Despite being the first official month of spring, April isn't always sunny and bright. (You know, that whole “April showers” thing.) Luckily, the trendiest spring nail colors are anything but.
“I think after this particularly brutal winter on both coasts, [people are looking for] a fun way to boldly transition into the warmer weather,” Mazz Hanna, a celebrity nail artist who works with Julia Roberts and Selma Blair, tells The Zoe Report. Her top pick? Day-Glo neon polish in shades like highlighter yellow and traffic cone orange. But don’t worry — if bright colors aren’t your style, there are plenty of low-key trends to try, too.
“Pretty, neutral manis are big right now,” Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of LA-based nail salons and online retailer Olive & June, tells TZR. The mani entrepreneur is partial to the brand's line of perfect nudes and light pastels (which — spoiler alert — is really, really good). While spring neutrals look great on their own, they also make the perfect backdrop for a bit of nail art. “I've been really into subtle nail art lately, nothing too funky but something a little different to keep things feeling fresh,” Jess Hannah, founder of J. Hannah, tells The Zoe Report. Her pastel, geometric, negative space mani, below, is a must-try.
And while a trip to the nail salon may not be possible at the moment, that doesn't mean nail health needs to fall by the wayside. In fact, this is the best time to strengthen nail beds. "Use a warm wash cloth to push cuticles back, soft buffer to file away dead skin around cuticle for the time being," manicurist Gina Edwards, whose clients include Taraji P. Henson and Bebe Rexha, says. "Use your clear coat dually as a base coat. Your nails don't have to suffer."
Ahead, the 14 shades, shapes, and finishes that are sure to be at the fingertips of stylish women (like yourself) all season long.
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Spring Nail Polish Color: Soft Yellow
"Light yellows are anchor colors that compliment most skin tones," Edwards says. Especially with holidays like easter around the corner, pastels in the shade will be prevalent as ever on fingertips.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Metallics
"This spring, we'll see some of our favorite looks just in a more sheer fashion," Edwards says.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Homemade Nail Art
"Try out nail tricks that would include using household items such as toothpicks, tape, or bobby pins to create simple nail art," Edwards says. "With pins, make dots. With toothpicks, you can drag your color. With tape, make straight lines and edges. There are so many options!"
Spring Nail Polish Color: Cool Blue
"Light blue hues epitomize springtime. Warm spectrums of cool blues will surely be on the scene," Edwards says. The universal shade looks wonderful on any skin tone, and can be paired with just about any other color for a festive accent nail.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Animal Print
"Nail trends that offer texture or color effects are always an exciting break from the traditional manicure," Aja Walton, editorial manicurist, says. "For this reason, magnetic paints and animal prints have reemerged giving more dimension and texture effect."
Spring Nail Polish Color: Neon
“Neon is definitely a trend that is back in full swing,” Hanna says. “Pops of neon, solid neons, neon French manicures, and plenty of neon negative space manicures will be everywhere. I recently painted my nails a shade of neon green that I custom blended at the new Orly Color Labs, and if I had a dollar for every compliment I got I’d be retired. Everyone loves neon.”
Spring Nail Polish Color: Monochromatic Ombre
“These monochromatic ombré nails are just as fun as neons, but in a more toned down way,” Hanna tells TZR. “The thing that makes this nail trend so appealing is that you can use any color family that suits your personal style and easily DIY it at home.”
Spring Nail Polish Color: Pretty Neutrals
“Our Nail Polish in Gh has been one of our best sellers and it's a gorgeous shade of pink that feels right for any moment, from brunch to weddings,” Gibson Tuttle says. “Pink is a return to traditional spring looks. After a few seasons of darker colors, it's nice to be back to what feels really in season.”
Spring Nail Polish Color: Matte Finishes
“We are seeing a lot of matte finish nails using lighter, springier colors like taupe, grey, and coral,” Leah Yari, the co-founder of côte, tells The Zoe Report. “A matte finish is soft and subtle, like a gentle breeze and billowy clouds.” The best part? You can mattify any polish with a coat of Nordstrom's Matte Top.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Florals
“Spring has officially sprung and flowers are back,” Elaine Lee, the lead nail technician at Valley Nails in New York City, tells The Zoe Report. “Our artists hand-paint florals based on desired color and client's inspiration.” Opt for bright orange poppies on a stark white background to give traditional pastel florals an eye-catching update.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Muted Pastels
“As the authority in nail art, we are always on the lookout for nail art trends,” Lee says. “One of the nail art trends we're noticing come back around is fresh pastel and spring colors.” Muted tones like Be Iconic, the moody lavender polish from Sally Hansen's new range, are particularly popular for April.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Palm Trees
“For nail art, we have seen more pastel base colors with palm tree designs,” Yari says. To keep the look from being overwhelming, stick to just one or two frond-covered fingers.
Spring Nail Polish Color: Subtle Nail Art
“I was inspired by the colors and geometry of a Josef Albers piece and did something similar for my nails,” Hannah tells TZR of her peach, yellow, and green negative space mani. “The colors are particularly springy — it feels like nature.”
Spring Nail Polish Color: Coral
Living Coral is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2019, so it makes sense that the bright shade is trending in nail salons across the country. Yari calls it “a happy, vibrant color that reminds us of spring blossoms by the coast.”
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