Coquette, mob wife & magnetic hearts: The top 5 nail trends this Valentine's Day

Coquette, mob wife, magnetic hearts. 5 top nail trends to express Valentine's love
Coquette, mob wife, magnetic hearts. 5 top nail trends to express Valentine's love Copyright Credit: AP Photo
By Theo FarrantAP
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Nail art has taken TikTok and Instagram by storm lately! From Coquette or Kawaii nails to French manis and Mob Wife looks, there's a style out there for everyone.

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Why not spread the love to your fingertips this Valentine's Day? 

Celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec, known for her work with stars like Jessica Chastain, Mariah Carey, and Emily Blunt, is sharing some exciting new trends.

According to Kandalec, the beauty of nail art extends beyond romantic gestures. "You can do it for yourself, for Valentine’s Day, or for your partner," she suggests.

In the past, Valentine’s nail designs were typically simple, she says: “a solid red nail or a cute little simple pink heart or a French manicure.” Now, thanks to social media, there are lots of ideas.

Let’s dive into Kandalec’s top five nail trends for Valentine's Day:

1) COQUETTE OR KAWAII NAILS

This photo provided by Julie Kandalec shows Coquette Nails, The Gel Bottle.
This photo provided by Julie Kandalec shows Coquette Nails, The Gel Bottle.Credit: AP Photo

Kandalec says she's obsessed with this one. 

An overload of cuteness, this maximalist manicure uses pastel pinks and lilacs loaded with dangly charms, hearts, flowers, bows, stickers, gems, pearls and all manner of appliques. 

Coquette nails were a trend more than a decade ago, she says, but “it’s been long enough that we’re bringing it back new. We would call it kawaii nails, which (means) ‘cute’ in Japanese, so I love that it’s coming back.”

2) FRENCH MANICURE / SQUARE NAILS

An example of French short square nails with love hearts
An example of French short square nails with love heartsCredit: gelalicious (Instagram)

Square shaped nails are back in style after a long absence, Kandalec says. 

But this time round the trend is for a square French style. 

Nails are squared off along the top and given a French manicure — a natural-coloured nail with a white tip. She also notes that French nails are being paired with the “mob wife look” as a whole new trend.

3) MOB WIFE

An example of "Mob Wife" nails
An example of "Mob Wife" nailsCredit: @jhohannails (Instagram)

This trend in fashion, makeup and, of course, on nails draws inspiration from mafia wives both real and fictional, from Carmela Soprano to Karen Hill. 

These nails are extra long, extra square, extra pointed, with extra white French tips. 

No milky white subtle tips seen here. It's over the top and garish, with animal prints and 3D patterns popular, as well as glitter embellishments or a classic red.

Kandalec points out that the classic red manicure is also “having a major moment” that started last fall and continues, and this can be combined with the mob trend.

4) MAGNETIC HEARTS

This photo shows an example of magnetic heart nails, a popular trend on TikTok.
This photo shows an example of magnetic heart nails, a popular trend on TikTok.Credit: Reddit

These are huge on Instagram and TikTok - Kandalec calls them “3D puffy hearts.” 

The effect is achieved with a magnet held to wet gel polish that contains magnetic particles. 

“What you do is you hold it kind of perpendicular to the nail. And then it flips the magnetic particles and it gives it this really cool 3D look. Some people call it velvet nails. They call it cat-eye nails. They call it magnetic nails..”

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“It’s really fun and kind of goes along with the kawaii, the coquette nails as well, and also jelly nails, which is what I have on right now," she says.

5) JELLY NAILS

This photo provided by Julie Kandalec shows 3D Art Gel-Apres Gel Couleur.
This photo provided by Julie Kandalec shows 3D Art Gel-Apres Gel Couleur.Credit: AP Photo

Often described as lip gloss for nails. They're "a really sheer type of polish. It can be any colour. It’s basically the colour mixed with clear, or it’s already made that it’s very, very sheer. So it’s kind of like a wash of colour. 

It’s a very big trend in Korea right now,” says Kandalec. And the trend "is to have kind of a sheer base at the cuticle, so that there’s not that harsh line of colour.”

If none of the above trends appeal, maybe you can just give a little dedication to a special someone by adding their name or initials to the design.

"Or even if you’re single," says Kandalec, "you can manifest someone by putting, you know, a little pink heart or a little something to kind of draw that person to you.”

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Video editor • Theo Farrant

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