How-to-Tuesday: Wire Nails

The minimalist trend has found a new medium. If you are too lazy to work with jewelry or tired of nail polish, “wire nails” might be your new look. Eun Kyung Park, owner of Unistealla Salon in Seoul, Korea, is the mastermind behind wire nails. Her salon is famous for its extraordinary nail designs. This look, inspired by the letters on neon signs, is a clear nail with various wire shapes on top. The wire can be used as an accent on either the cuticles or the ring finger. Regardless of the design you choose, wire nails gives your manicure a unique twist. Here are a few ways of achieving this look without breaking the bank:

  1. Start by finding some thin flexible wire. It can either be found at a craft or hardware store.
  2. Use tweezers to create your designated shapes. If you’re looking for inspiration, Park has created everything from geometric shapes to abstract faces. One option is to outline the nail and put an abstract design in the center. You can also trace the nail bed by making an oval shape with the wire and then add an extra loop to the extension of the nail to create a chic almond shaped look


Credit: Unistella Salon

  1. For this next step, Park recommends using a gel or clear polish on the nail bed. The gel polish helps secure the wire and keep it from shifting but recreating the look with only polish makes it more versatile. This also creates a great minimalistic aesthetic while acting as a base coat for the nail.
  2. If using gel, paint on the polish and then place under a UV light. Many drugstore brand nail polish companies now offer at home gel kits, which are fairly easy and affordable. Gel polish has a lot of benefits including being extremely long lasting and chip free.
  3. Be sure the wire is filed down, otherwise a sharp tip might get caught on your skin or clothing.
  4. Use nail glue to place the design in the designated position on the fingers. Extra glue is always better to guarantee security.
  5. Finally, add a top coat to completely secure the wire.

If you are uncomfortable with using wire or want to recreate the look without the effort, this look can easily be achieved with metallic polish. Here’s how:

  1. Apply a clear base coat. Any light color base coat works but clear is the color Park uses.
  2. Take a regular nail polish, preferably gold or silver to look like wire. Use either a thin paint brush, makeup brush, or toothpick to apply nail polish in the same shapes as you would the wire. Use short strokes to keep the lines from getting too thick.
  3. Apply a top coat to create shine.

This nail art is perfect for the minimalist in your life and requires little to no effort. The different patterns, colors, and mediums (wires or metallic polish) make this seemingly simple look both bold and creative.

Krista Burton is a contributing writer. Email her at


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