‘90s Nails Were Elite—9 Mani Trends Making a Big Comeback for 2024

Whenever I ask anyone which era of beauty they love the most, they always say the '90s. As a beauty editor, I totally get what they mean. It seemed like everyone was having fun with their hair, nails and makeup back then, and I'm so happy that some of the biggest '90s trends are having a revival this year. Yep, that's right. From blue eyeshadow to frosted lips, it's time to get out those bright colours and fun formulas as we're embracing all things vintage in 2024.

As much as I love '90s hair and makeup, I've been curious about which '90s nail trends we can expect to see making a comeback this season. I don't know about you, but I'm bored of milky nails and matte black shades and I'm ready to inject a little bit of life into my manicure. After researching some of the biggest '90s nail trends, it's clear to me that some have already started taking over, while others are sure to dominate this spring and summer.

So, if you want to know which of these throwback nail designs I'm predicting will be everywhere in 2024 (and which ones I will definitely be trying to bring back myself), keep on scrolling...

1. Glitter

@nailartbyqueenie glitter manicure

(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

The '90s was definitely the start of the glitter nail trend. Back then, it was all about chunky glitter polishes and maximalist designs, but these days we have toned things down a little and are opting for sparkly French tips and more subtle finishes.

Get the look:

2. Fun Nail Art

@imarninails fun nail art

(Image credit: @imarninails)

One thing I love about '90s fashion is that it was all about experimenting with prints and colours, so why not do that with your manicure as well? Forget the "clean girl" aesthetic, as this year I'm all about embracing fun, over-the-top nail designs.

Get the look:

3. French Tips

@harrietwestmoreland French tip manicure

(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

French tips were huge in the '90s, and this "dated" nail trend is definitely having a comeback. However, these days it's all about making the lines as thin as possible for that "micro" French tip look.

Get the look:

4. Square Nails

@paintedbyjools square nail shape

(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

Although square-shaped nails were big in the '90s, they have been out of fashion for a while now, replaced with more curved, almond-shaped designs. However, they are having a comeback this year and I'm personally a big fan of the clean, structured shape.

Get the look:

5. Metallic Finishes

@themaniclub blue metallic manicure

(Image credit: @themaniclub)

Frosted eyes, frosted lips, frosted nails...yep you guessed it, metallic tones are back and better than ever. The best thing about this '90s nail trend is that you can choose any colour you want, whether you like something bold or a little bit more neutral.

Get the look:

6. Tie-Dye

@imarninails colourful manicure

(Image credit: @imarninails)

Who remembers wearing tie-dye everything back in the day? I was a huge fan of this '90s trend, and as someone who wants to wear more maximalist nail designs this year, I will definitely be bringing this manicure back.

Get the look:

7. Half-Moon Designs

@iramshelton half-moon manicure

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

I thought that this "half-moon" nail design was super modern, but as it turns out, it was quite popular back in the '90s. I love how chic it looks, and it's a nice change from classic French tip nail art.

Get the look:

8. Bright Red Nail Polish

@harrietwestmoreland red manicure

(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Red nail polish has always been in style, but interestingly enough a lot of fashion icons opted for this shade in the '90s. This is such an easy trend to recreate and will work all year round.

Get the look:

9. Animal Print

@iramshelton animal print manicure

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Last but by no means least, this year it's all about animal prints. This '90s trend has already taken over the fashion world, and now it's coming for our manicures (and I'm not mad about it). From zebra print to cow print and leopard print, the options are endless.

Get the look:

Junior Beauty Editor

Grace Lindsay is the junior beauty editor at Who What Wear UK. At the age of 18 she decided to train as a makeup artist before going on to study english and media at Goldsmiths University. It was during that time that she explored her love for journalism by interning at a small beauty start-up based in Shoreditch. Since then, she has worked at a number of publications including Marie Claire and Hello!, where her love for all things beauty continued to grow.

As Who What Wear UK's junior beauty editor, she covers everything from the latest hair trends to the stand-out makeup products of the season.