Top Nail Trends: Tacky or Classy?

Updated 05/16/19

Danil Nevsky/Stocksy

Some women love long, carefully shaped talons. Others think the look is dated and prefer short rounded nails. Manicure preferences are subjective, and trends are constantly changing. In this article, we run down six popular manicure and pedicure trends that are hot right now.

Acrylic Fingernails

There are some acrylic nails out there that look great and can turn short, stubby fingers into hands worthy of hand modeling. However, long, squared-off nails can look dated. Very long nails can look obviously fake and they aren't practical. They click on everything and make it virtually impossible to pick things up, pull on tight blue jeans, and just about anything else one needs fingers for. If you love acrylics and aren't willing to give them up, keep your look fresh by shortening the length slightly and by rounding the edges.

Nail Art

Nail art these days is a huge industry. While nail art used to be just for teens, adults of every age are getting in on the trend. Instagram and Pinterest are filled with nail art examples.

Just be careful. A painted flower on one big toe is cute because it's dainty and unexpected, but 10 fingers decorated in squiggles, lightning bolts or glued-on cubic zirconias can be considered over-the-top. Your best bet is to stick with something very cool and sedate and avoid pairing your nail art with long acrylics.

French Pedis and Manis

French manis and pedis are one of those looks that are fairly timeless, but changes slightly. While heavy contrasts used to be popular, modern French manicures tend to be more subtle. Instead of long nails, rounded and short nails look more modern. Consider swapping out the traditional light colors of a classic French mani for bright shades, sparkling tips.

Fingernails of Varying Lengths

This is less a trend and more a bad habit. Many nail-biters will have four beautiful nails on one hand, and one sad nail that has been chewed down. Even with a beautiful manicure, having that one gnawed nail can ruin your look. Try to break the habit, or get tips on the chewed nails to even it out.

Unkempt Nails

Life can get really busy, and regular manicures are both time-consuming and pricey. But you can still keep your nails looking tidy on your own. Keep them clean and filed, and to look put together, apply a coat of clear polish.

Fingers and Toes That Don't Match

There are some people who insist your manicure and pedicure should be matched, but that's a dated rule. These days you can totally change up your mani from your pedi. There's no reason they should match, although a color scheme that relates is always classy.

So what type of nails are in? Short, rounded nails. Squares were popular for a while and are ok, but rounded is really the way to go. You can paint those nails a host of colors and styles as nail trends are hugely popular these days. Just have fun with it.

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