Celebrities like Jared Leto, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Kid Cudi, and A$AP Rocky (just to name a few) have all been rocking the latest “man-icure” trend everywhere from the red carpet to casual coffee strolls, and men everywhere are following suit. Although nail art is definitely not anything new as we’ve seen it in the past on celebrities like Kurt Kobain, David Bowie, Steven Tyler, and Mick Jagger, these days, freshly polished male manis aren’t only reserved for the rock and roll music sphere, the famous, or rebellious angsty males. Men from all walks of life are Beauty trends are always evolving throughout the years, and when it comes to trends for men, there are no exceptions. From functional facial grooming, to eyebrow threading, and even perms, trends have come and gone. This generation, gender stereotypes are quickly fading away and beauty standards are increasingly becoming more and more fluid. Men are no longer doing the bare minimum when it comes to self-care, they are actually becoming a huge part of it, and the latest trend we’re seeing a lot of are men’s manicures, or “the man-icure,” as it is often called — and while some beauty trends we are happy to see go, we’re crossing our fingers that mani-cure is here for the long run because we are loving it. When it comes to the man-icure, we aren’t just talking about men having a clean, buffed natural nail. These days, men are sporting a variety of color ways, symbols, and emojis on their nails in a super cool way that’s anything but basic.
Using nail art as a way to express themselves, similarly as they would with tattoos or piercings, but without the commitment. (Where are our commitment-phobs?)
The benefit of playing around with nail art as a form of self expression or fashion is that you can change it day to day depending on your mood or your outfit, and remove it if you have a date with grandma. (She may not be ready for this trend.) Nail art is a super simple, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive beauty trend any guy, (from a mainstream celeb to your average joe,) can get on board with and create a super cool look that will rival any woman’s freshly manicured fingers. Pretty much just about anyone can paint their nails, so it’s definitely something a guy can easily do at home if he’s not quite ready to book that nail appointment and get them done at the salon. All that time at home during the pandemic definitely made everyone get into self-care a little more than usual and men are definitely no exception. Many men used (excessive) downtime to get their creative juices flowing by painting their nails or even letting their girlfriends or wives do it for them.
In earlier days, mainstream culture constrained polished manicures predominately for women, but today, even major fashion labels like Chanel are following the trend, creating nail varnishes explicitly for men, and everyone else seems to be getting on board. Harry Styles, a celebrity icon that is no novice when it comes to nail art or breaking down gender barriers, just dropped a major non-binary vegan beauty brand introducing genderless nail polishes, and it’s bound to be a huge success. “What women wear. What men wear. For me it’s not a question of that,” Styles said in an interview with The Guardian. “If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies.’ I think: ‘Okaaaay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though.’ I think the moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier.’” Styles is definitely at the forefront of setting trends and breaking gender stereotypes in this generation, and he has proven to be fully invested in the male manicure trend.
Leaders in the industry agree this trend among males is becoming increasingly popular and it’s only just getting started. SNS, a nail product company which is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to everything nails, are increasingly marketing their products to men and have begun using men in their advertisements. – So it’s safe to say you will be seeing the male manicures a lot more in the future.
While some men have made nail art look suited for special occasions, many men are making it part of their everyday ensemble, rocking nail art anywhere and everywhere. No longer is nail art and nail polishes just for women, nor is there a stigma when men choose to wear it. These days men are wearing their nail art loud and proud.
While we will continue to see gender stereotypes crumble and the boundary of masculinity and femininity in fashion continue to blur, we definitely don’t see the “man-icure” going anywhere anytime soon — nail art is no longer considered solely feminine — it’s for everyone. The world of nail art is becoming a gender neutral space that continues to inspire and grow, and we’re all about it.