The Best Nail Art Trends for 2023 Are All About Illusion
If you haven’t started planning your first manicure of 2023, what are you even doing? Okay, granted most people are still getting in their last fall manicures and trying to figure what their holiday nails will look like, but it doesn’t hurt to look even further ahead. And according to experts, 2023 nail trends have a little something for everyone.
Whether you’re inclined to keep your nails short and neat or you’re in the mood for experimentation with trendy nail art designs, it seems there will be a trend for you. Manicurists predict next year’s most popular looks will run the gamut from traditional and minimalist to in-your-face designs you’ve probably never seen before. “We are super excited with what we are seeing on the horizon and right now,” says Rita Pinto, founder of New York City-based nail salon Vanity Projects. And the great thing is, all of these trends can be done on acrylic, gel, or natural nails.
Pinto notes that aside from trends in actual nail designs, there are techniques that are growing in popularity, encouraging artists to create looks that may have seemed impossible. “Clear gel is being manipulated to create designs with 3D texture, adding height or dimension,” she explains. “Sometimes new technology like Aprés Gel X enters the market and becomes a big trend and so far we see that continuing!”
In addition to Pinto, Allure spoke to a whole host of acclaimed nail artists (who regularly paint the fingertips of stars like Madonna, Solange, and Mariah Carey) to share the trends they’re predicting will take off next year, what they’re seeing in the nail industry, and the nail ideas their clients are asking for most.
3D Nail Art
Stars like Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion have been rocking 3D nail art manicures in 2022 and according to New York City-based nail artist Naomi Yasuda, the trend will only continue to grow beyond the celebrity sphere. “It brings nail art to life because it adds dimension and texture,” Yasuda explains. To get the look at home Yasuda recommends using IBD hard gel, which is a builder gel — you’ll need an LED or UV nail lamp to cure the gel if you’re doing this at home. “Hard gels have a thicker texture than soak-off gels, making it much easier to build shapes.”
“Air brush art was huge back in the day, and now it’s coming back around again,” Yasuda notes. The style that was popular in the early 2000s has had a resurgence on Instagram and consequently, people are flocking to salons asking for the style. When asked for the look Yasuda uses the Apres Nail Air Gel, which uses gel paint and a hand held airbrush spray to spray color seamlessly on to the nails.
Manicure styles are getting more and more complex and the textured trend proves that. You’ve probably never thought your nails could have the same look and feel as your favorite cable knit sweater or silk slip dress but artists are growing in their ability to replicate just about anything into nail art. “Matte [nails] and shiny options in nail polish and gel make it easy to achieve the layered texture look for DIYs,” says nail artist Elle Gerstein.
Nearly Natural Nails
At the start of 2022, celebrities like Zendaya and Margot Robbie sparked a wave of natural-looking nails and while the second half of the year ushered in more maximalist nail trends, experts predict the look will be back at the top of 2023. “I saw a lot of sheer looks on the runway for Spring/Summer and that usually translates into nail trends,” Pinto says. OPI’s popular Bubble Bath nail polish, Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in the shade Ègérie, and Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in the shade I’m Too Sexy are all pretty pink nude nail polishes to achieve the barely there nail look.
If there’s one nail trend that all the experts love it is chrome nails. “It won’t be a surprise to see chrome and metallic nails all over,” says LeChat Nails educator, Hemi Park. “We have witnessed Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails hitting really hard all over the social media, and since then, everyone has been falling in love with chrome and metallic textures all over again.” Park predicts more Glazed Donut manicures in different nail colors and chrome textures in different beaming tones over single-colored nails.
Los Angeles-based nail artist and founder of Nails of LA Brittney Boyce says get ready to see opulent, bejeweled looks like diamond-encrusted nails everywhere next year. “In addition to seeing these on long, extended nails, we’re seeing them more on shorter nails,” she explains. She references how gemstones are adorned as part of face makeup (thanks to Euphoria), or how Taylor Swift did a whole bedazzled hand in her Bejeweled music video and says nails are the next level of bejeweled accessories. If you can’t nail jewels, stickers are also a great way to achieve this look. Brands like KISS imPress nails also have press-on nail options with jeweled, sparkly designs.
Pop Art Nails
A unique take on 3D nails, the pop art nail trend which takes inspiration from comic book art has already begun to take off in 2022 and, according to nail artists, it shows no signs of stopping. “I love how versatile it is, not only with the nail polish colors but with the nail shapes being used — I’m seeing everything from coffin, to Russian almond, to stiletto,” says Gerstein. “This look is really trending and allows the artist to showcase their personal expression of the look, putting their own twist on it.”
You may or may not have seen the vertical ombre french nail trend that was trending on TikTok a few months ago but it certainly put ombre back on everyone’s radar. “The ombre is a nail art classic and for good reason, it’s stunning in every shade,” says nail artist Miss Pop. “The ombres that will be big for 2023 are high contrast and look like optical illusions. They’re hypnotic and totally chic,” the artist explains. This gradient design works with every single color palette making it super versatile.
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