Every time I scroll through my Pinterest or Instagram feed, I’m met with countless nail art designs that I want to copy ASAP. One that’s stood out recently is aura nails, which are what you’d guess: An aura is used in spiritual beliefs and is a collection of colors meant to represent the energy field emitted by a living thing. Translated into the manicure world, aura nail art is meant to mimic what an aura image looks like — and it looks really cool.
Nail artist Daron Wood says the design features asymmetrical circular blobs of different colors that fade into another shade at the center. The nail trend is primarily achieved using an airbrush technique, she explains, though it can also be done using gel polish and a sponge or blooming gel. It’s a colorful look Wood says she’s seen rising in popularity within the past couple of years.
Her take? “I think they’ve become popular because of the rise of nail artists that are getting into airbrushing,” she tells Bustle. “The design requires no stencils and can be done with any colors, so it’s easy for beginners.”
While certainly eye-catching on their own, aura nails can be used as a mere base for a more intricate manicure. “I’ve seen people incorporating the technique into other designs, using it as a background for other designs, or adding chrome elements, which makes it look more advanced,” says Wood.
Go with the colors of your aura (after getting a reading, of course), or take inspo from these Insta-worthy aura nails below.