To be totally honest, I’ve been trying to ignore the Pokémon Go phenomenon. The most I’ve paid attention to the craze was when I thought I was being hit on while in line at Starbucks. He pulled out his phone. I smiled. He said, “uh, no, sorry, just trying to catch the Magikarp behind you.” 

However, recently while in an Instagram beauty wormhole, I stumbled across a feed that forced me to develop a new appreciation for the augmented reality game: Pokémon manicures. (!!!) 



Catch ’em all! #valleynyc #nailart #pokemon #pokemonnails #pokemongo #valleyyuri #pikachu

A photo posted by Valley (@valleynyc) on


In an effort to animate my nails as soon as possible (and avoid those nail art fail memes), I chatted with Shirley Truong, manicurist and nail art expert at Tips Nail Bar in Toronto about the trend. “We have had a few people asking for Pokémon manicures,” she told me, “it has been such a craze recently.”



According to Truong, you need black, white and red for the pokeball, and yellow, red, and blue for the characters. Also key: a striping brush and dotting tool. “The striping brush will help you outline body shapes and small details. And the dotting is for facial features like the eyes, nose and some patterns. All of these tools can be found at your local drug store,” she says.

Not everyone has the patience (ahem, me) to do nail art on themselves, as it can be very time consuming. If you plan on taking it to the pros, Truong recommends getting the most bang for your buck and having your nail art done with a gel polish, so it will stay #fresh for a few weeks.

Shirley’s fav Pokémon-inspired colours:

CND Vinylux Black Pool ($12.95), at

CND Vinylux Cream Puff ($12.95), at


Essie a-list ($8.50), at


CND Creative Play in “Skinny Jeans” ($7.50), at



China Glaze nail lacquer in ‘Happy Go Lucky,” ($5.84), at