Even if you don’t summer in Martha’s Vineyard, galavant around Paris, or live in a gigantic house with its very own library, you can still look like you do thanks to “old money” nails — a quietly sophisticated manicure trend with millions of views on TikTok.This mani aesthetic features classic colors and soft details, says Christina Kao, a nail expert and co-founder of nail care brand Le Mini Macaron. It pulls inspiration from the shops of Park Avenue and the Kennedy-esque estates of New England, as well as the rich details of the “quiet luxury” aesthetic for a look that seems rich, timeless, and impeccably chic. (See Kendall Jenner’s many minimalist manicures for inspo.)An old money mani will include simple, sheer pinks and nudes, as well as the occasional pop of color — typically a red or rich blue. A classic French manicure, with a neutral base and white tips, also falls into this category, Kao says. “The effect gives an understated sense of luxury.”
These manicures aren’t as eye-catching as other nail trends that have been making the rounds, but that’s exactly the appeal. Old money nails are wearable no matter the occasion, and — just like the richest grandma you know — they always look effortlessly elegant.Below, nail experts share 12 “old money” manicure ideas to use as inspiration.
— Instagram/@leminimacaronThe fanciest women have been wearing French manicures for decades, and now this classic nail art is yours for the taking.According to Kao, a French tip offers a rich, regal touch that instantly elevates any look, whether you’re going to a private workout class or attending a gala.To really nail the old money aesthetic, it helps to keep your tips short and rounded versus long or angular, says Jenny Kim, the founder of gel press-on nail brand UUUUU. That way, they’ll give off the chicest “just woke up like this” vibe à la Sofia Richie Grainge.
— Instagram/@leminimacaraonWhen in doubt, a nude, cream, or the viral “Bubble Bath” polish from OPI are all good options for a classic and polished old-money look.
“Nudes and creams are the ultimate symbol of understated wealth,” Kao says.
— Instagram/@marinaseckali“Red is definitely old money,” Kao says, and this is the case whether you rock it via a pair of ballet flats, your accessories, a cardigan, or a bright mani. Recently, the blue-toned red called Boston University by DND took over social media, but really any hue will fit the bill if you’re going for luxury vibes. “Like red lipstick, you don’t get more classic than this shade,” Kao says. “Simple reds have been rediscovered as the ultimate femme touch.”
— Instagram/@_karebeauty_When you think of a rich aunt who spends her days going to dinner parties and collecting art for her mansion, you likely think of a slightly more eccentric style. Think jewel-toned walls, scarves, and tortoiseshell everything.To lean into a slightly quirkier side of the old money aesthetic, opt for a detailed tortoiseshell manicure with a splash of color.
— Instagram/@joanna_emm.indigo_educatorAccording to Kim, many people also like to wear deep browns, like espresso, when going for a sophisticated look.Not only does this neutral go with everything — whether you’re wearing a crisp white shirt or a tailored blazer — but it also makes your nail shape look good no matter the length.Consider wearing multiple coffee-inspired hues in a Skittles-style mani that features everything from lighter caramels to darker mochas.
— Instagram/@ronnajonesFor nails that look like you’ve rubbed elbows with royalty, go for a sheer, sparkling pink that looks like your own nails, but better.
“Initially, sheers exploded with the clean girl aesthetic,” Kao says. “But this shade is finding a second wind as a fresh take on the ‘old money’ trend.”
— Instagramfirstname.lastname@example.orgWhat could be more “old money” than pearls? “This trend dates back to style icons that come from nobility, such as Princess Diana, who stuck with minimalist oufits and clean nail looks with a conservative color palette of beige, white, navy blue, and sage,” Kim says.Pearl accents on top of a neutral nail base make for the ultimate classic mani.
Red, Red Wine
— Instagram/@nailsbyasln“The hottest nail trend this fall is burgundy,” Kao says. “The rich tone is a direct symbol of the old money trend, and it pairs so nicely with the cashmere and tweeds of the season.”It’s also reminiscent of weekends at the winery, the rolling hills of the French countryside, or your grandparents’ vintage Jaguar — even if only in a daydream.
— Instagram/@nailsbyj03Pull inspo from the pale colors of vintage set of fine tea cups and gilded plates by opting for pastel blue or sage green nail polish, then add a hint of gold as an accent. It’ll make you feel like you’re having tea at the Plaza — even if you’re miles away.
— Instagram/@nailspa__A frosted white — aka vanilla chrome — is another big hit amongst the old money crowd. As Kim says, the beauty of a vanilla nail is that it’s designed to make your fingers look elegant and rich without having to try too hard.“The key elements of nail art in this style are neatly groomed cuticles, healthy nail shine, perfectly straight lines, and a clean curvature of nails,” she says.
— Instagramemail@example.comFor nails that remind you of a drool-worthy hand-me-down purse collection, opt for croc print nails in a rich hue like espresso brown. Your set will look just like an iconic Hermès Birkin bag.
— Instagram/@leminimacaronAccording to Kim, the old money nail trend is anything but over-the-top. Whether you opt for a shiny pink gloss, a rich-looking detail, or a classic color — like this navy blue — you’ll definitely have the right idea.Sources:Christina Kao, nail expert, co-founder of Le Mini MacaronJenny Kim, founder of gel press-on nail brand UUUUU