Tortoiseshell Nails Are Trending Again This Summer & It's Giving Dark Academia

If you're looking for nails that are just as fancy as they are unique, tortoiseshell nails might be your next manicure. Tortoiseshell manicures are having a moment due to their sophisticated style. Jin Soon Choi, editorial manicurist and founder of JINsoon Spas and Nail Lacquers, has noted that despite it looking complicated, there are multiple ways to create the look without having to go to the salon.

"Tortoiseshell nails combine two nail trends in one: a jelly nail color as a base and tortoiseshell pattern on top, [achieved by] applying the light color first and then lightly dotting the dark colors on top of it," she explained to Byrdie "They feature a speckled color palette of orange, brown, and black that mimics the pattern of a real tortoise shell. It's all about layering and blobbing the colors." Once you are able to get the basics (or find the right nail technician) there are many ways to rock these nails.

Go for a classic French tip

If you want to try a new style, the best way to do it is by incorporating it into a French tip. French tips are easy to do and only require sectioning of the tip of the nail, while letting the rest remain a nude pink. While French tips usually include white tips, tortoiseshell adds an interesting touch to a classic nail.

Get a fire manicure

If you're looking to add a design to your manicure, consider adding a fire design. These designs are perfect for those who want an edge to their next acrylic set. Because tortoiseshells have a busy pattern, it's best to pick a color for the fire design that really stands out.

Add a touch of gold to your nails

The easiest way to add a flare to your nails is by including gold in your manicure. This can be done in multiple ways using nail polish, gems, and even foil. However, you can also use hard gel to create more 3D abstract designs.

Embrace a split nail

If you can't decide between the boldness of a tortoiseshell print or the safety of a nude nail, go with both! Split nails are a fun design that allows us to get the best of both worlds when doing our nails. If you choose to go to the salon for your specialty design, it's best to show your nail tech in advance to make sure they can do it.

Make it a feature nail

Believe it or not, every nail does not need to have a tortoiseshell on every finger to have a dark academia vibe. Instead, pick one finger to display the pattern and make it a feature nail among your hands. When picking a color, look for nail polish that allows the tortoiseshell to shine.

Create a mismatched twist

If you have a hard time picking a design, create a mismatched set using tortoiseshell. This allows you to get as creative as you want with your nails without being tied to one look or the other. Allow your nail technician to freestyle your tortoiseshell design to take the pressure off of choosing the nail design yourself.