BB Nails Are The New Clean Girl Manicure We’re All Dying To Try

By Charlie Colville

2 months ago

Move over milky nails, there’s another manicure in town

If last year’s clean girl aesthetic taught us anything, it’s that we love an uncomplicated manicure. We’ve cycled through shades of ballet blush, milky hues and even a revival of the French mani, but this year a new trend is set to take centre stage: BB nails. We asked the experts to tell us all the details…

More 2024 Nail Trends

What Are BB Nails?

‘Emulating the recent trend of glowing, sheer and beautiful skin created by using a blemish balm, or BB cream, BB nails is a new style of manicure that enhances natural nails – just like how a BB cream would work on skin,’ explains manicurist and Senior Mylee Ambassador, Tinu Bello. ‘This manicure is all about glowing-up what you already have, camouflaging imperfections and creating natural-looking but perfectly polished nails.

‘The rise in popularity aligns with those wanting an all-rounder manicure,’ she continues. ‘It’s also reminiscent of recent trends like balletcore and lipgloss nails.’

@gelcare The name says it all, BARE BB CREAM for quiet luxury 👜 #gel #naturalnails #natural #gelnails #nail #nails #nailtutorial #healthynails ♬ son original – GELCARE®

The key to this manicure is the glossy veil that is placed over the nude nail; like a BB cream, it blurs and lightly conceals any irregularities. The result is a minimalist mani that is easily adaptable to any hand or occasion.

‘Like BB cream, the manicure works by camouflaging and blurring any imperfection on the nails, leaving a sheer and light natural look that’s finished with a super gloss,’ adds Holly Wolff, a nail technician at Neville Hair & Beauty. ‘Offering the right amount of nude colouring while also being translucent, BB nails give a look of simple elegance – making them a great nail for any occasion.’

Holly also credits the popularity of the trend to Canadian-based brand Gelcare, which also coined the term BB nails. ‘Gelcare has been making this look more popular,’ she says. ‘This is largely thanks to shades like “rose BB cream” and “lavender BB cream”, which highlight that there are versions of the trend to suit all skin tones.’

We likely also have the change in season to blame for our sudden interest in nude tones. With brighter weather on its way, many are feeling that all-too-familiar niggle to try something new – a fresh start, in nail form. ‘After a winter of bold, dark colours this BB nails provide the perfect transition into spring,’ says Holly. ‘It’s a style that we see extending all the way into the summer months.’

How Does It Differ From A Milky Manicure?

You might be looking at BB nails and thinking that they look rather similar to last year’s milky nail craze – and you would be right, they are similar. The two styles come from the same basic principles: simple, clean manicures that highlight natural skin tones. But there is a subtle difference, Tinu tells us. ‘The milky mani was all about opalescent creamy shades with more pigment,’ she says. ‘To re-create BB nails at home, however, the key is to give yourself a manicure with a translucent pink negligee shade.’

@stephanieyianni_ We’re all obsessed with Lavender BB cream @GELCARE® #lavendernails #nailinspo #naturalnails #almondnails #lilacnails #fyp #gelcare ♬ im obsessed – hosna

How To Ask For BB Nails At The Salon

If you’re liking the look and the sound of BB nails, then why not try it out at your next salon appointment? Since this is a burgeoning beauty trend, you might find that your nail tech isn’t very familiar with the term ‘BB nails’. Instead, bring plenty of reference photos (Instagram and Pinterest have plenty you can bookmark) and ask for a manicure that highlights the natural colour of the nail and features a translucent pink topcoat.

How To Recreate The Look At Home

If you fancy trying out the trend at home first, then you’re in luck. Tinu and Holly highlight their top products for recreating BB nails at home, below:

Nail polish bottle

Nails Inspiration


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Featured image: Anna Kumpan, Unsplash