These 6 Lesser-Known Nail Trends Are Going to Be Huge

I'm calling it: 2022 is the year of the manicure. After seeing Hailey Bieber's glossy "glazed donut" nails go totally viral (it's still a struggle to find the products in stock to create this look) and the sheer number of cool nail art designs we've seen lately, it's safe to say that we've never had so much inspiration at our fingertips. And we're here for it. And who doesn't love a trip to the salon or a DIY manicure at home?

However, with the mega trends of the seasons also come the micro nail trends. They're the lesser-known nail trends that you might not see blowing up on your Instagram feed. But you might spot them on the fingertips of the fashion set and in-the-know beauty insiders. Whether it's the go-to gel nail design, the unusual nail colour of the season, intricate nail art or nail finishes, it's worth looking out for these more niche nail trends that float under the radar. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

To find out the niche nail art designs to suit every taste and the hottest colour to wear on your nails right now, I asked expert session manicurist Ami Streets (who has tended to the fingertips of Phoebe Dynevor and Kitty Spencer) to share six of the hottest micro nail trends of the year so far. Keep scrolling to see them all.

1. Sheer Shimmer


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

"It started with the 'glazed donut' look, which went viral for its chic simplicity, but the tones are no longer limited to milky white tones," says Streets. "Try using nudes and coffee shades to get super-glossy and glistening nails perfect for the change in season." We also love these shimmering finishes with a pearlescent or holographic sheen.


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

How gorgeous is this nail look?


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

Pearlescent finishes are so pretty.

2. Blue Hues


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Blue nails are the surprisingly versatile colour of 2022, and their popularity shows no sign of dwindling. Cobalt and indigo are set to be a key nail micro trend. "Choose your hue—anything from a nod to the '90s with a pale-blue pastel to a dark denim-inspired colour to coordinate with A/W fashion trends looks great this season," says Streets. "Wear it in a block colour, as a French tip or as negative-space nail art look with a squared shape to really nail the retro reference."


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

We love this double French in cobalt blue.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

A glossy indigo nail looks so chic with a short square nail shape.

3. Molten Metallics


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Chrome details are another nail micro trend that is gaining momentum as we head into a new season. "Mix silver or gold tones with milky manicure colours to add some interest to your mani in a subtle and stylish manner," advises Streets. "French tips, reverse French in foil, or small shapes such as dots all look great."


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This metallic nail art is minimal yet will catch the eye.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

We're booking in for this gold-dotted French tip.

4. Expensive Red


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Red is a forever timeless nail colour, but it's having an entire moment right now. "It was the ultimate colour choice beloved by every supermodel in the '90s, and it's time for red to return to the spotlight again," says Streets. "Choose bright cherry red for impact or make it seasonal by going for a deeper tone—best worn as a block colour on equally classic-shaped nails such as squoval or almond."


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

Deep red and gold jewellery? A perfect match.


(Image credit: @amistreets)

A red manicure will go with everything and, like other dark nail colours, has a super-glossy shine.

5. Back to Black


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Black is another timeless nail colour, and we can expect to see multiple interceptions on fingertips this season. "French manicures are still going strong this season. Update the look with simple black tips or, if you're not a nail art fan, apply in a block colour on a shorter nail shape," Streets recommends.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

A slither of black along the edge of your fingertips is enough to tap into the trend if you find allover black too dark.


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Squared-off nails look chic with a glossy black lacquer. 

6. Coffee Tones


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

"Nineties grunge-style browns are such a great colour choice and really reflect the autumn/winter season," says Streets. "Chocolate, coffee and caramel tones look edgy and are a softer alternative to black."


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

We're obsessed with this chocolate brown French manicure. 


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

Latte tones are also so wearable.

Up Next, Rosie HW's Manicurist Just Filled Me In on the 8 Coolest Autumn Nail Art Trends

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.