In the new year, nail art trends are getting even more out of the box. While there will always be a place for chic minimalism, with the omnipresent French tip and its many spin-offs, 2021 is all about flexing your creativity with the no-rules manicure trend Gen-Z is calling “indie nails.”
According to recent Pinterest data provided to Refinery29, the user search for “indie nails” is already surging 21%, and the mood-board platform predicts the artsy aesthetic will be huge in 2021.
So, what’s an “indie nail”? Well, it’s whatever you want it to be. To get the look, you simply have to approach each fingernail independently — say, a yellow smiley face on your ring finger, a yin-yang symbol on your pointer, and a cow print in between — so you end up with a completed manicure that’s totally random and a whole lot of fun. For all the inspiration you need, scroll through the gallery ahead.
Here, Instagram nail artist Olivia showcases the quintessential “indie nails” aesthetic by combining baby-blue clouds, a cowhide print, and sweet strawberry emoji in the same manicure.
If you’re down for a challenge, you can freehand your mismatched art like self-taught manicurist Beatrice, who proves that marble art looks so chic in pink.
Celebrity nail artist Hang Nguyen calls this design — cheetah print, a lightning bolt, and cherries, all anchored by a happy smile — “anything goes” nail art.
If you want to have some semblance of uniformity, channel this look on influencer Evelynn Escobar: an asymmetrical design using reoccurring colours.
If you want an easy way to create an “indie nail” design, make like influencer Melanie, and just grab a pack of stickers.