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This summer, ditch the basic mani and dive headfirst into the hottest nail art trend sweeping through Japan and South Korea: the mermaid manicure!

Imagine nails adorned with shimmering pearls, delicate sea motifs, and iridescent hues that evoke the mystical allure of mermaids. This enchanting trend has captured the hearts and imaginations of beauty enthusiasts worldwide, bringing a touch of aquatic magic to fingertips everywhere.

Read on to discover more about these viral mermaid nails and get design inspo for your next manicure appointment!

What are Mermaid Nails?

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Mermaid nails are part of the Mermaidcore aesthetic that went viral in 2021.

Inspired by the beauty and mystique of mermaids, the mermaid nails typically incorporate elements that evoke the ocean like iridescent shells and sparkly pearls.

There’s no one-size-fit-all approach to mermaid nails! From shimmering blues to hot pinks, there are endless possibilities to creating the perfect mermaid nails!

15 “Mermaid Nails” to Try

Sea Foam Green Nails

Credits: @/janetsnailstudio/ Instagram

We are obsessed with these light green mermaid nails.

The soft seaweed green shimmers beautifully, like sunlight dancing on the ocean floor. A touch of gold adds a little magic for a truly mesmerising look!

Pearly Shine Nails

Credits: @/cheekydevil_nails/ Instagram

This set is perfect for those who want a subtle mermaid nail look.

Its pearly finish reflects light beautifully, giving it a gorgeous iridescent shine. Add some three-dimensional swirls to make them pop!

Mermaid Princess Nails

Credits: @/nailsby.ema/ Instagram

Fit for a mermaid princess, this set boasts all the elements that screams “royal glam”! Each nail features a soft pink shine with its own unique 3D nail art.

They’re definitely made for the princess of the sea!

Seashell Beach Nails

Credits: @/amys.clients/ Instagram

Tropical gals, this one’s for you! With summer vacation right around the corner, channel the beach and ocean vibes with this gorgeous set.

Our absolute favourite detail? The seashell nail art that looks unbelievably realistic!

Aurora Pink Nails

Credits: @/ksvnails/ Instagram

Looking for a pastel pink set that matches your coquette aesthetic? Try these on for size.

Featuring 3D swirl details, this set also includes other elements like stars and bows for a touch of playful femininity.

Ocean Wave Nails

Credits: @/nailzbychyna/ Instagram

Dive deep into summer with these mesmerising ocean-inspired nails!

The ombre transitions seamlessly from a vibrant blue to a light nude brown to mimic waves rolling onto the shore. Butterfly gems add a touch of whimsy to this gorgeous set.

Mermaid Scales Nails

Credits: @/amys.clients/ Instagram

Capture the iridescence of mermaid scales!

Using soft pinks and ocean teals in an ombre blend, layer on translucent, 3D scales to mimic the appearance of a mermaid’s tail.

Dreamy Iridescent Nails

Credits: @/nailsbynanako/ Instagram

Get lost in a dreamy seascape with these soft shimmer nails.

Soft opals and iridescent pinks blend together to give the most beautiful shape. Don’t forget to add gold charms for that touch of magic!

Soft Teal Nails

Credits: @/sugamama_nailz/ Instagram

Imagine a mermaid lagoon bathed in moonlight. These soft teal nails capture that ethereal essence perfectly!

With a reflective finish that evokes gentle waves, you can add little details like pearls and blue gems to bring that vision to life.

Cat Eye Silver Mermaid Nails

Obsessed with cat-eye nails? We are too!

This stunning set is easy to achieve. Simply use a nude or milky white base coat to make the cat eye polish pop, then use a magnet to create this design.

Don’t have a special magnet? You can use a safety pin as well!

Sea Moss Nails

Credits: @/nailbandida/ Instagram

This unique set is truly one-of-a-kind!

Translucent reddish brown and green watercolours bloom across each nail, creating a unique, captivating effect. Spice up this set with unique 3D nail art for that added layer of dimension!

Mermaid Glam Nails

Credits: @/jennyznails/ Instagram

Mermaid glam nails are all about undersea luxury. The magic lies in the stunning array of charms, pearls, and beads that elevate this set from ordinary to opulent.

Remember, the more the merrier!

“Barbie the Pearl Princess” Nails

Credits: @/heygreatnails/ Instagram

Hi Barbie!

These hot pink nails are a total throwback to Barbie: The Pearl Princess! The sparkly pink French tip and tiny pearls add a touch of fun, just like Lumina’s iconic look.

Sea Gems Nails

Credits: @/nailsinurcoffin/ Instagram

If you prefer a monotone colour scheme but still want to enjoy mermaid nails, this set is right up your alley!

Add a touch of the ocean by incorporating tiny iridescent gems. They’ll shimmer and shine, resembling sparkling sea glass collected from the ocean floor!

Pastel Flower Nails

Credits: @/nailzbychyna/ Instagram

Level up your mermaid mani with stunning 3D blooms! Combine dreamy pastel purple and pink polishes as your base, then add stunning 3D floral art and flower gems for a touch of whimsical fun.

Top this set off with glow-in-the-dark pearls for a cheeky luminescent glow.