Water Nails Trend Brings Mermaidcore To Your Manicure

With so many water and ocean-inspired looks for the summertime, it's clear that mermaidcore is here to stay. From sea glass nails to the lagoon nails trend, many summery manicures are about embracing the ocean. This time, a water manicure will cool you off for the summer.

The fun part about this look is that there are multiple ways to achieve it, whether at home or the salon. For a rippled effect reminiscent of the pool, nail artist Hemi Park tells Allure to use a semi-transparent base jelly coat in a blue or aqua shade. Then mix together clear blooming gel and white gel color to lay over your base coat. Before curing or drying under an LED lamp, use a dotting tool to create small dots on your nails using blooming gel and watch as they transform into water ripples. 

Another popular take on this trend is creating three-dimensional water droplets on the nails. For this option, apply your base color, and once it dries, dip a dotting tool into a clear builder gel and place your water droplets. If you can't find builder gel, nail artist Gracie J told Allure people should use decorative nail droplets to stick on. The result will give the effect of wet nails as if you just took a swim. Whichever method you try, you'll have a fun and refreshing manicure that brings the ocean to you. 

Water ripples

Here's a stunning example of pool water ripple nails. These look great on both short and long nails. Plus, you can choose any shade of blue for your base, from bright aqua to darker blues. For polish inspiration, check out Cirque Colors' Aqua Jelly polish or Valentino's Beauty Pure gel polish in the shade City of Angels.

Add tropical flowers

If you feel like your water ripple manicure is missing something, add tropical flowers to complete the look. The white polish will really pop on top of the background. Sea shells, birds, and anything beach-inspired will also work. In other words, this look will have you wanting to pack your bags and book a vacation. 

Under the sea

To take the rippled water effect one step further, add some embellishments inspired by the ocean. To do so, use a builder gel to paint ocean creatures, like these pink octopuses and orange starfish floating on the nails. Don't be afraid to use your imagination and get creative with this manicure. 

Water droplets

If you're not a fan of the water ripple effect, go for water droplets instead. You can place your droplets on any base color, but for a similar nail look as above, use a marbling technique to create beach waves and use clear builder gel for the droplets. This gives the manicure a three-dimensional effect inspired by the ocean. 

Water droplets on multicolored manicure

For a more subtle water droplet manicure, you can place the droplets over a solid background. But rather than choosing one shade of blue, why not go for a spectrum of dark and light? In the look above, it seems the artist applied droplets of clear builder gel on top of different shades of blue. 

Crystal clear

Though many people will use blue polish for the water manicure trend, you can still get a textured, watery effect with a clear base and builder gel. This will make for a gorgeous, glassy manicure that is still inspired by water in a different way. You can even add silver decals to the look, as shown above.