Iridescent Mother Of Pearl Nails Are Going To Be Your Go-To Shimmery Spring Mani

Mermaids are having a moment. Mermaidcore, along with other oceanside aesthetics (like the coastal cowgirl look or last year's preppy coastal grandmother fashion) have us dreaming of life under the sea while getting ready in the morning (even if it's still a little too cold to go for a swim).

The mermaidcore look is equal parts resort and glam, with plenty of shine, metallic finishes, and dramatic shapes (a shell-shaped bustier or mermaid-like dress tail? Sure, why not?). And the style can be seamlessly applied to your manicure, too, with mother-of-pearl nails. While pearly fingertips have been a thing for decades, they're getting a major update this season. As OPI's Director of Global Education, Heather Reynosa told Byrdie, "The newer spins on it are great timing as we come into spring, as this type of style is perfect as we are stepping out of winter and into warmer months. You can go light or dark — there are a number of ways to spin it."

Here are five ways to pull off the look that Ariel would surely approve of.

Go for shell shades

It's no surprise that mother-of-pearl nails would look stunning in pearly tones, but there's a wide range of polish colors that complement this trend. Off-white, oyster gray, creamy blush — almost any soft shade will work. What's most important is to stick with a high-shine finish. Top off your base coat with a luminous lacquer, or pick a polish that already has reflective pigment built in.

Play with texture

Embellished, 3D nails are one of the most coveted nail art trends of the year, and what better way to take them for a test drive than with pearly digits? Channel your inner mermaid and let the ocean inspire your mani. Add textured pearl pieces to your nails (like the photo seen here), or try a pitted, ocean floor effect (like this set by nail artist Kim Truong).

Don't shy away from length

Want touch-the-bottom-of-the-ocean length? Mother-of-pearl nails are soft and subtle enough that even supersized versions don't feel overwhelming. Whether long and square or shaped into a slightly more modest french tip (like these beauts by nail artist Jen Seales), having a little extra real estate on your nails means more space to show off your stunning iridescent manicure.

Add shimmery metal details

Turn up the shine on your glossy mother-of-pearl design by adding gold flakes and liquid chrome. To keep the look resembling the natural vibes of the beach — and not your typical party nails — opt for uneven designs and non-uniformity. Abstract nails using silver (above) or a mix of glitter and seashell flakes prove that this style is anything but boring.

Stick to the basics

Supershine, pearl embellishments, dripping metallic details — mother-of-pearl nails may not sound like your average minimalist nail design, but they can still work as an understated, nude mani, if that's your thing. A pearlescent white or cream shade looks polished and profesh, without sacrificing shine. Think of it as holographic nails' breezy sister who's ready for both the boardroom and the beach.