The current prediction is warm weather with a good possibility of colorful Winter Nail Art. Chrome nails have never looked better, and French manicures are becoming more sophisticated. The seasonal favorites, in somber hues like dark crimson and jet black, are likely to shine in glossy finishes for those who want to pull out all of their decorations before the first snowfall. When the gloves come off, two (surprisingly) simple ways to make a statement are ombre art and bubble nails.
That being said, your next manicure might very well be inspired by what you decide to warm up with, like a cup of hot chocolate or an oat milk latte. “Whether you like it or not, we will always see different combinations of chrome powder and base colors, and we will name them after the newest food or beverage trend,” says Winter Nail Art Anna Miles, whose manicures have been seen on the runways of late, including the Helmut Lang and Jason Wu fall 2023 shows. To put it succinctly, glazed nails are here to stay and come in every possible shade of latte.
Nail artists offer their top seasonal creations here.
1. Cherry Cola: Reach for a darker version of your classic red.
Certain things, like red nails, are always in style. Consider the styles that manicurist Jin Soon Choi and her crew created for the fall 2023 Michael Kors and Brandon Maxwell shows. Choi recommends a deep burgundy shade that TikTok has dubbed #cherrycola to make red feel a little more seasonal than the bright cherry you might grab for in the summer. Try Hermès Les Mains Hermes Nail Enamel in Rouge H, Dior Vernis in Nuit 1947, or Zoya Nail Polish in Courtney. According to Miss Pop, a nail artist based in New York City, the vampy hue “adds a bit of mystery to every look.” She told Allure this.
2. Aura Clouds: Combine polishes in a creative way.
With the emphasis on the vibrant center-gradient trend, we may mistakenly believe it was still Y2K if we didn’t know any better. “Aura nails looked amazing throughout the summer, but they also look amazing with [darker] wintery hues,” Ms Pop explains. She suggests, “Paint a dot of any opaque color onto a makeup sponge and dab it onto [the center] of the nail for a soft-focus burst of color” to achieve this blurred look.
3. Eras: Create a rainbow of your favorite designs.
Give them matching nail art when your middle finger says “Speak Now” and your pointer finger feels “Fearless.” Whether you’re a Swiftie or not, we adore the idea of having a rainbow of various artwork on each manicure. If you just have one hand, like me, you might even want to combine two “eras” on one nail. “It’s an enhanced version of the Skittles manicure craze from past seasons, featuring distinct manicures on every nail rather than just a simple array of solid colors,” explains Miles. Try nail stickers to create the look yourself (try Gucci, Olive & June, or Dashing Diva for easy art), then apply a top coat to finish it off.
4. Bubbles: Make a simple gel manicure pop.
While it’s not advised to wash dishes while painting your Winter Nail Art, this manicure will make you appreciate sudsy soap much more. Celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec, who founded the Julie K Nail Academy and is located in New York, suggests adding one or two spritzes of dish soap to a cup, turning on a high faucet, and then filling the cup with water until big bubbles appear. Before it cures, scoop some of the foam over your preferred pre-painted gel color (this art only works on gel lacquer). Finally, use alcohol to remove the bubbles for a pop-worthy texture.
5. Long and Clear: Skip the grow-out phase with press-ons.
Attach the clear artificial Winter Nail Art tips. That is all. That’s how it looks! “The art is showcasing extensions rather than trying to hide them,” explains Miss Pop. We suggest Static Nails Long Coffin Clear, Kiss Clear Coffin Nails, and Glamnetic Press-On Nail Kit in Heavenly.
6. Jet Black: Shape up your dark polish.
Goth glam is here to stay. According to Choi, black Winter Nail Art exude an easily elegant and sleek vibe. She recommends round or squoval nails. Even more in-vogue are long almond, coffin, or stiletto shapes. Use Londontown Lakur’s Chim Cher-Ee, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Winter Nail Art Color in Black, or Emilie Heathe’s The Basic Bitch to get the look.
7. Metallic French: Modernize the 90s manicure.
French tips, whether big or small, are here to stay. Not a steady hand? Not an issue. Check out Kiss Winter Nail Art, as seen at The Blonds spring 2024 performance. Silver nails, according to Christina Kao, co-founder of Le Mini Macaron, are “the trendiest manicure either as an accent or in a full-mirrored mani.” Steel A Kiss Sally Hansen Color Foil Nail Polish is one of our favorites. The metallic hues, according to Choi, “add a cool flair to any style.”
8. Chrome: Set aside glitter in favor of this extra-shiny finish.
Nails naturally wanted in on the glazed donut skin trend, which had its moment. Since 2022, [Hailey Bieber’s popular nude-chrome manicure] has gained popularity, and these days, you can get the look at home using polishes that mimic the look. As Miss Pop puts it, “you can ‘glaze’ any Winter Nail Art lacquer color you like with a pearly finish, like OPI Nail Lacquer in Kyoto Pearl.” For a captivating finish that will catch the light in the gloom of winter, use it over jewel tones.
This winter, using a dark base to experiment is key. Miles adds, “I’ve been layering a lot of iridescent chromes over dark colors for an oil-slick effect, like Daily Charme’s Magic Holo Chrome Powder.”
9. 3D Gel: Make your designs stand out.
Even while we adore a rhinestone-studded manicure, it’s inevitable that the jewels will become tangled in your hair or loofah (we’ve been there!). However, 3D gel lasts far longer and has the same effect. Kandalec claims, “I use Jello’s Zig Zag gel; it’s just like puffy paint from the ’90s.” Sara Friends 3D Embossing Gel is what Kandalec suggests using if you want to try the look at home. Additionally, she suggests manipulating the design with a silicone tool rather than a Winter Nail Art brush and adding a slip of isopropyl alcohol if it becomes sticky.
10. Ombré: Blur the lines.
This is your chance to show off your long nails if you have been growing them out. The additional length makes the ideal canvas for an ombre design, as Choi notes that you need enough of room to get a significant impact. In order to get the grunge look, Choi “dabbing JINsoon Absolute Black polish from the nail tips up to 1/3 of the nails to create the ombre effect” during Proenza Schouler’s fall 2023 show. In order to produce an eye-catching monochromatic gradient effect, she suggests “experimenting with colors like black, dark blue, or deep red.” There are two choices: Gucci Glossy Winter Nail Art Polish in Black Crystal and Chanel Le Vernis in Fugueuse.
11. New Neutrals: Elevate your polish with a different finish.
We like to think of this appearance as understated elegance, although some may refer to it as plain and basic polish. Choi recommends using a matte top coat (try Londontown Matte Top Coat) to refresh classics like Essie Ballet Slippers or OPI Bubble Bath. She remarks, “It’s really stylish.”