Heat Map Nails Are Hot On TikTok & Pinterest Right Now

Similar to color-shifting chrome nails and aura nails that match your zodiac sign, there’s another hot manicure trend taking the internet by storm. Heat map nails, also known as thermal nails, are inspired by multicolored geothermal maps that display the temperatures in different regions. While you typically see these maps on the weather channel, you can now also see them in the form of a manicure. Heat map nail tutorials on TikTok have amassed nearly 650,000 views, and the trend is also showing up on a lot of people’s Pinterest boards, with never-ending inspiration to explore. 

There are a few different ways people are getting the heat map effect. One nail artist, @dandoesnails on TikTok, achieved the look by painting the nail in layers and then using a buffing tool to uncover the colors. In her video, she layers the polish in rainbow order, starting with red, then orange, yellow, green, blue, and black on top. Using a 180-grit sanding piece on the buffing tool, the layers of color slowly reveal themselves to resemble a heat map. Other nail artists on TikTok, like @mayadidthem, opt to paint a base coat of blue or black and then manually paint the heat map with various colors. The best part about heat map nails? They don’t have to be perfect. Each nail is meant to be completely unique, so however you choose to get the look, have some fun with it.

Heat map nails with blue background

When searching for thermal nail inspiration, this is the most popular take on the trend that you’ll see. If you opt to use a buffing tool to get the look, you’ll want the blue to be the last layer of color on top before you start buffing. If you’re solely painting, blue will be your base coat. Look toward vibrant and bright shades to create the most classic version of the style, but you can pick any shades you like. 

Heat map nails with black background

Rather than choosing blue polish for the background, black is also commonly used for a heat map manicure. The black polish provides a striking contrast to the other colors, giving you a perfect mix of dark and light. For those who want to add something special to their all-black manicures, heat map nails are a striking choice. 

Thermal tips

While many people prefer the heat map effect on the entire nail, it also looks stunning on your tips, whether you prefer them short or long. This is a minimalistic and chic version of the trend that works on any length, and it’ll certainly elevate your basic French manicure

Pastel heat map nails

You don’t have to stick with typical, bright nail polish colors to achieve this manicure trend. If you’re a fan of soft and muted color palettes, go for a pastel thermal nail effect. Rather than blue or black for the background, you can opt for lavender and create the rest of your map with baby blue, orange, and pink. 

Add extra details

Whether you want heat map tips or you paint the entire nail, you can take the look a step further with map-inspired nail art. To really embrace the trend, accent your chosen fingernail with a red crosshair target, which people use to narrow in on specific locations on a map.

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