Jelly Nails Are Giving Us All The Y2K Feels

By Charlie Colville

4 weeks ago

This ultra-glossy manicure will be a summer staple

Feeling a little jelly? Not for long. Here’s how to master TikTok‘s viral jelly nails trend (or, if you don’t trust your painting prowess, how to ask for a set in the salon).

What Are Jelly Nails?

‘Jelly nails, also known as glass nails, are a type of manicure that features a translucent, jelly-like finish,’ explains Bridget Barrett, a nail technician at 10outof10. ‘This look is achieved using sheer, see-through colours that give the nails a playful, candy-like appearance. The result is a shiny, glossy finish that resembles the look of jelly or stained glass.’

@gelipotion Let’s do pink jelly nails asmr . Products Used: XS almond gel tips Gel Glue Rosewater Jelly #diynails #springnails #jellynails #gelextensions #shortnails #almondnails #gelnails #gelxnails #nailtutorial #nails #nailideas #asmrnails ♬ The West Side Freestyle – DJ Max Star

The almost-liquid finish of jelly nails has made the manicure a hot topic of conversation in salons – and on the internet, where you’ll find almost 50 million posts tagged under #jellynails – primarily for their versatility and playfulness. ‘This manicure can be customised with various colours and levels of transparency, allowing for a unique and personalised look,’ agrees Bridget. ‘The bright, vibrant colours also give a fun and nostalgic feel reminiscent of childhood candies and toys.’

How To Ask For Jelly Nails In The Salon

When it comes to requesting jelly nails in the salon, Bridget recommends doing your research beforehand so that you can properly convey what you want to your nail technician. ‘When visiting a salon, you can ask for jelly nails by:

  1. Describing The Look: Explain that you want a translucent, see-through finish with a glossy sheen. Mention you’re looking for something similar to stained glass or jelly.
  2. Bringing Visuals: Show pictures or examples from social media to your nail technician. This helps ensure both you and your technician have the same vision.
  3. Mentioning Specifics: If you have a preferred colour or design in mind, be specific about the details.

‘Ahead of your appointment, you can also look up different jelly nail designs to find what you like,’ advises Bridget. ‘You should also ensure your nails are in good condition by hydrating and caring for your cuticles in advance.’

She also recommends thinking about your budget before booking your appointment. ‘Jelly nails might require specific polishes or techniques, which can be more expensive, so be prepared for potential extra costs,’ she warns.

@sweetnailsbysab Blue jelly gel nail tutorial, saw a similar look that @Erika Titus wanted to get done and recreated that but made it blue #jellynails #gelxtutorial #koreangelnails #douyinnails #kbeauty #diynailsathome #easynailart ♬ DARARI – ︎ ondu

How To Recreate Jelly Nails At Home

And when it comes to recreating jelly nails at home, you can try Bridget’s step-by-step guide:

Materials Needed

  • Clear base coat
  • Sheer tinted nail polishes or a mix of clear polish with a few drops of coloured polish
  • Top coat for a glossy finish


  1. Prep Nails: Clean, file, and shape your nails. Push back cuticles.
  2. Apply Base Coat: Apply a clear base coat to protect your nails.
  3. Colour Application: Use a sheer tinted polish or mix a few drops of your chosen colour with clear polish. Apply two to three coats for the desired level of translucency.
  4. Top Coat: Seal with a glossy top coat for that shiny, jelly-like finish.

What Next?

‘Jelly nails are likely to continue evolving with trends in fashion and beauty,’ muses Bridget. ‘I can see designs incorporating more nail art, combining jelly nails with things like glitter or metallic foils, as well as more experimenting with matte or textured top coats for a new twist on the classic jelly look. We may also see more seasonal variations, with nail technicians adapting colours and designs to match seasonal trends, such as deeper hues for fall and winter.’

Nails Inspiration

1. Sculpted Jellies


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2. Stiletto Jelly Nails

3. Dream Theme


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4. Floral Jellies


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A post shared by APRÉS GEL X NAILS (@amys.clients)

5. Glossy Swirls


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A post shared by @ksvnails

Featured image: @ksvnails on Instagram