During the coldest months of the year, you’re probably not prioritizing getting a weekly pedicure. Just because you’re spending less time at the salon (and in open-toed shoes), it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the top colors of the season. The winter 2023 pedicure trends are chock-full of shades that will give you and your toes a quick pick-me-up. Typically, classic colors like red and black are natural choices in the bone-chilling weather. But this winter, the most popular polishes are taking cues from the manicures that have recently dominated Instagram — think cool blues and soft nudes or pastels.
According to Rita Remark, nail artist and global lead educator for Essie, the pedicure trends offer a variety of options for everyone. “Playful and bold shades are great for creating a statement, while muted dark colors are textbook for winter,” she says. Similarly, soft tones, like pearl and ballet pink, are ideal for the season. Whether you’re searching for a fresh take on your go-to hue or want to try an entirely new one, there’s an option for you. There’s even room to play around with different finishes.
Ahead, TZR chatted with two experts to break down the top pedicure color trends for winter.
Red is a timeless choice for manicures and pedicures alike. However, this winter, Remark says that bright cherry colors are being replaced with a darker version. “Muted and deeper tones are the better options for red this season,” she says. It’s important to note that while these shades have more depth, they skew more toward burgundy than berry or wine — that means instead of purple undertones, reach for lacquers with a brick or rust tint. Remark explains that, like a candy apple-colored polish, dark cherry offers a sophisticated look but has a cozier feel that’s fitting for winter.
2024 might be the year for the color blue. Pinterest experts have deemed it to be one of the top trends, and the beauty community has embraced it with vigor. If you’ve already experimented with a blue manicure, Remark says now’s the time to try a fun pedicure. “Your toes are likely to be covered for most of the season, so why not try something different?” she adds.
When selecting a shade, look for a polish with a creamy consistency to show off the depth of the color. According to Rianna Basurto, director of marketing at Bellacures nail salon in Beverly Hills, sapphire blues lean into the vibrancy of the season and offer a bold yet wearable look.
The holidays may be over, but according to Basurto, the glitzy colors of the season are still ideal for pedicures. She tells TZR that jewel tones, grounded with a darker hue, are great choices for winter. Though the spectrum of gemstone-inspired colors is vast, she recommends opting for deep, shimmery shades that work well during the colder months. “A dark emerald and or rich amethyst are two options that embrace seasonal aesthetics without being too literal,” she adds. Just be sure to opt for a polish with a slight sparkle to get the full effect.
Sheer Pinky Nudes
The universal appeal of nude polish is hard to ignore. With flesh-colored undertones, it matches everything and can easily carry you throughout the entire season. This winter, Remark mentions that a sheer version offers more of a modern feel than an opaque shade. The beauty of this finish is its versatility. Whether you opt for a light wash of color or decide to apply multiple coats for a stronger look, you have options.
Even better? Remak explains that these polishes are very forgiving, for instance, if your toenails are slightly uneven. “A sheer polish adorns your nails and won’t shine a light on any imperfections,” she says. The pro recommends looking for an iridescent or pearlescent type to give your toes a stylish finish.
Neons are typically reserved for summer, but if you want to step outside of your comfort zone, Basurto thinks a bold electric shade is the perfect choice. Unlike pale and muted tones, a vivid colored-pedicure offers a fresh change of pace come winter. If you plan to polish your toes yourself, she advises stocking up on long-lasting and quick-drying formulas. Along with finding the right bottle, she notes that you’ll need to invest in the proper tools to ensure your toes have a salon-worthy look.
Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year has already proven to be a top shade for makeup and nail looks. However, Peach Fuzz works just as well for pedicures. As Remark explains, it’s soft tones make it ideal for a range of complexions. “While the ‘mannequin’ look works for hands, it doesn't have the same effect on toes,” she says. Rather than selecting an exact match, the light touch of orange works better than stark nudes for all skin tones,” she says.