Soap Nails Are The Clean Girl Look You'll Be Seeing Everywhere

With the clean girl look still going strong on social media, it's only natural that the understated beauty trend would eventually branch out to other aspects of our routines. It's not only makeup and hair that stand to improve from a more natural and sleek approach. Nails, in particular, have long awaited their minimal, barely-there makeover, but the waiting is over. Now, it's goodbye to bold designs and too-long nails, and hello to natural length and a clean finish.


While soap nails might bring to mind images of ultra-shiny jelly nails, the trend does differ from its sleek, gooey predecessor. They might be just as chic and shiny, but unlike jelly nails — which embrace bright, vivid colors and fake length — soap nails are inspired by the clean, bare-nail look with a glossy finish. All you really need for a soap nail look is sheer nail polish (typically nudes and soft pinks) and the glossiest top coat you can get your hands on.

These are just some of the ways you'll be seeing this trend popping up on social media. And if you want to get ahead of the curve, there are a few twists you can follow to add your own personality to the trend.

Short and squeaky clean

The most obvious (and easiest) way to do soap nails is to keep them short and clean. The soapy look will come naturally once you file down your natural nails to your preferred shape and cover them with a healthy dose of glossy top coat. You might want to start with a couple of coats of sheer nude nail polish to cover any natural imperfections before adding the top coat, but don't go overboard. The cleaner the look, the soapier the vibe.


Long and barely pink

Inspired by the clean girl aesthetic, soap nails depend on the natural, bare-nail look. Think of the natural pink-to-white gradient of your real nails, for example. This being said, you don't need to sacrifice length. As long as you opt for a sheer, natural nail polish and a gloss, you're already hitting all the requirements for the trend.


The goal is to look natural, not necessarily to be natural, so you can still easily achieve the trend with nail tip extensions and dip powder in a neutral shade. Once the gloss goes on, the difference is unnoticeable.

Reversed French manicure

A simple way to enhance the soap nail look without jeopardizing the clean aesthetic is to play with subtler versions of the French manicure. For instance, you could layer a sheer white nail polish over a sheer nude one, or you could even play around with an inverted or reverse French manicure.


For the latter, you'll need the same shades you typically want for a French tip manicure — a nude and a white, preferably sheer — and a glossy top coat. Just remember to highlight the lunula (the half-moon shape at the cuticle) instead of the nail tip.

Minimal designs on sheer nails

While soap nails aim to emulate the minimalist vibe of the clean girl aesthetic, this shouldn't stop you from adding some creative nail designs for a bit of fun. As long as the design doesn't take away from the soapy, glossy look of the nails, you're good to go.


Small dots, singular stripes, and layers of sparkles are all great ways to enhance the soap nail look. Our preference? Sheer polka dots or neatly lined colorful dots seem like the perfect nail design for an understated approach that stays faithful to the trend.

Rosy pink

We don't want to give off the impression that color is out of the question for soap nails. In fact, color is always welcome as long as it stays in the realm of milky pinks, creams, and nudes. As long as this base color is sheer and soap-like and you top it off with shine, the look remains clean. A great way to add slightly more saturated color to this look is with rosy pink. Once you nail the shade, top it with lots of gloss. Just like that, your nails will match the rest of your clean girl aesthetic.