This year has brought no shortage of fun nail trends, and it’s safe to say they’ve been all over the map. There have been plenty of out-of-the-box looks, like “vagina” nails and “junk” nails, as well as more pared-down options like “bubble bath” nails. Now that the temperatures have officially started to dip, you might typically embrace the colder months by swapping out your brightly colored manicures for something more muted. However, be prepared to make an exception for the latest trend going viral on TikTok: “embo” nails.
“Embo” refers to both the type of gel being used to create the look as well as the trend itself (more on that later). It’s fun, it’s bright, and, to be quite honest, it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. To learn more, Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood, breaks down exactly what embo nails are and how you can get the look for yourself. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
What Are Embo Nails?
Embo nails are a trend that utilizes embo gel to create 3D textured embellishments like flowers, hearts, circles, and different patterns. “The word ’embo’ stems from the word ’embossing,’ which refers to protruding elements of a design, which explains why 3D gel is a key part of this trend,” Hanna says. The general aesthetic tends to showcase playful and cute cartoon-like designs. The color scheme usually involves pastels as well as other bright shades.
The main difference between embo nails and other nail trends with embellishments, like junk nails, is that the embellishments aren’t glued on. Instead, they’re created with gel directly on the nail. “Embo nails can be done on all nail lengths since it’s more about the 3D texture than the overall design, but it’s trending more on short to medium nails,” Hanna says. As for shape, a square or squoval seems to be the most popular, but the look can be completely customized depending on your preferences.
How to Get Embo Nails
First things first: unless you’re well-versed in nail art, you probably need to visit a salon to get this look. “Since this trend requires 3D gel to re-create, it may not be very DIY-friendly,” Hanna says. If you are familiar with gel nail art, she suggests using Sissi Clay or Ice Gel to re-create the look at home.
When visiting a salon, there are a few things you should do to prep. “It’s important to note that 3D gel tends to be more specialized, and you should check with your salon before your appointment to make sure they have the product needed to re-create this trend,” Hanna says. Once you’ve confirmed they offer the service, make sure you bring a reference photo or video to show the nail artist to ensure you get exactly what you want.
The design you go with is completely up to you. If you want to start small, you can opt for something with one accent finger. If you’re looking to go all out, why not try a different design on each?
Embo Nails Inspiration
If you’re as smitten with embo nails as we are, keep scrolling to check out some of our favorite iterations of the trend that you can bring with you to your next professional manicure appointment.