The Wet Look Is The Head-Turning Nail Trend To Try This Summer

When the temps are scorching, nothing feels better than rinsing away the sun with a cool shower, or with an ice-cold drink. This summer's most chill nail trend, wet nails, channels this thirst-quenching feeling. These nails are defined by a signature design in which 3D molding gel is crafted to resemble a pristine drop of water, then placed on the nail, amplifying the color and shine of your nails. Clear water drop gems can be used for the same effect. 

What we appreciate about this trend is not just the fact that it's perfectly on-season, but that it's a simple foray into the world of 3D nail art when you haven't played with it before. There's a reason 3-D nail designs will be huge in 2023. First, they have a high visual impact, and second, because they are so customizable to one's personal aesthetic. The wet nail look also has a subtle essence that makes it all the more chic. Plus, because it's on the simpler end of the 3D nail art spectrum, so it might not completely bust your bank account. Here, we've found a few of the best wet nail looks on the web, for when you're looking to take the plunge into the waters of 3D nail art. 

Nude water drop nails

This stunning nude nail, worn by @whatisreiaholding on Instagram, is one of our favorite wet nail looks. The nails were first painted with a shimmering pink polish and then decorated with ample gel water drops. We love how this polish looks like a nude, so that the gel water drops resemble water on bare skin, and how sexy is that? We think trying the wet nail look with a nude or close-to-nude polish is one of the best ways to wear this trend. 

White water drop nails

White is one of summer's go-to nail polish shades. But when you want to freshen up this classic hue for the summer, try the wet nail look with white nails. One TikTok user (@cababyyy) flaunts wet, white nails in a TikTok video. The combination of these two summer looks could not be better suited for each other; where the white polish brightens the hands, the gel water drops give them shine and texture. We simply cannot get enough. 

Opal water drop nails

Another beautiful way to wear wet nails is with an opalescent polish. This look from @exotiquenailslv on Instagram captures everything we love about summer, from its delicate colors to its fluttering charm. But we also love that this look exemplifies another way to get the wet nail look, which is with clear or iridescent gems. Where 3D molding gel can be a hassle to work with for the nail novice at home, using gems is a great idea for those who want to have wet nails, without the added work. 

Rainy day nails

This next nail look is inspired by Spring rain, but who says it can't work for those stormy summer days, too? We love how this wet nail look by @torithetech on TikTok tells a story; the grayish nude becomes a perfect stormy blue. And the gel water drops are, of course, the perfect finishing touch, reminiscent of light rain. What brings this look to life even more is that each drop is a different size, making the water droplets look natural. Flawless! 

Cosmic pink wet nails

Summer can also be a time of euphoria and energetic colors, and how better to celebrate all of summer's beauty than with a cosmic pink kaleidoscope set of wet nails? This set on TikTok creator @lunalindsay is the perfect expression of how summer makes us feel. We love how each of these bright colors melt together, while the water drop gems add even more fun to the overall look. 

Chrome core water drop nails

And for our grungier folks, do not despair — water drop nails do not always have to be rainbows, butterflies, and bubbles! This set by @geranium_duet on Instagram is a wonderful example of how the wet nail look can be transformed for any aesthetic, including this ultra-cool chrome core look. Here, the 3D gel water drops are used as an accent nail. And the placement of the drops here is smart, too, where the drops seem to rise from the lightest area of the nail polish. 

Purple jelly drops

Something about these nails look good enough to eat — probably because they remind us of grape jelly or a fruit popsicle. This look by @queenny_usa on TikTok is another delicious way to wear the water drop trend this summer. For those at home, the jelly look can be achieved by mixing a polish with a drop of clear coat, thus diluting its opacity. The gel water drops then complement the look, giving it a fun pop of texture. But seriously though, do not try to eat these nails, even if you want to. 

Pink aura drop nails

We love to see when trends collide, and the wet nail trend is one of those that can be combined with other trends. We love how TikTok user @uglyunguis  combines the wet look trend with the blooming gel nail trend often used to create aura nails. This pink look is the perfect, soft manicure for summer, where the gel water drops add just a touch of whimsy to the nails.