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Duck nails

Introducing duck nails: beauty’s version of the ugly sneaker

TextAlex Peters

TikTok’s new favourite manicure is ugly AF and so what

If the Balenciaga platform Croc was a nail trend it would probably look a little something like this. Introducing duck nails: beauty’s version of the ugly sneaker trend.

Over the past few years, nails have become an artistic medium in their own right. No longer bound by traditional notions of shape or form, creatives like Juan Alvear, Sojin Oh, and Tomoya Nakagawa have pushed the boundaries of nail art, producing incredible, sculptural works that span from supersized spiralled talons to amoeba-like blobs. 

Out of all the experiments and unusual shapes, the wide nail AKA the duck feet nail AKA the fan tip is probably the weirdest. Flared nails are not a new style – they crop up every few years in one form or another, and this time the resurgence comes courtesy of TikTok thanks to nail artists like Nails Dani. An inversion of the traditional nail shape, this style flares out from the end of the finger, instead of tapering in as normal. It’s ugly AF but in a very purposeful, exaggerated way. The flared nails are usually then loaded up with gems, glitter, embellishments, bold colours, clashing patterns, and chunky charms.

These manicures are clunky, they are unwieldy, they are potentially dangerous, and they certainly aren’t delicate – but why should they be? Take up space! Cut yourself with those sharp corners! Have ugly nails! Let’s not let rules of taste dictate and restrict how we express ourselves. With so much pressure these days to conform to prescriptive beauty ideals, intentional ugliness is a perfect fuck you to expectations.  

Enjoy some of our favourite duck nail looks below.

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