This spring, we're fully prepared to Marie Kondo our nail polish collection and do away with or replace the old, goopy bottles that we've kept for months (sometimes years if it's a particularly beloved shade). Maybe it's because we binge-watched Tidying Up and we're now concerned with whether or not each shade of nail polish truly "sparks joy," or maybe it's because this winter has felt particularly long and gray. Either way, we can't wait to revamp our polish collection to reflect a sunnier, more adventurous attitude.
Since spring isn't quite here yet, we could only speculate about what the trendiest nail colors will be come March, April, and May, so we reached out to the experts for a more accurate prediction. Keep scrolling to see which nail colors are going to be everywhere this spring.
Spring Trend #1: Alternative Neutrals
Sarah Gibson Tuttle, CEO and Founder of Olive & June, says neutrals aren't going anywhere come Spring 2019. "We love a neutral mani any time of year, and especially in spring! We are so excited for our debut nail polish collection to launch on March 14th. We have created a range of neutrals that we think look really, really good on everyone."
While you wait for Olive & June's debut collection to launch, we have a couple of neutral polish suggestions, like this one from Tenoverten, which is a non-toxic nail brand that's new to Target. The cloudy white shade will elongate the look of nails, no matter how short.
Côte is a nail polish brand imbued with that certain sense of L.A. cool. Co-founder Leah Yari recommends turning to a few different shades throughout spring (like No. 71, which is a pastel blue and No. 123, which is a vibrant red). Our favorite of her suggestions is this creamy peach color, which reminds us of a fresh fruit smoothie or a Malibu sunset (the latter happens to be exactly the thing that inspired the shade).
Tom Ford's Black Sugar Lacquer is a cocoa-brown neutral shade that's equal parts dramatic and chic. As with any neutral polish, we like adding an extra design element in the form of Olive & June's In Bloom Nail Stickers ($16). Just peel off the sticker, press it on the nail, and paint a clear top coat over it in order to seal it. It's basically nail art without any fussiness.
Spring Trend #2: Iced Pastels
To channel the iconic Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, "pastels for spring? Groundbreaking." The point is that pastels are always on-trend when the snow melts and the sun shines. They're bright yet soft; they're optimistic yet understated. This year, though, it's not just basic pastels that nail experts predict will reign supreme. "Spring 2019 is an exciting time in the nail space," says Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. "Of course we always go to pastels for spring, but this year our pastels have flair. Because we saw a strong resurgence of shimmers and metallics last season, it’s clear to me that they will continue into the warmer months.
Think icing (glossy and sheer) not cake (opaque and dense)."
"A great assortment of shades stems from the brand’s new 2019 spring collection, as each color has a subtle sheen mixed in with feminine pastels," Saunders explains. She recommends the shade Pinkie's Out, which is the pearlescent peachy-pink shown above.
Saunders also calls out this iridescent lilac shade, which is called Tiers of Joy. Look closely, and you'll see that the light purple base has a subtle and undulating blue-green sheen.
We also like this pastel green from Chantecaille, which is a sheer and iridescent shade that can be worn alone or layered over another polish to make it look icy and on-trend for spring. "If you have to skip a step in your manicure to save on time, whatever you do, make sure it’s not the top coat," Saunders cautions. She recommends using Essie's Speed Setter Top Coat ($8). It dries quickly to prevent smudging.
"Additionally, if you maintain a weekly manicure at home, the easiest way for nails to remain looking chic is to keep all nails the same length (even if one breaks). Trim/file to match the shorter nails instead of playing catch up."
Spring Trend #3: Bright Yellow
According to Tuttle, yellow is a stand-out shade for spring—especially bold and bright varieties, like this one from CND Vinylux. "We recently posted a mani in this shade and everyone fell in love with yellow again," she says. We can definitely see why.
Fun fact: I just had my nails done at the Beverly Hills location of Olive & June, and I opted for a CND Vinylux gel polish in a bright yellow shade, which I affectionately dubbed duckling yellow (although, if I remember correctly, the actual name is Bicycle Yellow). I've had the shade on my nails for no longer than a week, but I don't think I'll ever get sick of it. In fact, I have multiple photos of the color saved to my phone for reference.
If you're not sure about such a bold and bright nail polish shade, have no fear. It's eye-catching and editorial on any and all skin tones. If you're still unsure, test it out with this Sally Hansen sunshine yellow. It's only $3 per bottle, so you don't have much to lose.
For an equally as pretty yellow, yet one that's a little more muted, look to J. Hannah's Relic Nail Polish, which is free from 7 potentially harmful ingredients that are found in other traditional polish formulas. It comes recommended by J. Hannah's founder, Jess Hannah Revesz. It's still bright, but in a dusty and vintage way, like an antique yellow.
"I think the most significant make-or-break method for achieving a perfect at-home manicure is starting with clean nails," Revesz says. "Soaking them in mildly soapy water and using a nail brush is a great start, but if you clean your nails (avoid the cuticle area) with alcohol before applying polish it will more effectively remove the natural oils and help the polish stick. Another key to unlocking a lasting manicure is to paint the edge of the nail, bringing the brush around the tip. If you haven't already been doing both steps they will add an extra week to your polish's life span.
We have a more official and comprehensive guide for the perfect at-home manicure on the J. Hannah Journal."
Spring Trend #4: Neon
Yellow isn't the only bold bright that will trend this spring. So will neon shades of green, orange, pink, and bright coral. "Neon is everywhere," Tuttle says. "Gelish has always had the best neon shades. Our personal favorite is I'm Brighter Than You."
This JinSoon shade is similar to the Gelish shade, but it's much more—shall we say—traffic cone-esque? (Don't get us wrong, we mean that in the best way.) It's a mix of coral and true orange that was inspired by the poppies that cover the French countryside.
Slime green nails are one of the buzziest trends on social media (there's even a hashtag on Instagram). The perfect shade to use to partake in the trend is this one from Zoya, which is a neon green called Evergreen—although it's far from the deep green color we would normally associate with that name.
As for neon pink, reach for this vivid shade from OPI. It has just the lit-from-within glow that a neon nail polish is supposed to have. Plus, is there anything that screams spring more than bright pink? Just be sure to layer a shiny top coat over it for utmost vibrancy.
Speaking of neon colors, read all about how neon makeup is trending in Hollywood.