Unicorn Nails Are the Dreamy Manicure Trend to Copy ASAP

If you grew up playing with My Little Pony, the nostalgic unicorn nails trend has your name written all over it. Like the mystical creature they’re named after, unicorn nails are colorful and mesmerizing. Don’t worry—we’re not telling you to paint actual unicorns on your nails; instead, this trend is all about the color and finish. Think iridescent pastel shades and color-shifting shimmer.

According to Rachel Goodman, the beauty and luxury partnerships lead at Pinterest, unicorn nails fall right under the All the Raves category that Pinterest identified in its 2023 Predicts report. Inspired by colorful rave culture, the category is all about a “chrome look and colorful vibes,” just like unicorn nails.

Manicurist Julie Kandalec, founder of Julie K Nail Artelier in NYC, agrees, saying that unicorn nails are “a more fun and colorful version of the glazed-donut nail.” Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood and founder of her namesake nail brand, adds that this trend is timely, as “unicorn nails are a subtle nod to the upcoming bright spring palette, while still remaining wintry.”

Some of the best things about this look are that it’s “easy to re-create at home, at the nail salon, and also matches many different fashion looks,” says Kandalec. 

Unlike glazed-donut nails, which are more neutral and subtle, unicorn nails are playful and fun. The best chrome nail polishes will help you get a similar look, but unicorn nails typically use pastel shades. Think of your nails like a mood ring: You’ll see different pastel shades within the reflective chrome finish. “Glazed-donut nails use a sheer chrome pigment, so the base color shows through more,” explains Kandalec, while “unicorn nails have a white chrome base with an opalescent flash in different shades like pink and orange, and green and purple.”

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