Why Your Entire Newsfeed Is Wearing Rainbow Nails — & These 8 Other May Trends

by Jessica DeFino

What comes after April showers? In the case of May 2019 nail trends, sure, it's flowers. But according to experts (and Instagram), it’s also rainbows. And rose gold. And a few not-quite-neutrals, for the more minimally inclined. In fact, the month ahead is sure to be filled with a veritable bouquet of new nail art, polish shades, and mani trends to try.

“I think we're going to continue seeing different colored nails and for spring, definitely using neon-leaning pastels,” Cyndi Ramirez, the founder of Chillhouse in New York City, tells The Zoe Report. You’ve probably spotted the style on your feed by now. The multicolored look is one that's loved by beauty editors, influencers, and the generally indecisive alike, and May is the month to make it yours. On the other hand (pun not intended, but fully embraced), you have a few subdued options, as well. “As Mercury rises, we’re all about negative space to show some skin,” Mabelyn Martin, the creative director of NYC’s Paintbox nails, tells The Zoe Report. The salon’s signature take on the negative space nail art trend involves neutral tones and graphic lines — basic, yes, but definitely not boring.

Ahead, the nine nail trends poised to be the next big spring thing.



Rainbow nails are shaping up to be the manicure to have for May — and nailing the trend might be easier than you think. “Head to your local department store,” Mazz Hanna, a celebrity nail artist who works with Kasey Musgraves and Halsey, tells TZR. “You can bounce from counter to counter trying out a different shade on each nail. In the end, you’re left with a totally rad mani.”



“I also think we're going to see delicate florals around the nail bed for spring,” Ramirez says. “It feels obvious, but it's a more subtle approach to flower nails. We just launched a design liked this [at Chillhouse], perfectly titled ‘Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.’”

Nudes + Neons


Neon colors come even more alive when paired with cappuccino beige,” Martin says. The salon’s special-edition nail art for Memorial Day, launching May 14, hits the nail on the head by combining “milky camel with fuchsia, cobalt, highlighter yellow, bright peach, and vibrant mint,” according to Martin.



Coral is most popular for the beginning of May, especially during Mother's Day,” Leah Yari, the co-founder of côte, tells The Zoe Report. The brand’s No. 1 polish bottles up the universally-flattering magic of coral.

Not-Quite Neutrals

Olive & June

“I'm loving our Nail Polish in Tara from our debut polish collection,” Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the founder of Los Angeles’ Olive & June salons, tells TZR. She says the lavender-meets-grey color is “an unexpected shade and still goes with everything. You’ll always feel like your mani is stylish but won’t get tired of having a pop of color on your nails.” Snag it as part of the brand's newly-launched Studio Box, a next-level at-home mani kit.


Nails By Mei

"A shape that is coming back is the pointy shape or skinny almond shape,” Mei Kawajiri, a manicurist who’s worked with Gigi Hadid, tells The Zoe Report. “And designs inspired by ‘90s tattoos — almost like a flame nail.”

Graphic Minimalism

Paintbox Nails

“Our Line Drive manicure has been very popular at [our NYC location], especially in a neutral color palette like caramel and black,” Martin says of the salon's signature negative space mani — a nail trend that’s proving it has the power to stand the test of time. “It’s a modern classic that feels fresh for the pre-summer months.”

Rosé Gold


“A Valley Spring favorite polish is Kissed by Rose Gold from LondonTown,” Elaine Lee, the lead nail artist at Valley Nails in New York City, tells The Zoe Report. “It’s an amazing metallic rose gold hue, perfect for rosé season.”



“White, especially seen on the toes for pedicures, is always a favorite for Memorial Day,” Yari says. Of course, there is the age-old style rule that demands no white before Memorial Day (May 27) — but according to the côte founder, this is one rule worth breaking.