Milk Bath Nails Are the Dreamy "It" Manicure of 2023

From classic florals to milky French tips, here are eight ways to nail the trend.

Milk Bath Nails

Instagram @nailartbyqueenie

There's just something romantic about a milk bath with flowers gently floating on top, inviting you in to take a calming dip. So, it only makes sense that this spring, we're taking the dreamy vibes to our nails with the latest manicure trend to take over the internet: milk bath nails.

Aptly named, milk bath nails are exactly what they sound like. According to celebrity nail artist Brittney Boyce, milk bath nails usually involve painting on milky white polish — traditionally dip or gel — and layering either drawn-on flower decals or actual tiny pieces of dried flowers. Celebrity nail artist at Nailing Hollywood Queenie Nguyen agrees and adds that these nails are meant to mimic the ethereal look of a milky bath with floating flowers.

But as with any nail trend, you can update it and put your own spin on it. Opt for bolder colors, like bright blue or pink, or mix it with other designs, like the classic French mani. No matter what you do, both experts agree that the milky bath nail is the perfect go-to for your spring looks.

"It’s still neutral, but it’s cute and different," says Boyce. "I definitely prefer this look on a natural nail or shorter extension."

How to Get the Look at Home

The good news is that milk bath nails are easy to do on your own. Boyce says you'll first want to file your nails to the desired length and shape. Then, she suggests buffing your nail bed and cleansing it with alcohol to remove any natural oils so that your color stays on longer. Next, she says to put on a basecoat to really lock in your shade.

For your first layer, opt for a milky shade (if you want the classic milk bath nail, she says to go for a white milky polish like Aprés Nail’s Baby’s Breath or Nguyen's pick OPI's Funny Bunny) for the base. While the layer is still wet, Boyce says to press on a few decals like dry flowers into the polish. Let the polish dry for a few minutes before you apply another layer of your milky shade so that the flowers look submerged under milky water. Then seal with a topcoat, and you're good to go.

If you don't have any dried flowers lying around, no need to worry. Nguyen says you can use stickers instead. You can also stick on any design or keep it bare with just the milky shade. It's all about what works best for you.

What to Ask for at the Salon

Because milk bath nails are especially popular in the spring and summer time, Nguyen says that you can easily just ask for them, and your nail artist should be familiar with how to get the look for you. She says you can also describe it as "a milky white nail color with dried flowers encapsulated" if they need more of an explainer.

Boyce says she always suggests finding pictures of the nails (or any nail look you want to try) to give nail artists a visual. "Show your favorite images to your nail artist and see if they are able to create the same look," she says. "I think showing visual images is always best. That way, you are both on the same page."

With all that in mind, we've got you covered if you're looking for inspo. Below are eight milky bath nail designs that will get you ready and excited for spring. Enjoy.

01 of 08

Festive Mood

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @themimid

Not all milk bath nails need to be floral-themed. Grab cool 3-D ornaments and set them against a milky white background for a more unique festive nail.

02 of 08

Bright Bloom

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @naileddbygg

Mix and match different designs on your hand for something really fun. Go for a chevron French tip and these milky bath square nails with orange and yellow florals and butterflies make for the perfect spring look.

03 of 08

Dreamy Garden

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @nailzbydaniela.18

If you want to subtly elevate the classic milk bath nails with flowers, simply draw on a few gold shimmer leaves for added accents.

04 of 08

Dainty Details

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @janisenidnail

These intricate and tiny floral decals make for a mesmerizing design on your milk bath nails. We especially love the green metallic accent nails to complement the look.

05 of 08

Glazed Milk

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @nailartbyqueenie

Sometimes you don't even need decor. Add some sheen to those milky bath shades. Opt for a dreamy mix of white and pink shades with a glossy finish for a pretty nail look.

06 of 08

Head In The Clouds

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @aliciatnails

In line with the ethereal feels, paint on these blue cloud-like designs at the tip of your nails to go with the overall heavenly aesthetic. Having your white milky base blend into the baby blue makes for a stunning combo.

07 of 08

Chrome Effect

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @nailsbyzola

The mixture of pink and white shades for your milky base is a pretty combo on its own. But instead of sticking on some designs, go for a bold finish like this metallic glaze for that chrome look.

08 of 08

Milky French

Milk Bath Nails Explainer

Instagram @thehotblend

It's not truly a viral nail trend until someone creates a French mani version. Go monochromatic with a milky white base that overlays the bright white French tip, so it barely peeks through.

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