Next up in the world of cool nail art trends? Geode manicures. Geodes are rock-like on the outside, but when cracked open, reveal a colorful and sparkly interior. Crystals have been big on nails forever, but now we’re taking it to the next level. The effect is extremely eye-catching, so it’s no wonder this is catching on.
Like most cool things, I discovered this particular look on social media. If you’re ever hunting for the most lava-hot manicure trends, there are a few in-the-nail-know people to follow religiously on Instagram. Two of my favorites are nail artist Celeste Marie Welch of Philadelphia and Torie Bastian outside of Chicago. Both are must follows if you like edgy, radical, and fun nail inspiration. Nail artists like these provide endless inspiration as they work on some of the coolest clients and slay sets left and right. I saw both take on geode nails and had to try it for myself.
For this, I called on my local nail goddess, Arielle Mosses. We scrolled through tons of examples of real life geodes and agate stones to develop techniques you can try on yourself or bring to a nail salon for inspiration.
The most important component of our look was glitter. What says cracked open crystal like a the facets of a generous dose of disco? Arielle used colors from Floss Gloss, clear gels from Bio Seaweed Gel, glitter from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, and artist’s acrylic and watercolor paints to create these unique nails.
Opals, aka ribbons of compressed silicone dioxide, can be found in almost any kind of rock. Similarly, opalescent nail polish is very common in the nail world, but we added a little of the opal’s signature “fire” with OCC’s Spark and Neon Yellow glitters over a clear gel base. Using Floss Gloss’ Faded and Mrs.Tony Montana, Arielle mapped out that squiggly asymmetry of a natural rock, creating the geode shape. Framed with a fine layer of copper fiery foil, the look is like something you stumbled upon in the wild. Arielle used a fine point dotting tool to shape each line and push the nail polish around while it was still wet.
The final look is part nature, part artistic license, and totally wearable.
In my opinion, agate is one of the most stunning geodes. I find its multifaceted aquamarine shimmer to be soothing and comforting to stare at. When it’s on your finger you can take that on the go. For this look, Arielle cured a clear gel base, then used a watercolor blue and some watery white acrylic to make the rings. Finally, she applied droplets of different blues which spread just like it would on paper. This created a watery-swirl effect that is nearly impossible to do with goopy nail lacquers and gels. After allowing it to dry a bit, a generous sprinkle of OCC glitter in Spark and some metallic foil created the tip.
Finally, the nail was sealed in clear gel topcoat where it will stay perfect for all eternity — or at least until it’s soaked off.
3. Amethyst Geode
Quite possibly the most iconic geode of all, amethyst is a birthstone of the February people and the most attempted version of geode nails that’s floating around. In fact, it even made its way to lip art as well! Arielle absolutely slayed this with a textured technique I liken to the “100 layers” stunt looks. By layering a variety of gel polishes to build texture (flash curing each one after it was applied) and adding glitter to create a 3D effect, she perfectly duplicated the rocky chunks of stone that make up an amethyst. Neon Purple OCC glitter and some larger silver chunks help to recreate that concave effect and pushed up white glitter edges surrounded by gold foil mimic the shape of this rock to a T.
Whether you are a talented nail DIYer or a strictly professional patron, this look is easily customizable to your personal style and any color scheme you can dream up. Simply visit the hashtag on Instagram to see what everyone else is up to, and maybe you’ll meet a local nail artist along the way!