Are you tired of food- and beverage-inspired beauty trends yet? Good, because we aren’t either. There’s no denying there’s a massive number of hair and nail ideas taking cues from our favorite treats—some might even say too many. But, the names just make sense: Strawberry milk nails really do look like their namesake drink, and a glazed donut complexion does look like it came straight from Krispy Kreme. So naturally, the latest nail trend to take over our feeds is inspired by yet another childhood dessert.
Featuring the juicy red color and shiny texture of a nostalgic lunchtime treat, we’re naming and claiming this new manicure that’s popping up everywhere: Introducing Jello Nails, the next big nail trend we’re predicting will take over this summer.
Jello may evoke either good or bad memories—hopefully, you associate it with an after-dinner treat and not a dental procedure—but don’t worry, the Jello manicure isn’t as polarizing. Jello nails are just a letter short of jelly nails, and the manicures are pretty similar. “Trends in the beauty space come and go so frequently, so it makes sense that jelly nails moved aside just in time for Jello nails to take over,” says Emily H. Rudman, Founder & CEO of Emilie Heathe. “The two nail looks are really similar, but with more opacity in the jello trend.”
A jelly nail offers a translucent pop of color that makes nails appear to be made of well, jelly. Jello nails, on the other hand, offer a touch more opacity to hide nail imperfections or eventual growth, but still has that hyper-glossy finish. If you’re still confused, you can think of Jello nails as the bright answer to the milk bath manicure: they both have a slight haziness, but whereas milk bath nails use a white or nude base, Jello nails are juicier, and mimic the bright colors of their namesake.
How to Get Jello Nails
Real Jello takes hours to make, but luckily, Rudman shares her easy tips for a DIY Jello manicure. As with any manicure, you’ll first want to use a cuticle oil or softener and push the cuticles back. You can buff away any excess dead cuticles on your nail beds, but avoid snipping your actual cuticles to maintain nail health. Next, file the shape to your liking, and follow that with a quick buff. Then, wipe your nails with an acetone-free nail polish remover to remove excess oils and dust.
Jello nails require nail polish with a touch of transparency, but Rudman admits that sheer polish is thinner than most and can be prone to streaking. For a smooth look, she suggests using “a ridge-filling base coat to ensure the color doesn’t settle into the lines and imperfections on your nail beds.”
Rudman recommends the Emilie Heathe Nail Polish in Aurora ($30) for a “grape” Jello manicure. For a “cherry” Jello manicure, opt for the Le Manoir Gelcare Nial Polish in Patent Leather Red ($19). And for a ”lime” jello manicure, you can try the Butter London Bramley Apple Jelly Preserve Strengthening Treatment ($18).
If you’re in a pinch for time and need to hop onto this trend with the nail polishes in your current collection, Rudman recommends sheering out your favorite bold nail polish with a clear base coat. “It’s easier to control the opacity when starting from a clear base, so pour some of your base coat into a small container first, then add the nail color a few drops at a time until you achieve your desired look,” she instructs.
Once you have your nail polish ready, apply two to three coats for your desired opacity. To avoid any additional streaking, make sure to apply your nail polish color in ultra-thin coats and allow them to dry for five to 10 minutes in between each coat (that’ll help you avoid a goopy texture).
Finally, a Jello manicure isn’t complete without a juicy finish, so Rudman recommends using a high-shine top coat like the Emilie Heathe On the Top Glossy Nail Polish Top Coat ($28). “A cuticle oil can add shine to your fresh manicure too, but it’s not the best solution for long-lasting luster.” You can revive your mani’s shine by applying an additional top coat every few days.