The easiest (and chicest) way to reference the movie of the summer in your look? Barbie-themed nails. We have inspiration galore for you
It’s easy to see why the Barbie movie is a mega-hit. The film, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and directed by Greta Gerwig, seems like fantastic, frivolous fun (I mean, it’d be a bit weird if a movie about Barbie wasn’t, right?), which is basically just what we need for a delicious dollop of escapism this summer. And while Barbiecore fashion isn’t for everyone (many of us haven’t dressed in head-to-toe pink since we were about eight), a more grown-up, discreet way to nod to the trend is Barbie-inspired nails. Manicures are, after all, often the part of our beauty look where we feel we can be a bit more playful.
We’ve rounded up 14 dreamy Barbie-esque nail looks, with something to suit every length of nail, personal style and skill level (some you can do at home, with some you’ll need to head to the salon). There’s a mix of styles including Margot Robbie’s and other cast members’ premiere nails and styles inspired by the numerous Barbie dolls. It’s time to dip a finger (or toe) into Barbieland and think pink this summer.
Classic Barbie nails
Barbie is one versatile woman. And if you’re looking for the same thing in your manicure then this ticks that box. It’s true to everything that Barbie is about - pink and sparkly - but also works if (shock, horror) you’re not actually that into Barbie and are just looking for one of the best summer 2023 nail trends to wear on your hands or feet (this would look fab as a pedicure). This look was worn by Barbie herself, Margot Robbie and created by nail technician to the stars, Tom Bachik, for the film's world premiere in LA. Sadly, Tom didn’t credit which brand or shades he used on Margot’s nails but there have never been more bright Barbie pink shades to choose from as there are right now. One of our favourites is OPI Barbie Nail Lacquer in Hi Barbie!, £14.90. And then you can paint Mii Colour Confidence Nail Polish in Gold Dust, £9.50 over the top.
Totally Hair Barbie inspired nails
Totally Hair Barbie is one of the best-selling Barbie dolls there has ever been. She is known for, and recognised by, her exceptionally long wavy hair and her love of retro prints. And it’s the latter that nail artist Betina Goldstein used as inspiration for Margot’s nails for the Barbie press junket in Mexico City. This look uses water marbling; a really clever technique that involves dropping different nail polishes into room-temperature water, creating a marble mix and then dipping each nail into. It’s not difficult to do yourself, but it can be a bit tricky to get an even spread of colour across the nail and ensure that you neaten the edges perfectly, so probably one look that’s best left to the nail pros.
Parisian Barbie nails
If a classic French manicure is your go-to nail look then why not give it a Barbie-inspired upgrade by switching out the classic white tips for pink instead? We love the subtle graduation of pinks on this look but you could of course stick with one shade across all fingers.
Disco Barbie nails
Ok, so these aren’t quite disco balls but surely a Barbie disco ball-inspired nail look would look something like this? It's a great option for shorter nails as the line of pink dots helps make nails look longer but you may need your nail artist to get involved to ensure the dots are all the same size and lined up perfectly.
Malibu Barbie nails
If Barbie’s dream house is your idea of real estate heaven then you need to embrace all things Malibu and do as has been done here with a nod to the ocean and sunny skies with a tropical flower motif on the ring finger. This can either be hand painted or sprayed on by a pro or keep your eyes peeled for a nail sticker that you can easily apply over your regular polish. In no way fitting for Malibu Barbie, but Chanel has launched nail stickers with their Chanel Set Le Vernis, and we're slightly obsessed with them. One for Fashion Designer Barbie maybe?
Madam President Barbie nails
If, like actress Issa Rae, who plays Madam President Barbie, you are not a fan of pink but want to embrace the Barbie hype then these minimalist and pared-back nails are the ones for you. They are in fact the style that Rae chose for herself for the world premiere of the film. They were created by nail artist, Eri Ishizu who used a few complimentary shades of the OPI x Barbie nail polish collection just on the tips of Rae’s nails paired with a nude base.
70s Barbie nails
Add all the retro-feeling love to your manicure with this gorgeous look. It's definitely one that requires a steady, and probably a professional, hand and quite a lot of patience. You need a fairly long nail bed to be able to get the volume of hearts to create the impact and we love the mix of the pink and red colour palette used here.
Nobel Prize Scientist Barbie nails
Okay, we may be stretching things a bit far with this one but could these nails represent a swirling Barbie black (pink) hole or some sort of new wormhole discovered by Nobel Prize Scientist Barbie (played in the film by the brilliant British actress, Emma Mackey)? Sure. We love this soft pink nail look that is a great option for summer as the regrowth will be less noticeable thanks to the very natural base colour. And if you’re thinking there’s something familiar about the overall style of this look that’s because they were created by LA based nail artist, Zola Ganzorigt who is responsible for Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails.
Rainbow Barbie nails
Known for her love of wearing all the colours of the rainbow (as you’d probably already guessed), this is a fairly simple nail look that you can easily do yourself at home as a nod to Rainbow Barbie and before heading off to the cinema to watch the film. All you need is five different intensities of pink polish, a fairly steady hand and a cotton bud soaked in nail polish remover to tidy up any smudges.
Dreamtopia Barbie nails
A slightly more obscure Barbie reference, but those in the know (aka anyone with a five-year-old in their life) will know that all Dreamtopia Barbie outfits include ombré, a hint of sparkle and normally some sort of unicorn horn. We’re going to ignore the last part and focus firmly on the former two and this glitter ombré, almost sunset-like, nail design is perfect for achieving just that. This is another look to show your favourite nail technician as it involves layering a couple of different pink-hued polishes to create a perfect seamless graduated effect.
Mermaid Barbie nails
Played by Dua Lipa in the new film, Mermaid Barbie’s signature colour is blue. She has blue hair, blue mermaid 'clothes' and accessories and of course blue nails. So if you fancy channeling your inner mermaid Barbie or just fancy a sea-inspired nail look for the summer, this is a great one to copy. It's a light blue base layered with subtle streaks of a darker glittering blue and finished off with gems. Barbie would approve.
Cowgirl Barbie nails
One of the iconic looks from the film is Margot Robbie in a full cowgirl ensemble. And these nails are a clear nod to that, and we love it. This look was created by Welsh nail technician Tayla-Rose McBride and brings together cow print, the Barbie emblem, rhinestone detail and Barbie herself. Amazing.
Diplomat Barbie nails
Derry Girls and Bridgerton star, Nicola Coughlan plays Diplomat Barbie and these are the nails she chose for the UK premiere of the film. Created by nail technician and GTG favourite, Michelle Class, this is another look that 100 per cent ticks the Barbie box but is also a great option for anyone who isn’t looking for a Barbie-inspired manicure and just wants their nails to look phenomenal. Length is required to allow for enough space between the nails that have two starbursts.
Influencer Barbie nails
As soon as journalist Laura Capon posted her Barbie nails, the GTG team WhatsApp chat exploded to discuss how amazing they are. Created by London-based nail technician Izzy Taylor each nail has a different element from the movie; Barbie’s pink feathered mule, Barbie’s silhouette, the signature B, Barbie's pool and inflatable and a colour-changing heart. It took five and half hours to create and is a true testament to the amazing artists that nail technicians are.