6 Ways To Do Geode Nails

All the earthy inspo you need.

by Danielle Guercio
Originally Published: 

If there were an award for Most Instagram-Worthy Nail Art Trend, geode nails would definitely be in the running. Rock-like on the outside but colorful and sparkly when cracked open, geodes contain crystals and minerals like pyrite, calcite, and quartz that are so multidimensional and mesmerizing that they make perfect manicure inspiration.

Like most aesthetically-pleasing things, this look is particularly popular on social media. If you're ever hunting for the most lava-hot manicure trends, Pinterest and Instagram are the way to go. Two of my favorite IG follows: nail artists Celeste Marie Welch and Torie Bastian. Creative pros like these provide endless inspiration as they work on some of the coolest clients and slay acrylic sets left and right. I saw both take on geode nails and had to try it for myself.

For this, I called on my local nail goddess, Arielle Mosses. We scrolled through tons of examples of real life geodes and agate stones to develop techniques you can try on yourself or bring to a nail salon for inspiration.

The most important component of our look was glitter. Emulating the facets of a crystal requires a generous dose of disco. Using traditional polishes, clear gels from Bio Seaweed Gel, glitter, artist’s acrylic, and watercolor paints, Mosses showed me how to create gorgeous geode nails.

Opal-Inspired Nails

Eric Cruz

Opals, aka ribbons of compressed silicone dioxide, can be found in almost any kind of rock. Similarly, opalescent nail polish is very common in the nail world, but we added a little of the opal's signature "fire" with loose glitter (neon yellow and a white that reflects gold) over a clear gel base. Using nail polish, Mosses mapped out that squiggly asymmetry of a natural rock, creating the geode shape. Framed with a fine layer of copper fiery foil, the look is like something you stumbled upon out in nature. Mosses used a fine point dotting tool to shape each line and push the nail polish around while it was still wet.

Eric Cruz

The final look is part nature, part artistic license, and totally wearable.

Agate Nails

Eric Cruz

In my opinion, agate is one of the most stunning geodes because I find its multifaceted aquamarine shimmer to be soothing and comforting to stare at. For this look, Mosses cured a clear gel base, then used a watercolor blue and some watery white acrylic to make the rings. Finally, she applied droplets of different blues which spread just like they would on paper. This created a watery-swirl effect that is nearly impossible to do with goopy nail lacquers and gels. After allowing it to dry a bit, a generous sprinkle of glitter and some metallic foil created the tip.

Finally, the nail was sealed in with clear gel topcoat where it will stay perfect for all eternity — or at least until it's soaked off.

Eric Cruz

Amethyst Nail Art

Quite possibly the most iconic geode of all, amethyst is a birthstone of the February people and the most attempted version of geode nails that’s floating around. In fact, it even made its way to lip art as well. Mosses absolutely slayed this with a textured technique I liken to the "100 layers" stunt looks. By layering a variety of gel polishes to build texture (flash curing each one after it was applied) and adding glitter to create a 3D effect, she perfectly duplicated the rocky chunks of stone that make up an amethyst. Purple sparkles and some larger silver chunks help to recreate that concave effect, and pushed-up white glitter edges surrounded by gold foil mimic the shape of this rock to a T.

3 More Ways To Do Geode Nails

Prefer a more simple nail art look? Even with milky, translucent white polish, the crystalline effect shines through. Add a pop of color on an accent nail to finish off with a unique, personalized touch.

If you’re feeling jaded, try a marbleized manicure in one of the trendiest nail polish colors of the year: mint green.

You can’t go wrong with a classic citrine-inspired design. Warm yellows, oranges, and browns make for an earthy color combination that’s subtle yet eye-catching.

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