This Surprising Nail Art Trend Is Blowing Up on Pinterest

Match your nails to your favorite tortoise shell sunglasses.

Tortoise Shell Nail Art Is Blowing Up on Pinterest
Photo: Instagram

Snakeskin jackets are a street style staple, everyone is loving zebra print bags, cow print shoes are one of this fall's biggest fashion trends, and the leopard print midi skirt is still going strong. Now, there's another animal print going viral: Tortoise shell.

Sunglasses with this print have always been considered a classic accessory, but it turns out the pattern makes for a wickedly cool manicure, too. And it's the latest animal According to Pinterest search analytics, tortoise shell nails are up a staggering 1898%, and we also keep spotting the manicure on Instagram, too.

Nail artist Taryn Multack, an early adopter of the tortoise shell manicure, says that the print is a unique alternative to current nail art trends you see all over social media, like minimal lines and glitter accents. "Tortoise shell translates so well as people are starting to experiment and gravitate towards the unexpected," says Multack. "The depth and layers to tortoise shell makes this specific look really unique, plus the more imperfect the better!"

If you're new to nail art, the multi-tone swirls of the tortoise shell print can seem complex. An easy way into the trend is painting the pattern on just the tip of your nails for a twist on the classic French manicure — another one of this fall's big nail trends.

"Mix each layer of brown or black with a drop of base coat to liquify it a bit," says Multack. "It will make it easier for the brush to move around. Also, don't feel like you need to commit to the full nail. The first time I tried tortoise shell, I painted the tips only and loved how it turned out!"

And if tortoise shell tips aren't your vibe, there's tons of other ways to incorporate the print into your manicure. Here, we've rounded up some of our favorite tortoise shell nail art we've seen on Instagram.

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Tortoise Tips

These tortoise shell tips are making a strong case for the return of the French manicure.


Instead of painting the pattern on the tips of the nails, manicurist Betina Goldstein added the print to just half of the nail bed.

Reverse Half Moons

This just in: Tortoise shell negative space half moons and long, square tips make an excellent combo.

Tortoise Accents

Rather than painting every single nail, treat the animal print as a statement-making accent. This manicure incorporates the design on two nails, while the rest are painted a neutral taupe shade.

Tortoise Stripes

It doesn't matter what length or shape your nails are filed in. This vertical tortoise stripe down the center of the nail is the minimalist's way to get into this bold nail art trend.

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