There’s nothing quite like warmer weather and a little extra sunlight to inspire you to switch up your look, and one of the easiest ways to do so is with a fresh manicure. Luckily there are countless spring nail art trends to choose from, whether you want to go for Y2K details, a sleek micro French manicure, or a design reminiscent of your grandma’s wallpaper. (No really, that’s a thing.)
Nail art trends are always changing, especially with the seasons, but that’s what makes them so fun. “Our clients are getting inspiration everywhere, from their friends, to their fave celebrities, to nail art they find on their explore pages on Instagram,” says Rachel Apfel Glass, the founder of membership-based nail studio GLOSSLAB. “The avenues for inspiration are limitless.”
While you can rock a funky design any time of year, the biggest
nail trends for spring 2023 are leaning towards extra-springy colors, bold designs, and details that are a little bit out-there. “Typically for spring, light pastel and florals have always been major,” says Hemi Park, a licensed nail tech and educator with LeChat Nails. And those details are definitely still on trend. “This spring, however, we will see more bold and bright patterns and colors,” she tells Bustle. “We are already seeing retro patterns with modern color choices, which are super whimsical and fun.”
To land on the perfect polish for your tips, keep scrolling for 11 of the best 2023 spring nail art trends.
1 Micro French Manicure
If you’re into the look of a classic French manicure, but feel like it could use an update, go for
micro French tips instead. “We saw the resurgence of the French manicure over the past couple of years, and now it's getting an update,” Apfel Glass says. “The thinner line of this micro French mani is super subtle and chic.” 2 Chinoiserie aka Antique Grandma Nails
Celebrity nail artist
Elle Gerstein predicts we’ll see more Chinoiserie-inspired nails this spring. The floral, pastel design looks a lot like old time-y wallpaper you’d see in a Victorian home from the 1800s. In fact, Blake Lively recently referred to a similar mani as “ antique grandma wallpaper” — and it was kind of perfect. Add gold accents, foil, and crystals to take it up a notch. 3 Wildflower Bouquets
What would this time of year be without a flower or two? “Florals have always been a
huge spring trend for nail lovers,” Park says. This year, though, it’s all about turning your tips into a lush wildflower bouquet with hand-painted leaves, stems, and petals. Sticking on floral decals and botanical prints can also turn your tips into a garden. 4 Velvet Textures
velvet nails will also be a big hit. To get the look, Park says it’s all about layering a thick jelly top coat over textured or glittery polish for a crushed velvet effect. To make sure it screams spring, go for pastels like pink, light green, and lavender.
“I like this trend because it’s really expressing movement,” Gerstein adds. “This spring we’re going to amplify it by adding stones, foil, and textured glitters to add the extra dimension on top of the velvet.”
5 Groovy Swirls
“Mixed pattern trends will be continue to be popular,” Park says, pointing to swirly designs with other motifs layered on top. “Swirls give totally different vibes depending on the colors you use on the design or the base,” she adds. For a simple, minimalist look, go for a black and white design. For something more retro pick out funky, bright colors like pink and yellow, then layer on plenty of hearts and flowers.
6 Aura Nails
Airbrush has made a slow but grand comeback to nail artistry,” Park says. And that means it’s easier than ever to get aura nails, aka polish that perfectly blends from dark to light. This is spring 2023’s take on ombre nails. Instead of the color fading from the base of your nail to the tip, the aura swirls out from the center for an updated look. 7 Skittle Nails
If you aren’t sure which color to choose for your next manicure, lean into the Skittle trend, which Park says is all about using a different polish on each nail so that your hands look colorful, like a bunch of candies. One option is to be experimental and choose a wide array of colors. Another is to stick with hues in the same color family. Since the
Pantone Color of the Year is Viva Magenta, Park suggests going for a range of bright reds and pinks. 8 Ultra-Mirrored Chromes
If you’re looking to stick to one color, Apfel Glass says
silver nail polish will be the go-to for spring. “The bright metallic shade is definitely trending and gives an almost futuristic vibe,” she says. Even though it’s shiny AF, silver works as a neutral that’s bright without being too much.
To take it to another level, go for an ultra-mirrored finish. “We're talking the kind of shiny chrome you can see your reflection in,” says
Reece Gutierrez, a nail entrepreneur and founder of the eco-friendly nail salon Holy Chic + Co. “Chrome nails, especially long ones, are such a power move — they're bold, attention-grabbing, and make you look like a hot robot.” 9 Y2K Designs
According to Gutierrez, now’s the time to put any and all
Y2K references on your nails, whether it’s butterflies, flames, slogans — or all of the above. “Obviously, the era of reviving all things from the Y2K aesthetic is upon us,” she tells Bustle. “The Y2K era was such a fun and free time to play around with fashion and to be colorful or girly.” If you can fit slogans or words on your nails — Gutierrez points to the Y2K graphic tee trend with phrases like “Dump Him” blazoned across the front — then go for it. 10 Clean Girl Nails
DIY nail expert
Juli Russell, who is part of the Sally Crew, says the clean girl look that changed how we approach makeup can also translate to your nails. “This aesthetic is still going strong as we see lots of sheer, milky manicures,” she tells Bustle. “It’s a great option for a ‘your-nails-but-better’ look, like tinted moisturizer for your nails.”
Russell recommends pairing a sheer polish with a metallic frosty shade for a
glazed donut effect, à la Hailey Bieber. Apfel Glass says you can get a similar vibe with a pastel pink manicure that looks subtle and pretty. 11 3-D Nail Art
3-D nail trend often looks like little water droplets or cute, amorphous blobs sitting on top of your nails, Gutierrez says, and it’s always super fun to try in the spring. Add some height with gems, puffy acrylic designs — or whatever else turns your fingertips into chunky, glittering jewels. “There are a lot of possibilities depending on how 'alternative' you want to get, and it's almost sculptural,” she says. “This trend really puts the art in nail art.”
Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of GLOSSLAB Hemi Park, a licensed nail tech and educator with LeChat Nails Elle Gerstein, celebrity nail artist Reece Gutierrez, nail entrepreneur, founder of the eco-friendly nail salon Holy Chic + Co Juli Russell, DIY nail experts, member of Sally Crew
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