It’s the 90s nail trend that’s making a serious comeback but this time pierced nails come with a side of sophistication.

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Depending on your age you may remember pierced nails the first time around. I certainly do. Come down memory lane with me: it’s the late 90s and what better way to spend my school lunch break than taking the compass from my pencil case, making holes at the top of my nails and threading through small charms broken off from necklaces and bracelets purchased from Claire’s Accessories (as it was then called). My friends and I thought we were so cool. Fast-forward over twenty years and it seems, in fact, we really were because pierced nails are back and look better than ever. Could this be the nail trend that knocks Hailey Bieber glazed donut nails off the top spot?

There hasn’t been one big ‘pierced nails’ moment, but slowly and steadily more and more of our favourite nail technicians have been showing off their latest pierced nails creations. including nail technician, Michelle Class who posted this beautiful reel of a nail piercing on her client, actress and Bridgerton star, Nicola Coughlan. And if Bridgerton is your thing then you may want to check out our Bridgerton hair and makeup how-to.


“I also used to pierce my nails back in the 90s. I had really long nails and pierced them all the way up the sides. In the last six months, having not done a pierced nail for years and years, they’ve started to come back in and more of my clients are asking for them which I’m thrilled about it."

What is it about pierced nails she thinks is making them have a comeback now? “It’s a great way to elevate a nail look by adding something really interesting without the need for nail art, which isn’t everyone’s thing. I have some clients who want to try different things but always stick to their ‘safe’ neutral or classic colours, but a nail piercing appeals to them. I also think it ties in beautifully with our obsession with jewellery and looks great if you’re wearing lots of different stacked rings or bracelets. It’s a great alternative to other piercings as it’s pain-free, far cheaper and there’s zero commitment with it. If you don’t like it simply cut it away.”

How do I do pierced nails?

If you regularly get your nails done then ask your manicurist to do it for you as it’s far easier and gentler for someone else to pierce your nail than doing it yourself. You will probably need to take your own charms with you. Michelle recommends having the piercing on a false nail tip but if you want it on your own nail then she says to have a gel polish covering your nail to stop it from splitting and to give extra support.

You can of course pierce your own nails - follow pro nail artist, Iram Shelton's video below. 

Michelle advises steering clear of using a compass this time and taking more of a 2023 approach and buying a kit that comes with a nail drill that will make light work of making a small hole in your nail.