Rosie HW's Manicurist Told Me These 9 Spring Nail Trends Always Look Classy

The days are gradually getting longer, daffodils are starting to pop up and we've survived a seemingly never-ending winter, which can only mean one thing: spring is here, and I'm here for it. As a beauty editor, I'm pretty excited about the spring nail trends that we'll see in 2024. The year started with a flurry of looks (was anyone else thrown by the "mob wife" aesthetic?) and I'm curious about how these will translate to our nails, and what other nail trends we'll see in the year ahead.


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Even with a new TikTok beauty aesthetic cropping up each week, it seems for nails at least, we're mostly drawn to the timeless nail colours that stand the test of time when we sit down in the salon chair. Maybe it's the quiet-luxury influence trickling down from our wardrobes and onto our fingertips, but after speaking with celebrity manicurist and OPI ambassador Iram Shelton (who has tended to the hands of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), it's been confirmed that those timeless shades of sheer pink, classic red and neutrals are firmly here to stay.

However, there's also something else at play. "People are choosing to do their own nails, and with so many gel-like, press-on nails available to purchase, why wouldn’t you? Nail lacquers are also much easier to apply and remove at home and are always cheaper," says Shelton.

Whether you're heading to the salon or doing a DIY mani, scroll ahead for the spring nail trends we'll be tapping into this year, as well as the best nail polishes and products to create the looks. Ahead, your next best manicure awaits.

1. French Manicure


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

"The French manicure will always be trending—that’s a no-brainer," says Shelton, who predicts that the popularity of French tips will continue into spring. We're seeing the look paired with short, square or squoval (a rounded version of square) nail shapes, as well as longer almond shapes, such as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's nails below.


(Image credit: @rosiehw)

To keep your French manicure looking modern, opt for an off-white hue or even a vanilla or beige on the tips, which looks softer and less stark than bright white. Huntington-Whiteley's "vanilla chai" French tips are in my Saved folder.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

With spring beckoning, it would be rude not to dabble in some mood-boosting pastels. This cornflower blue has me dreaming of the new season.

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2. Squoval Nails


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

"I think long almond and short, soft square nails are the most popular shapes, and I reckon it’s going to stay this way," says Shelton. "They’re the most flattering nail shapes in my opinion, and most people can pull off one or the other. My personal preference is short because it’s more practical and gives that clean, old-money look. They’re also so much easier to maintain and more achievable for those who don’t like nail enhancements," she says.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

I love the simplicity of a short, square mani and a neutral base.


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Shelton shows that short, square nails are always a good idea.

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3. Almond Nails


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

If you sit in the long-nail camp, then long almond is the shape for you. This is another elegant shape that suits everyone and elongates the fingers.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

How beautiful are these brown chrome almond nails?


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

I can't stop thinking about the almond and chrome combo.

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4. Red


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Whilst burgundy tones dominated winter, we're entering spring by embracing brighter shades of red again. Shelton tips red to be another big spring 2024 nail trend that stands the test of time—it's a totally timeless nail colour.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

This true-red hue is such a classic, and looks great on short nails.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

The key to an expensive-looking red is a glossy finish.

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5. Neutrals


(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Neutrals are timeless and work all year round, but we can expect to see the popularity of sheer pink, brown and milky white continue to reign into spring 2024, says Shelton.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

Look for sheer white nail polishes to achieve that milky effect.


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

A delicate pink instantly makes hands look manicured.

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6. Animal Print


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

With the "mob wife" aesthetic taking off in January and leopard print dominating the runways, it was only a matter of time before we saw animal prints enjoy a roaring revival on our fingertips. From leopard to tortoiseshell, you can expect to see the entire animal kingdom in form of nail art for spring 2024. "Who doesn’t love an animal print? Celebs like Hailey Bieber are already rocking these looks," says Shelton.


(Image credit: @haileybieber)

Hailey Bieber has been seen wearing tortoiseshell-inspired nail art.


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

I'm wild for this chrome zebra look.

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7. Chrome


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Our love affair with chrome and metallics is set to continue, says Shelton. "They’re huge now and aren’t going anywhere for spring," she says. The glazed look is here to stay, so why not experiment with different shades underneath your chrome powder? Whilst you'll need gel polish for this to work, there are traditional polishes that give a very similar look—scroll ahead for our favourites.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Sage green and chrome is such a winner for spring.


(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

When in doubt, a light pink chrome is always a good idea.

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8. Naked Nails


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

I recently interviewed Sarah Jessica Parker, and when I asked her what nail colours she liked, she said she doesn't wear nail polish. "I buff my nails. I always say I try to have nails [like a] newborn baby," she said. And she was onto something. As we all strive for better nail health, "naked nails" involves embracing your natural nails and prioritising hand and nail care. "Natural nails and nail care will be huge," confirms Shelton. "People are taking care of their natural nails and looking more into nail treatments." Cuticle oils, nail serums and sheer polishes with nail-health benefits will help you transform yours.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Dior's Abricot basecoat gives a sheer pink tint to the nail plate to let your natural nails shine, all whilst strengthening them too.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Cuticle care is essential for making your nails look their best.

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9. Nail Stickers


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Nail stickers are back in a big way, says Shelton. "So many brands have come out with nail stickers and I think it’s just an easy and quick way to level up your nail game. From beginners to pros, we’ll be seeing the use of stickers everywhere," she says.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Whilst our nail techs might have the steady hand required for tiny nail art like this, you can easily re-create the look at home with nail stickers.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Tiny hearts are always a chic way to wear them.

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This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

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.