Nail art for men is a creative trend that is beginning to take off. As society begins to bend and break gender stereotypes, men are increasingly willing to stray into traditionally “feminine” style territories. Nail art is one such territory.
In simple terms, nail art is the decoration of nails with paint and other paraphernalia, generally done after a manicure or pedicure. In its present form, it was developed in the 1800s by a European podiatrist as a grooming procedure exclusive to women. And so it has remained for much of modern history. But of course, male nail art is not without precedent. In ancient Babylonia, it was the men, not the women, who painted their nails with black and green kohl. In the more recent past of the '80s and the '90s, male musicians commonly wore nail polish as part of their act, sometimes as part of a larger getup featuring more traditionally “feminine” components.
Among them were influential fashion icons such as David Bowie, in his androgynous ‘Ziggy Stardust’ persona, and Kurt Cobain with his muted grunge style, who once reportedly asked Weird Al Yankovic to polish his nails.
In the present day, celebrities still lead the way, with the likes of Harry Styles, and A$AP Rocky daring to use their fingernails as a fashion statement. Indeed, going against gender norms is rebellious and shows that a man’s masculinity is not easily threatened. If he’s comfortable enough with himself to get a manicure, that man is telling the world he’s confident and his self-esteem is not entirely dependent on societal expectations.
In this article, we will explore why men should try nail art and will describe the nail art ideas that you can try to showcase a fashion transformation.
Why Men Should Try Nail Art?
Nail art is not just about aesthetics; it's a means of self-expression and personal empowerment. Men, like anyone else, desire to express their individuality and creativity. In this case, nail art provides a fun and creative way to add a touch of personality and style to your look, just as clothing and more traditionally “male” grooming do. And it isn’t just nail polish. Nail tattoos and stickers are also viable options.
And just like with all fashion, all these options are there to help you find something that fits you perfectly. Whether you prefer bold and graphic designs or more subtle and muted looks, there’s a nail art design out there for you.
Nail Art Ideas for Men
If you are a gentleman curious to try out the world of nail art, it is best to start simple, as in all endeavors. Easy male nail art can be solid colors, often multiple different colors across different nails. Black is a favorite, but it’s far from the only stylish color. Creative colour combinations can show off a bolder taste and artistic sensibility. More complex nail art styles include patterns and thematic art spread out across the nails. In this article, we give you a few sample ideas to get you started:
For men who prefer subtle statements, minimalist nail art is a perfect choice. This trend often involves clean lines, monochromatic colors, and simple geometric shapes. It's a great starting point for those new to nail art.
To achieve this look:
Start with clean, well-groomed nails.
Apply a neutral base coat or a single colour that compliments your skin tone.
Create clean lines and geometric shapes using nail art brushes or tape.
Opt for muted tones like grays, whites, or blacks for a refined aesthetic.
Finish with a matte top coat for an understated yet polished look.
Vibrant nail polish colors are no longer limited to women's manicures. Men are confidently rocking bold shades like deep blues, rich burgundies, and even metallic tones, showing that nail color knows no gender.
Here's how to achieve this look:
Choose vibrant hues that resonate with your style.
Prep your nails by shaping and buffing.
Apply a base coat to protect your nails.
Coat your nails with the chosen bold colour, ensuring smooth application.
Finish with a glossy top coat to enhance the colour's vibrancy and longevity.
This trend involves incorporating graphic elements like stripes, chevrons, and dots into nail art. It's a versatile style that can be tailored to suit individual tastes, whether it's edgy and geometric or playful and fun.
To create graphic accents:
Apply a base coat and choose a neutral or solid colour for the base.
Use nail art brushes, striping tapes, or even toothpicks to create graphic elements.
Play with lines, chevrons, dots, or even small shapes.
Experiment with contrasting colours to make the graphic details pop.
Seal the design with a clear top coat for a polished finish.
Texture adds a unique dimension to nail art. Men are experimenting with matte finishes, glossy accents, and even incorporating textures like leather or denim onto their nails.
Here's how to add texture:
Start with a base coat and choose a solid colour or subtle shade.
Experiment with textured nail polishes, which can be matte, shimmering, or even sandy.
For a leather or denim texture, apply a base colour and let it dry. Then, use a makeup sponge to lightly dab on a second colour to mimic the texture.
Finish with a clear top coat to enhance the texture and protect the design.
Just like a statement accessory, a statement nail stands out. Whether it's a single nail with a distinct design or a contrasting color, this trend is all about drawing attention in a confident way.’
To make a statement, follow these steps:
Choose a contrasting color that compliments your outfit or mood.
Paint all your nails with a base colour and let them dry.
Focus on a single nail, creating a bold design using contrasting nail polish or even small decals.
Keep the other nails relatively neutral to let the statement nail stand out.
Seal the design with a clear top coat for a striking finish.
This article serves as the perfect guide for men to get started if they are opting for nail art. Remember that a classy nail art would add more to your personality. Selecting a unique design according to your preferences will help you stand out from the crowd in terms of fashion and personality. Always go further with what matches and suits you the best and be creative with your choices. Be distinct with your preferences and do not hesitate to express yourself through your designs. Don’t forget to start off with manicures before proceeding to paint down your nails. This would provide a more enhanced look to your nails.
Written By - Girish Pangeijam
Edited By - Bhagwat Jha