When it comes to beauty trends, Korea is constantly ahead of the game. Case in point: the gorgeous rainbow manicures that Julie Kandalec, creative director for popular Manhattan nail art spot Paintbox, saw on her recent visit to the country, which have just started popping up on our Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards.
What’s cool about the look: “It’s a way to stand out and do something interesting with color, but is less involved than other types of nail art,” Kandalec says. We talked to the celebrity manicurist to get her tips on making the trend work for you.
Pick three shades in a similar color palette. The trick to making this mani modern and on point: go for three different gradations in the same spectrum—so light to dark blues or soft melons to bold pinks (see our favorite combos below!). This keeps the look cohesive.
Choose a common finish. Regardless of the colors you choose, you want all your polishes to have a consistent texture, whether it’s matte, shiny or sparkly.
Paint it on freestyle. Don’t worry about sticking to strict rainbow order or light-to-dark effect. Instead, keep your placement of each color a little random. As Kandalec says: “This isn’t ombré—that’s been done before.”
Tone it down. Too flashy for you? Kandalec suggests painting a half-moon of white polish at the base of each nail or as French tips. This trick instantly softens and unifies the whole look.
Ready to give it a try? We love these polish combos: