Following a long winter full of strange weather, a refreshing new season is finally on its way, plus plenty of manicure inspo to come with it. Spring nails are usually full of bright colors and floral designs (groundbreaking), and while some of those (i.e. jelly nails and peridot greens) are included here, we're also seeing a return of classic styles like twists on the French manicure and high-shine nudes. Celebrity manicurist Betina Goldstein predicts classic and clean styles will be sweeping social media, and we couldn't be more excited about the versatility. But if you prefer a more daring spring mani, never fear: There are plenty of other options on the list.
Ready to plan your next mani? Ahead, find the hottest spring nail design trends, according to Goldstein and fellow celebrity manicurists Julie Kandalec, Amy Le, and Leslie Ayala.
Meet the Expert
- Betina Goldstein is a celebrity manicurist, Chanel nail artist, and the founder of Doublemoss Jewelry.
- Julie Kandalec is a celebrity manicurist and the founder of Julie K Nail Academy based in New York City.
- Amy Le is a nail artist and Essie manicurist based in Los Angeles.
- Leslie Ayala, also known as “Thee Nail Witch,” is a nail artist and the founder of Nail Witch Studios, based in Miami.
French Tip with a Twist
The French manicure has withstood the test of time, but the classic style has gone through its fair share of iterations. Instead of a simple white tip, try mixing in some colors or sparkles. Some even add stickers—Inked by Dani's Color Nail Art ($10) is a super fun set—to the negative space to spice things up.
Airbrush nails started gaining traction last year, but it looks like they aren’t slowing down any time soon. Both Le and Kandalec predict that airbrushing will be all over people’s tips this spring—Kandalec points out that it's the technique used to create the TikTok famous “aura nails.” Though it may look complicated, she says that “you can recreate this look at home using a makeup sponge.” Check out her tutorial to start emanating high vibrational energy.
Range of Reds
Bold reds aren't confined to a trend, but Le predicts a range of red shades will be popping up thanks to the latest Pantone color of the year, Viva Magenta. For a warm and confident vibe, try swiping on the Essie Pinks Nail Polish ($10) in Mrs. Always-Right, and for a classic red (as pictured above), try something like the Hermès Les Mains Hermès Nail Enamel ($50) in Rouge Casaque.
If extra-long, almond-shaped tips have never been your style, we have good news: Shorter, more practical silhouettes are gaining ground. “A lot of my clients have ditched the Gel-X extensions and are opting for their natural nails at a shorter length,” Le says. Even better, the smaller canvas doesn’t limit creativity, as many nail designs work on average-sized nails.
Between the classic almond shape and the bohemian, primary-hued florals, we're 100% smitten with this spring look. Vintage inspo never goes out of style, and the neutral base keeps the mani understated.
A fresh animal print like cow print is the perfect way to celebrate spring. For added impact, pair with matching accessories when you want to make a statement.
Colorful Reverse French
“While this trend is not new, it is the perfect way to add a subtle touch of color to your manicure,” Goldstein says. She's partial to pastel tones like lavender, mint, or baby blue, but you can use whatever palette fits your personal style. For a minimalist take, she starts with a sheer base, then traces the base of the nail with a long, detailed brush. If you prefer something bolder, fill in the negative space with a complementary shade.
There's something that feels so refreshingly spring about pairing a pure pop of lemon with a wash of powder blue. Plus, the geometric zigzag looks kind of like a lightning bolt. April showers, right?
“Whether it’s all over the nail or just used as an accent color, I believe we will be seeing this green everywhere,” Goldstein tells us. To create this look at home, she recommends using CND's Vinylux Mind Over Matcha ($26).
You don't need a full wash of color to have an uplifting spring nail design. These pond blossoms, painted just at the tips like a modern French mani, are subtle but perfectly on-theme for any seasonal festivities.
Another holdover from colder months, chrome nails are here to stay. Instead of covering the entire nail, try incorporating negative space for a fresh take on the trend. Ayla likes to use the Daily Charme UniChrome Unicorn Chrome Powder ($25), applying it over a nude base to soften the look. Le prefers using chrome to create chrome tips and two-toned designs.
Hear us out, all right? These bright colors may seem like a lot, but they actually look incredibly chic and subtle in tiny flower form. This spring nail design takes traditionally delicate florals and gives them an extra-fun vibe we're loving. Go ahead, embrace the unexpected this spring.
For a fun touch to your mani, add some gems or stones to your nail bed. “Drop your hard gel on the nail and randomly place your pearls and rainbow stones,” Ayala says. “Make sure to cure in between each bubble glob to keep the height and perfectly round shape.” If you don't have any of these accessories on hand, use polish to your advantage: Dollop a larger drop on the nail bed, and let it dry for a textured look.
Another design idea for shorter tips, baby French tips are a modern, chic take on the classic manicure. If you're interested in trying the look at home, check out Lights Lacquer's game-changing tutorial. Kandelec recommends using the brand's shade Adaline ($11) as a baby pink base coat, but if you're feeling bold, you can also try something less traditional, such as the above silver chrome.
Pump up two-tone nails by picking a family of complementary colors and combining them differently across all 10 nails.
These lavender nails are spring personified. Abstract painted faces, inspired by Erno Laszlo, add a delicate, artistic touch unique to each accent nail. Recreate this look at home with a few simple swipes of a detailing brush.
April showers will probably bring a few rainbows before the May flowers, right? Find inspiration in the springtime sky with this rainbow ombré nail look.
It seems that the aforementioned showers also inspire new spring nail trends. Adding a few fluffy clouds to a dreamy lavender or bright cerulean base inspires thoughts of sunnier skies, even during the stormy season. Bring some inspiration photos to your next nail appointment or attempt to draw on the clouds at home.
Neon French Mani
Sure, spring is usually pastel season, but don't rule out the power of a simple neon-tipped French manicure for an easy and bright pop of color. Plus, it works with those floral dresses you've been dying to wear the second the cold's gone.
Strawberry Glazed Donut
Just like the barely there manicure or jelly-coated tips, opalescent nails (sometimes called Hailey Bieber nails or strawberry glazed donut nails) glisten in different colors at every glance. “To achieve this look, I use a holographic gel on my entire nail,” Ayala says. “[I use] the magnetic bar starting at the left and right laterals of the nail and then rocking my magnet at the tip of my nails to bring up the perfect metallic/holo sparkle.” She finishes the look by adding fine glitter and randomly placing some chunky iridescent glitter.
Bubbly Negative Space
Pop the champagne and pour a glass or two to complement this subdued glitter manicure. Alternating between full glitter, ombré, and French tips will have everyone doing double-takes.
These might take a bit of patience, but the result is so worth it. Break out the sequins and get creative with each nail.
Get a professional-looking mani with the ease of DIY. These stunning floral bouquets look expert-level but are actually the Everyday Bouquet stickers from Olive and June ($8).
Barely There Nails
Also known as “lip gloss nails,” these nude-washed nails flip traditional colorful spring nails on their heads-er, fingers. Goldstein loves this trend for its simplicity. To create the look, use one coat of Chanel's La Base Protective and Smoothing ($32) followed by the brand's Le Gel Coat Longwear Topcoat ($32). “La Base has a hint of color to it, so it helps color correct and hide any imperfections,” she says. “The final look is both fresh and elegant.”
Bright and Smiley
Just look at this colorful mani and frown. You can't. It won't let you. We tried.
Just a little trippy, these lines make maximum impact. They're actually Chillhouse Chill Tips, which means that you're just a press-on away from achieving the fun design.
Deep French Tip
The '90s are back. “The French manicure has been slowly making a comeback,” Le says, “and now we’re seeing it with a deep French.” Some are even using it to replace a solid nude set. To extend the look as long as possible, swipe on the Nails Inc. Retinol 45 Second Top Coat ($15).
Negative Space Glitter
Calling all lazy girls: Negative space manicures last longer than traditional polish since the contrast isn't as stark when the nails grow out. Kandalec loves their low-maintenance yet chic look.
Jelly nails lie in between matte and high-shine finishes. This spring, expect to see jelly shades in everything from French tips to allover color. Ayala loves the Kokoist USA Nail Therapy jellies—one great variation is the Nail Thoughts Hard Candy Base ($17) “because they have various types of jelly nudes and different jelly colors, ranging from neon to pastels to nudes.”
For years, professional manicurists have been pushing the envelope on what constitutes as nail art. From intricate florals to lifelike drawings, the designs have come a long way. The only downside? These may be hard to replicate at home. Instead, take a clear picture to your nail artist for them to recreate.