Blooming Gel Is The Manicure You're Going To See Everywhere

Manicures are increasingly becoming a way for people to express style and personality, as droves of people are ditching old-fashioned polish for designs that can practically be classified as art. Some of the draw of this trend is probably because it's delightfully temporary. Unlike tattoos or piercings, for example, nail art can be tweaked, emphasized, or removed completely with a few strokes of acetone remover, once again leaving a blank palate for creative experimentation.

While that's a relief, manicures are now lasting longer than ever, thanks to techniques like gel and SNS which involve UV light, glue, and other components that keep them from peeling or chipping prematurely. This luxury comes at a higher price point than a standard mani, however. Nail Passion Spa notes that a full set of SNS nails can cost between $35 and $75, depending on how involved the design is and what the individual salon charges. However, if the expansion of manicure offerings is any indication, real nail enthusiasts are happy to pay a premium for designs that are both attractive and long-lasting.

This gel manicure is really starting to bloom

The blooming gel manicure technique isn't exactly new, but it's really starting to take off among the wearable art set that wants their nails to be anything but ordinary. The style is aptly named, as a clear gel polish is applied on top of nail art, which allows the design to really "bloom," per Nails Plus. The high-end nail product supplier also paints a mental picture that the effect is much like what happens when a drop of food coloring is put into water. There are few limits to the blooming gel manicure, as the finished product can mimic nearly any texture that the client desires.

Animal-inspired blooming gel manicures are all the rage right now

Here's a new way to sport animal prints without looking controversial or oh-so-passé. Blooming gel manicures featuring animal skin-like textures, including snakeskin, tortoiseshell, or crocodile designs, have really taken off. The trend has been popularized by A-lister Dua Lipa, who showed off her colorful, nature-inspired set on Instagram.

Classic marble manicures are always in style

One of the most tried-and-true, not to mention easy to pull off at home, blooming gel manicures is the marble style. This one usually involves blending a couple of shades of nail color together, then swirling them around on the nail to mimic marble patterns. This generally begins with a clear or white base coat so that the colors will really pop. Marble nails often wind up looking very ethereal, even hypnotic.

People are going psycho for psychedelic nails

The 1970s are well in the past, but the psychedelic style not only persists but remains beloved in the fashion world. Tie-dye and psychedelic-inspired blooming gel nails are bright, trippy, and perfect for those who want their eclectic style to shine extra bright, no hallucinogens required.

Blooming gel manicures can also be done at home

If you don't have the budget for a full set of blooming nails, but boast a pretty steady hand, it's absolutely possible to try the technique at home. First, file and shape the nails until they're nice and even, according to Bluesky Cosmetics. Then, buff the nails and clean up the cuticle areas, as well.

Once the nails are clean and free of any previous polish or dirt, it's time to start the design. Bluesky's video tutorial illustrates how to apply the gel base coat, swirl colors onto a palate, then create the design and add embellishments, if desired. Most gel polishes require a nail lamp to cure, but there are non-UV formulations out there for purchase if you don't have one on hand. Remember that nail technicians study these techniques before they're perfected, so don't be afraid to practice over and over again. When in doubt, hit the nail salon for a look that's both chic and fun to sport.