Korean Nails: Different Styles You Can Try

Korean Nails: Different Styles You Can Try
Are you looking for something new and exciting in the nail industry? Well, look no further than Korean nails! These unique and trendy nails are taking the world by storm and for good reason. With their vibrant colors, 3D designs, and fun aesthetic, they are a great way to add personality to your look. Keep reading to learn more about Korean nails.

The Rise Of Nail Art Trends

Korean cityscape

Nail art is a technique whereby designs are created on nails using a variety of products, such as gel nail stickers, nail polish, and acrylic nails. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people wanting to experiment with their nails. Nail art is a booming trend in the United States and Europe. However, it has already taken Asia by storm. Especially in South Korea.

Despite Covid-19's widespread negative effects, the number of nail salons increased from 10,000 in 2016 to 16,464 in 2020. Asides from this, at-home nail art items are also seeing a boost in popularity - within the previous two years, nail art product sales have increased by around 30 to 40 percent.

In the past, Korea's nail market was filled with traditional colors. But now, there is a newfound interest in unique and diverse shades due to the rise of nail art. Consumers of all ages see this trend as an opportunity to express themselves through fashion. As a result, many are choosing more intricate designs and brighter colors.

Korean nail art is all about experimentation, and there are no rules. You can go as simple or as extra as you want. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process!

Fun Korean Nails Trends

There are endless possibilities when it comes to nail art. But if you're not sure where to start, here are five popular Korean trends that you can try without having to visit a nail salon.

Blob Nails

Gellydrops 3D Drawing Gel

Recently, our brand, Gellydrops, was mentioned in the Allure article, "The 7 Biggest Nail Trends in South Korea Right Now." One of the trends they featured is called blob nails. Blob nails are a new way Korean nail artists bring 3D elements to their work. This nail art trend is called 덩어리네일 in Korea- which literally translates to chunk or lump nail.

To achieve this look, nail artists often use what is known as 3D drawing gel. 3D drawing gels are a type of gel that is used to create 3D designs on nails. They come in a variety of colors and can be mixed together to create custom shades.

To apply blob nails, start by painting your nails with a base color of your choice. Once the base color is dry, squeeze the tube of 3D drawing gel in random blobs on your nails. You can make them as big or as small as you like. Once you're done, cure your nails under a UV or LED light. Finish off the look with a top coat, and you're good to go!

If you don't know where to get 3D drawing gels, you can shop from us! Our Gel comes highly recommended by professionals in the industry, including ALLURE! What's more, we have a wide variety of colors for you to choose from.

Tattoo Nails

Tattoo Nails

Tattoo nails are another popular trend in Korea. This trend involves painting designs on nails that look like tattoos. The design is typically painted on with a brush and gel polish, and it can be as simple or as intricate as you want.

To get started, paint your nails with a base color of your choice. Once the base color is dry, use a fine-tipped brush to paint your tattoo design onto the nail. If you're not confident in your freehand skills, you can always use a stencil to help you out. Once you're happy with the design, cure your nails under a UV or LED light. Finish off the look with a top coat, and you're all set! If you don't want to go through the steps of painting tattoos on your nails, GellyDrops has a semi-cured tattoo design from UUUUU called Silvered Tatoo. That's a quick and easy way to get the tattoo look.

Cuticle Nails

Cuticle stickers

This is also known as the reverse manicure and is immensely popular among Korean millennials. Cuticle nails are a twisted interpretation of a typical manicure. They look edgy and are also an option if you have short nails and don't want to use gel extensions with a French manicure. It has a minimalist aesthetic but adds just enough accent with a subtle design.

To achieve this look, firstly, grow your nails or use gel extensions. Once you have the desired length, shape the nails into a square or oval. Next, use a nude polish as the base color and apply a top coat. Allow the nails to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Next, take a black polish and start drawing short horizontal lines starting from the cuticle. Once you're done, use a top coat to seal in the design. If you want an even quicker way to get the reverse manicure look, you can add a nail decal sticker instead of drawing the horizontal lines and finish off with a top coat. Another alternative would be the Chewy Pudding Gel Nail Wrap. This gives a shiny cuticle nail finish that looks just like it would if done with nail polish.

Negative Space Nails

Negative Space Gel Stickers

Negative space nails are a trend that has been around for a while but has been gaining popularity lately in Korea Lately. This is probably because the negative space between the design and the base color creates an interesting contrast that looks chic and modern.

Ensure your nails are clean before you start. This will help the overall look since we'll be utilizing negative space. If there's any polish or residue, use nail polish remover to get rid of it.

After you've completed the prior step, it's time to add some horizontal stripping tape across your pinky nail. You have the option of buying one-millimeter or two-millimeter stripping tips online or at any craft store. We recommend starting with the two-millimeter strip and then placing it horizontally across your pinky nail; aim for the halfway point.

Once done, add a thinner strip of tape below the first one. Then, take a 1 mm strip and place it just below the first one. There are no strict requirements for spacing, but keep in mind that the strips will create a stripe effect when you're done. The space between the strips should be as big or small as you want your line to be.

Then paint the entire nail in black polish and remove the strips while the polish is still wet. Doing this will create clean lines that are sharp and precise. If you want an imperfect look, you can wait for the polish to dry before removing the tape.

After you've removed the tape, go over any areas that may have been missed with black polish. Finally, apply a top coat to seal in the design, and you're done! The steps listed above require careful attention to detail in order to create a seamless design. However, you can achieve this look easily with our semi-cured gel wraps. Here are some to try out:

All of these are great and simple alternatives to the traditional method of creating negative space nails.

Chrome Nails

Chrome Nails

No nail set done at a salon in Korea is complete without some chrome. This is a relatively new trend that has been taking over the internet, and we can see why. It's super shiny and looks amazing in photos. The great thing about chrome acrylics is that they can be done in any color you want.

You can get this look easily with our chrome pigment power set. To get started, simply adhere a semi-cured gel strip to your nails. Once done, rub thin layers of the Chrome Pigment Powder onto the uncured gel strip. Ensure your nails are covered evenly with a sufficient amount of powder. After this, cure your nails, then apply a topcoat. Place it under the UV lamp to cure one more time after you're done. And voila! Your chrome nails are all set!

Best Korean Nail Artists To Follow On Instagram

Below, we list some of the best Korean nail artists to follow on Instagram. If you're looking for some inspiration for your next manicure, be sure to check them out:


Nailtam2na is located in the fashionable Sinsa district in Seoul. This nail artist specializes in dreamy and ethereal nails — think lots of pastel and nude shades, crystals, and holographic nail polish. Like most Korean nail artists, acrylic nails aren't really a thing.


Whenever we see this account on our feed, we think 'wow' immediately. But not because it's tacky or gaudy- but for the understated and chic designs. Lemonde_nail is located in Gwangju, South Korea, and they specialize in crystal and glitter embellishment specifically.

It's the type of nail art that even Meghan Markle would get if she could actually get nail art done. The colors are usually nude tones or blush colors with a few nails decorated with cute little details like crystal hearts or gemstones.


We always stop to stare whenever we see Nail A La Mode's manicures on our Instagram feed. They're SO perfect! Geometric shapes and clean cuticles are the main focus, with unusual color shades as a nice bonus. If you like more subdued nail art or modern chic looks, this is the account for you.

Need Awesome Semi-cured Gel Nails? Shop Gellydrops

GellyDrops is a store that offers more than 230 designs! Our goal is to offer the most diverse and inclusive selection of semi-cured gel nail art on the market. We have the quickest turnaround with gellies shipping from our Los Angeles warehouse and delivered in 1-3 days in the USA. We also have a dedicated customer service team to help answer all your questions.


Korean nail art is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, thanks to its unique style and intricate designs. If you're looking for some inspiration for your next manicure, be sure to check out the accounts and styles listed above. We guarantee you'll find something you love!

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