07/19/2024

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Starting a new relationship is always exciting, but let’s be honest – it can be scary. Thanks to social media, there are plenty of ways to claim your new boo. You can no longer show up under someone’s window with a speaker or give them your Letterman jacket – it’s 2022, folks! We live in an ever-evolving digital age of dating apps and DM slideshows and meta-universes and Kardashians. Whether it’s through a subtle soft launch or an enthusiastic tribute, making it official has never been a higher risk.

Get it from today’s biggest celebrity couple. Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson’s first kiss aired on live television. Bennifer’s second engagement was revealed via Jennifer Lopez’s fan newsletter. Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have had three headline weddings. For these famous duos, just going official on Instagram isn’t enough. From tongue-spitting makeup to talking about “twin flames” and drinking each other’s blood (looking at you, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly), PDA has reached new heights in the past year.

For us regular folks (aka non-celebrities who don’t have to worry about paparazzi or PR), these public statements are impractical and sometimes even blunt, but their impact on today’s dating culture is clear. PDA for sure.

With all the buzz surrounding these celebrity couples, they are committed to doing something that doesn’t require a lot of fanfare or drama. It’s small and subtle, a little nostalgic and charming, and most importantly, surprisingly normal. We’ve officially unlocked a new subcategory of PDAs: PDA manicures.

It all started with Fox and MGK, who attended the launch of Kelly’s nail polish brand UN/DN LAQR last December, where their nails were actually locked together with nail locks. This style statement from Fox and Kelly is no surprise – they always do it the most – but the manicure also fits their personalities as a couple: quirky, cheeky and reflective of their shared love of beauty.


Other couples soon followed suit, but took a more wearable approach to the trend. Kourtney and Barker showed off their matching Old English manicures on Kardashian’s Instagram story last month, keeping the brand on point with their punk rock aesthetic. Barker wore a K on her thumb and Kardashian wore a T. A few weeks later, Kim Kardashian took a page out of her sister’s beauty book and did a tribute manicure for boyfriend Pete Davidson, applying her long pink acrylic and rhinestone P accent nails.


Jennifer Lopez recently went with the trend and collaborated with celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik to create a look for her fiancé Ben Affleck. “Jen actually had the idea to do their initials,” Bachik tells Glamour. “We were looking through packs of nail stickers for something with a springtime vibe, like flowers, butterflies and cherubs. Then we came across these letters. We loved the look of the gold initials and added arrows to frame the initials and hearts to complete the look.”

The PDA manicure has a charmingly nostalgic element reminiscent of the old high school days of writing your lover’s name in a notebook or carving a couple’s initials into a tree. Bachik agrees. “Manicures are a great form of self-expression, and couples love to express their love for each other,” he says. “A relationship mani is a great opportunity to show the state of your relationship. Remember to have fun! Use your favorite colors and elements that are all special to you and flaunt it proudly.”

To recreate the look, Bachik suggests using his Tom Bachik x Tweezerman Ultimate Nail Care Set to get clean nails. Then, choose a translucent nude color as your base color to create some depth. “For the couple’s club label, I pulled a few different gold chrome sticker packs and we picked our favorites,” he says. “We finished the look with a thick top coat to seal and protect our design and, of course, finished it off with a nice cuticle polish.”

To help extend your manicure and keep it looking great, Bachik recommends applying a thin coat of quick-drying topcoat every few days to refresh the nail and add an extra layer of protection. “If you use a facial oil as part of your nightly self-care routine, be sure to rub the excess oil into your cuticles and hands for the ultimate effect,” he adds.

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