Duck nails, fan tips, flared nails, wide tips, Jersey nails— no matter what you choose to call them, the Y2K nail shape's presence on social media lately is undeniable. The wide, triangular tips that resemble that of a fan, duck's foot, or a pair of flared jeans are taking over TikTok and Instagram as one of the most unexpected nail trends we've seen in a while. They seemingly appear as a nail appointment gone wrong, but the stretched-out aesthetic is actually an intentional, highly desired look.
Although they aren't for me, nail artists like Dani Garcia and Icey Milli love fanned-out tips so much they even have sets on themselves right now. "I'm so passionate about flared nails," Garcia tells Allure. "Now that they're making a comeback, it's so exciting to me."
Icey Milli, who is based in Sacramento, California, considers the nail shape, which she first tried 11 years ago, a statement. Their recent popularity can be contributed to more people being open to nail art and getting creative with their manicures than ever before, she says. "Some just think of nail art as a painted picture until you expose them to something else," Icey Milli adds. Enter: fun nail shapes, like lipstick, almond, coffin, and flares.
"Duck nails are pretty much the opposite of coffin nails," though, New York City nail artist Kayla Ouertani tells Allure. “Instead of the nails being narrow towards the end, they are wider.” If you're wondering if you'd still be able to take your rings on and off, Garcia swears you can — unless you get oversized charms as part of your nail art look. She even posted a video on TikTok to prove it.
When creating duck nails for their clients, Garcia, Ouertani, and Icey Milli glue on extra-flare nail tips (also known as duck feet tips), which are pre-formed artificial nails glued onto natural nails — just as nail artists would do with any other long acrylics. "I'm old school, so nail tips are my go-to," Icey Milli notes. "However, you can definitely create the same look with a nail form."
From there, the nail artists top the tips with glitter, gilded adornments, hand-painted designs, or whatever the client desires. "The nice thing about duck tips is they give room for more designs," Ouertani points out. "I like to add a lot of 3D charms and paint on some Y2K designs, like a pink cheetah print."
No matter what duck nail design you go with, just "don't be skerd," Icey Milli jokes. "You only live once." Well, in that case, I may just experiment with the throwback look.
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