5 Early 2000s Nail Trends We Kinda, Sorta Never Stopped Loving

It's no secret that a lot of Y2K trends are suddenly back in style. From crochet dresses to platform sandals and even belly chains, there are so many nostalgic items that are slowly creeping back into our summer wardrobes. However, it's not just fashion that is having an early '00s revival. Say hello to Y2K nails.

Although we use social media for most of our manicure inspiration nowadays, some of our favourite celebrities were setting the trends way before Instagram even existed. From French manicures to shiny, metallic finishes, some of the most popular nail trends of 2023 are actually just coming back onto the style radar for the first time since the start of the new millennium. 

Sure, we've probably improved a little bit on our manicure skills since then, but there's no denying that these Y2K nail trends are looking better than ever. Don't believe me? I reached out to Julita Fagan, nail expert from 14 Day Mani, who shared her thoughts on why these trends are coming right back around.

Keep on scrolling for some serious throwbacks, but be warned, this is about to make you really nostalgic. Not only will you be wanting to give one of these manicures ago, but you might find yourself longing for a flip phone and some rhinestone sunglasses to match…

1. Chrome Nails


(Image credit: Getty Images)

I naively thought that shiny, pearlescent chrome-effect polishes were a new discovery, but according to Fagan, I couldn't be more wrong. "The pearlescent nail trend has long been known for its eye-catching finish," she explains. "It's commonly achieved by using a chrome powder to create the illusion of a multi-tonal or glass effect. However, if you want to bring this trend into 2023, I would recommend wearing a chrome powder over a natural, nude base to create a subtler sheen."

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2. French Tips


(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's hard to find a throwback picture of Jennifer Lopez where she's not sporting a French manicure. In fact, it was a go-to design for so many celebs back in the early 2000s, but it was quickly disregarded as a dated style later on. However, this trend has made a huge comeback this year, and I'm personally a big fan.

"French tips have been a driving force in the nail world for many years now, and the only thing that has changed is that they have got better with time," says Fagan. "The design has been elevated to bring each client a vast range of options to choose from. Plus, we're seeing a creativity to them, with people moving away from the classic white tip to [other colours]."

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3. Hot Pink Nails


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Hot pink nails were all the rage back in the early '00s, and thanks to Barbie, it seems that this shade is having a revival. This bold pink hue is quite literally everywhere at the moment, and it's an easy, fun way to add some colour to your look.

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4. Designer Logos


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remember when everyone was into really statement designer logos? I'm not just talking about on their clothes and accessories, but their nails too. Ever since quiet luxury became a thing, this Y2K trend had been on the decline, but Chanel recently launched its own set of manicure stickers, which makes me think that we are about to see this trending nail art all over again. 

"This design has been around for quite a while, and due to its visual appeal for many clients and nail artists alike, it will surely continue to stand the test of time," says Fagan. "These designs can be hand-painted by a skilled nail artist, but are also achievable in a sticker form for those who prefer to do their own nails at home."

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5. Bedazzled Detailing


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Back when I was a teen, I remember asking for a bedazzler kit every year for Christmas. There was nothing better than sticking rhinestones over everything you owned, and nails were no exception. "Bedazzled nail art has been seen around the world, and used in many, many ways, for as long as we can all remember," says Fagan.

So, when I was scrolling on Instagram a couple of days ago and saw some of my favourite nail artists creating chic, minimal gemstone nail art, I was very excited. In order to make this trend a little more modern, try a bedazzled French tip or add one or two gemstones to the base of your nail for a paired-back finish.

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Next Up: 84 Incredible Nail-Art Designs to Screengrab Before Your Next Salon Trip

Main Image: Getty Images

Grace Lindsay
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.