“Mood Ring” Nails Are Like Lava Lamps For Your Hands

“Mood Ring” Nails Are Like Lava Lamps For Your Hands

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Whether you get your nails done on a bi-weekly schedule or you go to the nail salon once in a blue moon, it’s hard to deny it: manicures are a great way to express your personality and sense of style. While you can get inspiration everywhere and at any time, festival season (typically May through September) usually brings out people’s inner creativity — and the subsequent manicures that hit our social feeds make us want to get a new set of nails every day.

If this dilemma sounds familiar to you, then chances are our “For You” pages look pretty similar and yours are littered with innovative manicures right now. And you’ve likely come across what’s being dubbed as “mood ring” nails.

“The trend uses thermal paint to mimic the look of mood rings,” says Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood . “It’s another one of those nostalgic beauty moments making a huge comeback.” Though they look complicated, mood ring nails are pretty easy to achieve and are perfect for upcoming fun events, like concerts or vacations. Ahead, Hanna explains how to get the look as well as how the technology behind the manicure works.

What Are Mood Ring Nails?

The trend depends entirely on the nail polish that you use, because that’s what creates the color-changing effect. “Most mood ring nail looks that I have seen use Liquid Crystal Mood Paint ($10),” Hanna says. “This is a temperature-sensitive paint that changes color based on your body heat and even your environment.”

You’re likely wondering if there’s any merit to the polish changing colors based on your mood, and it turns out that there could be. “The color of the paint changes color in response to the temperature on or near your nails,” Hanna says. “So there may be some truth to it changing color based on your mood, since our body temperatures can fluctuate based on how we’re feeling.”

How to Get Mood Ring Nails

The technique to get mood ring nails is fairly simple. “Since Liquid Crystal Mood Paint was not created for cosmetic use, I do not recommend using it on natural nails,” Hanna says. “On your extensions (any technique works, as long as there is something over your natural nail), start with a black polish as the base. Once it’s set, apply three to four thin coats of the mood ring paint, making sure to dry it with a hair dryer between each coat. Seal it all in with a clear topcoat and ensure all edges are completely sealed to prevent peeling.” It’s important to emphasize that experts only recommend using a black shade as a base, because the contrast will make the color-shifting qualities of the mood ring polish stand out. Some of Hanna’s favorite black shades include Orly’s Liquid Vinyl ($20) and Le Manoir’s Patent Leather Black ($20).

Ready for your mood ring manicure? Keep reading for some of our favorite versions that we’ve found online.

Main ImageMain ImageLiquid Crystal Mood PaintFrom$10$10 at solarcolordust.comMain ImageMain Image Orly's Liquid VinylFrom$20$20 at ORLYMain ImageMain ImageLe Manoir's Patent Leather BlackFrom$20$20 at lemanoir.com

Stiletto Mood Ring Nails

A stiletto nail shape and mood ring nail polish makes for an unbeatable combination.

Mood Ring French Manicure

You don’t have to put your mood ring nail polish on the entire nail. In fact, they add an additional element of visual intrigue when used over existing nail art, like a french tip.

Alligator Mood Ring Nails

Alligator nail art using mood ring nail polish is next-level genius. Look at this stunning finish.

Mood Ring Evil-Eye Nail Art

Give your evil-eye nail art a mood ring makeover by using the polish in the middle of the design. Accent the rest of the look with normal polish — the contrast will stand out even more.

Flame Mood Ring Nail Art

Flame nail art is already a fun design, but adding multi-dimensional color to the manicure is sure to take it up a notch.

Mood Ring Nails Tutorial

This video perfectly demonstrates how to get mood ring nails. The end result creates the perfect press-on manicure.

Ariel Baker is the associate editor for PS Beauty. Her areas of expertise include celebrity news, beauty trends, and product reviews. She has additional bylines with Essence and Forbes Vetted.


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