12 Gel-Nail Designs That Are Big News In Salons Right Now

If you have a nail appointment coming up and are thinking about getting a gel manicure, you might be looking for some inspiration. The good news is, you've definitely come to the right place as we have saved, screenshot and double tapped our way through endless images of seriously cool nails. Plus, the pros of a gel manicure means that your nail design will last around two weeks, and will stay chip-free too. No more painting your nails every couple of days.

At Who What Wear, when we look for gel nail designs, we typically turn to what the fashion set are wearing. After a little Instagram digging into the accounts of our favourite celebrities, editors and influencers, you can usually find the talented nail technicians behind their nail designs. They are the ones who, in my eyes, really shape the shades and nail designs that we'll all be wearing each season.

I was curious what nail designs and nail colours are beginning to crop up more, so, I took to my feed to have a scroll on some of my favourite celebrity nail technicians' accounts. Keep reading below to find out the best gel nail designs for 2023 to help make deciding on your next manicure colour or designing much easier— you are welcome!

1. Classic Red


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

If nail shade-induced panic washes over you once you are sat in the nail salon (we've all been there) then red is a failsafe, timeless shade that will never not look chic. It makes your nails look polished and it is one of those shades that will go with everything you wear.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

If you want to mix it up a little bit, then opting for a bright red like this one by Julia Diogo, who is the resident nail technician at The Corinthia London. I'm seeing bright reds like this everywhere at the moment.

2. Ink



There's something about a blue mani. This deep navy shade oozes sophistication.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

If dark shades like black or brown tend to wash out your hands, you might find navy is a more flattering option when you want to venture to the dark side.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

Inky hues look best when finished with a glossy top coat to really enhance the shade.

3. Glazed Nails


(Image credit: @NAILSBYZOLA)

Hailey Bieber's go-to nail technician, Zola Ganzorigt, practically broke TikTok when she shared how she creates Hailey's glossy, 'glazed donut' nails. Her secret? Using a chrome powder over OPI's gel nail shade, Funny Bunny, to get that semi-sheer sheen. We predict this trend will continue through autumn and winter.



The trend looks great dialled down with a sheer, slightly shimmering base colour.


(Image credit: @NAILSBYZOLA)

We're also seeing the trend interpreted in pastel shades, like this lilac ombre nail design.

4. Minimalist Swirls


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

If you aren't a big fan of full-on nail art, this swirly design is the perfect minimalist take. Think one colour swirls in classic black, or muted pastels.


(Image credit: @THEHANGEDIT)

We're immediately screenshooting this muted green swirly nail art for our next nail appointment.

5. Liquorice



Black is a timeless gel nail design that we come back to time and time again. Great for minimalists, you can count on a deep black shade to make your fingertips look chic.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

Another plus of black gel polish is that it always looks super shiny.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

No matter your nail length of shape, black gel polish will always look good.

6. Matcha


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

Matcha is having a moment, and we aren't just talking in lattes. The colour looks beautiful in a milky matcha hue on short nails. 


(Image credit: @IRAMSHELTON)

Or try it more in the shade of its original powder form, which looks gorgeous on the tips of oval nail shapes.

7. Neutral Hues



Sometimes, simple and neutral shades make the best hues for gel nails. After all, you know that you won't regret a nude colour like you might with something a bit more bold. Clean girl nails are always a good idea.



Another plus of neutral shades is that the nail regrowth won't be quite so obvious when compared to a bold shade, so you can extend the life of your gel mani.



If you're a nail minimalist, then a pinky-beige shade is guaranteed to tick all your boxes.

8. Geometric Shapes


(Image credit: @IMARNINAILS)

Negative space nail art makes a great gel nail design to opt for. How fun are these mutli-coloured shapes? They make a good option for a gel manicure appointment, as it can be hard to create the look at home–unless you have steady hands!


(Image credit: @IMARNINAILS)

Same shapes, but a whole different mood. Choosing one shade in varying shapes looks super cool.

9. Crocodile



I'm seeing this deep, crocodile green shade on just about every cool-girl right now. This particular shade by Biosculpture is called Free Lovin'.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

I'm seeing all the top nail technicians flouting this shade on Instagram right now.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

This shade looks particularly chic on shorter fingertips.

10. Bordeaux



Full bodied and glossy, bordeaux is a year-round classic shade and it instantly makes your hands look expensive.


(Image credit: @PAINTEDBYJOOLS)

The most stylist shades almost border on a deep brown with just a hint of red.



We're totally mesmerised by the shine of this bordeaux gel manicure.

11. Double French



Instead of a classic French tip, the double designs have been cropping up more and more. They're a really fresh and fun take on the classic style.


(Image credit: @THEHANGEDIT)

I'm totally obsessing over this double French design with clashing colours.


(Image credit: @THEHANGEDIT)

So chic and elegant. 

12. Chrome Accents


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

I regularly scroll on celebrity nail technician and Chanel nail artist Betina Goldstein's Instagram for the low-down on nail trends. She has a number of chrome nail looks,which she says is a nod to Beyoncé's Renaissance album artwork. I love these minimalist chrome accents on each of the nails.


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

It looks equally great in gold, too.


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

Silver chrome tips and gold jewellery are a winner.

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Up Next: 84 Nail Art Designs to Screengrab Before Your Next Salon Trip

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.