Mermaid nails are the perfect way to have fun with your mani this summer— here's the chic designs I'm loving

Obsessed is an understatement

a picture of a woman with sparkly nails - mermaid nails
(Image credit: Photo by Jeremy Moeller Getty Images 142327092)

Out of all of the nail trends I have seen this year, mermaid nails have got me the most excited to make a trip to the salon. 

Don't get me wrong, I've been loving the milky nail trend, and have seen chrome nails everywhere, but to me, these mermaid-inspired manis just scream summer.

If you're wondering where these fun nail designs have come from, it might have something to do with 'mermaidcore'.

We've been seeing the mermaid aesthetic rise over the years, from sequin dresses to pearl jewellery and beachy waves. However, since the release of The Little Mermaid starring the stunning Halle Bailey, it has become even more popular, and everyone is incorporating the trend into their manicures.

In fact, according to Emily Cauchie, the beauty lead at Sally Beauty UK, "pearlised shades have moved on from the 'glazed donut' look, and 'mermaidcore' is the look of the summer. Our best-selling mermaid-inspired shades have leapt up in sales this month, nearly doubling from January."

Keep on scrolling for everything you need to know, and make sure to check out our favourite chic mermaid nail designs for some serious inspo.

What are mermaid nails?

You might be wondering, what actually are mermaid nails? The beauty of this trend is that you can put your own individual spin on it, no matter what nail designs you are into. 

We've seen some nail artists opt for simple white, shimmery polishes, while others have gone for mermaid-inspired nail art. Blue shimmery polishes are also really popular, alongside pearl detailing.

We spoke to the team over at Nails. Inc who said: "We love to add pearls to a natural glowy base colour – that’s easily done with our Pearl-Fect Mani Set. If you want to get more creative with your nail art, try painting a scale design with a fine nail art brush."

5 chic mermaid nail design ideas

1. Pearlescent whites

This nail colour is the perfect way to rock a mermaid-inspired mani everyday.

2. Pearl detailing

It doesn't get much cooler than this.

3. Metallic French tips

So chic.

4. Subtle nail art

This nail art is seriously impressive.

5. Shimmery blue shades

A simple way to add a bit of fun to your mermaid mani.

The best nail polishes for mermaid nails

If you want to recreate the look at home, we've searched far and wide for the best mermaid-inspired nail polishes out there. Keep on scrolling to shop...

Grace Lindsay

Grace Lindsay is currently Junior Beauty Editor at Who What Wear UK and previously was Marie Claire UK's E-Commerce Writer.  With over three years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry, she covers everything from the best make-up and skincare deals to how to shop the stand out trends of the season. When she's not typing away at her laptop, Grace can be found shopping her favourite vintage markets IRL, or catching up on her never-ending list of books to read.