All Of The Subtle Milk Bath Manicure Inspiration You Need

There's been a stunning nail trend dominating TikTok recently — milk bath nails. Never heard of it? Then allow us to introduce you! A milk bath manicure is a stunningly delicate and somewhat understated nail look. But, despite the name, it doesn't actually involve any milk at all. What this gorgeous trend actually consists of is a creamy base color (think of the color of your bath when you pour in bath milk) with a floral design. 

Imagine a milky bath with floating flowers like you might find at a spa, and you're right on track. The process involves literally layering milky nail polishes and then, typically, adding dried flowers on top of each other to create a look as if the flowers are bobbing around in a bath. It's a bit of an upgrade to the more basic, sans floral milk nails that have also been a big trend.

But while many people choose a milky white or pink base, it doesn't have to be that way. And just because milk bath nails can err on the more subtle side compared to some other manicures, they certainly don't have to be boring. In fact, there are countless ways to make this trend your own — and we've rounded up some of our very favorites.

Go nude

Why not go nude with your milk bath nails? Okay, not literally, of course (unless you really are having a literal milk bath with your new nails). This gorgeous manicure proves how effective a totally nude base can be for this nail trend, as it really allows the colorful flowers to shine and do their thing. While you can try any color for this look (hey, this is certainly a great opportunity to get creative!) nothing will quite make the flowers stand out like a white or nude base coat. 

Bring the sparkle!

Clearly, there's no reason why you can't add a little (or a lot of) sparkle to your milk bath nails. This gorgeous twist proves how a few rhinestones can instantly make this look more glam. But you don't just have to keep them around the cuticle if you don't want to! While we love the placement with the largest rhinestone in the center, it's totally up to you where you put your sparkles. Why not try them at the ends of the nails? Or create more of a polka dot effect with rhinestones all over the nail?

Or try getting creative

A lot of milk bath nail designs are created using floral stencils that are literally stuck onto the nail, then have layers of polish placed over the top to create that slightly submerged effect. But you don't need to rely on stencils to get this look. If you fancy getting creative (or your nail tech does) you can create the look yourself by literally painting on your floral designs using polish. You'll need a steady hand for this one and it may take a few attempts to perfect, but once you've got it down, it sure is stunning.

Embrace metallic additions

Is the classic milk bath manicure just a little too subtle for you? Do you like your nails to be a little more attention-grabbing? Then adding something metallic to your talons could be the way to go. This look proves how the addition of a little gold foil can be totally stunning, while also adding a super glamorous twist to the look so many of us are going for right now. But don't think you have to stick to gold. Why not try out a fun silver or hot pink? Because you don't have to say goodbye to Barbiecore just yet!

Give a 3D look a try

We've seen 3D nail art like nail jewelry come and go over the years, but this is convincing us that it's time to bring it back in a big way. We love the way these 3D flowers add texture to the nails, making it appear as though the foliage is actually peeking out from a milk bath while the other petals float below. This manicure keeps things a little more understated by adding the accessories to an accent nail, but there's certainly nothing stopping you from having one (or more!) on each finger.

Get ready for glitter

Let's be honest, so many things look better with a little glitter on them, right? Right! That's why we're totally loving this glitzy take on the classic milk bath manicure, which has added a glittery twist to the end of the nail. The super sparkly gold is an elegant addition to the fun design, but doesn't overpower it or look mismatched because the designer kept the line super thin. But you don't have to keep your glitter confined to the ends. Maybe try putting it on the nail bed or add a stripe through the center of the nail?

Apply the milk bath look to every other nail

Instead of applying the floral design to every nail, try putting it on every other one instead. This is perfect for those who like to change things up, have different looks on each nail, or simply don't have the time to do intricate designs on every nail. This look will also have you looking super on trend, as you'll be hitting two manicure trends in one. Bubble bath nails (which is just a simple nude wash) have also been a manicure go-to, and this is a fun twist on that more toned-down look.

Try a little shimmer

As milk bath nails are naturally more subtle, you may not want to add too much extra to this look. But there is one thing you could do to turn up the volume ever so slightly without going too over the top. Put a little shimmer on it, of course! This design shows how gorgeous a subtle layer of pink shimmer over the top of a milk bath manicure can give it just a little extra glamour without detracting from its naturally delicate nature.

Ditch the florals

Florals not for you? That's okay! Though the milk bath nails trend uses a whole lot of florals, there are no rules when it comes to your nails. They are yours after all! That means, if you really want to, you can totally ditch the floral addition and just go for the milk bath look with a pale pink nail lacquer. Of course, this won't give you quite the same effect as the floral addition bobbing out of the water, but it's certainly chic and stylish. Just remember though that if you go too pink, it's closer to the bubble bath trend we've been seeing.

Incorporate a fade into your manicure

Another way to try something different when it comes to the milk bath manicure is to incorporate a fade into your nail look. Instead of putting the dried flowers, stencils, or whatever else you may be using for this design over the whole nail, instead, this version shows how effective it can be to only apply it to the ends. This twist has also used a nude shade on the base of the nail, but a gradient has created a stylish French manicure. Ooh la la!

Frame your nails

How gorgeous is this take on the milk bath nail with a glamorous gold frame around the edges? We adore the way the frame isn't perfectly placed on the nail, as it creates a not-quite-perfect twist. Which will also make it far easier to copy, especially if you like to do your nails yourself. The technique will also mean you can go even longer until you get your next manicure, as you're less likely to notice any changes due to nail growth. 

Show off your marble flecks

Want another twist on the milk bath nail? Then why not incorporate a marble effect into your manicure? This eye-catching take on the design includes the more traditional floral version of the popular trend, but couples it with glitzy holographic flecks on the other nails to change things up. After all, they're your nails, so why not make things more unique to you with some shiny flecks replacing some of the flowers?