The latest nail trend is surprising to say the least. Women are going beyond experimenting with colors and designs to play with the actual shape of their nails with 3D "bubble nails."

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So, what exactly do bubble nails look like? Somewhat similar to what your fingers might look like after getting jammed in a car door and swelling like crazy. Or, if you stuck your nails in crazy glue and then straight into a bowl full of gumballs.


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While bubble nails are recently trending, they're not exactly new. In 2009, NAILS magazine published a post about the possibility of it becoming a popular style. About six years later, the trend has finally caught on, with thousands of Instagram posts under the #bubblenails hashtag.

"It was prevalent five or six years ago, right at the beginning of nail art, but it never gained popularity," celebrity nail artist Pattie Yankee told

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According to Yankee, bubble nails are essentially acrylics with a much greater thickness than normal. To achieve the look, a nail technician places a ball (or multiple balls) of acrylic at the center of the nail and builds it out by adding layers.

While acrylics are typically applied as thinly as possible, this look is all about the bulk. But because the application creates such a heavy layer, Yankee warns the acrylic may be more prone to falling off.

"The point is to make it pop more," said Yankee, who explained that she often had clients ask for an accentuation of their natural hump in the '80s, but never this exaggerated.

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