Manicures somehow always tend to reflect the energy flow we’re in, whether it’s through our choice of color, design, shape, or length. And just as your aura (the energy you emit — in other words, your vibe) does, a new manicure trend called “aura nails” can depict exactly where your head and heart are at. If aura nails haven’t filled your social feeds already, welcome. One of the biggest trends of the season, aura manicures have gradient designs and showcase colors that reflect your mood.
First thing’s first: “Aura” is a Latin word that translates to “air” or “breeze” in English, and an aura can actually be caught on camera. Have you ever gotten your aura photographed before? Although our energy’s colors aren’t naked to the eye, the right kind of film photography can capture their often vibrant and blended colors, thus inspiring the theme of the trend.
On top of being aesthetically pleasing to the core, these manicures have garnered thousands of searches on Instagram since July, as a representative from the platform tells Allure. There, the hashtag #auranails currently highlights over 11,000 photos — and on beauty Tiktok, videos with the hashtag #auranails have amassed 12.5 million views and counting.
Along with a solid base coat of choice, aura nails consist of gradients created with an airbrush or with blooming gel polish. The polishes blend together yet stand out on their own, giving the nail trend a dimensional element.
London-based nail artist Michelle Humphrey tells Allure that she always uses an airbrush as her go-to tool for flawless and smooth results. “Each nail has an airbrush-style design with various color combinations. The colors blend together the same way someone’s aura might.” It all comes down to her client’s preference, and once the colors are chosen, she layers them up to create the ombré effect.
Humphrey’s design shown above harnesses both warm and cool hues on each nail. Yellow and apricot-orange layers of airbrushed polish bring warmth to an index and middle finger, while light and cool shades of blue decorate a pinky finger, index finger, and ring finger on either hand. The aura design proves quite whimsical on oval-shaped nails.