Who uses ?
While officially known as the nail polish emoji, it is sometimes called the nail paint, nail painting, nail care, beauty, or manicure emoji. That said, most users refer to it by its formal Unicode name.
On social media, many use the nail polish emoji to highlight an impressive manicure or fancy outfit. Others, drawing on a popular association between manicures and pampering, use the nail polish emoji to signal a relaxing day off, self-care, or feeling beautiful.
Since at least 2014, though, the nail polish emoji has been used as an emotional tone marker to communicate sass, indifference, or poise in text. The image evokes a sense of regal aloofness. In March 2014, Alexander Abad-Santos and Allie Jones wrote in The Atlantic that the nail polish emoji was “the Beyonce of emojis,” and can mean “anything from shutting haters down to a sense of accomplishment; a swift ‘I don't care’ to a spa day.”
Adam Sternbergh observed in New York Magazine in November 2014 that the nail polish emoji had begun to mean “I’m not bothered” or “Haters gonna hate.” In June 2014, the nail polish emoji even inspired a Twitter account with the handle @sassynailpolish and username “nail polish emoji.” The account tweeted pictures of the emoji on phone cases and t-shirts as well as the emoji itself.
The sassy sense of the nail polish emoji had indeed become so popular that BuzzFeed declared 2014 “the year of the nail care emoji” in a year-end roundup of the “most nail care emoji moments” of the past year.
“If it ain't about the money... Don't be blowing me up stop wasting my time ”
LEX @SweetLavender_ Twitter (September 30. 2014)
“Slay it Like You Mean It. ”
@jaydaSlays Twitter (April 22, 2017)
“Enailcouture.com gel polish is perfection ! 216 colors that smell like bubble gum and cover in one coat ! Seal with shinee gel! Enailcouture.com #ネイル #nailpolish #nailswag #nailaddict #nailfashion #nailartheaven #nails2inspire #nailsofinstagram #instanails #naillife #nailporn #gelnails #gelpolish #stilettonails #nailaddict #nail #1 #nailtech#nailsonfleek #nailartwow #네일아트 #nails #nailart #notd #makeup #젤네일 #glamnails #nailcolor #nailsalon #nailsdid #nailsoftheday”
kingofnail Instagram (April 23, 2017)