Sammy Nickalls
August 16, 2015 8:10 am

Hump nails, curve nails, bubble nails — people are calling the latest nail trend that is sweeping our Instagram feeds many different things, but no matter what you call it, it’s a little crazy-looking. We kind of think “bubble nails” sound cute and adorable. Like, maybe a whimsical bubble design? Or maybe giving your nails a rainbow bubble-like sheen? Nope. Bubble nails look like your nails have swollen to creepy-looking spheres. And we thought we had seen it all.

So why exactly would anyone want their nails to look like you stuck gumballs to them? As the Today show points out, the trend truly started back in 2009, when NAILS Magazine wrote about the possibility of bubble nails becoming a trend.

So is this just a TON of nail polish layered over and over again? Nope, celeb artist Pattie Yankee explained to Today: they’re acrylics that are way, way thicker than the kind you’d normally invest in. In fact, stylists often place a ball of acrylic at the center of the nail and then build it out by adding layers. “Bubble nails require building and sculpting of the acrylic until you get the look your client wants to achieve,” Hoa Bui told NAILS Magazine of the trend in 2009. “You have to know exactly where the hump is supposed to be, then slowly build the nails. You start with a ball of acrylic in the middle of the nail, which is the highest part of the hump.”

“The nail has to be thin at the cuticle, then it gradually gets thicker as it gets to the middle of the nail plate,” Bui continued. “Then from the middle of the nail plate it has to gradually get thinner at the tip of the nail, like a nice smooth hill. The curve has to be perfect.”

Not only are bubble nails so heavy that they’re prone to falling off easier, but you pretty much *have* to go to the salon with this one, and it will cost you extra, warns Yankee. Oh, and nail students aren’t taught how to create bubble nails — they do so through experimentation.

As for the difference between “hump nails” and “bubble nails” — though they both seem similarly bizarre, they are, indeed, different. Hump nails are longer, while bubble nails are shorter (the former just giving the appearance of a hump, while the latter makes it look like you’ve literally glued bubbles to your nails — makes sense, huh?). According to Yankee, hump nails are safer for your nails due to where the stress is placed.

“If done properly, it would be safe as long as it’s not worn for a long period of time,” she explained to Today. “I would wear for at the most a month and then switch to a regular style.” There are a lot of people who are a fan, but others? Not so much:

Still others are creating their own “bubble nails” via paraodies:

How can anyone function like a normal human being with bubble nails? How could you possibly put in contact lenses or text your friends? Yeesh. I’m all for bold, fabulous looks, but I think I’ll pass on this one.

(Images via Instagram.)

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