This Just In: The 9 Prettiest Nail Colors For Spring, Predicted By Experts
Spring is filled with moments of cautious optimism. The world is essentially playing a giant game of Peek-A-Boo: The season's first blooms timidly poke from the ground, the weather (finally) starts creeping above freezing, and folks all around start to dip their toes into color—it may feel too early for a full-on slime green ensemble (or maybe not; you do you!), but perhaps you see a pop of chartreuse peeking out from people's coat pockets.
Nail colors are often the first byproducts to come from the general fashion and beauty trend cycle since it's relatively easy (and low commitment) to experiment with your mani; that said, there's no better time for experts to share their predicted shades for the season. See below! Spring's hottest nail colors are ripe for the picking:
We'll start with the classics: "The traditional spring palette is usually pastel—soft candy colors are always popular, and we love them!" says mani trend expert Olivia Van Iderstine, vice president of content and creative at Olive & June. Think of your favorite saltwater taffy hues: creamy lavenders, peachy pinks, and the like. Anything that captures the essence of a seaside boardwalk is generally a safe bet.
When you think of the spring color family, chances are your mind immediately goes to pastels. "Flowers are budding and nail polishes turn pastel," adds Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder and head of brand of clean salon Tenoverten. What better way to celebrate the new blooms than a pop of color on your tips? But that doesn't make pastels basic—to jazz up your look, Van Iderstine recommends adding a bit of iridescent shimmer on top.
As scarves and parkas make way for cutoffs and breezy dresses, moody nail colors transform into more muted hues; and you can pay homage to your favorite pair of blue jeans by painting your digits a light wash denim.
Fancy an early spring harvest? Move the farmstand to your fingertips with fresh, crisp lettuce nails. Feel free to choose any shade of green—a deep kale, a warm fennel, or you could even opt for a burgundy radicchio, if you please.
"Chartreuse green is our No. 1 on-trend shade for spring this year," says Van Iderstine regarding Olive & June's aptly named Farmer's Market collection. "It's bright, different, and so chic."
On the subject of farmstand-inspired nails, a bright carrot orange is also hot this season. Think less creamsicle (unless you'd like to go the soft candy route) and more tangerine. Keep it bright and juicy.
"Our Favorite Seashell collection are milky-iridescent sheers inspired by our favorite beach finds (hello Spring Break!)," Van Iderstine says. There's truly nothing prettier than a glistening seashell pink that catches the light—it's like a kaleidoscope of four different polishes in one.
"Or layer a shimmery pearl shade over your classic toasted beige or ivory hues," Van Iderstine adds. Any beachy number will do, so long as you add some ocean-inspired shimmer.
Or you can go full-on ocean pearl—the next iteration of the cult-favorite "glazed donut" nails. "I think glazed donut nails will start transitioning, but the subtle effect will stay on," says Amy Lin, the founder of sundays. Pearl lacquers are perfect for those who want to add a bit more oomph without dabbling in nail art.
With just a swipe of polish, you'll immediately achieve an interesting, textured effect. "It adds a bit of a romantic effect and a lot of fun to the upcoming season," she explains.
Lip gloss nails
Like glazed-donut- and pearl-inspired polish, lip gloss nails aren't going anywhere. Essentially, you layer an ultra-shiny top coat on top of a sheer polish to achieve a glossy effect.
"But for spring, we're seeing it with a bit more of a flavor punch," says Van Iderstine. "Think of this look like a glossy lip stain—a kiss of barely there color and tons of shine." Instead of using a neutral as your base, choose one coat of jelly magenta to layer underneath a shiny, clear number. The result will appear just like your favorite lip oil: sheer and oh-so-juicy.
I know what you're thinking: Black nails? For spring?
It's not the most obvious pick among the powder-soft pastels, but that's exactly the point, says Choi. "I have seen black trending among fashionistas this spring, because, like sheer, the color black complements all other nail polish colors and types of attire really well," she notes. "I would almost go so far as to say that black will be the new sheer of the season." You heard it here first!
"Stick of butter" yellow is still going strong in fashion—a buttercream ensemble is decidedly the most delicious statement you can make. If you're not a fan of head-to-toe yellow, try testing the waters with buttercup nails. "A pale pastel butter yellow or muted sage is so fun," says Van Iderstine. I say be bold and go for the butter.
There are ultimately no "rules" for seasonal nail colors (or any beauty trends, for that matter), so go ahead and gloss your tips in whatever shade you please. But if you're wondering which hues are expected to dominate the spring season, the experts bet we'll see iterations of the above. Now, nail colors are only half of the equation—if you're wondering which nail shape you should choose, see here to find the outline that's best for you.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and more. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.