'Cartoon claws' are set to be the biggest nail trend of the summer

3D nails with a twist

November 08 2022

If you're anything like us, your introduction to comic books probably came in the form of Seth Cohen on The O.C. But while his love for the cartoon life definitely helped paved the way for enhancing the comic book industry's 'cool-factor', we never would have guessed that pop art cartoons would make their way from Newport in 2003 to nails in 2022.

And yet here we are: nail artists have put a twist on their original take on 3D nails (think: gems, chains and decals), striving for the illusion of dimension instead of the real thing. 'Cartoon claws' are here, and they're thriving.

What are cartoon nails?

Cartoon nails (also referred to as 'pop art nails') are characterised by the 3D effect that their painted-on perimeters give them. These borders (as well as other line details like 'folds' and 'creases' in the nail) mimic the aesthetic of animations, leaving them looking like they fell right out of a comic book. Or hey, a 'graphic novel' if you want a more sophisticated sell.

They sound a tad kitschy, sure, and they definitely are. But they're basically a minimalistic maximalist's ideal manicure. They're an attention-grabbing conversation-starter and yet they feel just like classic polish, considering there's no actual texture to contend with.

And while comic books are also beloved for their bright colours and poppy patterns (more on those in a minute), neutrals are an option too. It's actually an easy way to add a little interest to your mani without steering too far away from your beloved nude/natural shades.




How to pull off cartoon nails

The comic book look definitely comes to life with a vibrant colour palette. Mix and match colours, try a metallic ombre finish or commit to the cartoon vibe by opting for a multi-pattern pop art mani.

Basically, as long as you keep your black border in the mix, you're golden.




Now, we know it might look like a task for an experienced nail artist (and the best results probably will come from a visit to a pro), but once your colours of choice are on, all that's really left to do is border the nail in black polish (with either a nail art tool, a tiny paintbrush or even a spare toothpick), and add a few 'texture' lines.

Unless you're going for the bold patterns, that is; in that case, we hope you can draw like Seth Cohen...

Main image credit: @napaznokciach

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