(The Nail File)

The Jelly Sandals Trend Has Come For Your Manicures

Cue the nostalgia.

jelly nails

When you’re an adult, summer doesn’t hit the same as it did when you were free from school and essentially all responsibilities for a couple months. So perhaps it’s the nostalgia-fueled longing for a mid-day mall trip with your friends to beat the July heat instead of being stuck in a frigid office, but jelly sandals are experiencing a resurgence. If you aren’t ready to revisit the squishy candy-colored footwear (did anyone else get sweaty feet?), you can partake in the Y2K trend via your manicures. Jelly nails have been going viral throughout 2024, and they’re sticking around for summer.

The trend features nails painted in sheer, shiny shades reminiscent of your favorite childhood summer shoes and Jolly Rancher candy. While using a solid polish with a jelly finish is a manicure in itself, you can also incorporate your favorite nail designs, like French tips or polka dots. Another option is playing with texture by using jelly polishes as a base and adding glitter or matte accents. Whichever route your choose, expect to get inquiries about your manicure — and of course, major compliments.

Ahead, TZR has compiled the best jelly nail ideas to test drive the trend. Whether you’re a minimalist or maximalist, you’ll love these manicures.

Rainbow Jelly Nails

Rainbow manicures remain popular because why pick one polish shade when you can wear them all at once? While you can follow the traditional ROYBIV color scheme, you can also make the look your own by painting your nails in whatever order you choose like @sunbeamnails did with Cirque Colors polishes, above. The jelly finish adds a nostalgic retro twist to the style.

Jelly French Tips

Pairing contrasting colors like tangerine and lavender result in the perfect summer manicure. Here, nail artist Betina Goldstein used polishes by Pleasing to create punchy French tips.

Jelly Marble

For a more moody take on the jelly aesthetic, opt for a marble design in jewel tone shades. Here, essie global ambassador, Rita Remark, combined jade and amethyst for cool design fit for any season.

Rose Jelly Nails

Partake in the retro trend by swapping your go-to blush pink polish for a sheer rose one. This shade aptly named Rose Water by Gel Care enhances your natural nails with the prettiest touch of color.

Sun-Kissed Jelly Nails

Channel the glimmering summer sunsets with this orange French manicure glazed with chunky silver glitter. Creator @melanated.mani used two shades for the base, which creates a pretty ombré effect.

Jelly Croc Print

Croc print looks good in every color, including jelly pastels. Let this manicure by essie global ambassador Rita Remark serve as proof. File your tips into a square shape to really nail the Y2K aesthetic like she did.

Jelly Spots

When in doubt, put a white dot on it. While the soft lavender base of this JINsoon manicure screams summer, you can adapt the shade to the current season. Sage green, for example, would be stunning come fall.

Lime Jelly

Love neon nail looks but the color palette is just a little too out of your comfort zone? Dip your toes into the trend with a jelly neon manicure. The slightly sheer finish tones down the vibrancy of these shades. Case in point: @melanated.mani’s shimmery lime nails.

Jelly Brushstrokes

Discover your inner Monet by DIY-ing your own take on nail artist Betina Goldstein’s abstract brushstroke manicure. Pick three or four shades and simply use a sponge to tap them on your nails. Just be sure one color contrasts the others to add dimension.

Cherry Jelly

Just like swapping out your matte red lipstick for a tint come summer, you might want to tweak your go-to manicure color for the warm weather, too. That’s where this cherry jelly shade by Lights Lacquer comes into play.