People In London, Paris and Copenhagen Always Ask For These Chic Nail Colours

Much how each European capital has its signature cuisines, the same goes for beauty trends. While the French are known for pairing bare skin with a bold red lip (perhaps while stocking up on their French pharmacy favourites), in Copenhagen they are inspiring us with their effortless yet chic Scandi hairstyles. The cool girls in Italy, meanwhile, are all about feeding their skin from within to achieve that 'dolce vita' glow.


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Which made me think, what the key nail trends from each of the major European fashion capitals? While we're well acquainted with international nail trends, I wanted to know what our European neighbours are booking in for when they are visiting the salon. To find out, I asked nail technicians and experts to share their expertise on the top nail trends. You'll find plenty of inspo for your next nail appointment below.



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Parisian women opt for classic and timeless colours for their manicures.

Christian David, founder of nail brand Kure Bazaar Paris, which has an established nail salon within Le Bon Marché, one of the most stylish department stores in the world, and welcomes many chic clients through its salon doors.

"In Paris, we are very classic in colour. We love the neutrals and the reds, always the timeless shades. We prefer natural polishes compared to gels and solid colours reign over nail art," he says. "For the day, there is a big trend for a very fresh and transparent nude, a simple clean and healthy hue. For the night, everyone asks for a chic red colour or a dark red shade with a touch of black."

@paintedbyjools red manicure

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A deep red is a classic choice for elegant nails.


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Make like the Parisian's and opt for a neutral hue.


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A timeless red transcends any occasion and season.

Shop Paris-inspired polishes:


@paintedbyjools chocolate brown manicure

(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

In London, we're embracing those deeper tones, says London based mobile manicurist and founder of Nails by Mets, Metta Francis. "We're seeing the rise in popularity of green—from paler olive shades to darker hues." Chocolate browns are also proving popular.

"Nail art wise, expect to see accents and designs in metallic silver and chrome in all its iterations."


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The 'clean girl' trend for milky nails remains huge in London. "The 'clean girl aesthetic' trend continues to reign and is the in-demand look for many of my celebrity clients walking the red carpet," says London-based manicurist, Emily Rose Lansley. "Opt for a natural nail colour in either a milky white shade or a natural rose that compliments the skin tone for a fresh and clean finish."


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Jelly nails are making a comeback in London. "Classic shades such as pillar box red are no longer opaque, but sheer and jelly-like," says Francis. "The classic shade may be mixed with a clear to achieve this look—techniques that can be used with nail polish and gel/gel polish—or special, pre made jelly polishes are available."


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From olive to deep crocodile, all shades of green are proving popular in London right now.

Shop London-inspired nail polishes:



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Women in Copenhagen are favouring the chrome finishes for their manicures, and are experimenting with layering different polishes and colours for unexpected finishes. "Fresh takes on chrome nails have been on the rise; playing on the subtle differences of metallic and foil finishes through polish layering and the addition unexpected colours," says Therese Niko Busch, head of global product for Denmark nail brand, Alûstre.


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"Clean minimalism is a Scandi aesthetic staple, and this market knows just the way to add subtle detailing to always keep the look fresh and not boring," says Busch. "For nails, this trend takes shape with 'barely-there' polish - keeping gloss extremely high with a clear top coat layered on top of sheer coverage nude polish colours," she says.


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"The French tip is making its way back into the Scandi nail scene, but in a much more subtle way," notes Busch. "Using sheer coverage polishes, such as a rosy base coat and a milky polish for the tip, the effect is an elevated and discreet manicure that reinvents this classic look."


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A coat of a barely-there polish makes nails look healthy instantly.

Shop Copenhagen-inspired nail polishes:

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.