Nail trends 2023: the latest shades and designs to have on your radar

The experts predict the biggest nail trends 2023 has in store - from striking monochrome to futuristic florals

Collage of three nail trends 2023 - monochrome french tips, floral gels and rainbow airbrush designs
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

The time has come to discuss nail trends 2023. With every New Year comes new beauty ideas and many of us are keen to find out what nail trends 2023 will offer up, so we can plan ahead for our next mani appointment. 

Looking back, so many beautiful nail designs emerged in 2022. The baby French manicure and white nail designs became the minimalist looks of choice. For the bold, cobalt blue and ‘Bottega green’ were the it colors of the year. New techniques, like BIAB nails and dip powder nails, also came to the fore. And what can we expect to see in 2023? Metallics are having a moment. Barely-there glazed nails will be dialed up a notch, transforming into opaque chrome designs inspired by the spring-summer ’23 runways. Think chrome French tips, blocks of molten bronze, and a hefty dose of futuristic silver in ombre designs.

Other trends taking over in 2023 include embellished nails featuring gems, pearls, and even piercings. Oh, and TikTok's ‘clean girl’ makeup aesthetic will transcend onto our hands. Here, we break down the top nail trends to know in 2023, as predicted by the experts. We suggest bookmarking this page so you can save your favorite looks for your next nail appointment. 

1. Metallic Ombre

Their star began rising 2022, and ombre nails show no sign of fading in 2023. “Ombre nails are a style of nail art where a significant color gradient is created,” explains Tinu Bello (opens in new tab), manicurist and senior brand ambassador for Mylee Professional. Typically, this involves a lighter shade at the base of the nail which gradually blends into a darker hue towards the tips. “For 2023, it’s all about a nude melting into a metallic,” says Bello, “particularly watch out for silver – it’s set to be super-hot!”  

Keen to give this minimalist yet chic nail trend a whirl? “Apply the first shade to the base of your nail and the second shade to the tip,” instructs Bello. “Then, blend the two colors with a nail art brush to connect the gradient,” she continues. If you don’t have a blending brush, this look can be achieved using a sponge, too. Simply apply your base coat and sponge on the metallic shade on the top, focusing just on the base or the tips before finishing with a clear top coat. 

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Mylee Black Convex Curing Lamp Kit with Gel Nail Polish Essentials Set | RRP: £89.99 (UK only)

For salon-worthy results, invest in the Mylee Curing Lamp Kit. It comes complete with all the tools and polishes you need to create a long-lasting gel ombre nail look at home. 

2. ‘Clean girl’ nails

If you’re on TikTok, chances are you’ve heard of the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic. A major beauty trend in 2022, this natural makeup look takes inspiration from the model off-duty vibe, with hydrated, radiant skin and barely-there makeup. Think brushed-up brows, dewy skin, and a healthy outdoorsy flush. And for 2023, the experts are predicting that this trend will move on to our nails. 

“I think that the ‘clean girl’ aesthetic is here to stay, with minimal, short, well-groomed nails being at the forefront,” says Iram Shelton (opens in new tab), professional nail artist, and Max Factor nail ambassador. Shelton’s go-to shade to achieve this look? Max Factor Miracle Pure Nude Rose. “I find this shade compliments all skin tones and can be paired with nail art if that’s your style. What I also love about this particular shade is that it can create a beautiful milky look with a few extra coats. It’s a winner for me,” says Shelton. 

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Max Factor Miracle Pure Nude Rose | RRP: $8.99/£6.99

Tap into the 'clean girl' nail trend with one to two coats of this sheer, pale pink shade. Finish with a clear top coat for a high-shine, polished look. 

3. Joyful tones

"2022 was all about neutrals,” says Bello, “we adored those cool beiges, browns, and whites.” But for our 2023 nail trends, expect the industry to shift towards bold and uplifting shades. “Rather than an all-over hue, I predict that brights will be used to outline and accent nails, taking a basic manicure to the next level,” continues Bello. Think contrasting edges and negative space. The hottest colors to look out for? According to Bello - blue, purple, yellow, and orange will be the summer nail colors of 2023. 

Fancy experimenting with bright colors at home? For a simple take on this fun trend, we suggest painting one accent nail on each hand in a bold, bright hue. Keep the rest of the nails pared back in a muted tone to create contrast. If you’re a dab hand with nail art, get arty and play around with bold painterly strokes or bright, fluoro French tips. 

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Hermes Les Mains Hermes in Orange Poppy | RRP: $45/£42

Expensive, yes. But this luxurious nail polish glides on like a dream and stays put for a good few days without chipping. We love this mood-boosting shade - Orange Poppy - it's bright, optimistic, and really makes a statement. 

4. 3D nail art

“For 2023, 3D nail art is going to be big,” says Shelton. “Think diamond-encrusted accents, patterns that replicate your favorite fabrics, as well as stickers, nail jewels, and gemstones,” adds Bello. According to both experts, anything goes with this nail trend – just have fun with it. “Previously, we have seen longer nail shapes adopt this style,” notes Bello, “but for 2023, the trend will skew towards a shorter nail length, with a square or squoval nail shape.”

Any nail shade will work here but Bello recommends contrasting colors, “such as black against silver and gold embellishments for that wow factor.” A micro-trend within this trend will be nail jewelry. “This is where piercings or chains are added to the nail tips,” explains Shelton, “it works best on longer nails; however, I’m going to try this look on my shorter nails – so keep your eyes peeled!” 

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5 Sheets Self Adhesive Bling Clear Rhinestone Stickers | RRP: $4.59/£3.89

Kit yourself out with some stick-on nail rhinestones from Amazon to elevate your DIY manicure in seconds. Just paint on a base coat before pressing a gem on top. The result? A sparkly 3D manicure that's sure to impress. 

5. Monochrome manicure

Have you googled ‘how to do gel nails at home’ during the last few years? You’re not alone. “Many of us have started painting our nails at home since lockdown and the goal is of course to master that professional salon look,” says Shelton. One 2023 trend that can look professional without too much skill (or effort) is the monochrome manicure. “Monochrome manis are ideal for people who aren’t that confident with nail art,” adds Shelton, who notes that A-listers everywhere (including Hailey Bieber and Kendal Jenner) are rocking simple monochromatic nails – “and they look amazing.” 

So, what is the monochrome manicure, exactly? Essentially, it’s a solid color manicure that can be in black and/or white. As with most trends, there are lots of variations, but to keep it simple just opt for block colors of one shade. “I would always recommend using a base and top coat when doing manicures at home,” says Shelton, “this will help boost the longevity of your manicure and will also give you that high shine finish.” Noted!

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OPI Nail Lacquer in Lady in Black | RRP: $10.99/£14.30

Perennially chic, experiment with black using this OPI Nail Lacquer. The fast-drying formula delivers an intense, jet-black color that stays put for a few days without chipping. Paint on two coats for best results. 

6. Futuristic nude

If you can’t give up your go-to nude polish, then prepare for a major upgrade. “Gold overlays and 3D manis will be everywhere in 2023,” says Bello. “My favorite technique is to lay down a nude base layer before outlining the edges with metallic polish.” Other techniques include metallic French tip nails or half-moons as well as reflective heart and star accents. 

“Another interesting way to add understated glam to nude nails is to use foil as an embellishment,” says Bello, “foil has become an easy alternative to hand-drawn art.” It’s also extremely versatile and can be used to create countless nail looks. “You can press different color foils over and around each other to create a camouflage effect, or you can cut them into strips and press them on for a chic stripy finish,” continues Bello. 

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Mylee Assorted Nail Art Foils | RRP: £5 (UK only)

Designed to be used with any gel nail kit, these fun foils can instantly elevate your nail look in seconds. Paint the Foil Gel on over your Mylee nail shade and cure. Next, press on your chosen foil and rub it to transfer. Finish with a top coat to seal everything in. 

7. Airbrush nails

“Airbrush nails will continue to be a popular trend in 2023, thanks to celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion championing the look,” says Bello. “A super versatile take on nail art, it allows you to get creative with different colors and patterns that appeal to your own aesthetic,” she continues. Traditional airbrush nail art is carried out in a salon using an airbrush gun. The polish is sprayed onto nails (either freehand or using stencils) to create a diffused, air-brushed design. 

“Airbrush nails can be muted or full of rainbow color,” says Bello, “and the hazy finish gives an airy, dream-like feel to the manicure.” The good news is that, according to Bello, you don’t need to go to a salon (or have an airbrush machine) to recreate this look at home. “The key here is to swirl different colors into each other to create a blended finish,” adds Bello, who recommends using a dotting tool to place bobs of color onto your nails before blending them together.  

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Nails Inc Get Magnetized Magnet Effect Nail Polish Duo | RRP: $19/£18

Instead of swirling several colors together, why not give this Magnet Effect Nail Polish a whirl? You simply paint on two coats of your chosen color and before the second coat dries use the magnet (on the lid of the bottle) to create this mesmerizing effect. 

8. Delicate florals

Not exactly new, floral nail art has been gaining traction for quite some time. “This is a trend we’ll be seeing more and more of in 2023,” notes Shelton, “it’s so pretty and can look great as a full nail art look or even just as an accent nail.” To keep it fresh, go for classic summer nail colors like soft pastel shades in lemon, lilac, and peach. While it may look fiddly, Shelton assures us that floral nail art is easy to do at home. 

“All you need is a dotting tool or bobby pin to create the look,” says Shelton. “It’s very simple: add a dot of polish in the center of the nail, then following the shape of a flower create more dots around the center.” And voila! You have a delicate floral nail art design. For special occasions like weddings, we adore the fresh flower trend whereby fresh flowers are pressed onto nails before being sealed with a top coat – the effect is beautiful. 

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Manucurist Dotting Tool Nail Art | RRP: $19/£14

Recreate the trending daisy design with this dotting tool. To use, just dip the end of the tool in nail polish and then dot it onto the nail. It's a great tool to have in your nail kit. 

Emma Stoddart

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.