'Lava Lamp Nails': The Abstract Manicure Trend Nailing The Retro '70s Look

If you were anything like us, you probably begged your parents to buy you a lava lamp as a kid. While society seemed to forget about these fun objects for a while, we like to believe they're having a revival, as we found people showing off their favorite lava lamps on TikTok. Even if you've never owned a lava lamp, you can't deny that those colorful, floating blobs are entertaining to watch. Surprisingly, nail art enthusiasts seem to embrace their return, as lava lamp-inspired nail designs are trending in 2023.

As its name suggests, this unexpected retro nail trend is about leaning into abstract nail art inspired by the colorful lava lamp blobs. "They're just sort of rising across the nail in all different abstract shapes and every nail is different," Miss Pop, a nail artist, explained to Allure. Lava lamp nails are creative, unique, and even a little artistic, so you should consider these abstract nail designs for your next manicure if you want to make a statement.

Try lava-inspired colors

Warm colors like red, orange, pink, and brown are perfect for the lava lamp nail trend because those hues are closest to real-life lava colors. Using lava-like colors isn't required, as lava lamps often feature various colors, so use any colors you want, but some lava-inspired hues can make your manicure look even more exciting!

Trippy looks are fun

Lava lamps are trippy — the colorful, floating bobs have that mesmerizing psychedelic feel about them. So, channel that free-spirited, '70s-like energy in your manicure by incorporating swirly, ultra-abstract details. The nail art doesn't have to be perfect! There's no such thing as "perfect" for this artsy trend, so just be creative and have fun with it.

Add a touch of sparkle

Do you want to make your lava lamp-inspired manicure appear more glamorous? Just add some sparkle to the mix! Shimmery, glossy, metallic, or glittery details will instantly add a touch of glam you desire while leaning into the glowy effect that physical lava lamps provide.

Talk to your nail artist if you want a head-turning design

This trend is all about looking creative and unique — not perfect — so you can create a lava lamp manicure at home with no problems. But if you want an advanced, head-turning manicure or art that looks like genuine lava lamps on your fingertips with detailed or even glow-in-the-dark effects, visit your favorite nail salon for something magnificent.