Color Expert Explains TikTok's Viral Sky Blue Nail Trend Theory

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According to TikTok, an unexpected nail color recently became the latest summer nail trend, becoming the latest proof of the social media platform's influence on beauty culture.

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Light blue nail polish is the most popular nail polish of Generation Z - thanks to all the conversations that have emerged in recent weeks in TikTok videos tagged #lightbluenails, which now have more than 8.8 million views.

TikTok trending topics include women asking men for their opinions on the ideal nail color, concluding that light or sky blue nail art is the most approved shade for men. While the experimental survey is not consistent with the scientific method, there is some validity to the conclusion.

Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Colorcom Color Institute and a color consultant for many industries, including fashion and cosmetics, said blue was often reported as the favorite color regardless of gender. Eiseman said this popularity may be because blue is often associated with positive memories from childhood, such as time at the beach or beautiful bright summer skies.

"[Blue] is very reassuring," Eisman told WWD. "From many perspectives, blue has a positive response. In general, based on the research we've done, it's likely to be positive."

She explained that these positive early childhood associations typically lead people to wear the color - especially in light colors - and receive compliments from people of all genders, which only adds to the positive associations. But given the traditional gender-based color subscriptions at birth, where blue is still often associated with "boys" and pink with "girls," Eisman said men may more strongly "store blue in their memory banks" to store blue preferences.

"If you dress a man in blue in almost any situation - whether it's a sweater, a tie or nail polish - they will respond positively," Eisman said. "It doesn't mean they find it more attractive or that women look sexier with nail polish. It's because they like the color blue, regardless of how it's used."

According to color psychology, blue is known for evoking feelings of calm, serenity and stability. Although blue tends to be associated with men more than women, the feelings blue evokes actually echo characteristics closely associated with femininity.

Eisman also says that blue can be just a pretty nail color that is often overlooked by women in favor of pinks and reds, which are considered "classic nail colors.

But asking for shades in nail salons may mean more than just trends, according to Shakeology. For some Generation Z teens, the calming shade of blue is a subtle way to communicate their relationship status.

Katie Dupere

Sat, June 25, 2022, 1:55 AM·2 min read

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, WWD may receive an affiliate commission.

An unexpected nail color has recently emerged as the newest manicure trend for summer, according to TikTok, becoming the latest testament to the social media platform’s influence over beauty culture.

More from WWD

Light blue nail polish is the lacquer of the moment among Gen Z — thanks to all of the conversation that has emerged from TikTok videos tagged #lightbluenails in recent weeks that now have more than 8.8 million views.

The TikTok-trending topic includes women asking men their opinion of the ideal nail color, concluding that a light or sky blue manicure was overwhelmingly the most approved hue by men. Though the experimental surveys don’t align with the scientific method, there is some validity to the conclusions.

Leatrice Eiseman — director of the Pantone Color Institute and a color consultant for many industries, including the fashion and cosmetics space — says blue is often reported as a favorite color regardless of gender. Eiseman says this favorability may be because blue is often associated with positive memories from an early age, like time at the beach or a beautiful bright summer sky.

“[Blue] is very reassuring,” Eiseman tells WWD. “Blue from many standpoints has positive reactions. In general terms, based on the studies we’ve done, it’s more than likely going to be positive.”

These positive early childhood associations often lead people wearing the color — especially in a light shade — to receive compliments from people of all genders, which only adds to the positive association, she explained. But given traditional gender-based subscription of colors upon birth, with blue still often associated with “boys” and pink with “girls,” Eiseman says men may more strongly store a blue color preference “in their memory bank.”

“If you show men in blue in almost any context — whether it’s a sweater, tie, or nail polish — they will have a positive reaction,” Eiseman says. “It does not mean they find it more alluring or a woman will be sexier with nail polish. It’s because they like blue however it is used.”

According to color psychology, blue is noted for evoking feelings of calmness, serenity and stability. Though blue is often still associated with men more than women, the feelings blue evokes actually echo characteristics closely associated with femininity.

Eisman also suggests blue may just be a nice nail color often overlooked by women in favor of the pinks and reds that have been deemed “classic manicure colors.”

But requesting the hue at the nail salon may indicate more than just being privy to trends, according to TikTok. For some Gen Z teens, the calm blue shade serves as way to subtly communicate their relationship status as taken.

Launch Gallery: The Rise of the Partial Manicure

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