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Trendy Korean Nail Art: What K-beauty Enthusiasts Demand


The nail industry is one of the biggest beauty markets in the entire world. The nail market is valued at nearly USD 20 billion, and beauty customers indulge in nail products from Europe to Asia.

When discussing the global beauty market, it’s essential to mention Korean beauty and how South Korea is causing a massive movement in the nail world. Nail salon owners may attract K-beauty consumers who want the latest Korean nail looks—even if the salon is based in another country.

Here are some examples of trendy Korean nail art and what businesses will need.

Table of Contents
Overview of the Korean nail industry
Trendy Korean nail art looks

Overview of the Korean nail industry

K-beauty is experiencing massive popularity around the world. Thanks to YouTube and social media, global beauty enthusiasts have been paying attention to K-beauty trends. 

South Korea is also taking over the entertainment industry, with K-pop artists adopting these beauty trends. And with the surge of K-pop artists in the global music industry, fans from all over the world are copying the looks of their favorite singers.

Korean beauty is nothing new; cosmetic and nail care use dates back to ancient times. Today, K-beauty is minimalist, focusing on skin health. However, K-beauty nails are more artistic, which is why they’re arguably the most innovative region for nail art.

Trendy Korean nail art looks

Korean nail art uses eye-catching designs, but some enthusiasts prefer health-conscious and minimalist nail looks. Here are the Korean nail trends that businesses should know.


Woman with bling acrylic nails

Bling is one of the most well-known nail trends worldwide and is especially popular in South Korea. To achieve this look, the nail artist will place rhinestones on the nails for a more glamorous manicure.

The shattered glass look is the latest bling buzz in K-beauty manicures. This look is stylish and affordable; nail salons only need shattered glass stickers to pull off this effect. Those who want bright and eye-catching nails in a minimalist style can also choose holographic nails. The holographic and broken glass effect will reflect light but is less intense in appearance.


The gradient look is replacing the ombre trend in South Korea. The two looks are similar, but a gradient features colors in the same shade range, while an ombre can combine any colors. Gradient effects are still edgy and can complement any design.

Achieving a gradient nail design is similar to an ombre. First, nail salons need multiple nail polish colors in the same shade range. The technician will apply each color to the nail, blending them with a nail sponge.


Woman’s hand with rhinestones on the cuticles

Cuticle nail art was trending in years past and isn’t going away. This trend is popular among those who want more style in their manicure but don’t want a look that’s too extravagant. Cuticle art is also perfect for those who prefer keeping their nails short. 

Some examples of trending cuticle nail art include nail shadow and glitter. Since these clients are minimalist, they may prefer doing their nails DIY. In this case, businesses can sell these products at their salon or beauty store.


Woman with long acrylic fingernails

Thanks to the metaverse, the futuristic look has been taking over the beauty world. In South Korea, decorative elements and even polish outside of the nail are the two most innovative trends. Nail technicians can design cool effects with nail glitter liners. Metalized polish is also a significant nail trend for 2023 that correlates with the futuristic look.

Nail stickers

Woman’s hand with neutral nail polish and various stickers

Nail stickers are a street trend. Consumers can apply them to their nails for a chic DIY look. There are limitless illustrations and graphics that users can choose from, and they’re easy to apply. Salons can sell these nail stickers as an alternative to a traditional art manicure.


Woman getting a jelly manicure

Jelly nails are shiny but more prominent than traditional gel polish. The color is soft and usually neutral. Moreover, it is finished with a special gel top coat that looks like jelly.

This look is minimalist, and customers can receive it in a traditional or gel manicure. To achieve the jelly effect, businesses will want to offer natural-colored nail polish. Next, a high-quality top coat will achieve the jelly effect.

Blush and cheek

Woman with blush nails applying skincare products

Blush and cheek nails are similar to jelly nails but without the ultra-shiny top coat. Blush and cheek nails resemble the look of flushed cheeks. Both terms are used interchangeably and refer to the same trend.

This trend was inspired by South Korea’s love of makeup. Blush and cheek nails combine the aesthetics of makeup and nails, a popular look among beauty enthusiasts. Blush and cheek nails are also minimalist and stylish, perfect for those who don’t want a flashy manicure.

To achieve this look, nail technicians will need pink nail polish. Apply this shade to the center of the nail. Then, apply nude nail polish around the pink. Blend both colors with a sponge for a slight ombre effect.

Quail eggs

Quail eggs are cream-colored with black specks, and more K-beauty lovers want to achieve this same look in their manicures. This look combines artistry with minimalism, resulting in a look that has taken over the South Korean nail world.

Nail technicians can achieve this look by hand but always keep white and black nail polish in stock. Start by applying the white or cream-colored polish and letting that dry. Then, paint on specks with black polish. Nail technicians can also buy quail egg topcoats.

For the DIY crowd, businesses can sell different quail egg sticker sets. There are different varieties, such as this one with brown and gold accent nails.


Nail salons must offer the most popular products to achieve more sales, especially the trends in the K-beauty scene. K-beauty is a massive movement in the nail world. These nail looks are not only trending in South Korea but are also popular worldwide.

Beauty businesses can keep up with worldwide trends by following the Baba Blog.

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