What Are Aurora Nails? | Korea’s New Big Trend You Have To Try!

by Jih Yun

Wondering what are aurora nails? Read on to find out more about Korea’s new hottest trend of aurora nails!

It is not a surprising fact that some of the coolest trends in both beauty and fashion originate from Korea. Whether you’ve added berets to your wardrobe, like resorting to sparkly soft glam for date nights, or can’t stop wearing colored contacts, you can always rely on Korean trends to help spice up your look. 

what are aurora nails

Korean women also love getting manicures, which often feature pretty intricate nail art designs or a twist on the classics, and everything in between.Caring for and dressing up your nails is often seen as a form of self expression in this society. With well-manicured and clean nails that are in tandem with the current season, you also come across as nicely put-together. 

Today, I want to dig a little deeper into a nail trend that’s been around for quite a while now. I know there’s always a new one popping up as we speak, but it doesn’t hurt to go back to some oldies and revisit them. 

What Are Aurora Nails?

If you’re familiar with the European Northern Lights, all you need to do is imagine this phenomenon on your nails. Yes, this mystical and magical happening in the sky that people hop on flights to witness can be recreated when you’re in a manicure slump. The result is holographic, as your tips display various colors depending on how the light hits them, giving you an iridescent and opalescent sight to behold. 

korean aurora nails 1

You might notice your manicurist using a regular metallic gel nail polish for this, but just like the electric light shown in the sky, the polish consists of magnetic elements. A coat is painted on, and you will find your nail artist using a unique magnetic wand that helps distribute and adjust the level of shimmer.  

How Aurora Nails Are Crafted By Your Nail Artist

aurora nails at salon

Now that we know what this trend is and the kind of product it requires, let’s look at a little rundown of how your manicurist would create it. 

A powder with a high amount of pigment, called ‘white chrome’ is used for this purpose. It relies on lighting to give the effect we seek, resulting in hues that are golden or subtly lavender-looking. 

As a first step, your nail is rubbed with said powder. After this, your nail technician cuts out some Mylar that is shaped according to your nail and uses some sculpting gel to place it on top. Alternatively, an oblong-shaped holographic foil is cut out and laid centrally. This piece is a little smaller compared to your nail bed and is laid starting from the top all the way to the bottom. It looks slightly raised as some hard gel is used to tie everything in together. 

Finally, a top coat is applied so everything stays in place. This binding process until here is often quite tricky, which is why seeking a professional’s help with Aurora nails is your best bet. While you can try it yourself too, the result might not be as clean as you’d like it to. But it is this process of encapsulation that makes for the striking impact these nails give off, which, if done wrong, can make for lackluster tips. 

How To DIY Aurora Nails at Home

aurora nails diy

You can definitely attempt Aurora nails at the comfort of your very home, but you would need to make sure you have all the right tools and accessories like chromes and foils. If you’re a fan of stones or jewels, secure those as well. You can find these things online or in salons close to you. 

 The process of achieving this look is slightly detailed and time-consuming, also requiring you to invest. While I would recommend you seek out a professional nail technician who’s a pro at this, you can also opt to nail it your own way, albeit with a learning curve. 

Below, I will go over the steps you need to implement for a simple look at home, with as few tools and products as possible. 

  • Step 1: Prepare your nails to receive a manicure. Exfoliate the skin around your nails, file them, soak them in warm water, and apply some cuticle oil or lotion for optimum moisturization. 
  • Step 2: Go ahead with a gel base coat. This ensures that the foundation is even and ready for the stuff that’s coming next. 
  • Step 3: Now, add 2 coats of nail color in either pastel colors or plain white, letting that cure. 
  • Step 4: Cure a gel top coat for around 30 seconds to tie these layers together uniformly. 
  • Step 5: Use an eyeshadow brush or a silicone tool to rub some white chrome powder on the top. 
  • Step 6:  While you can seal the deal with a cured top coat, you can also encapsulate it with a foil or Mylar piece that is secured with a clear liquid builder gel for strength. 

If this whole ordeal sounds slightly daunting to you but you still want to escape your comfort zone and try it, I recommend you to take a look at the products I used to achieve this unicorn-like magic on my nails.

Products Recommendations For Aurora Nails

Ownest Holographic Nail Polish – Miss Cheering

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This shimmery gel nail paint from Ownest was one of the quickest ways I could duplicate the Aurora effect on my nails, without spending too much money, time, or effort. It also works if you want to deepen the holographic look.

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What I also liked about this particular formula is that it uses mainly natural ingredients like plant color paste, resin, water, and calcium compounds. Due to this, I didn’t find any yellowing on my nails, nor were they brittle or weak once I stripped them of the polish. 

However, the color is a bit light, so I would advise you to add around 3 coats for the effect to fully show through. The bottle’s also quite small, and might last you around 4 uses if you use it regularly. 

iN.Hype Structure Soak-Off Liquid Building Gel

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I absolutely love this product as I can feel it actually strengthening my fragile nails! It’s a thick formula and you can use it both as a base or a builder for your nail extensions. All the gals that find it super difficult to grow nails to their desired length or find their nails constantly breaking, this one’s for us!

It’s not sticky or messy as the brush glides over super smoothly and creates an even, leveled base. As it has a gel consistency, you are guaranteed more control and I barely even needed to fill in any gaps as the brush is pretty swift. Depending on what light you own, the formula needs a 30-second cure for LED and a 2-minute long one for UV.  

And as the cherry on top, the application process is exactly like that of applying nail polish. You can use some rubbing alcohol or cleanser to clean off the residue left behind after curing. Additionally, the brand is both cruelty-free and vegan, also without 10 harmful toxins. 

Beaute Galleria Mixed Mylar Sheets

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I agree that crafting the perfect nail look at home is far from possible, but when I got my hands on these foils, I was pretty impressed with what I could pull off! You can get 24 pieces in almost every color, and all you have to do is shape the sheet according to your nail shape and press it on!

What you could also do, is shatter the foil, use a tweezer to pick up each shard and place it on a top coat color of your choice. I tried both variations, and the foils are super versatile so you can nail any look you fancy. 

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The sheets are a bit static, and you might find them clingy. This makes them a little tedious to work with, but with some patience, you’re good to go. 

Nail Apparel Press On Nails

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You can always resort to some very easy-to-use press-ons when you can’t be bothered to create a whole nail look on your own. This is also a great option if you’re strapped for cash as they are quite inexpensive, and can be used multiple times. 

I went for this long ballet style in the Black Marbled shade because growing my own nails to be this long is both intimidating and next to impossible. They barely take any time to install, I used under 5 minutes of my work break and I was set! Plus, there was none of the curing, need for lights, or fancy powders for encapsulation to deal with. 

Not only was wearing the nails comfortable (the length might take some getting used to) but the material is also made to be toxin-free. This helps me rest assured as there’s no damage to my nails in the form of breakage or brittleness. 

They’re also quite easy to take off, and performed better than my acrylics in this regard. If you’re eyeing some funky and elaborate nail designs but want to cut yourself time and effort, this is definitely the go-to product for you. 

Now there’s no need to book flights to Europe when you want to gaze at the breathtaking Northern Lights—bring them home to you(r nails!). All you need to do is book a nail appointment or set up your own little station if you’re in the mood for experimenting. Aurora nails are a great way to switch up your manicure game, especially in time for spring. 

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