The jelly nail trend is proving big for summer—and we want in

It's the chicest manicure out there right now

Therese Hellström wears a white gathered/pleated dress with embroidery and shoulder pads from H&M, a large black and white zebra print pattern belt, a Bottega Veneta pink bag and red jelly nails
(Image credit: Getty Images/Edward Berthelot / Contributor)

Despite the weather not being quite where we want it, we're going to embrace summer beauty trends, regardless. In fact, when it comes to nail trends, we want the brightest, sunniest, happiest looks possible. While bright neon nails had their moment in spring, along with colourful blueberry milk nails earlier in the season, now that we're hitting peak summer, our sights are set on jelly nails.

Nail artists across all of our social platforms, from Instagram to Pinterest, are sharing images of their latest jelly nail designs, and we want in. They're fresh, they're fun and they're easy enough to achieve yourself, providing you have the right product (more on that below). So, if you're going to try a summer nail trend this year, we'd make it jelly nails—here's why.

What are jelly nails?

Essentially, jelly nails refer to a specific trend which uses a semi-clear, tinted nail polish with a high-shine finish, leaving the nails looking like, well, jelly. 

As far as colours go, think traditional jelly shades—reds, oranges and pinks. However, that's not to say you can't be more experimental, the jelly nail effect works for pretty much every bright nail polish shade out there.

Jelly nails inspiration

This slightly more opaque jelly look feels like it was made for summer holidays.

When jelly nails and blush nails come together, you get magic. Sprinkle a little bit of the celestial trend on top for a super-chic look.

If you like your manicures to be understated, take this Betina Goldstein jelly look as inspiration.

Butter London's nail strengthener delivers the ultimate jelly look, as you can see.

Lean into the aura nails trend and opt for for an orange, jelly, two-toned finish.

If you want something a little more creative to take to your nail tech, pick this.

Recreate the look

The key to getting jelly nails right is all in the polish. Look for semi-clear, tinted polishes to create your design. Our favourite way to get the look? Shop for leave-on nail strengtheners which typically have a tinted, jelly-like finish.

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.