Just a few short years ago, you probably went to the nail salon with one of two options in mind: a single swipe of color, or a French manicure. But somewhere around the early onset of Instagram, nail art saw a rise in popularity: This past year alone, we’ve seen dozens of nail art trends peak—like these v artful but completely unwearable succulent nails—and then quickly come crashing down. After crazy-detailed nail art saw the end of its trend cycle (and thank goodness for that—nobody should be stuck with flashy rhinestones and emoji stuck to their hands until the gel peels off), minimalist nail art took off. Think: negative space designs, often in a neutral color palette.
And now, what with the revival of platform shoes and wide-leg pants and rust-colored everything, we’ve found a ’70s-leaning middle ground in beauty, too.
“Nail art seems to be going in a much more nostalgic direction these days,” says Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, founder of cafe-come-nail salon Chillhouse. “From groovy lines to rose quartz, folks are using their nails as a canvas to show off their affinity for retro textures, shapes, and lines—rather than throwing gems, characters, or words on their nail beds.”
Ahead, see the next new iteration of cool nail art: the summer 2017 version.