Like the return of tie-dye and lava lamp nails, it looks like '90s-style butterfly nail art is shaping up to be a big trend this summer. And what better time to bring back the nostalgic trend? After all, the beautiful creatures symbolize hope and perseverance, and they're often thought to help us in cope with challenging changes.
Searches for "butterfly nails" are up 450 percent on Google, and a quick Instagram search will pull of an endless scroll of inspiration. Salons have also seen an uptick in butterfly nail art requests over the past year, after Kylie Jenner showed off her acrylic manicure with pink butterfly decals last summer. Nail technicians have since been recreating butterfly nails, using clear acrylic for a modern, more fashionable take on the mani you may remember from grade school.
To create clear butterfly nails, professional nail artists use a technique known as "encapsulated nail art," in which sequins or stickers are encased between layers of acrylic gel. A very thin layer of clear acrygel is applied to the nail and cured until it's slightly sticky. The butterflies are put in place, then a thicker layer, also called a covering layer, is applied to lock them in. Rhinestones, pearls, and confetti are often added to the look, too.
You can also try the trend without going to a salon. All you need are some butterfly nail sequins, like this multicolored set available on Amazon, and a gel nail polish set. We like the Essie Gel Couture Polishes and Top Coat ($12 each; ulta.com). Then, simply follow the same steps as above. Looking for an even easier way to try butterfly nails? Opt for nail stickers, like this super-cute Butterfly Fantasy set by Olive & June ($8; target.com).
Whatever method you choose, we've rounded up the inspiration you need to get started. Scroll though some of the chicest clear butterfly nails below.
You might also like:This Scented Nail Polish Gives ‘Cheeto Fingers’ A New Meaning
We often receive complimentary products for review at Glam. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a share of the revenue from our affiliate partners.