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stone-nail-art-korea

Five Ways to Try Stone Nails, the Most Mesmerizing Manicure Trend in Korea

Stone nails are a surefire way to amp up your manicure game. We reached out to nail artists in different cities across Korea to get their personal take on this popular style. Read on to get inspired. 

One of the most popular nail art trends in Korea has been around so long that maybe it shouldn’t be called a trend anymore. Stone nail designs have been popular in Korea for over ten years! But coming in and out of fashion and evolving each season, the style has definitely had a renewed moment this summer and is continuing into fall.

This nail art style features large gem-like stones and was first spotted on the hands of top K-Pop stars about a decade ago. The trend quickly made its way to nail salons across the country. The style is so pervasive that each day on my subway commute in Seoul, all I need to do is look up momentarily and a shiny bejeweled nail is sure to catch my eye. 

Stone nail art design is part of a bigger nail art trend in Korea called “nail parts”, that refers to three-dimensional objects, including pearls, jewels, and other items, that are placed on gel nails.

To get you started on finding your own stone nail art style, Lim Danbi at Aile Nail in Busan, Korea recommends first choosing stones with cool- or warm-toned colors that complement your hands best. Next, the size and shape of your nails will determine which size and how many nail parts can be applied. And lastly, talk with your nail artist about your personal style and taste to create a design you’ll love.

Need some inspiration? Read on to be dazzled by five different ways to nail the trend. 

The Classic

The classic stone nail art style features large, simple jewels. This is still the most popular and commonly-seen type of stone nail design and is also popular on the toes!

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“Extra”

The classic has evolved into a more ornate, or “extra”, style in recent years. Seoyun Choi, CEO and nail artist at Nail City Seoul shared that clients like to express their personal style through their nail design and enjoy mixing and matching several stones to create a unique look.

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Hypercolor

Nail artists in Korea are seriously pushing the creative boundaries. At Aile Nail, nail artists Lim Danbi and Im Goeun’s current signature nail design combines temperature-sensitive, color-changing gel nail colors with small pearls to give their clients a distinctive and extraordinary look.

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Under the Sea

It’s no doubt that one of the most popular nail trends this summer features seashell designs. This style has been big not just in Korea but around the world. With a combination of larger wave-like parts and smaller shell ornaments, nails are transformed into oceanscapes.

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Infinity Stones

No article about the stone nail art trend in Korea would be complete without mentioning Thanos nails! That’s right, Thanos, a super-villain of the Marvel Universe has inspired a multi-colored jewel nail art trend!

Below, Lee Dayoung, co-owner and nail artist at Nail HaRu in Gyeongsan, Korea shares her interpretation of Thanos nails.

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*Top image: @nailcityseoul

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