Trendy Nails Inspired by the 70s, 80s, and 90s
If there’s one thing that’s stood the test of time, it's definitely nail art. We recently asked nail pros to create looks inspired by trendy nails across the decades, and we rounded up a few of our faves that took cues from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Read on to see the inspiration and find out how to get the look for everything decade nails -- from abstract shapes, pops of bright colored stars, and mesmerizing lava lamp nail art looks, these decades had it all.
Get the Look:
1. Prep nails and apply one coat of OPI GelColor Stay Classic Base Coat. Cure for 30 seconds in the OPI LED Light.
2. Apply two coats of pastel colors, curing each coat for 30 seconds. Pro Tip: Use shades Let’s Be Friends! by Hello Kitty, Pompeii Purple, Gelato On My Mind, and Mod About You in OPI GelColor.
3. Apply one coat of OPI GelColor Matte Top Coat, cure for 30 seconds. Remove the inhibition layer with an Expert Touch Lint-Free Nail Wipe saturated with N.A.S. 99.
4. Choose a contrasting pastel depending on each finger’s base color and use a dotting tool to create the lava on each nail. Include bulbous sections and thinning strands. Cure for 30 seconds.
5. With a liner brush, outline the lava in OPI GelColor Black Onyx and OPI GelColor Alpine Snow to create more depth and dimension. Add another coat of colorful lava and blend with the outline. Cure for 30 seconds.
6. Using a detail nail art brush, apply a coat of OPI GelColor Stay Shiny Top Coat to the lava, making sure to keep slightly inside the outline to enhance the 3D effect. Cure for 30 seconds.
7. Repeat application of OPI GelColor Stay Shiny Top Coat 4-6 times on lava, curing after each coat until you’re happy with the level of texture.
8. Remove the inhibition layer with an Expert Touch Lint-Free Nail Wipe saturated with N.A.S. 99.
Now you can feel groovy when rocking these 70s nails inspired by the latest lava lamp nail art trend!
Jennie Shaw is a writer and nail artist. She is also an avid reader who remains eternally bitter for not possessing magical powers. Thanks to nail art, though, she can create a little bit of magic on her fingertips. Jennie lives in rural Ontario, Canada.
Get the Look:
1. Apply 1 coat of OPI GelColor Stay Classic Base Coat. Cure 30 seconds in the OPI LED Light.
2. Pick your favorite white or nude for the base color. We recommend OPI GelColor I Couldn't Bare Less. Apply 3 coats and cure each coat for 30 seconds.
3. Use a detail nail art brush to draw small stars randomly on various nails, but not every one of them. Flash cure each star for 15 seconds and fully cure for 30 seconds once complete. Pro Tip: To start with the stars, choose a color for the center, and choose multiple shades and change it up on each nail for a fun, neon nail art look!
4. Trace an outline on each star using a fun, contrasting color to the initial smaller star. Flash cure each outline for 15 seconds and fully cure for 30 seconds once complete. Repeat step 4 until you have about 4-5 outlined colors per star.
5. Start with one color and create a zig-zag by drawing short and angled lines, in a stepping-stair-like pattern. Flash cure each outline for 15 seconds and fully cure for 30 seconds once complete. Pro Tip: To create the zig-zags, first choose a few of the nails with space along the sidewalls or edge.
6. Trace an outline on each zig-zag using a fun, contrasting color to the first zig-zag pattern painted. Flash cure each outline for 15 seconds and fully cure for 30 seconds once complete. Repeat step 6 until you have 3-4 colors per zig-zag.
7. Apply 1 coat of OPI GelColor Stay Shiny Top Coat and cure 30 seconds to complete the look.
Rock out with these 80s nails inspired by neon star nail art!
Sarah Mundy has been professionally doing nails since 2012 with a passion for nail art, the integrity of natural nails, people, and learning. She has been nominated as a Top 10 Nail Artist by Cosmoprof Beauty and has teamed up with OPI as an OPI Nail Boss. Sarah loves the learning and growing that comes from educational courses and workshops and hopes to one day pass on her knowledge to many others. Sarah loves to create, and in her free time enjoys drawing, making art, and spending time with her husband, Clark, and her two dogs, Hank and Ace.
Get the Look:
1. Apply 1 coat of OPI GelColor Stay Classic Base Coat to each nail and cure for 30 seconds in the OPI LED Light.
2. Using OPI GelColor shades Getting Nadi on My Honeymoon and Gelato On My Mind, apply 2 coats of colors to various nails as a base shade. Cure each coat for 30 seconds. Pro Tip: Use a detail brush to create an angled two-toned base shade as desired.
3. Using a detail brush, and dotting tool create random shapes (triangles, rectangles, and grids) using shades OPI GelColor Don't Tell a Sol, Polly Want a Lacquer?, Verde Nice To Meet You, and Alpine Snow. Pro Tip: Flash cure each shape for 15 seconds to set the design.
4. Add dotted shadow details like squiggles and dots using OPI GelColor Black Onyx, Alpine Snow, and Strawberry Margarita. Fully cure for 30 seconds once complete.
5. Apply 1 coat of OPI GelColor Stay Shiny Top Coat and cure 30 seconds to finish the look.
These 90s nails with pastel abstract nail art shapes are totally rad!
I am a mother of 2 boys and I have an in-home salon in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I have been a Nail Technician for 19 years and I have been an OPI Educator for 9 years. My favorite products to work with are OPI GelColor, and I specialize in hand-painted designs.