6 Adorable Korean Nail Art Trends You Should Know

If you love subtle, cute nails, you have to see the latest Korean nail art trends.

Korean nail art often features soft, pastel colors to create a simple but beautiful look—sometimes used to make intricate patterns like marble or plaid. At the other end of the spectrum are vibrant, youthful nails that incorporate cartoon characters or cheeky phrases.

Whichever side you fall on, you'll find something you love. Below, we've laid out six of our favorite Korean nail art trends that should be on your radar.

Watercolor and Marble

The biggest trend we're currently seeing are watercolor and marble nails. Watercolor nails typically take three to four pastel colors to make a soft kaleidoscope. Artists often use one color to get a marble effect. These nails are often appearing alongside metallic accents or glitter, and they make your nails look so expensive.


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Character Decora

Character decora is the perfect way to show off your love for your favorite animated character. We've been seeing nails inspired by Disney, Studio Ghibli and Pokémon. Decora is one of the most advanced nail art techniques, but if you (or the salon you go to) can achieve this super cute look, you will get tons of compliments.


Water Droplets

Water droplet nails first rose to the scene in the 2010s, but Korean nail artists are taking them to the next level by making the water droplets three-dimensional. Water droplet nails are commonly paired with shiny, pastel jelly colors, but we're interested to see how this looks against matte or dark shades.


Minimalist Art

Minimalist art is another way to display your interests on your nails in a more subtle matter. Nail technicians often paint a small symbol over a nude polish. We've seen a lot of smiley faces, but this can be a great way to spell out a word or make references to your current obsession more conservatively.


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Handwritten Nail Art

As the name suggests, handwritten nail art uses an advance brush technique to look as though you've drawn on your nail with a pencil or crayon. Everyone who sees your nails will be asking you how you've done it, and, of course, dishing out compliments.



Plaid nails tend to be very popular in South Korea in the winter and fall months, because who doesn't want their nails to match their favorite flannel shirt? Fortunately, plaid nails are quite easy to achieve without being an expert nail tech, and if you want to do this color during the summer, you could totally try it out with neon or pastel colors.


Curious about other Asian nail art trends? Click HERE to learn about aurora nails and how you can recreate them at home.