Look around and you may think you’ve stumbled back into the early 2000s. Yes, Y2K style is back in the form of butterfly clips, low-rise jeans, and braided tendrils — so it’s no surprise that the nostalgic trend is also showing up in nail art.
To be clear, today’s early 2000s nail trends aren’t exactly a reboot of the manis you might recall from middle school (though French manicures are popping up all over the place). “If you look at red carpet or runway pictures from Y2K, manicures were a lot more subdued compared to today,” says Brittney Boyce, celebrity manicurist and founder of press-on brand Nails of LA. Back then, she says, the shapes were typically pretty short and square-shaped, and “you saw more single color manicures or very simple graphics.” Today, the most popular nail shapes are oval, almond, and coffin — and the aesthetic tends to embrace a more-is-more vibe.
So, where do the early 2000s come in then? Boyce says she’s seeing nail art be used to showcase the things that defined the era, from bejeweled charms to kitschy decals reminiscent of the stickers that decorated lockers, skateboards, and notebooks. Scroll on for Y2K-inspired nail art ideas that you’ll definitely want to copy.