I tested out the latest crazy nail trend, bubble nails to see what they’re really like and what people really thought of them.

Bubble nails are the latest nail trend taking over the Internet. Unlike Minion nail art or stiletto nails, the bubble nail trend has even the most experimental nail artists saying, “WTF.” If you haven’t seen the photos of people with nails that look about fourteen times too big for their hands, the trend doesn’t have to do with drawing bubbles on your nails, as many of us would have assumed. It has to do with applying layers upon layers of acrylic over your nails to give them a bubble-like shape. They’re sometimes called “hump nails,” too. Imagine cutting a gumball in half and gluing it to your fingers, and that is pretty much the bubble nail shape.

Bubble nails with regular nail polish

Bubble nails have left many people scratching their heads. I love new beauty trends, but this one confused me too. Bubble nails weren’t like stiletto nails. They didn’t make you feel like Catwoman, and they didn’t look like badass claws. I thought that it was because I hadn’t actually worn them and, as a result, was missing out on the real pleasure of them.

I made my own bubble nails using some false nails and replicated the layers of acrylic with lots of layers of white Elmer’s glue. The bubble nail shape can vary slightly. Some are like orbs on your nails and are so round they cover the entire ends of your fingers. I opted to keep mine on the shorter side but didn’t make them as extreme as others. I painted them light blue and added a bit of sparkle in an effort to make them look like bubbles and not boils.

Stiletto bubble nails

Just look at that thumb. Now imagine having 10 nails that thick. Here’s a shot of my normal nails, so you can see what they look like without 50 layers of glue:

Why does my nail polish bubble

Once I had my bubble nails on, I realized that they did not look any more pleasant in person. A bit of glitter polish couldn’t save them. I committed to wearing them the rest of the day to see what they were like, and maybe, just maybe, someone else would get them.

Bubble nails aren’t long, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t awkward. They’re not heavy, but you’re always just so aware of them, especially if you’re trying to do any sort of fine work with your hands. If you dip your finger in a pot of lip gloss, your bubble nail is there taking up half the pot. If you go to tie your shoe, all you see if bubble fingernails are hiding laces. It’s sort of like you’re wearing thimbles on all of your fingers or that you have mini (sparkly) visors protecting your nails.

Typing and texting aren’t as difficult as they are with long nails. If you had long, bubble nails, you wouldn’t be able to do anything, but I don’t think Kylie Jenner-long bubble nails will be the next phase.

As for people’s reactions, I was expecting plenty of stares and possibly a few, “Excuse me, but I think there’s something wrong with your hands” comments. My bubble nails did get lots of looks and double-takes, but strangers were too polite to actually say anything about them. Surprise, surprise, they didn’t get a single compliment.

When I showed them off to different friends, the reactions ranged from confused to slightly horrified. “What did you do to your nails?” was a phrase I heard a lot, sometimes followed by laughter. “It looks like you have some sort of infection” and “It looks like you used a bottle of very, very old chunky nail polish and applied five coats” were two other accurate ways my nails were described.

While I am no closer to understanding the bubble nail obsession, I did amuse, confuse, and maybe scared some people, so at least all those layers of glue weren’t for nothing.

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