Bow Nail Art Is the Cutest Manicure Trend of 2023

Balletcore 2.0.

bow nail art trend
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Between Barbie, balletcore, and the blokette aesthetics, it was inevitable that these fashion movements would eventually infiltrate the beauty space. Enter the bow nail art trend, a look that ties all of these popular vibes together to create the most unapologetically feminine manicure that’s flooded TikTok and Instagram in awhile.

Before being drawn on nails, ribbons have been decorating just about everything else this year. Thanks to designers like Simone Rocha and Sandy Liang, as well as celebrities, such as Jennie Kim and Hailey Bieber, bows are a must-have hair accessory, jewelry motif, and clothing adornment. “So it makes sense people want bows on their nails, too,” New York City-based nail artist Miki Higuchi tells TZR.

No actual ribbon required, nail artists from here to Tokyo have been adding 3D bows on nails for some of the chicest-yet-playful nail art looks of 2023. The best part: Bow nail art is incredibly versatile. You can adapt it to any color scheme, nail length, and personal style. “There are so many different ways to make bows. I’ve tried them all,” Toronto-based nail artist Rebecca Ramsdale shares. “They each have a bit of a different outcome, so it’s fun to experiment with all the different styles and see what you like best.” Plus, you can easily find a technique for your nail art skill set if you plan to try the trend at home. Ahead, three nail artists their favorite ways to tie bows into their sets.

3D Bows

Courtesy of Miki Higuchi

Higuchi has been creating pink chrome bow nail art (like the ones above) with hard gel, which is like ultra-viscous clear gel polish, topped with chrome powder.

Courtesy of Rebecca Ramsdale

On the other hand, Ramsdale prefers squeezable 3D nail gel, namely ZigZag Gel, from Korean nail brand Jello Jello. “I used the tube to apply the gel directly to the nail in small sections and adjusted with a liner brush,” she shares with TZR. “Then, I flash-cured before moving on to the next section.”

Courtesy of Rebecca Ramsdale

Alternatively, you can play with color to create a bold, whimsical take on the trend, as seen above.

Bow Nail Charms

Courtesy of Isa Rodriguez

Many nail artists, like Isa Rodriguez, are also taking an even easier route: gluing on bow-shaped nail charms. “I attach all my charms with clear gel and completely seal them in with another layer of gel,” Rodriguez tells TZR. “They never fall off, and the edges feel rounded out and super smooth.”

Courtesy of Isa Rodriguez

Show off your personality (and interests) by pairing your bows with other fun nail charms.

Courtesy of Rebecca Ramsdale

A classic take on the trend, these baby pink charms were placed on matching sheer nails.

How to Do Bow Nail Art At Home

Although it’s fun to have your favorite nail artist add bows to your nails, you can easily partake in the trend from the comfort of your home. If you have an at-home gel manicure kit you can follow Ramsdale’s TikTok tutorial with squeezable gel. “A bonus to making bows with [it] is you can apply chrome right to the bow to spice things up,” she says. Or you could go Rodriguez’s route with charms and lots of clear builder gel.

Alternately, you can hand paint bows in any color your heart desires with traditional nail polish and a thin brush. Higuchi recommends you don’t worry about making them look super crisp and symmetrical. “Bows are so much cuter when they're a bit irregular and wonky,” Rodriguez says. Ramsdale agrees, adding that waviness helps the bows look like they have movement. The bottom line: Don’t let your patience get tied up in making your nail art look absolutely perfect.

Rebecca Ramsdale

Bow Nail Art Supplies For Creating Your Own Manicures