With the weather warming up, it's finally time to get those hands out of gloves and flaunt a fabulous mani. With Spring in full swing, it's the perfect opportunity to start looking for new inspiration to represent the joyful season. Plus, compliments on some fresh nail art is always appreciated. “A person's nails can set them apart from the world and even give people a taste of who you are,” says NAILCON Founder, Jazmin Celine Gresham. “Plus, expressing yourself through nails lasts longer than makeup.”
So, in honor of the season, we're rounding up the best in nail design. We asked three pros for their predictions on the shapes, colors, and techniques that will be all over our social media feeds in the coming months. Ahead, all the mood-boosting nail inspiration you'll ever need, from graphic frenchies to powdery colors. Keep scrolling for the top nail trends for spring 2022.
Meet the Expert
The Graphic French
The traditional French tip will never go out of fashion. Boyce attributes its popularity to its ability to elongate the nail, particularly when applied to an oval shape. However, she predicts that graphic elements will be added to the classic design this season. “Statement graphics like hearts, dollar signs, and other things can be added to express your vibe,” Boyce tells us.
“Lately, Euphoria has been inspiring lots of nail designs with rhinestones and glitters,” Nguyen shares as she tells us about the rise of nail jewels and embellishments.
Gresham adds that “the expressive look isn’t just for long nails, the natural girls are climbing the ladder in their trendy designs too.”
Gresham anticipates that we'll be seeing an influx of bright, powdery pastels on our Instagram feeds. Because of its garden-inspired color palette, Boyce is labeling this trend “deconstructed gardens.” Boyce adds, "Think pastel, but make it rich and chic."
Boyce is personally loving opaque lilacs like ORLY’s Provence at Dusk Polish ($11)—an appropriate pick considering Pantone's color of 2022 is a blue-toned lilac called Very Peri. “It’s not the deep royal purple or a sheer wash of pastel purple, but a rich, pigmented lilac shade,” she describes.
Let's face it: gold is timeless. In 2021, our nail experts predicted that gold foil would have its moment in the sun, but it appears that it will be around for a while longer thanks to its unique ability to easily elevate any nail look. "Subtle accents, such as a chrome line or gold flakes,” will take over for this season, according to Nguyen.
The 1990s aesthetic continues to be popular. To tie vintage-inspired beauty and fashion together, bright yet transparent Jelly Nails are the perfect nod to decades past. Reminiscent of the '90s jelly shoes trend, "these shades are so much fun and look like jelly candy," explains Boyce.
If you want to achieve this look, she suggests "using a clear topcoat to sheer out your favorite neon color."
Mix & Maximalism
“Spring to me is all about mixing and matching,” Nguyen tells us. She suggests lavender, mint, and soft pink polish shades to achieve the look. In our opinion, experimenting with your nail colors and designs are the perfect way to express your personality (and tell a story of who you are).
According to Nguyen, "with festivals returning, people will be rocking colorful ombré nails for these occasions." Ombre nails featuring bright colors are ideal for a getaway because they are relaxed and versatile.
If you prefer simplicity, abstract designs with negative space may be for you. The nail art adds spatial energy and Nguyen believes the almond shape complements the design well. "This length and shape are easy to maintain and provide enough canvas for nail art without being excessive," she tells us.
Boyce would like to see bright neon colors, like ORLY's Oh Snap ($11) or Birds of Paradise ($11), used to create one-of-a-kind creations. "This spring, neon is very popular," Boyce explains. "I believe people are very excited to go out, and they sense the electricity in the air that bright neons bring."
If you want to do your own nails but aren't a master at creating unique nail designs, Gresham recommends nail art decals. She believes they will be popular this spring due to their simple application and stylishness.
As people move away from coral and pink shades, Boyce believes this trend will look fantastic with sandy neutrals like Undn's Sandstorm Polish ($18). She reveals, "I'm expecting to see more neutral and skin tone shades because the recent rise of sand and khaki tones has made [nail art] more inclusive."
Very Cherry Designs
“Fruit nail art, in general, is very popular during Spring/Summertime,” Nguyen tells us. According to the manicurist, the cherry nail design makes an epic comeback every year due to its fun pattern, simple design, and timelessness, which makes it a go-to during the warmer seasons.
“The key to creating this trend is to have very pigmented nail polishes and especially a true red for the cherries.” She highly suggests the Fast 'n Fabulous Nail Polish ($10) from Mineral Fusion because of its vibrancy.
Nguyen continues, “Use a detailing brush to carefully paint the details of the cherries. The more details you can paint, the more realistic the cherries will be.”
Checkerboard nails are having a major moment. Nguyen attributes this to the intricate design, creativity, and variety of ways the look can be worn, ranging from checkered French tips and checker print on full nails to color blocking or mismatching with other trends.
She suggests purchasing nail art brushes to "perfect the sharpness of the squares."
When booking a nail appointment became impossible, the demand for faux nail options skyrocketed through 2020, according to our experts. According to Gresham, the ease and convenience of press-on nails aren't going away. The nail enthusiast shares, “The pandemic increased the need for press-on nail brands to create more options and variety.”
Boyce says of The Sara Tan ($16) design from NAILS OF LA, "This very abstract design featuring primary colors and thin black accents will continue to be big."