There’s something about a manicure, be it low-key and neutral or blinged out and pointy à la Cardi B, that sort-of completes a look. And regardless of your personal style, nail trends in 2019 will check off all the boxes. Sure, a mani is on the smaller side and nowhere near as attention-grabbing as a hairstyle or makeup moment, but it can be just as noteworthy and also a form of self-care. (Just think about how good it feels to get pampered at a salon or how cathartic painting your toes in front of the TV can be when you actually put time aside for it.)
In terms of color and design, we rarely subscribe to rules or guidelines, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t at least interested in what’s getting the most love from year to year.
For instance,Lauren Berkovitz, CEO and Founder of polish brand Lauren B. Beauty, says 2018 was all about moody deep tones, such as blue, purple and red, as well as mixed metals like copper, gold and silver. She also adds that “a great nude never goes out of style and is classically chic,” so we saw a lot of that this year too.
As far as nail art is concerned, it was all about stickers and 3-D designs. “We are starting to see more studs, jewelry, beads, chains etc. on nails and this is probably not going away,” she says. “We saw an array of abstract designs, minimal designs and modern designs consisting of lines, dots, negative space, brush strokes and more.”
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Bold Color and Texture
Come 2019, bright colors—in the form of a fresh coat of polish or art—will definitely be having their moment. Think neon like Lauren B’s #imjuicing and yellows like Coachella Valley Sun. Equally bold glitter and other textured surfaces will also make their presence known.
“Glitter is a form of texture that is very appealing on nails. Other textured surfaces will become more popular and achievable. Nails embellished with beads and studs are not going anywhere,” says Berkovitz. “I always say nails should be your best accessory, and now we are seeing jewelry combined literally on your fingertips.”
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On the opposite end of the spectrum, we’ll also see an uptick in minimal color and design, beginning with the negative space manicure.
“By this I mean a clear base coat applied onto the nail, then designs using bold lines, colors on the tips only, words or phrases, elevated versions of the traditional French manicure, or a mix of all of these,” says Berkovitz.
Not only are these on trend, she also notes that they can be very forgiving since nail growth doesn’t show as easily.
Additionally, expect to see a mix of bold texture with the negative space design. For example, Berkovitz loves combining the two by “starting with a clear base and then playing with glitter, using glitter to create a crescent moon at the base, or along one side, or as a design even a simple negative nail with glitter on top.”
Finally, in addition to polish and design, as well as nail shape (“more practical shapes like medium length ovals and styles that are clean and easy to achieve”), Berkovitz predicts an increased interest in nail care options that complement a healthier lifestyle.
“Women want to look and feel beautiful but do not want to compromise their health, and are ready to make changes to feel healthier,” she says, while also noting more brand awareness and sales around her brand which is 7-free of harsh chemicals, vegan and cruelty-free.
If one conclusion can be drawn from this wide-ranging forecast, it’s that there is no one way to stay on trend and cater to your personal style. The options are never in short supply.