This Manicure Trend Is For the Jelly Shoe-Obsessed '90s Child in All of Us
If a single nail trend were to represent the entire rainbow-colored, glitter-flecked decade that was the '90s, this would be the one. Dubbed "trinket nails" by nail artist Kayleigh Jean of London's trendy WAH Nails salon, the look involves encapsulating tiny charms and glitters in a clear gel base, resulting in an effect reminiscent of your favorite pair of jelly sandals with a million Lisa Frank stickers affixed to the surface. Because everything gets coated a layer of shellac, you don't have to worry about snagging your hair or clothing. "It's quite a simple technique. It takes a bit of time and requires both gel polish and a UV lamp, but the results are definitely worth it," Jean tells InStyle.
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Unless you've got that Mariah Carey money, hopping on a transatlantic flight to London just for a manicure isn't exactly reasonable, so the pro has given us a few step-by-step instructions on how to get the look at home. Begin by sweeping on a layer of builder gel, then cure it with a UV light. Take the charms, glitter, sequins, and other assorted items you've been collecting, then place them however you like on your nail bed. Sweep on another layer of builder gel to fully encapsulate the charms, and cure again under a UV light. Depending on how large your trinkets are, you may need to apply even more gel over the top of those specific pieces, but once everything has been coated and cured, you can consider the job done. Finish with a pass of a nail wipe to remove any stickiness, and prep your digits for their close-up.