This clean and sheer manicure is the equivalent of a lip stain for your nails

Delivering a glowy and flattering tint while allowing your natural nails to shine through, this sheer look makes for the ultimate, elevated mani...

A close-up of a hand with pink sheer nails by nail artist, @matejanova/Mateja Novakovic / in a pink and peach watercolour paint-style template
(Image credit: @matejanova/Mateja Novakovic)

On the hunt for a manicure that is both subtle and infinitely glowy? Sheer and tinted nails are the latest "your nails but better" finish making an impression this season. 

Though 2024 nail trends have supplied plenty of bold, statement designs, there's also been a shift towards more understated neutral nails, such as bubble bath nails and milky white hues. More recently still, "barely-there" looks that seek to elevate, rather than disguise, your natural talons have also proved popular.

The current trend for sheer and tinted nails takes this premise to the next level, taking inspiration from lip stains to deliver a wash of pink and nude hues to leave your nails gleaming. Think of it as the next step in the evolution of lip gloss nails.

If you're a lover of minimalistic manicures or perhaps are looking for a way to give your nails a break from treatments (like gel and BIAB nails) with a glossy and easy at-home look, here's how to achieve this "lip stain" finish...

What are sheer, tinted nails?

Think of a tinted lip balm or stain that adds a wash of glossy colour, without the coverage of classic lipstick formulas and apply that premise to your nails instead. That's the essence these sheer nails are trying to capture and, yes, they're as flattering as they sound.

They're glossy, universally flattering and offer a much-needed reprieve from classic, summery brights – especially if you opt for a tinted nail polish that doubles as one of the best nail strengtheners. If you're looking to give your nails a jelly-like gleam, below are the tinted nail polishes to add to your arsenal...

Our go-to sheer nail staples

5 sheer nail looks to recreate

In case you require some visual inspiration, we've rounded up a few glossy, "barely-there" manicures to recreate this summer and beyond...

1. Pink tinted nails

For a "your nails but better" look, opt for a rosy shade of sheer polish, like this one. It's fresh and elevated but perfectly understated – meaning it will go with your entire wardrobe, no matter the season. We'd also recommend opting for squoval nails, for a neat finish.

2. Sheer French tips and half moons

For those who love a French tip nail look but are also tempted by a tinted finish, opt for a creamy sheer coat with a more opaque half-moon or French tip. To achieve this blended look, apply your tip and half-moon design first over a clear base coat, then add a wash of your milky hue over the top.

3. Sheer squoval nails

If you're looking for a very clean and fresh nail look, again opt for a sheer base coat, mixed with a small amount of a nude shade if you want that subtle wash of colour, and combine with either an almond or squoval nail shape.

4. Milky sheer nails

With bubble bath nails a popular look for summer, you can't go wrong with applying this soapy, milk-like shade to your nails – for a soft and elegant effect.

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...