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10 Textured Nail Art Ideas to Save for Your Next Manicure


Nail art trends never disappoint. As time goes on, nail products continue to innovate and we are left saving Instagram posts that are true works of art. A huge trend we’re seeing this year are textured nails among the broader indie nail trend. Whether your nails are adorned with charms, crushed velvet pieces, rhinestones, gems, or abstract 3D gel shapes—the possibilities are endless for a unique manicure.

There are tons of textured nail designs that you can easily DIY. But for some, including 3D gel it’s best to go to a Korean nail salon that specializes in these new methods. Mention 3D gel or flash your nail tech an inspiration photo of your desired mani and they’ll know just what you’re after. Read on for 10 ways we love to see the textured nail trend executed and for expert tips on what to expect for a manicure as elaborate as these.

About the Expert:

Christine Doan is an LA-based manicurist and content creator. She’s better known as @glosshouse on Instagram, and you’ve definitely seen her dreamy nail looks and education throughout the internet.

How Do You Get Textured Nail Art At Home?

Not all textured nail art can be done at home. More complex designs are better suited heading into a salon. “Asian 3D art gel is what most of these looks use to create texture. American gel products tend to be too free flowing. They’re not as viscous, and once you use it on your nail, you have to immediately cure it so the design doesn’t flatten and lose its shape,” says Christine Doan, LA-based manicurist and content creator.

Christine notes Vanity Projects in New York is an expert salon when it comes to these complex manicures. They often use 3D art gel and builder gels to create texture on nails. If you’re up to the task to DIY, you’ll want to look into brands like Ice Gel and D Gel. They’re both Korean brands that have quality clear gel for 3D nails. If you’re looking for a step-by-step nail art tutorial, checking out your favorite content creators on both Instagram and Youtube are helpful—that’s how most of them learned these techniques for wild indie and textured nails!

Textured Art Inspo For Your Next Nail Set

1. Eggshell Nails

Here’s a relatively tame texture nail art design. Not only is it neutral and subtle, it’s easy to DIY at home. While there’s no actual texture to this that you can feel, the design gives the illusion of texture. Just pick a pastel or neutral color and get to speckling!

2. 3D Chrome Nails

These acrylic nails are a fun task for your nail artist to tackle. The more pearls, the better. And if you’re looking for silver nail polish ideas, check out our complete list.

3. Sweater Nails

While more of a wintery look, these cable knit sweater nails are perfect for the cozy fall and winter seasons. We love how this nail concept is often paired with a matte top coat. 

4. Gem & Rhinestones

This look from Christine is as chic as it gets. She topped her gel nails with various embellishments and bling pieces. “For flat back pearls or rhinestones, use a viscous rhinestone gel. I love this brand called Betty Gel, they’re all over Asia. Apres Nail also makes a great diamond gel that you secure with a clear top coat,” says Doan. 

5. Embossed Floral Details

On top of this smooth gel polish, the accent nail showcases a velvet, almost embossed floral element. For this method, ask for ‘sugar nails’ and flash this picture as inspo at the nail salon. The look is created with a loose powder polish.

6. Sugar Hearts

Here’s another example of sugared nails. The base is plain or gel polish, and the hearts are drawn freehand with the sugar method using a powder. 

7. All Charmed Up

This set might not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a maximalist mani, this is surely it. Not only does it feature 3D gel structures, it has charms all around. Of course, you can still have fun charms without so much texture and length. It’s all about having fun and playing around. Who said textured manicures need to be perfect?

8. Blown Glass Nails

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With a clear base gel, freeform colored gel built up on your nails takes on this shiny, blown glass look. Keep things fresh and shiny with cuticle oil throughout the day!

9. Glass Pearls

This might be our favorite, a multi-colored mani with gel flowers and flat back pearls to embellish. We’re hitting ‘save’ on this one for our next nail appointment. 

10. Fairy Swirled

Lastly, another maximalism charm idea with 3D gel. This also brings chrome dust into the look, giving it that ethereal fairy glow.

Want to be the first to test out all that’s trendy in the beauty world? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own beauty subscription. Already a member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated May 25, 2023 12:00 AM