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How to Do Nail Piercing: Uncovering the Hottest Trend

How to Do Nail Piercing

What’s the latest craze that’s got everyone talking? It’s how to do nail piercing. That’s right, it’s not just a splash of color or a cute design. This is a radical transformation at your fingertips. It’s no wonder why it’s the hottest trend!

Nail piercing means adorning your nails with jewelry, like charms, studs, or earrings. It’s a rebellion against the mundane manicure and a definite conversation starter. That’s because nail piercings are the ultimate expression of self-style. They have the celebrity seal of approval from icons like Lady Gaga while millions of fans follow #nailpiercing on social media. Moreover, nail piercing is bringing back those retro nineties vibes. It’s a nostalgic trend that feels right for today’s world.

Finally, you can truly say there’s no pain, all gain, when it comes to nail piercing! Let’s look at the trend’s highlights and learn how to do nail piercing at home.

Lady Gaga with Pierced Nails at the 2017 Grammys

When Lady Gaga appeared at the Grammys in 2017, her nails were a rock ‘n’ roll revolution. She previewed the look in an Instagram story showcasing her Metallica mani complete with dangly piercings.

Lady Gaga with Pierced Nails at the 2017 Grammys

Neutral Nails with Gold Rings

Let’s be honest—pierced nails aren’t convenient if you use your hands a lot. Lady Gaga’s dangling rings would quickly get in the way. But these nails are the ideal compromise for the practical yet fashion-forward individual. The matte finish on the almond-shaped manicure is sophisticated, while the gold rings add just the right amount of pizzazz. It’s a look that says, “I’m here to work, but make it fashion”.

Neutral Nails with Gold Rings

Celebrities Who Pierced Their Nails

Besides Mother Monster, there are many celebrities who have enjoyed a pierced nails look. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list:

  • Megan Fox sets the bar high with dark silver chrome nails, each one featuring charms like stars, hearts, and crosses.
  • Danielle Bregoli, a.k.a. Bhad Bhabie had long pink acrylics sporting piercings plus a Florida area code, 561.
  • Demi Lovato’s long nude pierced nails were classy and sassy.
  • Tinashe had long black nails with piercings galore.
  • Jess Glynne loves the color Double Down and paired it with piercings.
  • Vanessa Hudgens' glamorous manicure gleamed with white and gold, jewels, beads, tri-dimensional flowers, and piercings.
  • Katy Perry’s black square nails with piercings at the Met Gala were a fashion statement that inspired the trendy among us.
  • Lil Debbie’s white geometric designs with gold beads and charms were like the best kind of geometry lesson.
  • Lastly, don’t forget about Nicola Roberts’ colorblock manicure with a pierced pinkie at the House Of Holland show.

So, it’s time to add star power to your nails and take a cue from these icons. Let’s find out how to make your next manicure a pierced masterpiece.

Studded Nails

No need for rhinestones here. Upcycle those training studs into nail ornaments for an unforgettable look.

Studded Nails

How to Do Nail Piercing: Step by Step Guide

Prepare to enter the DIY zone. Here’s the scoop on how to pierce your nails. First, the suggested supply list:

  1. False tips, specifically soft gel extensions as they are the easiest to pierce and apply
  2. A piercing tool from a nail piercing kit or a nail drill with a skinny bit
  3. Other manicure tools for prepping the nails, like clippers, files, buffer block, and nail wipes
  4. Polish, including a top coat, and other adornments if desired
  5. Nail jewelry, whether studs, charms, or rings

Alternatively, you can also pierce your natural nails (not recommended) or build extensions with acrylics, hard gel, or poly gel and pierce those instead.

Now, onto the fun part!

Step 1: Natural Nail Prep

Prepare your nails for piercing as you would for any other manicure. Remove the old polish, trim, and shape them, and cleanse the debris and oil with lint-free wipes and alcohol or acetone. Remember to push back the cuticles, too.

Apply the base coat, colored polish, and top coat. Make sure each layer is completely dry before adding the next. Be prepared to touch up your work if needed after drilling the nail.

If you need to mark the nails to align various holes, use a marker and hold off on the colored polish until afterward so you can cover up the markings.

If you insist on piercing your natural nails, we highly recommend softening the underside with moisturizer to avoid the nails splitting or cracking. Hopefully, this won't happen if you've applied a high-quality polish to the top.

Step 1B: Prepping Extensions for Drilling

Protect your natural nails by piercing extensions instead. For this task, you can drill the holes ahead of time, then paint, add jewelry, and apply the nails. Use press-ons or soft gels to achieve a greater length and more piercings with no risk to your own nails.

Otherwise, build length with acrylics or similar nail treatments and drill the tips to protect your natural nails from damage.

Step 2: Drilling the Nail

Choose a spot for drilling. Consider how much you use your hands and the type of jewelry you'll be adding. Try to keep the weight balanced if possible.

Now, there are nail piercing kits with a type of hand tool like an awl. It has a sharp point that you can twist through the nail. It’s a bit risky because you could split the nail with it. Take it slow and use gentle pressure.

A better option is to use a nail drill. Choose a bit that suits the size of jewelry you’ll use. Rest the nail on a firm surface but make sure you have something you can drill into underneath besides the tabletop. For example, a piece of scrap wood like soft pine would work.

Pay attention to the angle at which you're drilling and hold the tool steady. Make the piercing, then clear the debris with a dry nail wipe. Insert the jewelry and admire your work.

Step 3: Afterward

Touch up the polish if needed. Treat yourself to cuticle oil and take a photo. Then, stay mindful of your new piercing so that you don't snag it on your clothes. Be sure to wear gloves if you’re working with your hands. Also, check the jewelry every periodically to make sure it's still secure.


We hope you love how your new nail piercing looks. May your sparkly studs be the conversation starters at every soiree! And if you want to paint your pierced nails in the latest trendy colors, check out our new arrivals. We’ve got colors for every mood, occasion, and outfit.