woman with green iridescent nailsStyle trends are constantly evolving but one has remained popular since 2020: iridescent nails. Shimmery, pearlescent polishes feature an opalescent finish that shifts colors in the sunlight. Learn more about the iridescent nail trend, including ways to achieve this effect.

What Are Iridescent Nails?

Iridescent manicures go beyond the typical all-over metallic color or glitter detail to resemble the inside of an oyster shell with a shimmery, swirling and undulating effect.

Over the past three years, the metallic factor has lessened but shimmer and shine continue to be sought after. This trend has since been dubbed “glazed donut nails” on social media.

What makes a donut nail? On the surface, this manicure has a pearlescent finish that adds lightweight, uniform shine with a modest swirl effect. The top coat also adds a degree of smoothness to the base coat.

How Are Iridescent Nails Created?

A few techniques can be used to get an iridescent effect:

  • Type of Polish: Color wise, you want to have a few opalescent polishes and lacquers with moderate undertones for that swirling or glazed quality. Metallic bases add distinctive shine or a glossy, shimmery effect that looks like a glaze.
  • Base Color: More accessible iridescent nails involve a contrasting base color and glossy, glaze-like or shimmery top coat. In this instance, your base color should be light to neutral and have a metallic effect or slight sheen. Too white or solid ends up being too saturated and will cancel out the top coat’s shimmer, so instead choose blues, grays and off-white shades.
  • Top Coat: The glazed effect comes from a top coat with a lot of shine and shimmer. Once your nails dry, they should seem almost reflective, especially in the light. While the coat will go on transparently, it should still have some color that complements the base to create a multilayered, contrasting effect.
  • Shimmer Element: The base color and top coat combination provides a basic iridescent nail. To go a step further, consider adding a shimmer powder to the top coat. You can also apply small foil pieces in between the base color and top coat.

Ready to try the iridescent nail trend? Make an appointment at Catherine & Company today.