If there’s one nail trend that broke the beauty internet over the past couple of years, it’s the glazed-donut manicure. Heading into 2024, however, aurora nails look likely to steal the crown. The trend takes the bits that made its glazed sis a hit (glowy, cute, eye-catching) but adds a modern update to keep things interesting.

One dreamy rendition we saw on the Instagram account of LA-based Korean American nail artist Mary Koh has us hooked. It sees icy pink and white holographic details submerged in a pretty, translucent gel.

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What are aurora nails?

The design sees shimmer and glow suspended in a clear gel that changes color as you move your nails, much like the northern lights (or aurora borealis), or water below a frozen surface.

The trend, which also goes by uru uru nails and ice nails, has K-beauty to thank for its inception. “It’s a popular trend in Seoul, which is where I learned it,” says Koh. “In Korea it’s called uru uru nails. I wanted to bring it back as a simple yet fun design.”

It’s essentially a glowier 3D rendition of glazed-donut nails that can add pretty interest and dimension to your outfit.

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How to do aurora nails?

Aurora nails start out looking very much like glazed-donut nails, but gel and holographic foil are layered on top to create a 3D effect, then the whole lot is encased in a thick gel top coat. “I created my look by layering foils in a multistep process,” Koh says. But to really next-level it, nail care is paramount. “Most importantly, I make sure the cuticle line is clean so that the design can take front and centre,” she explains.

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