These Are the Only 2021 Nail Trends You Need to Know

There's a guaranteed quick fix for switching up your look and it involves your nails. While changing hair colours or opting for a crop is the definition of "new year, new me" vibes; going for a new nail look is way more accessible. 

Trends come and go but we're super into the nail trends making their way into our beauty routines in 2021. We could all do with a dose of joy and excitement and that's exactly what our nails need too. 

Whether you save this page to show to your nail artist or do it yourself at home, this is your go-to guide for finding your nail look for the year ahead. 

To find out what trends you need to have on your radar, we caught up with Gaëlle Lebrat-Personnaz, founder and CEO of Manucurist. Keep scrolling for the full scoop.

1. Sunset Shades & Bright Colours

Ready to welcome in some sunshine? Think bold, bright and joy-inducing for this look. Regardless of what the weather is doing outside, your nails will definitely uplift you. Lebrat-Personnaz says, "We saw a lot of fun bright shades being chosen by nail artists at the SS21 shows, such as beautiful Indian-inspired pinks and oranges." 


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)


(Image credit: @annawinck)


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)


(Image credit: @varnishlane)


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Think pink, but go for the deepest fuchsia you can find, like this one from Mavala. One solid and simple wash of colour is all you need to nail this look.

2. Pastel Tones

Sure, bold isn't for everyone so the best way to introduce some colour into your manicure is by going for pastel tones. They'll still give you the required mood boost but look a bit more low-key. Try painting different shades on each nail or try your hand at some crystal quartz-like nail art.

Lebrat-Personnaz has noticed that "many of our younger customers have been dipping their finger(nails) into colours but we have seen them starting off with muted tones that aren’t as bright, which can often be daunting when doing your own nails. The pastel colours we forecast to be big in 2021 are lilac and mint, beautiful shades that are a bit more edgy and cool than the traditional pink."


(Image credit: @styleidealist)


(Image credit: @imarninails)


(Image credit: @heartzeena)


(Image credit: @carmeon.hamilton)


(Image credit: @aishabeau)

Keep things minty fresh with this refreshing take on a pastel. Whether you paint it on one nail for a statement or go for a full manicure, this might just be your new signature look.

3. Japanese Inspired Manicures

Low-maintenance, sleek and effortless are the words that come to mind when you see someone with impeccable shiny nails and barely there colour. Luckily, we can all get in on this regardless of nail length. This is what Lebrat-Personnaz recommends for getting the look: 

"We have seen nail care growing in popularity during lockdown, as consumers have more time to take care of the condition of their nails. The Japanese Manicure, which we offer in our salons in France, consists of multiple steps for a full nail detox.

Starting by buffing the nails to increase circulation (nails should develop a beautiful pink hue, almost like a blush) and finishing by applying a treatment to enhance the condition of nails and nail beds – plus enhancing the nails’ natural shine. The end result is healthy and natural nails – a bit like giving them a detoxing facial."


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)


(Image credit: @ch.phr8ph)


(Image credit: @lefevrediary)


(Image credit: @smythsisters)


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)

This kit has everything you need to keep your nails looking their best. Follow up with a coat of your favourite top coat or blush polish to elevate the look.

4. Leather Look Hues

Well, it looks like matching your shoes with your nails is the new mood for 2021 and we agree with Lebrat-Personnaz that "deep brown and black tones, opaque in finish, look absolutely beautiful and striking on all skin tones, especially if they have a high shine finish."

Perfect if you're not a fan of doing your nails as all you need is a few coats and you're good to go. But, if you do want to go the extra mile, add some white dots or silver lines. 


(Image credit: @thevicstyles)


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)


(Image credit: @caitlinmiyako)


(Image credit: @imarninails)


(Image credit: @basicstouch)

When you're going for shades that make a serious impact, you need a good quality polish and this is one of the best around. 

5. Grown Up Glitter

Honestly, glitter will never go out of style but there's only so many glitter polishes that we need in our life. If you want some shimmer and glam without it looking too obvious, this is the way to go.

"2021 is all about a gentle nod to sparkle with beautiful iridescent shades that glint and catch the eye without being OTT. Deep, iridescent shades are very ‘French girl’ cool, think petrol blue and emerald green and for the summer months? A gorgeous shimmery bronze compliments a tan perfectly," says Lebrat-Personnaz. 

Into. It.


(Image credit: @oliveandjune)


(Image credit: @thevicstyles)


(Image credit: @varnishlane)


(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This jewel tone will have you asking, "glitter who?" once you get it on your nails. Whether you let the shade do all of the talking or apply it only on the tips of your nails and rock a micro-manicure, just wait for the compliments to roll in. 

Up next, the nail colours you need on your radar in 2021.

Giselle La Pompe-Moore