It's True, Scandi Girls Have The Chicest Nails—7 Designs They Rely on

Scandinavian women have many things in common; impeccable style is a given, of course, but as I scroll through the feeds of Scandi influencers, it's not just their chic, minimalist outfits (not to mention their incredible skin) that I've become besotted with as I plan my summer wardrobe. Look closely, and you'll see that their nail game is on top form. Much like their fashion aesthetic, Scandinavian nails are understated yet polished, effortless yet timeless, and come in the form of Nordic neutrals that are quietly luxurious.


(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

That doesn't mean to say that they're afraid of colour, though. Instead, you might find a slither of cobalt, cherry or apple green via a French tip amongst the Scandinavian fashion set. To confirm my observations, I spoke to Therese Niko Busch, head of global product for Danish nail brand Alûstre, which also has a salon in Copenhagen, to brush up on the Scandi-girl nail trends that are popular right now.

From chrome nails in Copenhagen to ombre French in Oslo, scroll ahead for the chicest Scandinavian nail designs I've spotted.

1. Chrome


(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

Style Notes: Chrome nails have been hugely popular this year, and it seems as though Scandinavian women can't get enough, either. "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 of unexpected colours," says Busch.

Whilst you usually need gel polish and a chrome powder to achieve this look, there are several chrome-effect nail lacquers that achieve a similar finish in just one or two coats.


(Image credit: @monamali_)

I love this pink chrome look.


(Image credit: @cassklatzkow)

Almond nails look amazing in a chrome finish.

Shop the look:

2. Milky White


(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Style Notes: It turns out that milky-white nails fit the Scandinavian aesthetic so well. "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 topcoat layered on top of sheer-coverage nude polish colours," she says. "The best way to achieve this look is by using a milky nail polish with a pink undertone for that better-than-bare effect."


(Image credit: @amalienielsenn)

This colour looks great on short nails.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

This semi-sheer polish is *chef's kiss*.

Shop the look:

3. French Tips


(Image credit: @marenschia)

Style Notes: A French manicure has become a timeless classic around the world, but Scandinavian women have a penchant for its simplicity. "The French tip is making its way back on to the Scandi nail scene, but in a much more subtle way," says 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." Whilst this neutral manicure is timeless in pink and white, we've been seeing colourful French tips on our feeds during the spring and summer months.


(Image credit: @monamali_)

A bold blue French tip looks so chic.


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

I'm enamoured with this red French manicure.

Shop the look:

4. Sheer Pink


(Image credit: @_jeanettemadsen_)

Style Notes: Barely-there pink is another trend we see time and time again on Scandinavian women. The low-fuss, low-maintenance look involves a very sheer coat of pink, which instantly makes the nail plates look healthy and glossy. It's like no-makeup-makeup for your nails, instantly transforming them with a polished, groomed mani. And the bonus? Chipping doesn't show up half as much with these hues.


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

A sheer coat of polish makes nails look so healthy.


(Image credit: @nnennaechem)

Experiment with layering sheer polishes for a more opaque or see-through effect.

Shop the look:

5. Brown


(Image credit: @cassdimicco)

Style Notes: Brown nails are back in a big way right now, and Scandinavian women and celebrities alike are jumping on the trend. "Experimentation with brown hues will define this season's vibe, as we're already seeing through celebrity styling," says Busch. "Light, milky browns and rich caramels mixed with a glazed finish is the perfectly elegant and elevated play on neutrals for the ultimate autumn shades."


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Dark brown makes a great choice if you find black polish too harsh.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

So glossy, so chic.

Shop the look:

6. Blush


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Style Notes: "It was only a matter of time before the 'blushing' trend made its way to nails," notes Busch. "Taking the concept of lip blushing's emphasis and concentration on a natural pigmentation, the nail look requires a warm, glowing polish colour with a translucent, glossy finish." Want to try out the blush nail trend? Alûstre's pink topcoat is perfect for layering with the transparent topcoat to create this glossy, blushed look.


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden)

A bright yet sheer pink polish gives a healthy flush to nails.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

I love this look on short nails.

Shop the look:

7. Cherry Red

Scandi girl nail trends: cherry red

(Image credit: @cassklatzkow)

Style Notes: The common thread that unites all of these Scandi nail trends is how utterly timeless they are—and there is no nail colour that transcends time and place more than a red manicure. Rather than a poppy bright or a strawberry red though, opt for a sophisticated cherry red nail which is slightly deeper, more understated and effortlessly chic.

Scandi girl nail trends cherry red

(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

If you visit the salon for a gel manicure then ask for Bio Sculpture's A Night At The Opera which is this perfect sultry red shade.

Cherry red nails

(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

I love how cherry red nails pair so perfectly with the neutral colour palette that Scandi women love to wear.

Shop the look:

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.