It’s about to become extremely hot outside — while you may be seeking refuge indoors and planting yourself in front of the air conditioner, you can cooly channel the heat of the summer with some flame nail art.
The manicure trend, which has been seen on the fingertips of Doja Cat and Dua Lipa and all over your social media feeds, is about creating literal flame designs on your fingertips. It’s impossible to pinpoint its exact emergence, but I suspect it has something to do with the proliferation of Thrasher T-shirts and the adoration of all things Y2K.
If you’re hitting up a nail artist to test out the look, you don’t have to think about much other than the color scheme and details of the flame design. But, if you have a steady hand, you can try to DIY your own fire mani, says Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of Nails Of LA — though she admits it’s one of the more difficult designs to master. “It takes a lot of practice, even for nail artists,” she tells Bustle. “It requires building upon each layer to get the right thickness, pigmentation, and crispness as well as the right curves.”
For the bold and undeterred, the first step for achieving this look by hand is a striper brush, a dry brush, acetone, and nail polish. Begin your flames by creating a “C” in the middle of the nail with your striper brush, says Boyce. Put pressure on the brush to change the thickness of the line and add dimension to different parts of the flame. “Keep adding to the fire by creating those C-like curves for the other flame tips,” she advises. Once that’s done, Boyce recommends using a dry brush dipped in acetone to clean up any lines — but that’s it.
It may sound simple, but it’s a lot of work for an untrained hand... which is why Boyce has a hack for those who aren’t so well-versed in nail art. “The best way for most at-home nail enthusiasts to get the flame look is with decals,” she says. Pro tip: There are plenty of cute options available on Etsy.
Whether you book an appointment at the salon or attempt it yourself, here are some flame nail art designs that are literally fire.