Nails are a uniquely exciting beauty accessory, because unlike a lipstick or hair color, which people notice right away, our hands are not necessarily the *first* thing someone sees in us. For that reason, our nails get to be like a fun little insight into our personality for those paying close enough attention. When you factor in the thousands of polish shades that exist on the market, plus the limitless array of possible nail art designs, there are infinite ways to play with nails.
That's why "nail trends" is kind of a fluid concept. This is especially true in the age of social media and personal brands when zillions of different niche styles are coming and going all the time. When it comes to nails, personal taste ends up being more important than wide sweeping trends. "I don't think anything ever really goes out," comments Steph Stone, a celebrity nail artist who's worked with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Amandla Stenberg. "Nails are used as such a complementary accessory that if a color isn't necessarily on-trend but works with your look as a whole, that's what matters most!"
That being said, celebrity manicurists are noticing some patterns this season—shades and nail art designs they're seeing rise up in the market and on social media more than others. "This spring, we're seeing trends to match every personality type," says Stone. To get a sense of some of those nail shades and styles that are going to hit it big this spring (and maybe a couple that are on the out), we talked to Stone, as well as celebrity manicurists Mazz Hanna and Tracylee Percival, to get their expert take. Keep scrolling for your ultimate guide to spring 2019 nails.
IN FOR SPRING 2019:
Crystal manicures have been gaining steam over the past couple years, and Percival sees them sticking around for spring. "This trend isn't going anywhere just yet," she says. Though crystal-mani trends are evolving: "This season's crystal looks will have more color, as opposed to the holo and clear crystals of years past," says Percival. "For me, texture on a nail makes it that much more interesting, especially a few perfectly placed crystals."
Nail artists have noticed more brands releasing bright primary shades as of late—and more clients requesting them. "Chanel, which has come up with all classics we know and love (like the original Vamp), has now released a set of vibrant primary colors that are going to be fun to wear from spring all the way through to summer," says Stone. "The yellow has been heavily requested on set already."
Percival adds that electric and neon hues are also having a moment. "I feel like nails will be having a neon moment through summer," she predicts.
Pearl jewelry is on the rise in fashion, and manicurists are seeing the same thing in the nail world—both physical pearl nail art and shades with pearlescent finishes. "Pearls seem to be making a huge statement with nail art, and I wouldn't be surprised if pearlescent nail polish makes a full-blown comeback this spring," says Hanna. "Think pearly pinks, lavenders, icy blues…"
Soft nude nail polishes will always be in—but Stone is seeing them worn in a new and creative way this season. "I'm seeing a lot of collections being released including varieties of soft muted colors ranging from grays to beige for the nail enthusiast who has to maintain a professional chic image," she says. [Ed. note: Try Essie's new Serene Slate collection.] "Play it up wearing a different neutral on each nail. I was on set recently where we did different nude swatches on each nail to see which color worked best. The talent ended up loving them all together and asked if she could wear it as is!"
OUT FOR SPRING 2019:
According to Hanna, the jelly nail trend is on the out. "I think jelly nails have had their moment; it's kind of like having a really loud neon dress—you can only wear it a couple of times before it starts to feel tired," she says.
While the crystal nail trend is still happening, Percival sees it becoming subtler and subtler with time. "Cardi B definitely had a hand in blinging out the digits of millennials worldwide, but this spring, the crystal looks will be more minimal with a softer tone," she predicts.