Mermaid Vibes: Seashell Nail Art And Ocean-Inspired Colors

Mermaid and ocean themes are making a splash in nail art trends this year. The popularity of mythical sea creatures like mermaids combined with the serene blues and greens of the ocean have inspired a wave of creative and stylish nail designs. From seashells and starfish to shades of aqua and glittering accents, mermaid vibes are giving manicures a playful yet elegant underwater feel.

The mermaid nail art trend draws inspiration from the mysteries and magic of the sea. Metallic scales, 3D silicone mermaid tails, and holographic overlays transport nails into an enchanting underwater world. At the same time, the coastal color palette of deep blues, seafoam greens, and sandy neutrals channels a sense of tranquil escape with its peaceful ocean hues. With so many ways to incorporate maritime motifs into nail art, it’s no wonder mermaid and ocean-themes have made a splash.

Seashell Designs

Seashell nail art is a fun and colorful way to channel mermaid vibes. There are many different types of seashells that can inspire unique manicures.

Conch shells are known for their pink interiors and spiraled shape. They look beautiful painted in pink and white polish with swirls accentuating the spirals. Smaller conch shell shapes can be placed on one or two accent nails.

Scallop shells have fan-like grooves and come in a rainbow of colors like purple, pink, orange and white. Painting scallop ridges in complementary colors makes for an eye-catching manicure. Metallic polishes also help scallop shells pop.

Clam shells are great for minimalist designs with their smooth exteriors. They look chic painted white or beige as an almond-shaped accent over a sheer base. Iridescent acrylic powder mimics the pearly interior of clam shells.

Cowrie shells are small and oval-shaped, coming in a range of patterns. They can be painted on multiple nails in different colors and orientations for a funky manicure. Outline them with black polish to define each unique cowrie shape.

Underwater Creature Nails

Bring the vibrant colors and playful patterns of the ocean to your nails with underwater creature designs. These fun and whimsical nail art ideas will have you channeling your inner mermaid.

Starfish nail art is a cute and easy way to get creative. Paint your nails in shades like teal, purple, or pink. Once dry, use a toothpick to dot on white or yellow starfish accents. Outline the starfish with black nail art liner for a pop of contrast.

starfish nail art design

Seahorse designs are another adorable option. Paint alternating nails in two complementary colors like turquoise and navy. Add seahorse decals or use a striping brush to hand paint the seahorse’s curvy shape. Accent with white dots or foam stamp seaweed textures.

Octopus nail art lets you show off your artistic talents with funky tentacle detailing. Start with a base coat in coral, seafoam green, or ocean blue. Use a thin brush to paint on octopus arm suckers and facial details. Add shimmer or glitter polish to give your octopus sparkling accents.

Colorful fish nail designs will make a splash. Paint each nail a different vibrant shade like orange, teal, pink, yellow and blue. Use nail art pens or decals to add scales, fins and cute fishy faces. Top it off with a shiny topcoat to create a wet, underwater look.

Ocean-Inspired Colors

Capture the essence of the sea with ocean-inspired nail polish shades. Cool tones like shades of blue, teal, and seafoam green evoke the colors of the ocean and are perfect for a mermaid nail look. Try an ombre design that fades from dark blue at the cuticle to light turquoise at the tip to emulate the look of the ocean meeting the shoreline.

Essie’s bikini so teeny is a beautiful pale turquoise blue that pairs nicely with white seashell accents. For a deeper ocean hue, OPI’s On Collins Ave is a rich teal. Sally Hansen’s pacific blue is a classic medium blue that looks great on its own or as a base color. Seche’s rise and shine is a seafoam mint that adds a pop of color. China Glaze’s sea spray is a blend of blue and green in a fresh, beachy shade.

Not quite ready for a full oceanic manicure? Add a pop of ocean-inspired color with just your ring finger. Try Sally Hansen’s mint sorbet on an accent nail. You can also paint a bold navy like OPI’s midnight in moscow on a single nail for subtle ocean vibes. Get creative and mix depths of blues and greens for a unique ocean ombre effect.

Whatever shades you choose, ocean-inspired colors are perfect for channeling mermaid vibes in your manicure.

Glitter and Pearl Accents

Glitter and pearl accents are a must for creating mermaid-inspired nail designs. The shimmer and shine evoke the feeling of sunlight dancing across the sea, while pearls capture the luminous beauty of treasures found deep under the waves. Using small iridescent glitter flakes layered over a base gel polish mimics fish scales glistening below the surface. Larger hexagonal or star-shaped glitter pieces in bold blues and greens depict bursts of colorful coral reefs. Accenting nails with clusters of caviar beads or pearls conjures up visions of mystical underwater kingdoms filled with riches.

Try using a mix of blue and green fine glitter on accent nails to achieve a cool underwater vibe. Or opt for warm mermaid hues by blending gold, peach and pink glitter flakes together. For extra mermaid magic, use a matte top coat everywhere except the tips, then coat the free edges with a pearlescent topper full of holographic shimmer. The contrast between the matte base and ultra-shiny tips nails that “mermaid emerging from the sea” look. No matter which glitters or pearls you choose, these accents infuse nails with a magical, aquatic allure.

As Jamie Rivera describes in her YouTube tutorial “Mystic Siren Mermaid Design with Holographic Glitter Half Moons” (, holographic glitter ombre and pearl accents create a mesmerizing mermaid manicure.

3D and Textured Effects

One fun way to get creative with mermaid nail art is by using 3D and textured elements to add an extra underwater dimension. 3D seashells and starfish charms are popular accents that can be applied over a base color to give the look of finding treasures while exploring the sea. Using a textured polish or techniques like sugar grains and caviar beads creates a sand-like finish, evoking the feeling of walking along the beach. You can also mimic the look of ocean waves and bubbles by layering thick top coats for a wavy, bubbly texture. Adding dimension with 3D and textures makes your mermaid nails pop in a unique way.


Water Marbling

Water marbling is a fun technique that allows you to create ocean-inspired swirls and waves on your nails. The process involves dropping paint onto the surface of water and then dipping your nails through the design. With practice, you can achieve beautiful marbled textures reminiscent of seashells, coral, and mermaid tails. Here are some tips for getting perfect ocean vibes with your water marbling:

Use room temperature filtered water – This helps the polish spread smoothly across the surface.

Work quickly – Have all your supplies ready so you can dip nails before the polish spreads too much.

Use a toothpick to create swirls and direct the polish – Gently drag through the polish to get soft, natural shapes.

Alternate polish colors – Layer different blues, greens, purples, and whites for depth.

Coat nails in a base coat beforehand – This helps the polish adhere better.

Try using glitter polishes – The glitter suspended in the polish creates cool effects.

Top with a fast-drying top coat – This seals and protects your design.

Practice on paper or plastic wrap first – This helps you get the technique down before attempting on nails.

Don’t get discouraged! – It takes time to master the fluid dynamics of water marbling.

With patience and experimentation, you can create stunning sea-inspired marble nails worthy of a mermaid.

Easy Mermaid Nail Designs for Beginners

If you’re new to nail art, mermaid designs can seem daunting with all the intricate scales, shells, and glitter. However, you can create cute, ocean-inspired manicures even as a beginner. Focus on simple techniques like adding glitter, painting basic shapes, and using stickers or decals. Here are some easy mermaid nail ideas to try:

– Paint your nails alternating shades of blue and green for a mermaid tail look. Add a few white seashell or starfish nail stickers.

– Paint a light blue or purple base color. Use a dotting tool to add white seashells and silver glitter accents.

– Paint your nails with a shimmery teal or seafoam polish. Apply pearl and iridescent glitter on top for a magical mermaid look.

– Paint alternating glitter nail polish in shades of blue, green, and purple. Keep the rest of the design simple.

– Add mermaid scale nail stickers over a solid background. Fill in any gaps with smaller glitter stickers.

The key for beginner mermaid nails is keeping the overall design simple. Use basic polish techniques like sponging on glitter or painting solid colors. Then elevate the look with easy-to-apply stickers and nail wraps. With a little practice, you’ll be ready for more advanced mermaid nail art.

Accessorizing Your Look

Once you have your mermaid-inspired manicure, take your look to the next level by accessorizing with other mermaidcore elements. For your makeup, opt for a shimmery eyeshadow in oceanic blue and green tones. Add faux pearl accents near your eyes for an ethereal touch. Swipe on a glossy lip color or add seashell-shaped glitter. Style your hair in beachy waves or a messy updo with strands framing your face.

For jewelry, layer on necklaces with sea-themed pendants like seashells, starfish or octopus charms. Stack on bangle bracelets that resemble bubbles or waves. Dangle earrings shaped like seahorses or dolphins pull the look together. A shimmery body glitter or temporary tattoos of scales completes your head-to-toe mermaid vibe.

The mermaidcore trend is about feeling glamorous yet relaxed, like a mermaid lounging on shore. Accessorize in ways that are playful, colorful and make you feel confident embracing your inner aquatic goddess.


Mermaid vibes continue to gain popularity in nail art, with seashell designs, underwater creature nails, ocean-inspired colors, glitter, pearls, 3D effects, water marbling, and easy mermaid nail ideas allowing you to channel mystical sea creatures. As searches for “mermaid style” rise, nail art lets you embrace the mermaidcore trend through creative manicures. Whether you use bold blues, shimmering greens, pearly accents, or seashell charms, mermaid nail art offers a fun way to dive into mythological inspiration.

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