Rotten Nails Are the Creepiest Nail Trend to Try

Rotten Nails Are the Creepiest Nail Trend to Try

rotten nailsrotten nailsGetty | Jeremy Moeller / ContributorGetty | Jeremy Moeller / Contributor

There are some trends that you’ll want to jump on immediately, and there are others that may take some convincing for you to try. The latest manicure starting to make its rounds on social media falls squarely in the latter category, and everything down to the name may make you scratch your head in wonder.

“Rotten” nails are the latest manicure to make their way to Instagram, and the nails are equal parts intriguing and shock-inducing. Popularized by content creator Mei Pang, the manicure looks exactly like it sounds: aged, rotten claws growing out from your fingers. “It’s an extremely unique manicure that’s really unlike any nail trend people are used to seeing,” manicurist Sarah Chue tells PS. Ahead, Chue explains exactly how to get the look, as well as how you can take these nails to the next level, especially if you want to get a head start on your Halloween costume.

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Sarah Chue is a celebrity manicurist with Exclusive Artists.

What Are Rotten Nails?

Rotten nails sound exactly as you’d imagine them. The look was created by manicurist @marggie_nails and feature a curved, almost claw-like nail shape. “They’re shaped like cat nails,” Chue says. “Once you get the extensions down, you can use either nail polish or eyeshadow to achieve that rotting-flesh color palette.”

Although the most popular style are the ones Pang has championed, there are some versions of the nail that use more traditional shapes like coffin or stiletto and opt for a slightly more yellow-tinted finish — similar to advanced stages of nail fungus versus a fully rotten nail. These are perfect if you’re trying to work yourself up to the full rotten nail trend.

How to Get Rotten Nails?

While the trend itself is versatile, Chue does say that regardless of which version of the trend you try, it’s pretty important that you have a longer nail length. “There are numerous methods to get this look,” she says. “For the base, you can do anything from Apres extensions to acrylics — as long as you have a solid base to build from. Then, if you go for the traditional claw shape that’s associated with this manicure, create the shape using builder gel.” Once you’ve filed everything to perfection, add the polish or powder of your choice to finish the look.

“You can use either an eyeshadow or gel polish, but you’ll want to use a dark black-brown to get the rotten effect,” Chue says. “You can do a yellow-to-brown gradient and even add some dark red by the cuticles to make it look as if they’re bleeding to up the creepiness factor.” Rotten nails may not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of more editorial, head-turning nails, you may want to save them to your inspiration folder. After all, someone has to be the risk-taker of your friend group.


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