If you were a teenager in the early ’00s, you might remember the manicure magic that was shatter nail polish. The grunge effect had a hold over Y2K nail art, accentuating—or (in some opinions) ruining—the undercoat with a textured black design. Now, a new type of nail art science is taking off, blooming gel nail polish. It essentially creates the look of Lava Lamp nails without a lot of nail art expertise.
Blooming gel nail polish is being used by celebrity nail artists like Imarni, who used the technique recently on FKA Twigs to create a kaleidoscopic moment (which she captured perfectly in a recent Instagram selfie). It’s also been requested by Gen Z beauty icons like Iris Law, who opted for blooming dots on a nude nail with diamantes, cementing its place as a new trend to watch this fall.
The technique involves applying a translucent formula onto the nail before following with the colorful design of your choice, applied while the first layer is still wet. The result (very literally) creates a blooming effect as the color spreads and settles. As satisfying as it is to watch, it’s only a matter of time before this technique goes totally viral.
The beauty of blooming gel polish is in its versatility. Depending on how it’s applied, it can create an array of different organic-looking effects, including a snakeskin design or a thermal heat pattern. The way that the polish technique works guarantees you will get a unique result every time.
If you’re looking to try the technique at home, there are already plenty of tutorials on TikTok which are borderline therapeutic to watch. The hashtag #BloomingGel has over 40 million views, with videos of the technique going viral this month. The Gel Bottle’s blooming gel is a salon favorite that currently only certified professionals can buy it. However, other brands offer the polish for budding DIY nail artists including Luxapolish and Candy Coat. If you hop on the trend now, you can be an expert before everyone else even gets their hands on the polish.
Since the trend is still fresh, many nail salons may not have the blooming gel yet, but it’s worth asking your favorite nail artist just in case. Chances are, they’d be just as eager to try the new technique with the colors of your picking. Get ready to watch them blossom in front of your eyes.