The reasons to love pearls are numerous. To name just a few: They’re elegant, timeless, and versatile. You could throw a strand or two over an oversized sweater, or wear them with an LBD á la Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. So it’s no wonder that Pinterest is predicting that you’ll be seeing all things pearl — a trend dubbed “pearlcore” — in 2022, from the actual gemstones themselves to the signature iridescent hue showing up on accessories. And pearlcore nails — stone-accented or pearlescent-painted manicures — are also expected to be one of the year’s buzziest manicure trends.
Los Angeles-based nail artist Britney Tokyo, whose whimsical designs have been seen on celebs like Lizzo, Rita Ora, and Paris Hilton, says she’s a fan of the adaptable nature of pearlcore nails. “Pearl-accented nails and iridescent polishes create colorful designs but are also simple enough to match with different kinds of fashion and situations,” she tells Bustle. In fact, Tokyo says clients are already requesting the look. Compared to other nail art styles, pearlcore is the perfect happy medium for those who want simplicity but also an eye-catching pop. The look is versatile, too, so you can wear pearlcore on everything from an almond-shaped set, a French manicure, or stiletto tips.
Pearl-inspired nails also serve as a lighter polish option in the wintertime. “We tend to wear darker colors in winter,” says Tokyo. “Adding pearls or iridescence will add different textures and colors that tend to be missing in winter outfits.” With the super chic manicure ideas below as inspiration, the pearlcore nail trend is at your fingertips.
1. Pearls & Butterflies
Go for a dainty look with an almond-shaped set like this one, which pairs a soft lavender polish with mini pearl accents and barely-there butterfly decals.
2. Extra-Long French Tips
Channel the ’90s with a lengthy French manicure decorated with strategically placed clusters of different-sized pearls for a 3D effect.
3. Periwinkle Orbs
After Pantone named the blue-purple periwinkle its color of the year in early January, this mani allows you to rock two on-trend looks in one.
4. Almond-Shaped French
Another way to modernize the classic French tip? Opt for an almond shape and sprinkle small pearls onto your nail beds.
5. Cluster Accent Nail
You can fully embrace pearlcore manicures by going all-out on one accent nail. Pair it with alternating shades of metallic glitter and a pearlescent hue for an unexpected take on the Skittles trend.
6. Stiletto Pearls
These extra-long stiletto nails with French tips and pearl details are equal parts bold and elegant.
7. Single Pearl
Keep it clean and simple by adding just a single pearl onto each nail right at the cuticle. With this shade of polish, it basically looks like a pearl in a clamshell.
8. Colorful Tips
This square-tipped French mani is modernized with a generous scattering of large pearls, and the wine-colored polish is perfect for this time of year.
9. Iridescent Sheen
If you’re not into 3D nail art or don’t have pearl studs on hand, that’s fine — because, TBH, the best thing about pearls is their metallic iridescence. Get in on the pearlcore trend with just a slick coat of shell-inspired polish.
10. Gradient French
Add a pop to your mani by pairing near-translucent pearl studs and a gradient blue polish (or any other bright color of your choice).
10. Painted Hearts
Consider these the best addition to your Valentine’s Day ‘fit: Pair powder-pink polish with tiny hearts and delicate pearls for an ultra-romantic manicure.
11. Short & Square
Punch up a 2000s-era square French mani with a handful of pearls spread out across your nail beds.
12. Cuticle Decor
This pretty pink manicure is subtle yet regal with three little pearls dotting the cuticle. Pro tip: A pearl ring is a perfect accessory to tie the look together.