Everyone wants their manicure to look “3D”, which is why embellishments like jewels and pearls are popular at the nail salons. This is probably why it’s rather surprising that one of the hottest nail trends we’re seeing in 2023 is something contrary: 2D nails.

The “comic nails” trend is all about creating nail looks that look like they were two-dimensional; as if they belonged to characters in a comic strip. Read on to learn more about this trend and to get some inspirations for them to take to your manicurist at your next visit!

What are “comic nails”?


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Using strategic placements of outlines and shadow lines, the manicurist creates an optical illusion such that the design looks 2D, as if it were something that came out of a comic book.

The look usually takes on a pop-art style and is finished matte so it looks even more “flat”.

Think it’s something you can get on board with? Keep scrolling for an inspiration that fits your vibe.

“Comic nail” inspirations

Lavender haze “comic nails”

Photo source: @smile940.5555/Instagram

Using a mixture of lilacs and muted purples as base, this is a subtle look that’s pretty to look at.

The purple shades give the look a feminine touch while the quirky design ensures that it’s not full-on cutesy.

Pink hearts “comic nails”

Photo source: @66skr/XiaoHongShu

For something that’s sweeter, this design that features hearts and bows will be it. The combination of pink and black also gives off that “punk girl” aesthetic that’s super edgy.

Mocha latte “comic nails”

Photo source: @Adah/XiaoHongShu

Does the coffee jelly nail trend inspire you? Give it the comic nail treatment with this nail look.

This colour combination offers a neutral look that most people can pull off and we love how this is a quirky variation of French tips that will please most people.

Strawberry milk “comic nails”

Photo source: @UNIP2 NAIL/XiaoHongShu

Looking for something cuter? This one features baby pink and muted pinks that we’re sure you’ll fall in love with.

You can even add on drawings of cute characters to take its sweet level up another notch.

Matcha latte “comic nails”

Photo source: @鱼多多/XiaoHongShu

We’re obsessed with the way the pastel green, muted green, and dark green go together, making it look like you’ve got 2D matcha latte served on your nails.

The shadow effect created with black and dark green nail polish also make the “comic nails” illusion stand out even more.

Blackpink “comic nails”

Photo source: @JQ穿戴甲Studio/XiaoHongShu

Want something that has 2D meets 3D? This punk-inspired nail look dresses up the comic nail look with chunky nail charms.

Sesame paste “comic nails”

Photo source: @A nail at home/XiaoHongShu

For something that is more understated yet never boring, this is probably the design to go for.

Reminding us of a comforting bowl of sesame paste, this is probably the most wearable look you can find in our list of comic nail inspirations.

Kuromi “comic nails”

Photo source: @桃囍 Serendipity_Q/XiaoHongShu

For those of you really looking to dip your toes (or hands, for that matter) into the cuter side of things, here is a manicure look inspired by Sanrio character Kuromi, which has also been trending on Tiktok.

The combination of white and purple also reminds us of the taro latte nail look that was trending last year.

Featured image credit: @A nail at home/XiaoHongShu and @66skr/XiaoHongShu