? ($11).
Once you have that, you can add a variety of embellishments on top, like pearls, 3D flowers, french tips, black dots, or extra sparkles–all equally as stylish.
Vanilla French Nails
Vanilla French nails are like vanilla chrome’s more formal sister and also have Hailey Bieber to thank for their popularity, though stars like Madelyn Cline and Dua Lipa have also helped push this mani to the max.
To get the look, you will probably need to head to the salon to get access to the beloved OPI Funny Bunny for the vanilla tips and Put It In Neutral for the base. Though depending on your skin tone, you may want to change the base color–for pink undertones, go with Bubble Bath, and for yellow undertones, Bare My Soul. If vanilla is too basic for you, try Hailey Bieber’s candy cane iteration, which swaps vanilla for holiday peppermint.
For the red and white swirls, grab OPI Natural Nail Base Coat ($11), then, after drying, OPI Nail Lacquer in Funny Bunny ($12) to the entire nail bed. To create the French tips, use the OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red ($12).
Saving the most barely-there nail trend for last: naked nails. The appropriately named manicure looks like nothing but your natural nails but actually requires precision and perfect skin-tone matching.
The archetypical nails but the better trend can be replicated in the salon or at home. You will want to start with a cuticle softener to get the most room on your nailbed. Next, file your nails with a glass nail file like the Tweezerman Glass Nail File ($8) to minimize breakage before you use a nail strengthener like the Orly Nailtrition ($15). Then, the fun part, polish. The Butter London Strawberry Rhubarb Strengthening Treatment ($18) or the Nails. Inc Back to Life Strengthening Nail Treatment ($15) will both give you that perfect naked look and, since they are both fortifying, will keep your nails strong in the process.