We're Calling It: These Are the Nail Colors to Wear Right Now

It's a new year, and you know what that means: Most of us are setting personal goals and intentions, tossing out old habits that aren't serving us, and just looking for a fresh start. It's also a prime opportunity to have a little fun and try something new.

One way I like to mix things up at the beginning of the year is by changing up my beauty routine. Listen, I'm not forcing you to trim your own bangs or to box-dye your hair a crazy color, but if you did and it didn't quite work out, that's what hats are for, right?

Even if you're a little wary of making a drastic change, you can take baby steps and start by mixing up your manicure routine. If you normally stick to reds and neutrals, why not opt for blues and greens? Or if your nails are usually bare, you can treat yourself to an at-home mani and experiment with some new colors or designs. The sky's the limit here, and if you don't like it, well, there's always nail polish remover!

To get you inspired, we compiled a list of our favorite nail colors to wear this January. Some are classics, but we've also got a couple of funky and unusual options. Take a look below.

Deep Blue


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Deep, darker colors are the norm for the wintry season. Instead of an inky black polish, why not grab a dark navy polish? You still get that dramatic effect, but it's a little more unexpected.



(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

If you normally gravitate toward pinks and reds, you can switch things up with purple. There's a shade for any kind of mood or vibe—like a dark wine-inspired hue, one that veers toward magenta, or a soft mauve.



(Image credit: @laurencrowe88)

Wintry whites? How groundbreaking. But there's a reason why it's a classic hue, especially this time of year. Depending on the shade, white can look crisp and sophisticated or soft and creamy. It's versatile and goes with just about any outfit or look.



(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Winter might not be a particularly green and lush season, so if you're missing that hue, you can express it on your nails. Deep emerald polishes have a regal look, but softer sages can be so calming, too.



(Image credit: @celmatique)

For those of you who think neons are more of a summer choice, hear us out. The colder temps in the wintry season can make it feel a little glum, so bring a little bit of happiness to your fingertips with some bold neon hues. The bright colors will definitely make a statement and might even lift your spirits.



(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

On the flip side, reliable, goes-with-anything gray works all year round, but especially this time of year. A dark gunmetal gray can have the same strong effect as an inky black or a deep navy polish. And a dove gray can add some lightness if you're looking for that type of mood.

Nudes and Neutrals


(Image credit: @samantheah)

And, of course, you can also reach for the nudes and neutrals for a subtle manicure. It's always a timeless look. Plus, if you're not used to having color on your nails, it's a good place to start.

Up Next: Making This One Small Change Made My Nails Grow Crazy-Fast

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.

In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).

She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.