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22nd April 2024

3D nails: Achieving new heights in beauty

Does the rise of 3D nail art in the wake of the ‘clean girl’ beauty era signal the resurgence of maximalism? Where did the 3D nail trend begin and where can you get your own unique set?
3D nails: Achieving new heights in beauty
Credit: dollspartsmcr @ Instagram

3D nail art has become one of the biggest beauty trends of the season, especially on the red carpet. We’ve seen stars sporting dazzling designs on their fingertips, such as the incredible Wicked themed set Cynthia Erivo wore to the Oscars. The extra texture takes your nails to the next level (literally!) and can heighten any look if you’re going for the full maximalist aesthetic.


CynthiaErivo’s emerald-green nails referenced her upcoming turn as Elphaba in the movie-musical adaptation of #Wicked and included a subtle nod to her costar ArianaGrande.

♬ original sound – British Vogue

Harajuku Origins

The trend goes back to Harajuku fashion, originating in Japan and South Korea, and was named after the Tokyo station where young people would express themselves through a celebration of stylistic autonomy. The movement isn’t just unique to a certain sub-culture, and Harajuku can be defined by its colour and opposition to strict societal norms.

3D nail art celebrates this with extravagance and flair, you can get yourself a bespoke set that encompasses your personality in a bold way. Emerging from the ‘clean girl’ beauty era, 3D nails are part of a new wave of Harajuku, and demonstrate the prevailing nature of a vivid fashion culture which celebrates stylistic diversity.

Credit: Breston Kenya @ Pexels
Credit: Ivan Aburto @ Flickr

Pure Nail Artistry

3D nail art can be achieved by applying gel polish directly to the nail or added onto an acrylic extension. They can be personalised in many ways, so are undoubtedly an expression of artistry. The technical skills, as well as the artistic eye that nail techs display when creating a set is insane — imagination and creativity can really flourish.

With more interesting nail trends, you’re not just getting yourself an exciting new set, but a piece of art that someone has created right on your fingertips! The 3D nail trend celebrates expression for both the wearer and the nail tech.

Where to Get 3D Nails

You may think of this trend as just another luxury beauty fad, but it’s actually something you can get done close to home. Because these looks take a lot of time and skill, you’re going to be looking for more alternative nail salons rather than chain stores.

Luckily there are plenty of artists who’ve had experience and practice with 3D nail art, meaning you can indulge in that celebrity look at an affordable rate. If you’re looking for places around Manchester, Afflecks Palace is the place to go, you’ll find multiple different stores offering beautiful designs.

Doll Parts boasts a whole range of style types, specialising in innovative nail and beauty products. Their pricing works on a level system, ranging from £40 – £100 depending on your creative vision. With the amazing designs and brilliant services they offer, you can look red carpet without breaking the bank.

Eyelashes Nail Art 💅 #nailart #nailsoftiktok #nailinspo #manchesternails #manchestersalon #xyzbca #fyp #foryoupage #viral

♬ Le Monde – From Talk to Me – Richard Carter

If you prefer temporary press-ons, Gab’s Wonderland offers a wide range of different nails to suit your style and occasion, and they’re all handcrafted by Gab herself! With prices ranging from £20-£25, you can get high-quality temporary nails that last and look stunning.

If you’re careful about how you take them off, you can get multiple wears out of one set. Definitely a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for something different to wear for a big event, especially with summer balls and formals just around the corner.

Credit: gabs.wonderland @ Instagram

I’ve listed a couple of different stores located right on the doorstep of uni, but Instagram is the best place to look as local artists show off their unique designs on their socials. So wherever you are, you can keep your eye out for those exclusive multi-tiered sets.

A New Wave of Fashion?

The 3D nail trend signifies defiance against suppressive minimalism, especially at a time when social media pushes us towards conforming to micro-trends and idolising certain fashion styles which a lot of people often cannot or don’t want to subscribe to. 3D nails are not limited to high fashion or celebrity red carpets, they’re available to us through independent stores and talented artists.

With the expressive nature of these nails, any sub-culture can take part and find eye-popping nail candy to suit their individuality. It’s a bold, fun, and experimental form of beauty, so whatever takes your fancy you can stylise your nails to new lengths and heights.

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