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​​"Naked Nails" Are Poised To Dominate Summer Manis — 3 Tips To Master The Trend 

Jamie Schneider
June 28, 2023
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
By Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
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I love an electric polish moment, don't get me wrong, but there's something so ineffably cool and sexy about rocking a totally bare nail. Especially when paired with a full face of makeup and a well-curated outfit, the absence of polish just conveys understated confidence. The "quiet luxury" equivalent of nail care. 

But if your own nails have been wrecked by gels, acrylics, and constant picking, you might not be so quick to show off your natural tips. Not to fret! "Naked nails" are here to make your summer mani a little more elevated—and a little less tedious. 

What are naked nails?

Naked nails are, essentially, bare nails—either truly stripped clean or with just a gloss of sheer polish for a touch more oomph. 

And while I’d argue a bare, healthy nail is always on-trend, it makes sense why the simple aesthetic has skyrocketed in popularity as of late. Summer, after all, begets minimal beauty looks. When it feels sweltering outside, the last thing you want to do is pile on makeup or heavy skin care formulas—and the same goes for mani maintenance.  

"We're seeing a lot of 'barely there' nail looks right now because they're low maintenance and never go out of style," Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of clean salon tenoverten, tells mbg about summer nail trends. Think of a sheer, "bare nails but better" shade that allows you to show off your strong nails while filling in any noticeable ridges or divots. The "no-makeup makeup" of nail care, if you will. 

How to master the look 

Achieving "naked" nails isn't quite as simple as simply foregoing your regular mani. You want your bare nails to look clean, not frayed or disheveled, so see below for experts' best tips. 


Prioritize internal nail nutrients

Say it with me now: Optimal nail care requires an inside-out approach. "Pay attention to your diet," explains Amy Lin, the founder of sundays—a nail care brand focused on wellness. "Your nails are made of proteins and naturally need a lot of vitamins."

Specifically, your nails consist of keratin, so it's important to make sure you're getting your fill of keratin-building amino acids. Two of the most popular (and widely studied) are biotin and collagen, as they tend to be the most effective in supporting nail health. 

In fact, one study found those who took biotin supplements had 25 percent thicker nail beds1 than the placebo group. And in terms of collagen, another study showed that when patients took collagen daily for 24 weeks, their nail health was better maintained2, including faster growth rates, reduced breakage, and improved appearance. 

Even though "naked" nails don't have to be truly bare, it can't hurt to start with a good foundation. See here for our favorite collagen supplements for healthy, thriving nails (and skin and hair, for what it's worth). 


Strengthen & soothe

Time to send your nails a little T.L.C. Think: nail strengtheners, ridge fillers and the like. Just make sure you choose a strengthening product that doesn't have formaldehyde. (It's what traditional nail strengtheners are made of, as it makes polish dry stiff.)

This nail-enhancing treatment from tenoverten, for example, contains antioxidant-rich3 celery seed extract and horsetail extract—which has been found to help manage nail psoriasis4. Or you can peek here for our other favorite nail strengtheners on the market. 


Find your base 

Do not underestimate the power of a good base coat. Some high-quality options can even double as a nail strengthener, feeding your nail plate with healthy, good-for-you nutrients while filling out any noticeable lines. 

Many even contain slight pigments to neutralize discoloration (read: yellowing), so you're left with a smooth, healthy, "naked" nail. Even if you don't plan to gloss your tips with a bold color, do yourself a favor and apply a base coat—like this MiniLuxe Perfect Prime Base Coat, which offers a slight seashell tint. 

The takeaway 

As someone with laughable painting skills, the "naked" nails trend is one I can certainly get behind. Not only does it prioritize nail health (which is always on-trend), but unlike with brightly colored lacquers, any errant strokes will easily fly under the radar. Win-win.

Jamie Schneider author page.
Jamie Schneider
Beauty & Health Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.