These Famous Men Are Challenging Gender Norms Around Nail Art

These Famous Men Are Challenging Gender Norms Around Nail Art

Getty | Wally SkalijGetty | Wally Skalij

As the conversations around beauty have evolved, so have the people who are actively claiming their places in the beauty community. From the rise of acne advocates to the normalization of traditional face tattoos in media, what was once an intentionally exclusive community has grown to include people from all walks of life. Nowhere is that more apparent than with the rise of the “menicure.”

Men wearing nail polish was popularized in the ’70s and ’80s when musicians like Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Robert Smith, all had manicures as a part of their aesthetics, but men’s nail art actually dates back much further than that. “A number of Old Kingdom (c. 2575-2150 BCE) elite tomb chapels include scenes of men receiving nail treatments,” Elizabeth Frood, associate professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford, previously told PS.

Performers like A$AP Rocky and Bad Bunny have made nail art a part of their signature styles, proving to naysayers there is no gender binary in beauty, especially in the nail space. With that, there has also been a rise in brands created by celebrity men. Machine Gun Kelly revealed that he was working on his own nail-polish brand, Un/Dn Laqr, in April 2021. Shortly after, Harry Styles announced the launch of his nail-polish line, Pleasing, in November. Tyler the Creator became the latest to throw his hat into the beauty game with the launch of Golf le Fleur, which features three nail polishes, in December of the same year.

We’re seeing men experiment with their nails outside of the entertainment industry. Dwyane Wade’s nails were a topic of discussion when he wore a black-and-red Miami Heat-themed manicure during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in January 2024. Recently, football player Caleb Williams was spotted with pink nails as he supported his USC schoolmates and not long after, Duke University basketball player Jared McCain made a TikTok video addressing negative comments he received about his painted nails at games.

Because there has been so much inspiration going around as of late, we rounded up the best male celebrities that you can follow to recreate their looks.

Caleb William's Pink NailsCaleb William's Pink NailsGetty | Todd Rosenberg

Caleb William's Pink Nails

Caleb Williams wore pink nail polish to a USC NCAA Tournament on March 25. After receiving negative comments on them, he cheekily posted on X (formerly Twitter): “Your girl loves them.”

Jared McCain's Blue-and-White NailsJared McCain's Blue-and-White NailsGetty | Lance King

Jared McCain's Blue-and-White Nails

McCain explained on TikTok that wearing nail polish is a form of self-care for him that promotes good luck during games.

Dwyane Wade's Miami Heat NailsDwyane Wade's Miami Heat NailsGetty | Megan Briggs

Dwyane Wade's Miami Heat Nails

For his Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, Wade wore a black-and-red manicure to celebrate his time on the Miami Heat.

Joe Jonas's Polka-Dot ManicureJoe Jonas's Polka-Dot ManicureGetty | Karwai Tang

Joe Jonas's Polka-Dot Manicure

Jonas also starting experimenting with his looks after his boy-band days. After welcoming his daughter with wife Sophie Turner in 2020 — and promptly dyeing his hair platinum blond — Jonas has since continued to push the narrative of men in beauty, adding a myriad of tattoos to his collection. He started experimenting with nail polish in 2018 and has since showed up to numerous red carpets with a chic manicure to match.

Most recently, he turned heads at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscars Party wearing a black manicure with polka-dot accent nails to match his suit.

Billy Porter's Silver Glitter ManicureBilly Porter's Silver Glitter ManicureGetty | Leon Bennett

Billy Porter's Silver Glitter Manicure

Porter is known for his show-stopping fashion choices — remember that lampshade hat at the 2020 Grammys? — but he has also experimented with manicures. At that same Grammy ceremony in 2020, Porter wore a silver-chrome manicure, and in 2022 at the MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Joni Mitchell, he wore a glitter manicure to match his eye makeup. In April 2022, Porter wore a a silver-glitter nail polish to attend the Dance For Life Dance Festival to fight against HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

Tyler, the Creator's Blue NailsTyler, the Creator's Blue NailsGetty | Derek White

Tyler, the Creator's Blue Nails

Tyler, the Creator has attended countless red carpets with stylish manicures in tow. At the 2021 BET Awards, shortly before launching Golf le Fleur, he wore a pastel-blue nail polish on the red carpet. Maybe this was his own polish in Geneva Blue?

Machine Gun Kelly's Black ManicureMachine Gun Kelly's Black ManicureGetty | Kevin Mazur/MTV VMAs 2021

Machine Gun Kelly's Black Manicure

The more that Kelly started to lean more into his alternative-rock sound, the more he started experimenting with his looks. One of the first times that he publicly wore nail polish was during his “Tickets to My Downfall” tour, and since then, he has been seen with various manicures, from three-inch acrylic nails to a pink evil-eye design. Here, he attended the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards wearing not only a black manicure but also a matching glove accessory that looked like it was holding his hand.

A Timeline of Every Celebrity Beauty Brand — Including Wyn by Serena WilliamsA Timeline of Every Celebrity Beauty Brand — Including Wyn by Serena WilliamsRelatedRelated

A Timeline of Every Celebrity Beauty Brand — Including Wyn by Serena Williams

There once was a time when it felt like every celebrity had a fragrance, from Britney Spears to Jennifer Lopez to Paris Hilton.

Best Celebrity Men's Manicures: Harry StylesBest Celebrity Men's Manicures: Harry StylesGetty | Gareth Cattermole

Best Celebrity Men's Manicures: Harry Styles

Styles has continued to explore what self-expression looks like as he navigates Hollywood post One Direction. Alongside bold fashion choices, Styles also often experiments with beauty. “He seems to be more experimental since becoming a solo artist,” Styles’s manicurist, Jenny Longworth, previously told POPSUGAR. “Harry always has a good eye for color and we tend to gravitate to the same kind of ‘off’ shades.”

That eye was on clear display when Styles attended the BRIT Awards 2020 wearing a pastel-purple nail polish that perfectly coordinated with his sweater. Talk about nailing the details.

Lil Nas X's White NailsLil Nas X's White NailsGetty | Raymond Hall

Lil Nas X's White Nails

In 2019, Lil Nas X attended the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund wearing an all-white manicure to finish off his futuristic outfit. This marked one of the first times that he was seen out in public with nail polish on, but the musician has since attended numerous award shows wearing bright nail colors and bold designs.

Bad Bunny's Evil-Eye ManicureBad Bunny's Evil-Eye ManicureGetty | Sam Wasson

Bad Bunny's Evil-Eye Manicure

For the 2018 Latin Grammys, Bad Bunny sported an evil-eye manicure. Designs of the symbol were on his middle and pinky fingers and a simple black shade was added everywhere else.


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