Zendaya's $9 Manicure Was Just As Much A Show-Stopper As Her Yellow Dress — and It's Crazy Easy to Copy

Just swipe a on a few coats of this sandy shade and, violá, you're one step closer to celebrity status.
By Rachel Dube
April 26, 2021
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Let's be honest: Zendaya absolutely slays every red carpet she walks on and the Oscars last night were no exception. From her vibrant yellow Valentino gown and matching mask (because safety first, folks!) to her millions (yes, millions) of dollars worth of diamonds, everything about her Cher-inspired look was, if I do say so myself, perfection — including her neutral nails.

Now, I know what you're thinking: between her show-stopping ensemble, windswept beachy waves, and all-around contagious good vibes, you focused on her manicure? But hear me out. While you'll be hard-pressed to find a budget-friendly version of Zendaya's designer dress (never mind those Bulgari jewels), you can, in fact, score some parts of the actress' award-worthy look without breaking the bank. And it's all thanks to celebrity nail artist Chaun Peth, who called upon a $9 polish to paint Zendaya's nails. (Related: Exactly How to Get a Salon-Quality Manicure at Home)

More specifically? OPI's Samoan Sand (Buy It, $9, walmart.com), a warm beige-pink lacquer that complements her skin tone and doesn't compete with the near-neon color of her headline-making dress. Free of chemicals such as formaldehyde and toluene, this neutral nail polish is designed to last up to weeks post-application. Similar to other OPI shades, Samoan Sand also comes with the brand's ProWide brush, which consists of stacked bristles for optimal, streak-free application.

OPI Samoan Sand Nail Lacquer

Turns out, Zendaya wasn't the only celebrity doting the affordable shade last night. Carrey Mulligan, star of Promising Young Woman, also wore the OPI lacquer but with a little twist. Over on nail artist Queenie's Instagram page, Mulligan can be seen rocking the sandy shade as the base color of a "reverse French." Instead of the typical white line at the tips of the nails, Queenie painted gold polish (to match Mulligan's dress!) along the cuticles to create an edgy French manicure-esque look. (Related: This Clear Nail Polish Gives You a Salon-Worthy French Manicure In Seconds)

While Mulligan's mani requires a few extra polishes and tools (think: thin brush for that gold line), Zendaya's simple style is a no-brainer to recreate. Start by applying one layer of base coat (Buy It, $8, walmart.com) to give the polish a smooth surface to lay on. Next, apply two coats of the neutral shade followed by a swipe of top coat (Buy It, $8, walmart.com) to lock in Samoan Sands and ensure a shiny, healthy finish. Aside from saving yourself $$$ on a fancy manicure, you'll walk around with nails worthy of celebrities — literally.