Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit undeniably had an impact on our wardrobes. Trending checked pieces such as Damson Madder’s green and white co-ord flew off the virtual shelves, and Insta-favourite brands like Kitri and Free People followed suit shortly afterwards with their covetable designs.
But it’s not only our closets that the checkerboard print has invaded; nail art fans everywhere are now lining up to try it out at their next mani appointment – and TBH, we can totally see why.
Checkerboard nails have slowly but surely been creeping up in popularity on Instagram lately, with the hashtag #CheckerboardNails featuring over 2,500 looks that are sure to convince you just how cool this trend is.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about this style is the number of variations on it; you can use any colour palettes, and could even combine the look with different nail art or block colours on other nails.
For example, you can’t go wrong with a simple monochrome design, featuring black and white checkerboards. We also love the vibe of a few checkerboard-painted nails combined with several plain block coloured ones, which is ideal if you’re not quite ready to dive in head first.
Similarly, patterned tips are a great shout, and work well with mini boxes that require an intricate approach. Nail artists including Melanie of @overglowedit have nailed (every pun intended) checkerboard tips, while the likes of Hang Nguyen aka Moon from @thehangedit has been known to combine hers with her signature smiley faces on top.
Nail artist Marissa Marsh explains that checkerboard manis “have been really popular, especially as part of the ‘mix’n’match’ nail trend.”
“I’ve done it as a french tip design or on random parts of the nail, and in various different colours,” she continues.
Colour-wise, anything goes; while black and white offers a grown-up take on the trend, browns hues give retro ’70s vibes, and pastels and brighter hues make it a little more playful in nature.
“While the traditional black and white is the most striking, multicoloured variations are all over IG – my personal favourite is a pink and green contrast but any two striking colours can work,” says Juanita Huber-Millet, founder of Townhouse.
“I also like when every nail is a different colour,” adds Marsh.
Like with many trending nail art looks, this may be one you’d prefer to save for your next professional mani appointment, but if you’re feeling extra brave (and steady enough hands worthing of winning a game of Operation), you may want to give it a go from home.
This YouTube tutorial shows how to achieve the look using small bits of tape, and promises to take an easy approach to creating checkerboard nails. We wish you luck!