Last year, I lamented the aggressive nostalgic influence on many fashion and beauty trends — and make no mistake, I’m still tired of it (if not even more). I have been shocked and disappointed, though, that among all the resurgent trends, toenail art has yet to have its moment.
As a kid, I loved getting a cute design on my big toes at the nail salon, usually those abstract stripes that look like they could be a flower and feel distinctly tied to the ’90s and ’00s. It was fun to look down and see white lines mixed with smaller glittery ones on whatever bright polish adorned my toes. For my birthday in 2021, I decided it was time to indulge in having my toes decorated once again.
One thing you should know about me is that plain-and-simple manicures are not my style. I lean toward colorful, flashy designs on long nail extensions — the kind of nails that immediately catch the eye and get you compliments. Even if I’m painting my natural nails, I try to add some sort of accent nail (typically a glitter polish) or spruce them up with a textured finish (anyone remember crackled nail polish?).
But when I decided it was time to revive toenail art in my life, I was determined to walk out of the nail salon with some adornment on my toes, even if it was the most basic of swirls. I didn’t want to ask for anything too wild and befuddle the nail artist, but it still needed to have enough pizazz to feed my love of nail art. I ended up with a few lines and dots in white and gold glitter polishes on my teal-painted big toes.
I started google searching for inspiration for future appointments, but I was left wanting. I rarely struggle to find inspo for my manicures (I’ve seen artists take inspiration from thermal heat imaging to auras to geodes and more), so why was it so hard to find something for my toenails?
After several failed google searches, I instead looked to Instagram and Tiktok, scrolling through hashtags like #toenaildesign and #pedicurenailart. I still struggled to find what I wanted, but Instagram was far more successful for me as I discovered artists who regularly do pedicure designs.