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What Are Milk Nails? Learn How to Achieve This Summer’s Newest Nail Trend Now

Photo: Getty

It seems like food-inspired manicures have been having a major moment — and it’s not over yet. In 2022, we got into jelly nails and glazed donut nails. Now, the yummiest trend of summer 2023 is milk nails.

You may have already noticed this eye-catching look on some of your favorite celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Dua Lipa. Also called milk bath nails, the trend’s subtle nature is right on brand for current beauty trends or special events that favor more subdued glam, similar to lipgloss nails.

If simplicity is not your thing and milk nails seem too plain for you, then no problem. This trend is super customizable thanks to the many different renditions of it. You might prefer strawberry milk nails, blueberry milk nails, or any other fruit-based customized color. Just think of a hue, and the options are endless.

If you are looking into how exactly to achieve the milk nails look, whatever your preferred style is, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about milk bath nails so you can try out this summer nail design next.

What are milk nails?

At first glance, milk nails are sheer, soft white manicures. Of course, everything about the look is customizable, from the shade of white to the opacity and the glean, but there are some key characteristics.

Photo: Getty

Milk nails work with any nail type, but short round nails or medium almond-shaped nails seem to be a popular choice, especially among celebrities. While milk nails have a bit more pigmentation, the sheer look has a shiny finish like jelly nails. This makes them more glossy than glazed donut nails, which have more of a sheen, though their color palettes are quite similar. Instead, milk nails more closely resemble an old-school glass bottle of milk.

What are strawberry milk nails?

For a dose of color, you can try a fruit-infused milk manicure. Strawberry milk nails are super light, almost-white pink, like the sweet drink they’re named after. They can also be sheer and glossy, but they sometimes have a more opaque look so that they cover the white tips of the nails as well. It’s almost like a mix of the Barbiecore and milk nail trends.


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What are blueberry milk nails?

If pink isn’t your thing, there’s a blue option too. Blueberry milk nails are another popular choice, especially among celebrities. Though blueberry milk nails tend to be opaque, they’re a muted light blue shade that almost looks white. They similarly have a glossy finish, adding to that milk-like look.

zendaya blueberry nails

Photo: Getty

Where to buy milk nail polishes and sets

Thankfully, it’s super easy to get a milky manicure, whether at home or in the salon. After prepping with a base coat, all you have to do is pick out the right color for you. For a sheer classic milky look, try a creamy white nail polish shade like Essie’s Marshmallow. For strawberry milk nails, find a light baby pink like OPI’s Let’s Be Friends or Essie’s Sugar Daddy if you prefer sheer pink. To get blueberry milk nails, go for a soft, light blue shade like Zoya’s Blu.

Then, apply just two coats or only one if you prefer less coverage. Finish by applying one generous layer of a glossy top coat. That’s it! However, if you’re not one to wait for nails to dry, there are plenty of milky press-on nail options too.

Looking for more milk nail designs and ideas?

Because this trend is so customizable, it’s super easy to incorporate some nail art or nail design into your milk bath nails. You can put a twist on the classic French manicure by swapping bright white tips for a milky color. You can even add cow print or fruit for more literal interpretations of the trend. If you stick with a milky base, you can still get the French tip look by using a different finish or texture, like matte or glitter. And if you decide to go with sparkles, you can amp it up even more with stickers and charms.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns too! Just choose milky nail polish colors, and use them to draw out your favorite looks, like swirls, checkers, and more.

No matter how you opt to wear them, the milky nail trend should be an easy, affordable trend to join in on. So don’t be afraid to let your nails take a milk bath this summer.

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