When it comes to hair trends, the latest looks seem to be inspired by animals: “jellyfish” haircuts, “wolf” cuts, and even the “octopus” cut. When it comes to nails, however, everyone seems to be taking their cues from food. There are the ever popular “glazed doughnut” nails, the newly discovered “strawberry milk” nails, and the latest craze: “chocolate milk” nails.
I’ve been seeing the trend all over my social media feeds (and in real life), and although I typically veer toward lighter, sheer polishes, from the images I was seeing, there was a case to be made that brown was the new neutral. I saw the trending shade paired with all different outfits, and when it came time for me to choose “birthday nails” to go with my “birthday shirt” last week, I didn’t hesitate before choosing a light-brown shade at the nail salon. When I received tons of compliments on the hue from friends and strangers alike, I knew I had found my new go-to manicure shade.
Keep reading to learn about the trend, how to achieve the look for yourself, and inspiration photos you can bring with you to your next salon appointment.
What Are Chocolate-Milk Nails?
Chocolate-milk nails are a play on the milk-bath manicure, one of the most popular neutral-nail trends as of late. “We are going through every iteration of a milky color, from almond milk to strawberry milk to chocolate milk,” celebrity nail artist Sonya Meesh tells POPSUGAR. “Like the cappuccino or boba-milk-tea trend, chocolate milk is a great neutral look with a little edge that looks great by itself on short or long nails, making it very wearable across a wide range of skin tones.”
While milk-bath nails typically feature a white, milky base color, and strawberry-milk nails feature a translucent pastel pink, chocolate-milk nails feature a light-brown color that resembles the look of chocolate milk, hence the name. The color can vary from a deep chocolate brown to a light chocolate brown, depending on how much “Hershey’s syrup” you decide to add.
How to Get Chocolate-Milk Nails
If you’re as obsessed as I am and you’re ready to try out the trend for yourself, the good news is that the look is easy to achieve. Personally, I stopped into my local nail salon, but it’s also easy to recreate it at home.
Either way, you’re going to want to start out by filing and shaping your nails (or having a manicurist do it) into your desired shape. I’ve been growing mine out for the last few months, so I opted just to file them — and to keep my go-to shape, which is a mix between oval and almond.
You’ll also want to make sure to clean up your nail beds and trim any broken skin around the cuticles. Since this trend is just one singular color without the addition of nail art or anything else, having healthy-looking fingernails is key. Once that’s done, layer on two coats of your favorite brown color. Meesh suggests testing out the Orly in the shade “Coffee Break” ($11) or Manicurist gel polish in “Shell Beige” ($19). I used a no-name shade (#017 for anyone wondering) from my nail salon, and my technician layered on four coats because it was quite sheer in the beginning. However, the final result looked so good I could practically taste it.
Chocolate-Milk Nails Inspiration
If you’ve been convinced to test out the trend for yourself, keep scrolling to check out inspiration you can bring with you to your next salon appointment.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Renee Rodriguez