Velvet Nails Are the Holiday Upgrade to Your Glazed Donut Manicure — See Photos

There’s red, there’s glitter… and now there are velvet nails. The hottest new nail trend for the holidays practically screams fa la la la la. Despite its name, this manicure actually has more to do with sparkles than the texture of the fabric. Velvet nails mimic the smooth, fuzzy texture of your favorite party dress but with an added touch of molten sparkle. Most takes you’ll see on the velvet nail trend are an illusion created with sparkling nail polish and magnets (yes, really). “The effect is very magical,” says nail artist Hannah Lee

High shine has been having a moment since the rise of the very popular glazed donut nails trend, made most famous by Hailey Bieber. The pearlescent manicure was the “it girl” of nail trends that peaked this past summer; now, nail artists say velvet manicures are emerging as a seasonal take on the chrome trend. “I can’t get enough of metallic and chrome nails at the moment so the velvet trend is no exception,” says Lizzy Ridley, owner and artist at England-based salon Citre.

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Sometimes it’s hard to put a time stamp on when a trend became a trend, but in this case, it seems like we are playing catch-up stateside. Celebrity manicurist Steph Stone says she’s been seeing this design on Korean nail salon accounts for some time now. “This past year my Instagram explore page was filled with the most electric and mesmerizing holographic nails that were iridescent in the light,” Stone tells Allure. “I had to get my hands on some of these colors so I ordered magnetic polish from Ice Gel based in Korea and have been obsessed with their products ever since,” she says. She originally heard the trend referred to as “cat eye nails.” 

Curious about how to get the look? Los Angeles-based nail artist Zola Ganzorigt, who works with stars like Hailey Bieber and Sydney Sweeney, recently shared her spin on the velvet nail look on her Instagram. In the video (shown below), Ganzorigt layers OPI’s gel color in Platinum Eclipse from the Velvet collection (available in salons) on top of a solid black polish base, then activates the polish with a magnet which creates the illusion of a velvet texture that has an ever-so-slight shimmer.