PSA: There's nothing more chic than ‘milky nails’

A Meghan Markle approved manicure trend

April 03 2024

If you’re partial to an understated neutral manicure that's not nude (but are over stark white that looks a little too much like when you'd paint wite-out on as polish in class), we have a nail trend you’ll definitely want to hear about.

Because while we love bold digital lavender nails and star sign-inspired designs as much as the next nail art superfan, it's nice to know there's a classic single shade look that's every bit as on-trend, just way easier to create.

Meet ‘milky nails’, the nail trend proving just as popular (and long-standing) in Hollywood as it is on the 'gram.




Gorgeous, right? We’re loving it as a new interpretation of the OG white mani; still crisp and clean, just a little more modern thanks to the cloudy finish. As you can see, the look features white polish with a slightly translucent appearance – pretty much what a glass of milk looks like, but on your nails.

It's a blessing in many areas, too; not only is it super pretty (and celeb-approved; more on that in a minute), but as with anything, the lower the opaqueness levels, the harder it is to tell if there are chips/smudges/anything that would count as a nail lover's nightmare. So while it's off-the-charts high on the chicness scale, the milky manicure will actually prove to be surprisingly low maintenance.

So, if you’re keen to copy the vibe, try a sheer white nail polish like OPI’s Funny Bunny ($21.95 at Myer), and give your nails that hyper-glossy finish by capping them off with a shiny topcoat like Revlon's Ultimate Shine Top Coat ($13.49 at Chemist Warehouse).

Or if the waiting that comes with painting your nails (not to mention the chipping and smudging) is so last year, you’re going to want to check out these at-home, semi-cured nail stickers. The long-lasting and trend-nailing (pun intended) Milky Semi Cured Gel Nail Sticker Kit ($25.50 at Sunday Nails) rivals even the best lick of ‘Funny Bunny’. 

OPI Nail Lacquer Funny Bunny

Revlon Ulitimate Shine Top Coat

Sunday Nails Milky Semi Cured Gel Nail Sticker

The queen of chic, pared-back minimalism (and of our hearts), Meghan Markle, recently sported a neat and tidy manicure awash with a milky-hued nail lacquer. Markle, who was speaking at The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: 'Mental Wellness in the Digital Age' in New York City was the image of monochromatic luxury, matching her milky nails to her shrug-sleeved two-piece pant suit. 

Image credit: Getty

Still on the fence re: embracing a cloudy forecast for your claws? Allow the Jenner sisters to convince you.

The way we see it, the fact that both Kendall and Kylie Jenner have rocked cloudy cream manicures serves as the ultimate endorsement – it means the milky nail trend is both trendy enough for Kylie (who likes to keep up with every new nail trend) and timeless enough for Kendall (who prefers to keep things a little more classic). Sounds like the perfect storm to us.




Another celeb who's rocked a milky manicure lately? Hailey Bieber, who showed off her chalky tips via Instagram Stories (with both a selfie and a mani close-up alongside the ultimate prop; the humble Dunkin' Donuts cup never looked so chic). Bieber chose to wear her milky finish a little sheerer, letting her natural nails peek through ever so slightly while still embracing the coveted cloudy aesthetic.

Dua Lipa's evidently a fan of the less opaque aesthetic as well, showcasing a similar set of cloudy claws in a recent snap.




Main image credit: Getty

After more mani inspo? Try the cherry mocha nail trend.