Now, you might be thinking heart nails aren’t exactly new, and you’d be right. Anyone who’s been to the nail salon around Valentine’s Day can vouch for that. Rather, there’s a very specific genre of heart nail designs that have been popping up on our feeds lately, particularly inspired by cool-girl phone case brand Wildflower and 2000s TV revivals.
We’re calling them heart beams—one look at them, and you’ll see why. The multi-layered cuties make us nostalgic for late afternoons spent obsessing over action-packed cartoons with strong female leads and are quickly becoming as classic as a French mani.
So what is it about these hearts that have us wanting to wear them over every finger? “It’s customizable to each person, which makes each set fun,” says Montreal nail artist Victoria Gabreau. “I think it also has a little bit of nostalgia for people who grew up watching The Powerpuff Girls and popular y2k trends.”
The first person to request this playful riff on heart nails at Gabreau’s salon wanted to match her favorite Wildflower case, the nail artist recalls. “We did a mismatch set with some brown French tips and the beaming heart in different shades of browns,” she says. “At that point, I feel like the beaming heart wasn’t as big.”