Celeb-Loved 'Mannequin Nails' Are The Perfect Simple Manicure

Do you ever wish you embodied the same mannequin-esque beauty of your favorite celebrities and models complete with picture-perfect hands? That is exactly what the mannequin nails trend is all about, and you can achieve the look just as easily as your red-carpet icons.

Celebrities have been loving the mannequin manicure for its effortless, minimal look and nude shades that go with everything — the idea is to wear a nail color close enough to the hue of your skin so that it almost looks like your nails are just extensions of your skin. Skin-tone nail polish shades that are popular among the mannequin nails crowd are ideal for showcasing the glizorous fashion of any grand event. Kylie Jenner did it during Paris Fashion Week in 2024, wearing the softest of pale pinks to keep the attention on her off-white Jean Paul Gaultier dress. And Margot Robbie did the same, sporting a true nude at the Critics' Choice Awards, never taking away from the bright-red Balmain gown she wore. If you want this star-approved manicure, there are five ways to wear the doll-like trend on your own nails, regardless of your personal style.

Your nails, but better

The main idea behind mannequin nails is to look like you're wearing no polish at all — at least at first glance. In other words, you're aiming for a neutral color that matches either your natural nails or the skin surrounding them, but makes them better, sleeker, and cleaner.

Do this one of two ways: You could either paint your nails a sheer neutral (or clear) shade of nail polish, or pick a more opaque shade to match your skin tone as closely as possible. The end result should look like your favorite childhood doll's hands became your own.

Add some length

Although dolls and mannequins rarely have long nails, this doesn't mean you can't keep yours at your preferred length. Ironically, longer nails are often the ones that make you feel like the most dolled-up version of yourself. So, by all means, keep them long!

Shape your long nails to perfection (almond-shaped or the classic squared look best), and apply a few coats of the classiest shade of nude you can find. Remember, nude can mean anything from pale pink to olive-toned or deep brown, so look around for your perfect shade before committing.

Polished and pearlescent

While this trend is all about minimalism and low-effort manicures — the best ones to showcase jewelry and clothes, the way mannequins do — you don't necessarily need to keep it so simple. A subtle, pearlescent glow is still allowed to make your mannequin manicure feel a little more fancy.

Keep your nails as long as you wish, and complete them with a perfectly matched nude shade of polish (preferably sheer, to let the pearl-like sheen seem most natural on top). Then, cover the nude with chrome powder for that ethereal glow. Ideal end result: Mermaid Barbie.

A little something extra

If you're still not sold on the simplicity and minimalism of mannequin nails, rest assured that these nails are just as customizable as any other manicure. Don't deprive yourself of your extravagant, personalized touches. Instead, simply make them more suitable to the trend.

Keep it minimal yet fun and unexpected by adding small details in your favorite shade of metal — gold, copper, or silver. Small, delicate dots, lines, and specks (gold-leaf style) will give this manicure that missing personal touch while maintaining the doll-like nail idea.

Bedazzled basics

Bedazzling your nails is always an option, regardless of the level of minimalism (or maximalism) of a trend. If nail gems are more suited to your tastes, consider adding them to your mannequin nails instead of glittery polish.

To keep it low-key (in the spirit of the trend), have your nails remain on the shorter side. Pick your best shade of nude and paint on as many coats as necessary for that particularly flawless look this trend is known for. Then, add a small amount of gems (colorful or not) on just one or two select nails.