Water Droplet Nail Art: The Mani Capitalizing On The Wet Look Trend

If you’ve seen people walking around with what looks to be water droplets on (or under) their nails, you’ve got a glimpse of this unique water droplet nail art trend that takes the wet look to a new level. We love this trend because it has a fresh, clean aesthetic — droplets of water add an element of nature to beauty as well. Plus, this trend isn’t that difficult to master on your own.

Start with a smooth nail surface and freshly painted nails for the best results. While you can use any nail polish you’d like as the base, Syreeta Aaron, LeChat Nails Educator, told Coveteur that chrome finishes work best. “Chrome powders give [the raindrops] that holographic look,” Aaron explains. “The shimmer of the chrome [creates an] illusion of actual raindrops as you move your hand side to side.”

A clear top coat, the thicker, the better, is what you’ll use to put your drops on … and how you put them on is up to you, whether it be with a toothpick, a dotting tool, or even the end of the nail polish brush. As long as you put the droplets on when the base nail is dry, you’ll be golden. And if you are in need of some inspiration, we have plenty of looks for you to get started with.

Metal and water French manicure

This set of chrome French tips will surely be the talk of everyone who comes in contact with these hands. They’re shiny, in charge, and absolutely stand out. The creator behind this set of gorgeous nails used a top coat to create the water droplets. While these look amazing as they are, they’d be even more striking with the nails fully covered in chrome — can you say futuristic? This look is perfect for the office, though, as it’s not too out there.

The red cross

Is it just us, or does the red on these nails look velvety soft? That metallic shade is so on fire that this nail design has been burned into our memory. To make things fun, the creator mixed French tip-style nails with fully painted nails, and we think this look adds something fun to the mix. To add a goth vibe, the little cross embellishments are fun and fit for a church function or a night dancing away to a punk rock band. Either way, we love this flashy look.

Black and blue

These nails take the wet look to the maximum. It looks like this person just went for a dip in the pool and stepped out dripping wet. The pale to darker blue melting into the black makes them a great choice if you want something a little moody that still has a brighter look — it’s like goth meets the Smurfs, and it looks fabulous. We’re not sure what products the creator used for their droplets, but they look so real that you may try to dry them off.

Pretty in pink glitter

If you want to test out the wet look but don’t want people asking you why you have wet nails, go for a more understated look like this one. The combination of pale pink with a darker glittery pink adds something extra to the look. Every other nail is embellished with droplets, and while they’re noticeable, they don’t stand out quite as much as some of the other ones we’ve looked at. This look could be pulled off with whatever color combinations you prefer, but we like the daintiness of the pink hues.

Charmed and wet

We already looked at a mani with cross charms, but you could honestly use any charms you wanted for this look. With the paler chrome look here, the charms stand out more, but the wet look is really what makes the nails so noticeable. The water droplets look like someone dripped actual water onto these nails and found some way to make it not run off — and we’re jealous. Switch out the colors and the charms to pull off any look you’re dreaming of.

Wet fruit

If you love fruit, then this juicy fruit-inspired nail look is for you. Not only do the fruit pieces look delicious, but we love the little gem additions that give even more shine to this mani. The water droplets on this set of nails were done with clear nail polish, and it looks like these fruits are clean and ready to be snacked on. There are so many ways you can personalize this set — you could opt to do just one fruit on each of your nails or several different fruits for an extra fun look. 

Short and sweet

We love the simple and classy look of this French mani, and the wet droplets just add to the perfection we see before our eyes. You don’t have to have long flashy nails to pull off this popular look. Whether you prefer squared-off tips like these or you want something rounded, this pretty set is sure to be a pleaser. The wet look makes us feel like this busy go-getter just rushed into work on a rainy day, and we hope they didn’t forget their umbrella.

Long and blue

If long nails are your vibe, and you’re not afraid to sport some lengthy talons like these, you’ll have plenty of space to show off those water droplets. Super-long nails aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re brave enough, they can be real eye-pleasers. While it can’t rain all the time, these nails will surely remind you of those cool drops of water coming from the sky.

Shiny wet

With the pearlized nail polish on these nails, the water droplets almost look like pearls — perfect for anyone looking for a chic yet fun mani. We also think it’s amazing that no matter what angle you look at these from, they look different, from green and blue hues on the one hand to yellow and peach on the other. Oh, and you did notice that both hands have a different color of nail polish on them? Now that’s creativity we can get behind.

Wet in the woods

A lot of the nails we’ve looked at so far have had bright colors that really stand out, so we wanted to give you something a little deeper and darker to look at, and these green nails feel like walking through a forest. The one accent nail with water droplets adds a neat texture to the mani. To bring things into a lighter space, the little white flower adds some softness to the mix. We also love the little added rhinestone embellishments with the flower as well.

Airbrushed creativity

If you have the tools and the skills to airbrush your nails at home, we think this look is worth trying out (of course, you can also get them done professionally). In our humble opinion, these cool nails look like cat’s eye shells, so the water droplets on them are even more fitting. What really stands out about this mani is that extra little addition of blue on only a couple of the nails.

Wet on one hand

Rainbow Brite would be proud of these nails! While they’re more of a pastel rainbow, they still have that colorful vibe that makes you want to smile. On one hand, we have matching nails in some pinks and yellows with blue swirl designs on them — simple yet eye-catching. On the other hand, we have most nails in different colors and topped off with the wet water droplet look. These fresh drops are perfectly round and impossible to miss when you’re checking out this mani.

Iridescent beauty

This is by far one of our favorite examples of water droplet nail art. The iridescent blue nails are gorgeous on their own, and the water droplets simply enhance the look. If you were to step out with this mani, you’d definitely get lots of compliments on your nails. We think they look like the moment right as the rain slows down and the sun peeps out when the rainbow is just beginning to form across the sky. They’re magical.

Bottom of the sea

When it comes to water droplet nail art, things wouldn’t be right if you didn’t look to the water for some inspiration to create magnificent mani looks. These nails are wet all over, honestly, but you can still spot the water droplets that remind us this fits into the nail art trend perfectly. The combination of blues and greens gives us “The Little Mermaid” vibes, and you can’t help but love the little pearl dots dispersed here and there.

Icy wet nail art

If you’re bored with smooth fingernails, this look may be the right one for you. The iridescent, almost clear polish on these is gorgeous, but the water droplet designs take things to a whole new level on these hands. This is what we imagine your fingernails look like in a big rainstorm — we’re thinking monsoon season here. To add to this mani’s sensory experience, some fun little silver balls are added in.

Dripping wet nails

If you’re not a fan of that sensory experience we just looked at, here is a set of nails that kind of goes with that same look but without as many ridges. What we really like about this mani is that it also has those neat little silver baubles, which look like stars in a clear sky in this case. The white lines very much look like lightning bolts shooting down from the rainy sky. We also think it’s neat that the water droplets on these nails are under the nail instead of on top.

Juicy orange

This Aperol orange manicure makes us think of biting into a juicy ripe orange — that cool rush of tasty citrus bringing a smile to our faces as the juice drips down our chins. The wet look on these nails is like that yummy fruit juice, and we think these claws may inspire you to add more vitamin C into your life. They’re also the perfect set of nails for the summery season, with such a bright and welcoming shade that makes us think of all that glorious sunshine up above.

A single wet nail

Sometimes you just want a simple look that still has a little something extra, and this set of nails has that. The blue color on these nails is very pretty — it’s not too dark, and it’s not too light (you could say it’s just right). To add a little something extra to the look, one single nail has the water droplet look. This is a great way to play around with a new trend or look without diving deep in. We think, with this nail color, water drops on every nail would look absolutely fantastic, though.

Mermaid style

Bored with solid nail colors? You can grab a bottle of iridescent nail polish that shifts colors depending on how you look at it, just like the nails in this example. We love the combination of darker blue with a light aqua-blue hue. To add to the already water-like feeling of this look, water droplet art makes these nails look like the wearer just dipped her hands in the cool lake waters. You may also notice that the droplets don’t go all the way up to the tips of the nails — this adds to the unique effect.

Very fairycore

If fairycore is your jam, we think this set of nails should most definitely be on your radar. They are so bright and colorful — and no matter what your favorite colors are, it makes it so you can potentially combine them all. While the water droplet art is a little less prevalent in this mani, it is still there. Behind the solid purple and green nails, you can see the wet look. On some of the other nails, you can also spot some droplets mixed in with the other designs.

Baby blues

French tips will always be a favorite mani of ours, and these tips take the look to a new level. From the precious light blue color that is hard to take your eyes off of to the way the tips’ color dips all the way down to the cuticle — it all adds to the flashiness of this look. We love that the water droplet art stays on the blue, leaving the more natural nail color to shine through.

Pink and gray

If you like more than one accent nail, we highly recommend using this image as your inspiration. We love the French tip nail that has the watery look to it the most, but that sweater print nail is also pretty cool. This would be an excellent set of nails to sport once fall rolls around — when you’re digging out those sweaters to keep you warm on those rainy and chill-filled autumn days. Although, this mani would look spectacular with those two looks repeated and skipping those understated solid gray nails.

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