There’s a lot to love about opaque white nail polish, whether it’s worn as a solid, all-over color or just on the free edge à la the classic French manicure — but sometimes you want something a little softer, subtler, and sheerer. For those times and occasions, milky white nails can be a wonderful choice.

This elegant nail trend recently appeared on the runway during New York Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter 2022 shows, and it’s been taking over TikTok: As of today, the hashtag #milkynailsThere have been over 4.3 Million videos displaying different styles of sheers. Brittany BoyceFounding Father of Nails of LAThe transparent version of the classic white manicure can be described as an alternative to the starker white. It is similar to the fashionable jelly look but without bright colors. “Milky white is pretty as a stand-alone all-over color, especially on long, almond-shaped nails,”Boyce: “It’s still giving you that very minimal vibe.”

The sheer shade is great for creating a minimalist, natural looking mani. You can use it as a base for creative nail designs. “Normally, we’ll do a milky neutral as a base, but a milky white can help other colors pop even more,” Boyce explains. “For abstract looks, it can be cool when paired with a stark white for that monochrome look.”

Boyce likes to mix clear and white gel to get the sheered out effect. However, it is possible to achieve the sheered-out effect at home by using any type of white nail varnish along with a thick clear coat. Do not attempt DIY. Keep it simple (it’s the theme here if you haven’t noticed) with a pre-mixed sheer white shade, like Orly’s Breathable Light as a FeatherOr Jin Soon’s Dew polishes. Now you know what products to use for the desired look. See 15 designs of milky white nails to get inspired for your next minimalist chick creation.

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Beautiful Flowers

This mani is proof that milky white nails don’t have to be plain and simple. This is the ideal base color for vivid florals.


White Squiggles

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If you’re into monochromatic vibes, opt for a manicure like this one, which combines both milky and bright white polishes for a unique design. The perfect blend of classic and abstract is the squiggle.


Milky Gradient

“When used for French tips or ombré nails, the transition is more natural,”Boyce discusses milky-white nail paint. Exhibit B is the dreamy gradient that fades away from white beige.


Solid & Simple

Multiple coats can be applied to the same nail polish for different effects. Use only one coat to get the maximum coverage. It is possible to layer the paint on top of it, as seen here.


Wet Outlines

You can paint just the edges with a thin brush to keep your attention focused on the nail shape. Fill in the center with milky-white polish to add more interest and accentuate the shape.


Milky & Matte

Matte versions of glossy and milky nail varnishes are also available. This finish will give texture and dimension to monochromatic nail art, as it is even more soft than milky white.


Milky Nails with Asymmetrical Design

Can’t decide between stark and milky white nails? Both! And if you’re not great at painting straight lines (let alone with your non-dominant hand), try pre-painted nail stickers instead.


French Tips Outlined

Also available in milky white Can allow for a softer transition on French tips, it doesn’t have to. French tips will be more defined. designA line of solid color is drawn to distinguish the two colors.


Milky Ombré

Don’t have a milky white polish on hand? (Pun intended.) Cheat it with an ombré designYou can use a pastel hue and a simple, faded white for your nails.



A little color can make your nail art stand out, like the stars stickers in vibrant colors. But to make it pop even more, start with a milky white base that won’t compete with your design.


It’s as simple as that

If you’re feeling like your faded French mani could use a little something extra, add a few organic strokes with a super-thin striper brush. It looks cool, and it’s pretty easy to do yourself — a win-win.


Holographic Stripes

Add a line of holographic nail glue to your middle mani and instantly make your base look iridescent.


Modern & Milky

Negative spaces can be a good compromise between natural nails and nail art. A sheer white base can hide the natural colors of your nails.


Touch Of Pink

A solid coat of transparent white with the faintest hint of pink isn’t too boring, but it’s also not too distracting. In other words, it’s the ideal neutral nail. Oh, and it’s a look J. Lo has worn it.


Rhinestone Accents

Rhinestones can be a fantastic idea. To create a stunning backdrop, a basic milky foundation is sufficient. ShowAll embellishments must be taken out.

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Sheer Polish Looks Best When You Use Milky White Nails

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