We can’t stop seeing ’90s-themed nail art everywhere we turn. Whether it’s smileys, peace signs, or aliens, all of the big trends from the grunge-meets-internet era have resurfaced on our tips, and we can’t get enough! But, like, when we think back to our childhood (we were born in the ’80s, SO SUE US) there are certain things that REALLY stand out (namely, Trapper Keepers, cartoons, and toys). So we wondered, “What if we recreated some of our favorite childhood memories with killer nail art?” Then we thought about how technically unskilled we were and got bummed out, but after many hours a-searchin’ the internet, we can happily say that it already exists! And you know what? IT’S BEAUTIFUL. It’s not some haphazard recreation of our old faves—it’s perfectly executed ’90s nail art, and we just about DIED over every single one of these. But enough talk! Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Photo: Via Compulsive Nails
Basically, if you were a girl below the age of 14 in the ’90s, you had something with Lisa Frank plastered on it. Her rainbow majesticalness (is that a word?) spiced up our borecore suburban middle school lives, and even YEARS later we’re finding her designs just as delightful as we remember. See: Her art recreated on nails above. A killer whale? A tiger? A UNICORN? We can barely stop smiling right now at how well this entire mani is executed AND all those prit-prit colors. WELL DONE! *hands nail artist congratulatory Lisa Frank sticker*
EVERY SHOW ON NICKELODEON
Photo: Via Nail Stuff
If you weren’t watching Nickelodeon in the ’90s, you SURELY missed out on some of the most epic cartoons of ALL. TIME. We know that sounds dramatic (because it is), but those illustrated characters basically shaped our lives. Some of our faves included The Rugrats, The Fairly OddParents (this actually was on TV in early ’00s, but IT IS BEAUTIFUL NONETHELESS), Hey Arnold!, and Doug. We love how the nail artist took a non-traditional approach to her TV show-inspired mani by doing off-center designs of the character’s faces. Also, is it just us or are these as good as the original illustrations? Yeah, we went there.
Photo: Via Disco Nails
We don’t really quite remember the purpose of troll dolls other than you’re supposed to rub their belly button and make a wish (or something… this sounds gross now that we’re thinking about it), but we looveeee these troll nails that feature their kooky little faces and pastel-colored hair. Please don’t forget to check out the brains and aztec nails too. Also those cut-out glitter triangles are AMAZE. Kthxbi.
FRUIT STRIPE GUM
Photo: Via Nevor Purify
Fruit Stripe gum was DA BOMBBB. Even though the flavor lasted .02 seconds, the killer packaging and punchy goodness made it worth spending your allowance on. We lovelovelove this on-point nail recreation of our favorite striped candy complete with Yipes’ (!!!) face. (Yes, we totally still remember his name, NBD.)
THE MOVIE ’REALITY BITES’
Photo: Via Fansy Nails
OK, it’s kiinnddd of a lie to say we liked this movie in the ’90s ’cause we didn’t actually appreciate this movie until long after the decade was over, BUT these nails were wayyyyyy too cool to not include. I mean, HOW MANY OF WINONA’S ICONIC OUTFITS ARE IN THIS ONE SET? Too many to freakin’ count. We basically lose our shiz when nails and fashion come together in one beautiful piece of art like this, so we’ll just leave you with that. Aaannndd you’re welcome.