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Velvet Nails Are Fall’s Newest Mani Trend

2022 brings about the manicure renaissance. Between embracing new nail trends — like Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut manicure — and resurrecting duck-tipped nails from the dead (where they should’ve stayed, BTW), having a fresh set of claws is almost an essential nowadays. The mani of the season? Velvet nails, obvi.

While velvet nails have been around for a minute, they’re just now getting the love they deserve on TikTok. But don’t let the name freak you out! This mani doesn’t involve gluing velvet or creating any texture on your nails. In fact, the process of creating a velvet manicure is super easy, and can even be done at home!

Need some inspo for a fresh set? Keep reading to learn more about this viral nail art trend (and how you can get the look, too).

What Are Velvet Nails?

When my roommate first heard the term “velvet nails,” she was immediately turned off by the idea of fuzzy, textured nailbeds. And while the name does suggest the involvement of fabric, this mani (thankfully) doesn’t take itself literally. Instead, velvet nails are inspired by the shiny, almost glittery look of velvet. Not to mention, they mimic that dimensional sheen that velvet is known for. How cool is that?

While velvet nails have been all over TikTok, they first broke into the mainstream in September 2020. Los Angeles-based nail artist, Amy Le, shared a video of her velvet mani onto her social media, along with a DIY tutorial on her Patreon account (where she drops regular nail art tutorials, FYI).

How To Do Velvet Nails At Home:

DIY nail art is intimidating — especially if you lack coordination like me. Luckily, achieving this glittery look isn’t as hard as it looks (or sounds). So, if you’re on that college kid or post-grad budget, you can avoid shelling out some cash at the nail salon and treat yourself to an at-home velvet mani.

To get the look, you’ll need a gel-cure nail kit (shop our picks here), magnetic nail polish or cat eye polish, and a gel nail color of your choice. On already applied gel extensions, start by laying down a base coat and curing. From there, apply your solid color — two or three coats, until opaque — and cure. Then, apply your magnetic or cat eye polish. While your nails are still wet, use the magnets along the sides of your nails to create a dimensional, velvety look. After that, just cure, apply a top coat, cure again, and you’re ready to go!

Velvet nails are a stylish, luxe take on a classic mani. But what makes this nail look particularly interesting is the ability to play with a variety of colors and shimmers to create a unique look. So, have fun! Play with different colors and shimmers, create new combinations, and find a signature velvet mani that works for you (maybe a witchy, Halloween-inspired look?). After all, the best part about nail polish is that there’s always remover.

julianna (she/her) is an associate editor at her campus where she oversees the wellness vertical and all things sex and relationships, wellness, mental health, astrology, and gen-z. during her undergraduate career at chapman university, julianna's work appeared in as if magazine and taylor magazine. additionally, her work as a screenwriter has been recognized and awarded at film festivals worldwide. when she's not writing burning hot takes and spilling way too much about her personal life online, you can find julianna anywhere books, beers, and bands are.