Nails with duck charms? Or perhaps a rising trend based solely on duck graphics painted on nails?
If you have ever heard the term “duck nails” without a single clue what it means, we’re here to introduce you to this crazy new trend circling the top feeds of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
Gone are the days of the conventional nail shape. Today, there’s no doubt that the standardized “ugly” is the new hip thing.
This fan-shaped, duck-foot-inspired creation surprisingly captured millions of millennials and gen Z-ers around the world. Along with the uprising of Crocs and the comeback of Uggs in the market, there’s no doubt that this new trend can capture the interest of the youth with constant determination to find something new and unique.
Duck nails can be traced back to the early 2000s when the style used to be known as ‘Jersey Nails’ after they were seen on Snooki, an MTV Jersey Shore Star. It only made a comeback recently, after Y2K influencers took over TikTok and Instagram.
With a crazy trend like this, the best you can do is to go all the way. Oversized charms, neon colors, flashy art – there’s no limit to expressing yourself with duck nails!
How To Rock Duck Nails
Here are a few different versions of duck nails that you can definitely rock right now. If you’d rather see inspo photos, then scroll ahead to check out the 40+ duck nail manicures down below.
Extended French Tip
You can never go wrong with a French tip, can’t you? Even choosing a simple variation to flaunt your duck nails does not make it any less bold and unique. The best way to rock duck nails with a French tip is by coloring the whole fan nail extension with white, revealing a thicker white tip than usual.
A larger and wider surface area means more freedom! Mini nail charms are great accessories to put on your duck nails because they give you more opportunity to put on more than one! You can choose to put them all over your nails or just on the tips.
Not satisfied with small charms? Feel free to go overboard. Oversized charms may not be practical, but they look dazzling and eye-catching on occasion. If you’re feeling a bit extra, choosing a set of oversized charms to put on your nails is a fabulous way to express your creativity. Just make sure you’re not wearing any rings before your appointment!
Ever had the feeling of dissatisfaction when you try to make a color block design work on narrow and petite nails? Having a larger surface area can give you a little bit more space to work on your color block design. The color possibilities are endless! For starters, you can try working on a vertical split design or French tip style color block.
Glitter and sparkles have never been this vivid! Take advantage of your wide-shaped nails to add magic to your outfit. Now, they have no problem of ever not seeing or appreciating your nails. Wearing them to a special event? You easily have an interesting conversation starter!
Animal prints are bold, flashy, and eye-catching, complimenting the craziness of duck nails. This also looks good as an accent to minimal and plain colored clothing. Come to think of it as a surprise. Animal prints are versatile – all while keeping your nail look’s unconventional persona.
Short Duck Nails
Whoever says there is a “standard duck nail shape” is wrong. If you don’t want long and overly wide fans, the short duck nail is the style for you. It is almost shaped like a triangle with one curved tip. With a shorter length, what I would do to flaunt it is by filling the whole nail with one solid color or print.
Want something that can be seen from a picture? Solid white color on duck-shaped nails is your best bet. It may be the lightest on the spectrum, but it is the most eye-catching and the brightest one of them all. At least, now you have a neutral alternative to neon colors if that shouldn’t work on your outfit.
Is it real or fake? Nobody can ever know. Like I said earlier, if you’re giving in to a weird and crazy trend, might as well go all the way! Dollar fan tips look very out-of-the-box and ideally would wear them on a rave or a club party. Just make sure to have a professional apply it for a clean and sleek look.
Polka Dot Tips
Polka dots are fun, festive, and feminine! A really cute way to spice up a birthday or a new year outfit is by adding a couple of white dots on warm vivid colors like red, fuchsia, and orange. You can also be a little creative by making a strawberry out of the dots by adding green details for the fruit’s leafy stem.
Not satisfied with the “standard” shape? Go all the way and ask your personal nail artist for a wider fan. With a larger surface area like that, there is more space and opportunity to style freely! Apply the designs mentioned or simply add several charms on solid color for a fun look!
If you’re not a fan of French tip duck nails, you can opt for a breakless and seamless color transition. Ombre looks good on any nail shape – even more, if it has a wider surface area. I really think a sunset-inspired ombre style would look good on duck nails!
Silver Stick-on Charms
Fun and specific cartoon charms are not easy to find. Not even for the majority of conventional nail salons. What you can ask them is to put on silver stick-on charms instead. These are usually sold everywhere, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding some by yourself. They’re easy to stick on as well!
Doodles or graphic nail art can either be manually drawn by a professional or bought as a sticker set. Stars, flowers, cartoon doodles – there is so much that one can think of! Ask your nail artist if they have an option to draw on your nails and if they have experience in doing so. You don’t want to end up with an unrecognizable cartoon on your nails!
Flowers are pretty and dainty. If you want to pair your nails with a flowy dress or a pastel outfit, adding flower charms can add a fairy-like aura to your overall look. If you put on a couple for every nail, they almost look like a mini bouquet of flowers. How chic!
When I think of fan-shaped nails, one of the things that appear on my mind is a picture of a peacock. You can achieve this by using a collection of vibrant colors from a peacock: turquoise, green, purple, and a deep royal blue. Add silver or gold sparkly charms to complete the look.
Y2K Inspired Charms
Since duck nails are technically inspired from the 2000s style, why not make it wholly Y2K inspired? Dainty baby pink with silver glitter or perhaps a set of Hello Kitty charms can do the job. Next to that, all you will be needing is a flip phone with a furry case to hold!
Another Y2K-inspired style to rock on duck nails is a flashy checkered design. Black and white, blue and white, green and white — don’t be afraid to mix and match! You can also choose to “distort” the squares to match the shape of your nail. I’ll add a couple of inspirations below!
More Duck Nails Ideas
For more ideas, check out these fabulous photos featuring all types of duck nails.
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