While natural inspiration never strays too far from our purview, the pandemic has reignited interest in calming—and beautiful—nature-inspired designs. 

According to Pinterest’s 2022 predictions, landscape-inspired nail art will be trending, and “ocean nails” top that list. 

Creating “waves” on your clients’ nails—short and natural, or longer and acrylic—will produce one-of-a-kind art that’s not reserved just for vacation; the organic shapes and calming aura are resonating, especially right now. Created with beautiful blues, turquoise, white and even purple and green, ocean nails are simply stunning.

As nail artist Katie Dutra explains in the Instagram post above, ⁣layering with glass gels creates a top-notch ocean nail look. “Magpie came out with the most beautiful glass gels! I also encapsulated some tropical metal slices in seashells & turtles,” she says.

How to Create Ocean Nails

Creating an ocean nail look is very similar to marbling. And while there are several ways to do it, here's a basic tutorial.

  • If you're working with gel polish, you'll need your colors, as well as a palette, an orange stick and a gel brush—preferably a square one.
  • Apply your base color and cure.
  • You can apply a blooming gel and cure it here, or continue on without.
  • Apply dots of each ocean color on the palette right next to each other, and swirl your orange stick through them to blend them together slightly. 
  • Next, scoop up the polish with your gel brush and gently place it on the nail, guiding the "waves" where you'd like them to be, leaving some negative space.
  • Continue dragging and guiding this polish, scooping up more as need be, then cure when you're satisfied.

Here are some of our other favorite ocean nail acrylic and natural nail designs for inspiration. Enjoy!



For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.