These 16 Nail Trends Will Be Everywhere in 2020


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

Since you’re reading Who What Wear, it’s probably safe to assume that you enjoy keeping up with the latest and greatest in fashion and beauty. Even if that’s not the case, odds are you like to experiment with your personal style every now and again, and what better way to dip your toes—erm, fingers—into a new trend than with your manicure? Taking a new nail colour, design or technique for a test drive doesn’t have to be a major commitment, which is why we’re excited about experimenting with a bunch of exciting new nail trends in 2020. 

Of course, as Who What Wear editors, we don’t just follow the trends—we discover them. Thanks to four of our favourite nail industry experts, we’re pretty sure these nail trends are going to be making waves in the next year (and new decade) to come. So whether you’re a classic French manicure devotee looking for a subtle way to change it up, our experts have predicted these following nail trends that should definitely be on your radar. 

Keep scrolling for incredible nail art inspiration, subtle new shades, sleek designs and even a few technical innovations to keep an eye out for according to the professionals. These women definitely know what’s up when it comes to the latest and greatest in nail care—just don’t forget the topcoat!

1. Metallics


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

Sarah Gibson Tuttle of Olive and June says we can expect to see metallics continue to dominate our feeds. "Everything from warm rose gold to icy platinum," she predicts. 


(Image credit: @TheHangEdit)

Celebrity crystal manicurist Mazz Hanna agrees, predicting we'll see a variety of different hues with pearly metallic finishes. "It's been a while since frosty colours have been on trend, so I predict this making a comeback in a big way." 

2. Yellow


(Image credit: @JinSoonChoi)

Editorial manicurist Jin Soon Choi predicts that yellow will see a major comeback due to its "undeniably young and fun spirit." Eva Chen, pictured above, sported a bright yellow Jin Soon shade for the 2019 Met Gala. 

3. Dark Green


(Image credit: @VarnishLane)

Lauren Dunne, co-founder and CEO of Varnish Lane, predicts that dark greens are going to be big. "It's a shade that people weren't comfortable wearing for a long time, and they're just now realising that it's an extremely universally flattering shade that gets tons of compliments." 

4. Garden Party Shades


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

For spring, Tuttle expects to see shades reminiscent of a garden party. "We are in a sage, sunny yellow and pinky lavender mood," she explains. "Adding a higher concentration of white into shades really makes the colour pop." 

5. Pastel


(Image credit: @VarnishLane)

Hanna predicts that pastel nails will be back in a big way. "It feels like a natural progression of the latest '90s craze," she explains."Think Hard Candy–inspired colours with glossy topcoats."

6. Soft Orange


(Image credit: @VarnishLane)

Dunne also predicts that we'll start to see "soft orange" colours replacing the typical corals that Varnish Lane clients gravitate toward in the spring. 

7. Blue


(Image credit: @VarnishLane)

"We're so excited to see classic blue chosen as the Pantone colour of the year for 2020 because we already see this colour becoming more popular for nails," says Dunne. Jin Soon Choi agrees, noting that blue is definitely an It colour for next year.

8. Nude


(Image credit: @JinSoonChoi)

"I used various nudes during the 2020 fashion week shows for Tibi, Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Coach and Longchamp," recalls Choi. She recommends experimenting by using nude alone, nude/ombré and nude in a matte finish for a cool spin on the nude trend.

9. Matte


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

Matte manis are definitely making a comeback according to Tuttle. "Matte topcoat has become one of our most requested products as of late," notes the Olive & June founder. 

10. The '80s


(Image credit: @JinSoonChoi)

Choi is excited to see vibrant '80s colours back in the mix, with fun designs or a different colour on each finger as seen during several recent fashion shows.

11. Activism


(Image credit: @VarnishLane)

"With the upcoming and much-anticipated election happening in 2020, I suspect that people will turn to their tips to support their political views," says Hanna. 

12. Ombré


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

Olive & June clients are still not over the ombré mani. "I think we'll see this design trend transition from a different shade on every finger to a more subtle two or three shade ombré," explains Tuttle. 

13. Negative Space


(Image credit: @TheHangEdit)

According to Hanna, negative-space manicures never go out of style, but she suspects we'll be seeing even more minimalistic designs as the year continues. 

14. Metallics ( Again)


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

"We're taking cues from our favourite jewellery brands and incorporating subtle swipes of metallics into our manis," says Tuttle. This is a clever way to compliment your favourite ring stacks. 

15. Updated french Mani


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

This is not your grandmother's French manicure! "For 2020, instead of a traditional crescent, we'll see new tip styles such as heart shapes, double Frenches and asymmetrical placement," says Tuttle. 


(Image credit: @TheHangEdit)

Hannah agrees, noting that we should expect to see more variations in the tip colour and width of line work on the nail tip as pictured above.


(Image credit: @JinSoonChoi)

Choi concurs, sharing, "Simple nail art, such as tweaked versions of French manicures and halfway negative space, confetti and one big dot on each finger will be popular." A lot of artists used this modern style of French nail art during the NYFW S/S 20, as seen above at the Rag & Bone show.

New Techniques

16. Colour Theory


(Image credit: @OliveandJune)

Tuttle says she is looking forward to applying colour theory to create more nuanced and custom colours. "We'll see the layering of polishes to give even more dimensionality to shades," she explains. Try layering a metallic under a barely there sheen for a subtle glow from within that works year-round. 

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2020 fashion trends you need to know. 

This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. 

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.