Trend Alert: These Are the Top 5 Pinterest Nail Trends For 2020

tortoise shell tips


We love a nail art moment and—according to Pinterest—we're not alone. The mega-popular virtual pinboard site discovered that cow nails, ombré nails (which has come to mean a manicure with a different polish shade on each finger, rather than a gradient on each individual nail), tortoiseshell nails, black marble nails, and milky-white acrylic nails are topping the charts as the most-pinned nail art ideas leading into 2020. This, of course, means one thing: It's time to round up some inspo to tote to your next manicure appointment. As always, we're here to help. Ahead you'll find each of the five nail art trends broken down by their signature characteristics, along with a few examples of how to wear the style.

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Cow Nails

Up 1,222 percent in search, it's safe to say that people everywhere are going wild for cow print nails.

With simple swatches of black and white, this animal print nail art idea—which has been worn by a number of celebs, including Kendall Jenner and Ariana Grande—is just a bolder way to go neutral.

Think of it as the farmgirl leopard print and hop on the bandwagon (er... hayride).

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Ombré Nails, Redefined

While ombré nails sounds like it would reference a fade of color on each individual nail, the term has actually come to mean having a different polish shade on each finger (perhaps you've heard it referenced as "gradient nails" or even "Skittles nails").

While you may realize that it very closely resembles the mismatched manicures of your youth, the trick here, according to Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle, is to choose shades within the same color family or, at the very least, in complementary ones.

Whenever we have a hard time identifying a nice palette for this look, we turn to Olive & June's Ombré Manicure Kits ($32-80). Each kit groups shades that are either complementary or within the same color family.

As simple as it is, we have no complaints. After all, who doesn't love a nail art trend that's actually easy to DIY? Plus, this one eliminates the stress of trying to select a single polish shade and instead lets you choose five (or ten if you're feeling extra bold).

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Tortoiseshell Nails

First came the sunglasses and hair accessories, now comes a must-try nail trend.

This uber-popular nail look is likely one of the hardest designs to try to DIY, but by watching a pro bring the look to life, you might just find it's easier than you think.

All it takes is some patient layering. Start with the neutral base of your choice. Next, while the polish is still wet, swatch a variety of other neutral shades on top of it, allowing the edges to melt into the base. Finish with black or charcoal dashes and a topcoat. If at first your nail look doesn't scream tortoiseshell, try, try again.

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Black Marble Nails

Most people jump to a white color palette when they think of marble, and that's precisely why black marble nails are such a hit. By going the darker route, they're more likely to turn heads and capture compliments—two things we have no qualms with.

While the nail design can be crafted on any nail shape or length, many of the examples swarming Pinterest and Instagram feature mid-length coffin shapes—and for good reason. The black and white design looks dark and mysterious all on its own, so when mixed with this spooky-good shape, it's no wonder they're a double-tap-worthy hit.

Fortunately for us, they're easy to DIY. Simply start with a black base and use a toothpick to lightly trace small white lines of polish across your nail. If you accidentally create a larger line, no worries. Drag your toothpick through the center of it to create spidery cracks in all directions. Finish with a glossy or matte topcoat for your desired end result (pro tip: Matte marble nails are especially eye-catching).

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Milky-White Acrylic Nails

Last but not least, 2020 will see a surge in milky-white acrylic nails. Yes, it raised our eyebrows, too. After all, what exactly are milky-white acrylics?

While the name implies the color, it's so much more than a neutral blank slate. Instead, milky-white nails are all about a semi-translucent finish that looks like, well, milk. For some people that might sound delicious; for others, not so much.

Regardless, you've likely seen these nails popping up left and right—especially among the celeb crowd. Given their acrylic nature, you'll need a pro's help to bring these to life. If you're feeling like a trendsetter, you might even consider combining milky-white nails with a cow print accent. We stan.

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