According To TikTok, It's Naked Nail Summer

Take a break from the salon.

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When the weather is warm and the sun is shining, the last thing you want to do is spend three hours inside at a nail appointment. That’s why the idea of a “naked nail girl summer” is taking off on TikTok. Creators are forgoing artful gel manis and acrylics in favor of natural nails to save time and energy — all while giving their nail beds a nice little vacation.

The idea behind naked nails is to skip your usual trips to the salon in favor of low-maintenance, natural nails that are short and easy to take care of, notes Rachel Apfel Glass, the founder of GLOSSLAB. They’re either truly nude or have a quick slick of clear or natural-looking polish.

Artificial lengths and over-the-top 3D manis have been in for years now, so it almost feels sacrilegious to step out with shorter nails that don’t showcase some sort of design. And yet naked nails have become the go-to look for influencers like Tinx, Alix Earle, Xandra Pohl, and Paige Lorenze, who have all been spotted with barely-there manicures. Once you see others out enjoying life with naked nails, it’s tempting to give the low-maintenance look a try.

As Apfel Glass says, naked nails lean into the minimalist, your-nails-but-better trend, and it also offers a nice break from more intricate looks, like mermaid manis or nail extensions, that tend to require a ton of upkeep and time spent in the salon chair. Intrigued? Here’s what to know about going nude.

Why You’ll Love Naked Nails

If you’re tired of going back to the salon every two weeks for a gel manicure or an acrylics refill, you’ll appreciate nude manis. TikTok creator @sydneyv.nichols, whose viral video on the trend has racked up over 700,000 views, said she’s having a naked nail girl summer for this very reason. Ditching your nail art habit frees up both time and money so you can go to the beach, travel, or sit in sidewalk cafes with an Aperol spritz instead.

Going naked is also good for your nails. Constantly applying acrylics or press-ons can damage your nail beds and leave your tips brittle or peeled, says Apfel Glass. For those on the fence, think of this trend as a healthy break for your nails away from gels, acetone, and tools, so your natural nails have a chance to breathe and grow stronger.

How To Rock Naked Nails

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To get the naked look, Apfel Glass recommends wearing a pale pink, taupe, white polish, or even a clear gloss. Juli Russell, a DIY nail expert for Sally Beauty, also suggests giving your nails some TLC so that your tips look neat and tidy without your typical designs. To do this, start by giving your natural nails a trim and then applying a nail strengthener. This will repair any damage that might have been caused by press-ons or gels, and it’ll also keep your tips strong as they grow out. “The key to the naked nails trend is not just about finding products that elevate your au natural look, but also ones that give your natural nails a helping hand,” Russell tells Bustle.

If your nails have ridges or marks on them from gel manicures, opt for a generous two to three coats of strengthener to smooth things out, says Russell. Apply any polish you’d like, then seal the deal with a quick-drying top coat to lock in the polish and keep your brittle nails strong. Reapply the top coat every three to five days as your nails grow. Cuticle oil also comes in clutch for naked nails. “Push back your cuticles before applying,” Russell says. “This exposes the nail plate and gives a uniform, groomed look to the nails.” Now go enjoy being nude.


Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of GLOSSLAB

Juli Russell, DIY nail expert for Sally Beauty

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