5 Nostalgic ’90s Nail Trends Making A Major Comeback

Once iconic, still iconic.

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The nostalgic '90s nail trends making a major comeback.

Now that millennials are around the same age as our once-idols from the ’90s, it makes all the sense in the world that the trends of our youth would be making a serious comeback (especially since we actually have the funds to buy the things we so badly wanted back then).

With TikTok churning out elevated adaptations of the beauty trends made popular by ’90s it-girls, it’s no wonder that nostalgia for all things pre-Y2K runs deep. Case in point? Younger generations are just now discovering how iconic Pamela Anderson truly is, with a serious obsession with her tousled updo and newfound interest in those signature pencil-thin brows skyrocketing over the last few months. What’s more, voluminous blowouts so often seen on bombshells of the early aughts are now having their moment, with modern muses like Zendaya and Kourtney Kardashian tapping into the trend.

When it comes to today’s most coveted manicures, you guessed it: ’90s nail trends are back and better than ever. Everything from iridescent glazed donut manicures, vanilla French tips, and Louboutin-inspired peekaboo nails are everywhere. If you’re looking for nail inspo, keep scrolling for five standouts that are about to take over your social media feeds.


Heavy Metal

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ICYMI, chrome is having its main character mani moment, with gunmetal metallic hues, iridescent finishes, and mirror-like press-ons taking centerstage. And back in the ’90s, pop stars like Britney Spears and Madonna were serious fans of silver polish.


Glossed Up

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One nail trend of the ’90s that has gotten a serious rebrand in recent months? Sheer pink polish is *always* in, sure, but in 2023, the go-to neutral has reached new aesthetic heights, with jelly-like high-shine finishes now aptly referred to as “lip gloss nails.”


Feeling French

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French nails are no longer considered too cheugy to wear (a huge relief for me since I opted for the trending mani on my wedding day last year). This time around, however, the classic paint job is taking on a life of its own, with colorful hues, micro-mini tips, and invisible lines dominating the feeds.


Left On Red

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Red lacquered nails have been a mainstay for decades. We’re talking Marilyn Monroe in the ’50s, and stars like Jennifer Aniston, Princess Diana, Pamela Anderson, and countless others throughout the 1990s. And if you’re a TikTok scroller (or Bustle reader), it’s no secret that 30 years after red’s most recent heyday, the bold polish is *back* (and also taking over makeup trends).


Bare It All

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In the ’90s, one major nail trend just so happened to be the no-makeup-makeup look of manicures. Countless it-girls of the early aughts like Aaliyah and Winona Ryder were seen sans any polish, sometimes even on the red carpet. Today, that translates to bare fingertips with just a protective clear top coat, and taking some time between salon appointments to allow your nails to breathe for a while (save for some nourishing cuticle oils, of course).

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