Korean nail art has been blowing up our Instagram and Pinterest feeds—and it's impossible to look away. From the shattered-glass nail phenomenon that exploded in 2016 to the latest iterations (which we'll get to in a bit), South Korea has been serving up the most mesmerising manicures we've ever seen. Last year we witnessed a captivating collection of nail aesthetics, from the aforementioned broken-glass technique to stone nails to bracelet nails to Aurora nails.
Just like any trend, what's hot in the world of nail art also comes and goes with the seasons, so we turned to the experts to ask what we can expect to see in the world of Korean nail art in 2017. We tapped Korean beauty experts Sarah Lee of Glow Recipe and Peach and Lily's Alicia Yoon to spill their predictions about the fascinating trends that will soon be invading our feeds. They told us which popular styles will have staying power going into the New Year and what new directions to expect. Both cited the influence of South Korea's premier nail artist Eunkyung Park, owner of Seoul's Unistella Salon and the mastermind behind many of these otherworldly creations. We've rounded up Park's most mesmerising creations to illustrate Lee's and Yoon's trend predictions. Get ready to obsess.
See below for the lineup of Korean nail trends you're about to see everywhere in 2017.
Lee and Yoon both agree that diamond nails are currently the reigning trend. Created by Park, this more intense iteration of shattered-glass nails is created "with chunks of a slightly different cellophane that reflect light like facets of a diamond," says Lee.
Lee predicts that, moving forward, we'll be seeing more and more decorative elements that go beyond the space of the nail. This rendition, coined the futuristic nail, uses metal to extend past the cuticle for a caged effect.
One trend from 2016 Yoon says we'll be seeing more of in the New Year is the use of negative space. More and more designs are leaving sections of the nail blank to create unexpected geometric creations that deserve a double take.
More emphasis on the cuticle began last year, but we can expect to continue to see crafty renditions.
Yoon notes she's already seeing a lot of colour blocking and negative space used to create fun graphics—the former demonstrated here with these half-half nails. "The fun part of these color-blocked nails is that each nail might have a different colour block, so on all 10 fingers, there could be 20 different colours, with each nail being different," she says.
This focus on colour and graphics, rather than the dramatic texture that made waves last year, is the direction Yoon sees trends taking. "I think this year there won't be as much 3-D material (stones, wires, thread) placed on nails," she says, referencing the gems that captured our collective attention last year. Instead, she thinks artfulness might be expressed in two-dimensional ways, playing with colour and negative space.
This version of cuticle nails makes use of negative space.
Yoon calls out tattoo nails—where "some nails don't have any colour but tattoo stickers glued on with fun graphics and illustrations"—as a street trend she sees becoming big in 2017.
Head to the comments to cast your vote for the trend you're most excited about.