Instagram's Favorite Spring Nail Trend Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon

neutral lilac skittles manicure


At the beginning of April, most of us disrobed from various layers of scarves, sweaters, and jackets, and turned our attention to celebrating spring by wearing bright makeup, trying fresh new hairstyles, and painting our nails with the season's trendiest shades. Basically, just like every other year, we were planning on undergoing a full beauty renaissance. So imagine our surprise when we realized that spring 2019's buzziest nail trend is the very same one that was trending last year at this time—it's not so much a renaissance as it is a continuation.

But we're not mad. No, we're not mad at all, because it just so happens to be one of our favorite nail trends of all. We're talking about multi-colored nails. It involves painting each nail a slightly different shade of a similar color, or an entirely different color all together. If you choose pink, for example, you might paint the first nail a soft and powdery hue. The second nail might be ballerina pink, and so on, until you end with a bold shade of fuchsia. Or, you could paint one nail pink, one nail green, and so on, until you're wearing the rainbow on your fingertips. With 10 fingers and 10 toes, you can channel every color of the spectrum (and then some). The resulting look is surprisingly chic—albeit quirky and colorful.

If you didn't believe us before, this picture will change your mind. The muted pastels all but scream springtime while complementing any and every color you wear. This set of multicolored nails looks especially chic when paired with gold accessories and fresh-faced hair and makeup. To get a similar result, try Deborah Lippmann's Touch Me in the Morning Polish Set ($36), which includes six muted pastels.

If you prefer the boldest and brightest pastels, then mimic this Easter egg mani. Use candy-colored shades of robin-egg blue, sunshine yellow, and bubblegum-pink polishes to replicate this look. After each layer of polish dries, follow it up with a high-shine topcoat for the utmost vibrancy and light reflection. Mismatched rings aren't required but they're surely encouraged.

Pick out your favorite blue, green, red, purple, and pink polish and paint them on each nail, one-by-one one. Once the polish is dry, be sure to layer a shiny top coat over each nail to replicate this enviable and eye-catching gleam. We like using CND's Super Shiny Top Coat ($9), since it seals nail color with scratch and UV-resistant shine.

Slime green nails are one of the buzziest trends on social media (there's even a hashtag on Instagram). Combine that trend with the polychromatic trend by opting for this muted avocado-inspired manicure. We love how each shade of green is accented with a surprising pop of bright yellow.

Manicurists at Shoreditch Nails, which is a popular nail salon in East London, are also privy to this springtime nail trend. We like how the salon kept this look limited to neutral and/or subtle hues, as opposed to bright pastels. This is one we're planning on replicating from here on out until the end of summer, since it's simultaneously inventive and office-appropriate.

Courtney Trop from popular blog Always Judging was an early adopter of the rainbow nail trend. This manicure was inspired by her own painting and thus features the similar red, plum, and khaki tones. We haven't figured out how these mismatched colors complement one another so well yet, but we think it's safe to say that her manicure is a work of art.

If you want to experiment with bright colors, but you don't want to dive in whole-heartedly just yet, play with negative space designs. Paint a small triangle of color on the base of each nail, then add tiny black dots up the middle to elongate the appearance of the fingers.

If subtle is the name of your game but you still want in on the trend, try varying shades of the same color like this manicure that features complementary shades of pink. We suggest that you try Butter London's Playing Favorites Polish Set ($36), which includes six of the brand's best-selling pink and red polishes. (This set is no longer available, but you can still buy the polishes individually.)

Pastels seem to be the overwhelming favorite when it comes to multi-colored nails (look up the hashtag on Instagram for proof). We get it. Pastels and springtime are synonymous. Plus, no matter how the colors are arranged, they always look complementary to one another.

It's not just different colors you can experiment with. Try mixing textures and finishes to find a combination you prefer. We love the glitter accent in this manicure (although matte polishes or shimmers could work too).

Next, check out which nail polish color you should wear according to your horoscope.

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