'Jelly nails' is the newest nail trend you're going to see everywhere this summer.

Jelly nails are the colourful, juicy nail trend of this summer, and a great way to dip your fingers into the glossy, transparent look dominating fashion.

Clear handbags and jelly slides look stunning on the catwalk, but in real life, a transparent handbag is an alarming cross-section of used tissues and loose sultanas, and jelly slides become more slip-and-slide with the addition of sweat – well, for a hot mess like me, at least.

On the other hand, jelly nails – clear acrylics that show the natural nail underneath, and end with transparent tips – add a splash of crystal colour without the aforementioned grossness.

Like all beauty trends lately, jelly nails (also known as glass nails) clawed their way to the top of the trend ladder via Kylie Jenner’s Instagram in early July, when she posted a photo of her highlighter-pink jelly manicure.

feelin girly ????

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

“Jelly nails are going to be the hottest trend for summer, as they are versatile, easy to wear and let’s face it, they look like beautiful stained glass,” says celebrity nail stylist Skye McIntyre, who has worked with Vogue Australia, Who, Bonds and Aussie singer Samantha Jade. She’s been well ahead of jelly nail trend, giving singer Jessie J a translucent manicure when she was a coach and judge on X Factor Australia.

A jelly manicure is created from a clear enhancement (which could be a liquid, powder or hard gel). The enhancement is then sculpted by a nail professional, or a clear tip is added, McIntyre explained to Mamamia. Finally, a transparent, coloured polish is applied over the top. After two to three weeks, the manicure will need to be “rebalanced” by a professional to maintain the jelly look.

As this look showcases the natural nails underneath, McIntyre explains that hydration is key to maintaining hand and nail health. As well as drinking plenty of water, she also suggests using a cuticle oil (such as Solar Oil by CND, $6.95 for 3.7ml) and a conditioning hand moisturizer.

If nail enhancements aren’t your thing and you prefer to DIY, the jelly look can be achieved by applying a transparent, coloured polish, such as Essie Nail Color in Sugar Daddy ($14.95), or Dior Nail Glow ($40), over the top of your natural nails.


Whether you go natural or acrylic, let’s face it: we’re all ready for this jelly.

Carla Gee is a writer and illustrator, living in Canberra. You can follow her on Instagram.

Skye McIntyre is a leading celebrity nail stylist in Sydney. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook for gorgeous, on-trend nail inspiration.

Would you try jelly nails? Tell us in the comments!