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Cardi B’s Y2K Duck Nails Are Dividing The Internet

Perhaps the most Y2K style there is, duck nails have taken the internet by storm with its signature wide tips that resemble — well, the webbed feet of a duck! 

On Sept. 6, Cardi B added a Story to Instagram sharing her version of the trend, rocking a French-tipped and ultra bejeweled set of nails, duck style. While celebrating her son Wave’s first birthday, the “Hot Shit” rapper certainly made a statement with her set full of crystal heart charms (hello, Y2K!) and 3D cherries. But will Cardi B’s controversial duck nails become a must-have fall nail trend?

The artist’s support for duck nails has caused waves of differing opinions on Twitter — while some users are obsessing over the trend and hoping for its revival, others are adamantly calling for the style to be stopped dead in its tracks, with one user writing, “do not come within 10 feet of me with duck nails on.” Others were quick to say that the Y2K nail trend will never make its way back from the grave.

Read on for more about the duck nails trend, including its origins within the Black community and how to get the look yourself.

Where did the duck nails trend originate?

It’s impossible to talk about the origins of the duck nails — also called flared nails — without mentioning the women of color who first adopted long acrylic nails and nail art. Back in 1966, Donyale Luna showed off her acrylic nails while appearing as the first Black woman to grace the cover of Vogue, and modern nail art has flourished because of Black women. Since then, and especially in the early ‘90s and 2000s, Black women have been sporting long acrylic nails, with Black artists like Coko and Janet Jackson popularizing the look into the mainstream. 

A rendition of the long acrylic nails look, duck nails have been slowly making a comeback in fall 2022, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this funky trend has made its way to the hands of our most personable celebs like Cardi B and Bhad Bhabie. After all, the trend continued to gain popularity back in 2010 when Jersey Shore favorite, Snooki, started rocking the style while living her best MTV-star life. 

Is Gen Z Here for duck nails?

While the internet is obviously divided on the style, duck nails have had its brief moment of popularity already, with celebs like Bhad Bhabie showing her French-tip set back in 2021. And although many are against the revival of duck nails,  it’s only a matter of time before Gen Z adopts the style and reverts back to yet another Y2K trend. Love it or hate it, we’re living in a world where questionable trends can quickly become the epitome of a fashion statement.

The duck nail shape allows for a ton of creative freedom for your nail tech. To get the look, ask your artist for long, flat acrylics that widen at the tip. Remember, although these sets are high-maintenance due to the length, the shape is excellent for coming up with unique designs, so take some time to figure out what style you want! You can opt for something flashy and daring, or keep it simple with a French tip. 

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to try out this classic Y2K style or just want to switch things up the next time you’re at the salon, now’s the time! 

Madison Bailey

App State '23

Madison Bailey is a national writer at Her Campus Media focusing on all things style, beauty, and lifestyle. She works closely with the style and lifestyle verticals at Her Campus, including reviews, roundups, sustainable style, and pop-culture. After graduating from Appalachian State University in May 2023 where she was Campus Coordinator of Her Campus at App State, Madison has written for Teen Vogue, Modeliste Magazine, Global Garbs, and more. Her time as Head Writer for The Collective Magazine, Appalachian State’s fashion and culture magazine, sparked her passion for the exciting world of fashion. She is currently in marketing at Modeliste Magazine where she’s able to celebrate her favorite things; fashion, beauty, celebrities, influencer style, and travel. In her free time, you can find Madison soaking in all the beauty that the blue ridge mountains have to offer. Or, when she’s not writing, you can find her thrifting, sipping a raspberry matcha, or cooking her favorite vegan meals!