Indulge in ‘90s Nostalgia With the Jelly Nails Trend


Jelly nails are a popular nail art trend that has taken the beauty world by storm. These translucent nails create a glossy candy or stained-glass effect, reminiscent of the ’90s jelly sandals. They have become increasingly popular and can be seen all over social media platforms.

The appeal of jelly nails lies in their unique and eye-catching appearance. The glossy and translucent finish creates a mesmerizing look that resembles colorful candies or delicate stained glass windows. It’s a trend that allows individuals to express their creativity and embrace a playful sense of nostalgia.

The popularity of jelly nails on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok has contributed to its widespread recognition. Nail artists and enthusiasts have been showcasing their stunning jelly nail designs, ranging from vibrant gradients to negative space creations. With endless possibilities for customization and personalization, it’s no wonder that jelly nails have captured the attention of beauty lovers everywhere.

So, if you’re ready to indulge in ’90s nostalgia and elevate your nail game, join us as we explore the world of jelly nails. In the following sections, we’ll cover everything you need to know:

  1. Techniques and materials for achieving jelly nails
  2. Nail art designs and color options for jelly nails
  3. Tips on maintaining the beauty and longevity of your jelly nails

What are Jelly Nails?

Jelly nails are a translucent nail art trend that has gained popularity in recent years. This unique trend creates a glossy and translucent look on the nails, resembling a candy or stained glass. The term “jelly” refers to the appearance of the nails, which have a jelly-like texture and shine.

The appeal of jelly nails lies in their nostalgic charm. They remind us of the ’90s jelly sandals that were popular back then. Just like the sandals, jelly nails have a playful and whimsical vibe that adds a touch of nostalgia to any manicure.

How Jelly Nails Are Done

To achieve the jelly nail effect, there are two main methods:

  1. Using pre-made clear artificial nails: Some people prefer to use pre-made clear artificial nails that already have the desired translucent finish. These can be easily applied using nail glue or adhesive tabs.
  2. Creating a custom shade: Others choose to create their own customized shade using clear top coat and their favorite nail polish color. This involves applying multiple layers of clear polish mixed with small amounts of colored polish until the desired level of transparency is achieved.

Why People Love Jelly Nails

The translucent nature of jelly nails allows for endless creativity when it comes to nail art designs. Here are some popular ones:

  • Ombré jellies: Gradual color transitions from light to dark or vice versa.
  • Negative space jelly nails: Designs that incorporate exposed areas of the natural nail for a minimalist look.
  • Jelly French tips: Classic French manicure with a twist, using sheer colors for the tips.
  • Jelly glitter: Adding sparkle with translucent glitter polish.

The transparency of the nails also makes them versatile when it comes to color options. Whether you prefer soft pastels or bold neons, there’s a shade out there that will suit your style.

In summary, jelly nails are a translucent nail art trend that creates a glossy and candy-like effect on the nails. They draw inspiration from ’90s jelly sandals and add a nostalgic touch to any manicure. With their unique appearance and endless design possibilities, jelly nails offer a fun and creative way to express yourself through your nails. So why not indulge in some ’90s nostalgia and give this trend a try?

Achieving Jelly Nails Using Different Techniques and Materials

When it comes to achieving the trendy and nostalgic jelly nails look, there are different techniques and materials you can use. Let’s explore two popular methods: using clear artificial nails and creating a customized translucent shade with nail polish.

1. Using Clear Artificial Nails

One way to achieve the jelly nail effect is by using pre-made clear artificial nails. These nails are specifically designed to create a translucent and glossy look that resembles jelly. Here’s how you can apply and shape these nails for a flawless finish:

  1. Prepare Your Natural Nails: Start by cleaning your natural nails and shaping them to your desired length and shape. This step ensures a smooth base for the artificial nails.
  2. Select the Right Size: Choose clear artificial nails that match the size and shape of your natural nails. It’s important to find a good fit to ensure a comfortable and natural-looking result.
  3. Apply Nail Glue: Apply a small amount of nail glue onto your natural nail bed. Be sure to spread it evenly to avoid any lumps or bumps.
  4. Attach the Artificial Nail: Gently press the clear artificial nail onto the glued area, starting from the cuticle and pressing down towards the tip of your finger. Hold it in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to set properly.
  5. Shape and File: Once all the artificial nails are applied, use a nail file to shape them according to your preference. You can opt for a rounded, square, or stiletto shape – whatever suits your style!
  6. Finish with Top Coat: To enhance the glossy and translucent effect of the clear artificial nails, apply a layer of high-shine top coat. This will give your jelly nails that extra pop!

Using clear artificial nails has its advantages and disadvantages:


  • Easy application process
  • Provides an instant jelly nail effect
  • Saves time compared to creating a customized shade


  • Limited options for customization
  • May not fit perfectly on every nail shape and size
  • Requires regular maintenance to prevent lifting or chipping

2. Creating a Customized Translucent Shade with Nail Polish

If you prefer more control over the color and want to unleash your creativity, you can create your own unique translucent shade for jelly nails using a clear top coat and your desired nail polish color. Here’s how:

  1. Start with Clear Top Coat: Begin by applying a layer of clear top coat as the base. This creates the translucent effect for your jelly nails.
  2. Mix in Nail Polish Color: Add a few drops of your chosen nail polish color into the clear top coat bottle. Experiment with different ratios to achieve your desired level of translucency.
  3. Shake Well: Close the bottle tightly and shake it vigorously to thoroughly mix the clear top coat and nail polish color together. Make sure there are no streaks or clumps in the mixture.
  4. Apply the Jelly Nail Polish: Use the customized translucent shade you created and apply it onto your natural nails just like you would with any other nail polish. Apply multiple thin coats for a more intense jelly effect.

By creating your own translucent shade, you have endless possibilities for customization and can experiment with different colors, finishes, and even mixing multiple shades together for a unique look.

Exploring different techniques and materials allows you to find what works best for you in achieving the jelly nails trend. Whether you opt for clear artificial nails or create a customized translucent shade, both methods offer their own advantages and allow you to indulge in ’90s nostalgia with stunning jelly nails.

2. Creating a Customized Translucent Shade with Nail Polish

Creating a customized translucent shade for jelly nails using nail polish is a fun and creative way to achieve the jelly nail effect. By mixing a clear top coat with your desired nail polish color, you can create a unique and personalized jelly shade that suits your style. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your own translucent jelly nails:

  1. Start with Clear Artificial Nails: Before applying the translucent shade, it’s essential to have a smooth and flawless base. Follow the instructions from the previous section to apply and shape clear artificial nails for the best results.
  2. Choose Your Desired Nail Polish Color: Select a nail polish color that you want to use as the base for your translucent shade. Keep in mind that lighter shades like pastels or neutrals work well for achieving a jelly effect.
  3. Prepare Your Workstation: Lay out all the necessary materials, including the clear top coat, your chosen nail polish color, and a clean mixing surface like a disposable palette or wax paper.
  4. Mix Your Translucent Shade: Begin by pouring a small amount of clear top coat onto your mixing surface. Next, add a few drops of your desired nail polish color to the clear top coat. The ratio of clear top coat to nail polish will depend on how opaque or translucent you want your jelly nails to be. Experiment with different ratios until you achieve your desired shade.
  5. Mix Thoroughly: Use a clean nail brush or toothpick to thoroughly mix the clear top coat and nail polish together. Be sure to blend them well until there are no streaks or clumps in the mixture.
  6. Apply Your Translucent Shade: Once you have achieved your desired jelly shade, carefully apply it onto each of your clear artificial nails using gentle strokes. Start from the cuticle area and work towards the tip of the nail, making sure to evenly distribute the color.
  7. Allow to Dry: Give your jelly nails sufficient time to dry completely. Follow the drying instructions on the clear top coat and nail polish for best results. Avoid touching or smudging the polish during this time.
  8. Optional Techniques: If you want to take your jelly nails to the next level, you can explore different techniques such as the jelly sandwich method or gradient jelly nails. The jelly sandwich method involves layering a sheer color between two layers of the translucent shade for a multidimensional effect. Gradient jelly nails, on the other hand, create a beautiful fade from one translucent shade to another by blending different colors together.

Creating a customized translucent shade with nail polish allows you to unleash your creativity and experiment with endless color possibilities. Whether you prefer a subtle and sheer look or a vibrant and bold statement, this technique offers versatility and uniqueness to your jelly nails.

Remember to have fun and enjoy the process of creating your personalized translucent shade. Don’t be afraid to mix different colors and try out various techniques to achieve the perfect jelly nail effect that reflects your individual style.

Nail Art Designs, Color Options, and Brands for Jelly Nails

Jelly nails provide a unique canvas for creating stunning nail art designs that perfectly complement the translucent and glossy effect. With endless possibilities, let’s explore some creative nail art designs using the jelly technique:

1. Ombré Jellies

Ombré is a popular nail art technique that blends two or more colors seamlessly. When combined with jelly nails, it creates a mesmerizing gradient effect. Here’s how you can achieve ombré jellies:

  1. Apply a clear base coat to your natural or artificial nails.
  2. Choose two or more jelly nail polish colors that complement each other.
  3. Start with the lightest shade at the cuticle area and blend it towards the tips with the darker shade(s).
  4. Use a sponge or nail brush to smoothly blend the colors together.
  5. Finish with a clear top coat to enhance the glossy finish.

The result is a beautiful ombré effect that showcases the translucent nature of jelly nails.

2. Negative Space Jelly Nails

Negative space nail art has been trending for its minimalist yet eye-catching appeal. Combining negative space with jelly nails adds an extra dimension to your manicure. Here’s how you can create negative space jelly nails:

  1. Shape and file your natural nails or apply pre-made clear artificial nails.
  2. Apply a clear base coat to protect your nails and ensure smooth application of the design.
  3. Use striping tape or nail vinyls to create geometric shapes or patterns on your nails, leaving some areas bare for negative space.
  4. Apply your desired jelly nail polish color over the entire nail, including the taped-off areas.
  5. Carefully remove the tape or vinyls while the polish is still wet to reveal the negative space design.
  6. Finish with a clear top coat to seal the design and enhance the glossy finish.

Negative space jelly nails offer a modern and edgy look that showcases your creativity.

Exploring Colorful Possibilities: Best Shades for Jelly Nails

One of the advantages of jelly nails is their versatility when it comes to color options. Here are some tips for selecting the best shades for your jelly nails:

  1. Experiment with Pastels: Pastel shades such as soft pinks, mint greens, and baby blues are perfect for achieving a dreamy and ethereal look with jelly nails.
  2. Bold and Vibrant Hues: If you want to make a statement, opt for bold and vibrant colors like fiery reds, electric blues, or neon yellows. These shades will pop against the translucent background of your jelly nails.
  3. Sheer Neutrals: For a more subtle and sophisticated look, consider using sheer neutral shades like blush pinks, light nudes, or soft grays. These colors add a touch of elegance while still showcasing the translucent effect.

Jelly Nail Polish Brands

To achieve the best results with your jelly nails, it’s important to choose high-quality nail polish brands known for their wide range of colors and quality formulas. Here are some popular brands that offer excellent options for jelly nail polish:

  1. OPI: Known for their extensive range of shades and long-lasting formulas, OPI offers several jelly nail polish options that deliver vibrant color and a glossy finish.
  2. Essie: With their iconic square bottles and wide selection of colors, Essie has become a go-to brand for many nail enthusiasts. They offer beautiful sheer shades that are perfect for creating jelly nails.
  3. ILNP: This indie brand specializes in holographic and multichrome nail polishes but also has an impressive collection of jellies. Their unique shades will add depth and dimension to your jelly nail designs.

Indulge in your creativity and explore the wide array of nail art designs, color options, and brands available for jelly nails. Whether you opt for ombré jellies, negative space designs, or experiment with different shades, jelly nails offer a nostalgic yet modern twist to your manicure.

2. Exploring Colorful Possibilities: Best Shades for Jelly Nails

When it comes to jelly nails, the color options are as diverse as they are stunning. The translucent nature of this nail trend allows for a wide range of hues and shades to shine through. Here’s how you can explore the colorful possibilities and select the best shades for your jelly nails:

Versatility of Colors

Unlike traditional opaque nail colors, jelly nails offer a unique translucency that can complement various skin tones and occasions. Whether you prefer soft pastels, vibrant neons, or deep jewel tones, there’s a jelly nail shade for every mood and style.

Selecting Flattering Shades

When choosing jelly nail polish colors, consider your skin tone and personal preferences. Here are some suggestions based on different skin tones:

  • Fair Skin: Light jelly shades like baby pink or sheer peach can create an elegant look.
  • Medium Skin: Versatile colors such as lavender or coral can complement your complexion.
  • Dark Skin: Deep jewel-toned jellies like emerald green or sapphire blue can beautifully enhance your skin tone.

Popular Jelly Nail Polish Brands

To achieve the perfect jelly nails, it’s essential to use high-quality polish known for its translucent finish and lasting power. Some popular jelly nail polish brands renowned for their wide range of colors and quality formulas include:

  • OPI
  • Essie
  • Zoya
  • Cirque Colors

These brands offer an array of stunning jelly shades that cater to different preferences and styles.

As you delve into the world of jelly nails, don’t be afraid to experiment with unique color combinations and unleash your creativity. From subtle sheer tones to bold and vibrant hues, the beauty of jelly nails lies in their ability to add an enchanting touch to your overall look.

Maintaining the Beauty and Longevity of Your Jelly Nails

Jelly nails are a trendy and unique nail art style that requires proper care to maintain their vibrant and glossy appearance. Here are essential tips for ensuring the longevity of your jelly nails:

1. Proper Application of Top Coat

After creating your desired jelly nail look, it’s crucial to apply a high-quality top coat to seal in the color and provide protection against chipping. Look for top coats specifically designed to enhance the glossy finish of jelly nails.

2. Regular Moisturization

Keeping your natural nails and the surrounding skin well-moisturized is essential for preserving the overall health and appearance of your jelly nails. Dry, brittle nails are more prone to chipping and breakage, so make sure to use cuticle oil and hand cream regularly.

3. Avoiding Certain Activities

To prevent premature chipping or lifting of the polish, it’s advisable to avoid:

  • prolonged exposure to water, especially when performing tasks that involve soaking the nails
  • being cautious when engaging in activities that may put excessive pressure on your nails, such as opening cans or using your nails as tools

By following these maintenance tips, you can enjoy long-lasting and stunning jelly nails that capture the nostalgic allure of this popular trend.

The jelly nails trend has captured the hearts of many, not just for its unique aesthetic, but also for its ability to transport us back to the beloved ’90s era. Nostalgia holds an enduring appeal, and the resurgence of trends like jelly nails is a testament to its timeless allure.

Embracing this trend allows you to infuse a touch of nostalgia into your personal style, creating a fun form of self-expression with a delightful nostalgic twist. Whether you opt for vibrant jelly hues or elegant translucent shades, the jelly nails trend invites creativity and individuality, offering a refreshing departure from conventional nail art.

Fashion and beauty trends are not just about following the crowd; they are about celebrating your uniqueness.

So, go ahead, experiment with different designs and colors, and let your creativity shine through. After all, there’s something truly magical about revisiting a trend from the past and giving it a contemporary spin.

In this fast-paced world, finding joy in nostalgic trends like jelly nails can be a delightful way to stay connected to cherished memories while making new ones. So why not treat yourself to a playful nail art session and relish in the nostalgia of the ’90s with the enchanting jelly nails trend?

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