The Best Manicures We've Seen On Men Lately

This gender-inclusive trend is all about self-expression and self-care.
Manicures for guys designed by nail artists Robbie Tomkins, Sigourney Nuñez and Noelle Fuyu Moore.
Robbie Tomkins / Sigourney Nuñez / Noelle Fuyu Moore
Manicures for guys designed by nail artists Robbie Tomkins, Sigourney Nuñez and Noelle Fuyu Moore.

The male manicure is having a moment.

Harry Styles, a veritable gender-neutral fashion god at this point, was an early adopter of the trend. The “As It Was” singer has experimented with everything from smiley face-emblazoned manicures to subdued, earthy, oat-milk-colored nails. (Last year, Styles smartly cashed in on the mani and pedicure market with a beauty line that offers a handful of nail polish shades.)

He’s not the only one loving the manicure: Brad Pitt’s manicurist is probably his kids. Dwyane Wade gets manis and pedis, too. Bad Bunny is also big into his signature statement nails.

The Puerto Rican rapper is such a big proponent of the manicure as self-care that in 2018 he called out a nail salon in Spain for denying him service because he was a man. “Men also take care of themselves,” Bad Bunny later told Refinery29 in an interview. “Stop the ignorance, and let’s think with a more open mind. We’re in 2018, and we are supposed to have equality.”

Bad Bunny has gotten in on the gender-inclusive trend.
Telemundo via Getty Images
Bad Bunny has gotten in on the gender-inclusive trend.

Los Angeles-based manicurist Brittney Boyce has worked with a number of nail-art-loving male celebrities. She’s done skull graphics with Travis Barker and textured art like a diamond plated look with the DJ Kayzo. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly is one of her most adventurous male clients.

“He’s always up to doing something really cool, whether it’s a chrome look, sharp 6-inch nails that feature a bright pink shade along with chains and spikes, abstract checkered patterns or a $30K diamond manicure,” said Boyce, who’s the founder of Nails Of LA.

As for why male manis are having a moment, Boyce thinks the revisited trend ― let’s not forget, David Bowie painted his nails in the ’70s and Kurt Cobain followed suit in the ’90s ― is part of broader trend: In 2022, even guys who identify as cisgender heterosexual men are feeling free to experiment and get gender fluid in their fashion.

“This moment actually reminds me of the ’70s,” the manicurist said. “Beyond Harry Styles, you have Pete Davidson in a dress for the Met Gala in 2021, Eugene Lee Yang in full makeup, nails and heels while rocking a suit, and every moment Billy Porter has on the red carpet.”

Non-celebrity guys are coming into nail salons and asking for a little TLC with their nails, too. Sigourney Nuñez, a nail artist in Los Angeles who has worked with Styles for his beauty line, thinks the pandemic and chaotic political times created an environment where guys realized they deserved to treat themselves every now and then.

“A lot of us are reevaluating what’s truly important in our lives,” she told HuffPost. “Amid all this tumult, self-care is more imperative than ever and a manicure is just that: a form of self care.”

Nuñez said the guys she’s worked with may even enjoy the mani process more than her women clients.

“In terms of a reaction to manicures, typically my clients who identify as male laugh or show gratitude during the cuticle detailing,” she said. “I guess it’s because it’s a relaxing sensation they just haven’t been exposed to prior. It’s really cute.”

What kinds of designs are they opting for? Nuñez said multicolored manicures have been super popular.

“It’s kind of a gateway to more elaborate nail art,” she said. “Once someone sees how fun it is to wear a variety of shades, the next time they are more open to something minimal, and the journey continues.”

For guys who paint their own nails at home, stickers from brands like Deco and Artips have been popular, especially sticker packs with Y2K themes (smileys, hearts, flames).

Robbie Tomkins, a manicurist in London, thinks that, when it comes to nail art, many guys are learning to walk before they run with designs.

“They favor negative space and minimal designs at first but are braving more color, too,” he said. “Before, I found guys that did ask for a manicure wanted a buffed nail or if painted, a black or dark blue block color, but I’ve definitely seen a shift toward brighter nails which include some form of nail art. It’s all about individualism.”

Below, we spotlight some of our favorite gender-inclusive manis we’ve seen as of late.

Hand-drawn roses on Adam Levine
Kim Truong
Kim Truong, a nail artist in Los Angeles, created this design for her client Adam Levine of Maroon 5. "Adam is a girl dad and loves to match his daughters' nails colors or lets them pick out his colors," she told HuffPost. "It's the cutest thing."
Name nails for Lil Nas
Juan Alvear/Instagram
Lil Nas' nails here, done by manicurist Juan Alvear, are just a little bit narcissistic.
Multicolored nails on Harry Styles
Jenny Longworth/Instagram
Harry Styles' look at the 2019 Met Gala wasn't complete without a multicolored mani by Jenny Longworth, a nail artist in London. "He's the ultimate modern day nail icon," Longworth told HuffPost of her client. "I love that young guys are beginning to experiment with nail art again."
A simple black-and-white graphic print for Machine Gun Kelly
Rich Fury via Getty Images
Machine Gun Kelly went relatively understated with his manicure at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.
An emo clown face for ASAP Rocky
Naomi Yasuda/Instagram
"Guys seem to like the really detailed nail art looks, a la ASAP Rocky," Longworth said. "I think there’s something really punk, rebellious and expressive about it and that’s why they like it."

The design here was created by celebrity manicurist Naomi Yasuda.
Gloopy nails on Seth Rogan
Mei Kawajiri/Instagram
Seth's Rogen's gloopy mani was created by nail artist Mei Kawajiri, who's known for her maximalist style. "I’m noticing that my male clients are not shy to try bolder nail styles, like 3D, different nail shapes and length," she told HuffPost.
Blinged-out nails on Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs/Instagram
Kawajiri's also worked on designer Marc Jacobs' nails. "Nails are like tattoos and a way to express yourself everyday. I think it’s a more casual and unique way to show your style," she said.
Glittery nails on Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan/Instagram
Troye Sivan's nails gleam in glitter.
Cats and dogs for Jonathan Van Ness
Mei Kawajiri/Instagram
Kawajiri created this design of some furry friends for "Queer Eye's" Jonathan Van Ness.
Everything nails for Lil Yachty
Lil Yachty doesn't limit his choices.
Pearls on Trinidad James
Sarah Nguyen/Instagram
Rapper Trinidad James' ornate, pearl manicure by celebrity manicurist Sarah Nguyen.
Hearts and smiles
Shigeko Taylor/Instagram
Sometimes, simple is best.
Blue hues and orbs
Megan Horner/Instagram
There's a neat pop of color in these minimalist nails by manicurist Megan Horner.
Rainbow drip nails
Noelle Fuyu Moore
Noelle Fuyu Moore, a nail artist in Honolulu, wanted to incorporate rainbows with water in this set for a male client. She told HuffPost she thinks guys are getting more into nail art because male style in general is trending toward "gender neutrality and androgyny."
'90s Nails
Kim Truong/Instagram
Some '90s vibes courtesy of Truong.
Aura nails
Clarisa Maldonado/Instagram
These groovy aura nails were created by Clarisa Maldonado, a manicurist in Orange County, California.
Eyeball nails
Noelle Fuyu Moore
Moore created these 3-D nails for a particularly adventurous client.
Major 3D nails
Juan Alvear/Instagram
An avant garde design by Alvear.
Highly detailed design
Alyssa Anderson/Instagram
An understated but still detailed look by manicurist Alyssa Anderson.
Couples nails
Mei Kawajiri/Instagram
Kawajiri gave a couple matching manis.
Matte swirl nails
Melinda Carrillo/Instagram
This mani, by Melinda Carrillo, a manicurist in Chicago, features snakelike swirls and a matte finish.
Matte nails
Robbie Tomkins/Instagram
Tomkins' created this matte design that includes a flame, a hollow heart and smiley face.

"I have seen loads of guys wearing nail art that you might not usually expect to be wearing it, from dads to lighting and rigging guys on set," he said. "I love this trend. I feel it's about time!"

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