I'm a nail tech, and I'm naming the 'naked' manicure 2024's most underrated nail trend

The mani for people who don’t like manis

Naked manicure
(Image credit: Getty Images / royalty-free)

As a beauty editor come nail tech, there's no time when I'm not trying out new manicure designs and shades and scrolling for inspo on 2024 nail trends. And I'm a huge nail art girlie, but when I'm not painting on a neon orange French manicure, I'm wearing naked nails.

Now, naked nails don't actually mean naked. Taking the idea of the 'boring manicure' one step further, a naked manicure is the most natural, blink-and-you'll-miss-it coat of colour done exactly how you like it. Here's everything you need to know about elevating those naked nail days with these tips, tricks and products.

What is a naked manicure?

A naked manicure is pretty much what it implies: a barely-there, almost-naked nail, for times when you want your nails to be yours—but better.

Despite being simplistic, naked nails don't have to be boring—far from it actually. There are so many nail innovations out there now that you can still have fun with your nails without using nail complex nail art. Naked nails give your natural nails the spotlight, focusing on their health and giving them a hint of colour (perhaps with a sheer nail polish). Here's how to do it...

Step 1: Prep

The first step is always your prep, and in naked nails, which focuses on the health of the nails, this is even more important.

Start by pushing back your cuticles and nipping any dead skin. Follow my guide on how to remove your cuticles properly to avoid any nips and cuts.

Next up is filing. Of course, you can use your standard nail file to create your desired length and shape, but you can use files for a whole lot more than that. Nail buffing is a step that means you can use use various nail file grits to create an impossibly shiny nail plate without using a drop of nail polish—fantastic if you choose not to wear any polish at all.

Step 2: Nail polish

You can either stop at nail filing (particularly if you've achieved that shiny buffed nail) or add some nail polish to finish off the manicure. The type of polish you go for really depends on your preferences. but these are four that I love for giving that barely-there, your-nails-but-better finish.

Step 3: Hydration

Finally, you can't finish a manicure without drenching the nails and hands with hydration. This is the best way to keep your nails looking and feeling in the best shape. Be liberal with cuticle oil and apply hand cream.

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.