'Barely there' nails is the minimalist manicure everyone's doing for summer—here's how to literally nail the look

'Barely there' nails are the 'Quiet Luxury' answer to the viral chrome manicures—here's how to recreate Kylie Jenner's go-to look...

Kylie Jenner wears a red dress, with her hair up as she attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 01, 2023 in New York City. / in a purple template
(Image credit: Getty Images: Theo Wargo)

While blue nail designs and 'glazed donut' nails have been dominating our social feeds for months, there's a new subtle mani trend making waves for summer. Meet 'barely there' nails, Kylie Jenner's fave nude look for everyday...

Yes, it seems joining the ranks of 'lip gloss' nails—and 'lip oil' nails for that matter—is a new minimalist look that borrows from the viral 'Quiet Luxury' aesthetic, a style vibe, the youngest Kar-Jenner sister has been loving lately.

The look itself is soft, chic and is set to compliment every outfit in your summer capsule wardrobe—here's a breakdown of the look and how to literally nail it yourself...

What are 'barely there' nails?

The 'barely there' nail trend is effectively just nude nail polish, but right now it's having quite the renaissance, with many A-listers opting for the semi-sheer, low-maintenance look. 

Sharing her take on the manicure, Hailey Bieber's fave nail artist, Zola Ganzorigt shared a snap of Kylie to her IG, debuting some clean, oval-shaped nails, with a wash of creamy, nude pink. She captioned the snap, "Barely there nude pink on @kyliejenner 💖" and we can't get over how pretty they are!

This soft-glam vibe has been garnering a ton of attention lately, likely because it's such a staple look that just goes with every outfit and setting—from parties to vacation days. Plus, if you're new to manicures or longer nails, this is definitely a great look to try!

It's all about your nails but better, with even a 'barely there' French tip manicure making the round on TikTok also.


♬ love on the brain sped up - xxtristanxo

How to do 'barely there' nails

Thankfully for all our 'barely there' nail fans, this look is very easy to recreate and works for all nail lengths, the key is selecting the perfect nude hue.

Tinu Bello, senior brand ambassador for Mylee says: "There's no one-shade fits-all when it comes to ‘nude’ nail colors, it all comes down to your natural skin color." She recommends finding a shade that is flattering to your skin tone, to do this, Bello advises to look at your wrist: "blue veins indicate cool undertones, whilst green veins mean warm—a mix of both suggests neutral."

Bello says Mylee gel shades like, "ExposeNature Retreat are perfect for complimenting lighter skin tones. Mid-tone shades that combine slightly darker pink tones add definition and contrast to all skin tones. Try In The Buff, or  Clothing Optional. Finally, dark nudes in the caramel, brown and dark pink family such as Without A StitchDisrobed, and Mother Nature are perfect for complimenting darker complexions."

The beauty of a nude nail look is that it can add a "healthy glow to your nails and even make your nails appear longer," as Bello explains, before also noting that they, "make the growth of your nails less obvious—the regrowth gap will be less noticeable since your polish shade closely matches your natural nail shade." So this look is perfect for our low-maintenance-loving gals!

Onto the mani itself, if you prefer using non-gel nail polishes, simply opt for a base coat (to keep your nails healthy!) and a nude or pinky shade, applying it straight to your nails, before using a top coat for added shine. We'd also recommend buffing your nails into an oval or rounded shape.

For those wanting gels and extensions, ask your nail tech for an oval/almond shape and again, select a nude barely there nail polish shade and a high-shine top coat. That's really all there is to this trend...see, we said it was simple.


♬ Hey Lover - The Daughters Of Eve

And, if you wanted to give this trend more of a party edge, simply add chrome dust (like this one from Amazon) before your top coat, or ask your nail tech to blend your nude hue with a clear polish, for that lip gloss/jelly-like effect.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.