What Are Korean Blush Nails? Plus, How to DIY the Trend

August 11, 2023
Jordan Julian
By: Jordan Julian | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
person's hands with their nails painted light pink with a darker pink blush design in the centers

We’re always looking to TikTok and Instagram for new manicure trends, and the latest one we can’t wait to try is a Korean style that combines both nail art and makeup — two of our favorite things! Korean blush nails are the pretty pink manicure inspo you’ve been missing amongst the latest obsession of all things pink. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to recreate at home. If you’ve been struggling to decide on your next manicure idea, look no further. Ahead, we’re breaking down the trend and sharing how to DIY it in three simple steps. 

What Are Korean Blush Nails?

The Korean blush nails trend is a minimalist yet creative look that combines nail art with makeup. A subtler take on the aura manicure, in which bare nails are decorated with bright blobs of color or “auras,” blush nails replicate the appearance of blush for your cheeks, on your nails. Think of it as the manicure version of the flushed, cold girl makeup aesthetic that was all over your social media feed in the winter. 

In some cases, the look is achieved by using actual blush to create the splotches of color at the center of each nail. “Basically when you tap blush powder into the center of the nail after applying a sheer base coat, you get a ‘blooming’ effect on your nails,” explains Tina Wang, owner of Lunula Nail Salon in Brooklyn, New York. You can also use a rosy pink nail polish to mimic the blush-like effect.    

“Korean blush nails are catching on because there is growing interest in a clean, minimalist aesthetic,” says Wang. “It's a way to approach nail art with a feminine and understated appeal.” Celebrity nail artist and brand founder Jin Soon Choi previously deemed Korean blush nails as one of the hottest nail trends of 2023

How to Get Korean Blush Nails at Home

According to Wang, Korean blush nails are pretty easy to DIY, especially compared to other, more elaborate nail art trends. “All you need are tools you probably already have — an eyeshadow brush, a base coat and a top coat!” And of course, you’ll need blush or a blush-toned nail polish shade.

Typically, this look is done with short- to medium-length round nails, but the great thing about it is that it would look great on nails of any length or shape. You can also decorate them with embellishments!

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat or Polish

Start by applying a sheer pink, nude or completely clear base coat to create the appearance of a bare nail. To make sure you have a solid foundation for the mani, prep your nails with the Essie Hard to Resist Advanced Nail Strengthener, followed by the Essie Gel Couture Longwear Nail Polish in Sheer Fantasy 10 or a similar sheer pink shade. 

Essie Gel Couture Longwear Nail Polish in Sheer Fantasy 10

Step 2: Add the Blush

While your polish is still wet, dip your eyeshadow brush into your blush. “Most people choose flowery pink or blush-tone colors,” says Wang. “Then, tap the brush onto the center of the nail.” You can use any pink blush you like for this step (or even a pink powder eyeshadow), but we recommend choosing a formula that packs a punch of pigment, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush in Confident Pink.

L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Blush in Confident Pink

Step 3: Seal It With a Top Coat

Finally, go in with another layer of the sheer base coat or a top coat. (We love the Essie Stay Longer Top Coat.) Applying the top coat over the blush powder or polish will give the color the trend’s signature soft, diffused effect.
Essie Stay Longer Top Coat
Photo: @theurbanbeauty,  Visual Designer: Juliana Campisi

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