Springtime is the season of renewal and regeneration—in life and in our makeup looks. That’s why it’s the perfect time to try out fresh new nail colors (just ask any beauty editor—we live for new nail ideas). After all, warmer temperatures and sunny skies mean you can ditch the mittens and flaunt the best spring manicure for all to see.
To provide an idea of spring nail color trends we can expect to see this season, we chatted with Brooklyn-based nail salon owner Katya Kan. The founder of the hip, socially conscious Ruchki da Nozhki salon predicts that “light, breezy colors like baby blue, pastel green, and off-white” will dominate—with a couple surprisingly bright pops of color, too (more on that below). These upcoming nail trends “have a lot to do with the season itself,” according to Kan. “Everything is renewed. The snow has hopefully melted, flowers are beginning to bloom...and people feel inspired by that feeling.” We also chatted with celebrity nail artist and Pottle founder Nettie Davis, who shares insight into what we can expect this year.
Now that you’re ready to move on from moody winter nail polishes, embrace the new season with one of the 30 gorgeous spring nail polish colors below, that include shimmery shades, baby pink, green nail designs, and everything in-between. And rest assured, you can find the majority at Sephora, Sally Hansen, Ulta Beauty, Walmart, Amazon, and more. While spring nail colors aren’t technically official until March 20, the festive nail designs of Valentine’s Day have had us skipping ahead a month early. It’s also important to note that if you don’t want to commit to gel nail polish or anything else longwear, you can always play around with press-on nails to get a sense of what nail ideas suit you best. This provides the opportunity to have a Gucci-like mani straight from CVS! So, now that you have all the hype you need, keep scrolling from some inspo!
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By the time spring rolls around, it might feel like it's been years since you last saw a bright, sunny blue sky. And what better way to celebrate the return of sunny days than with a classic baby blue polish? Better yet, this shade looks amazing on any skin tone and can be worn in a variety of ways. Go for baby blue with a hint of shimmer for a holographic-inspired mani, or stick to a shade with a glossy base—like this soft baby blue polish—for a more classic take on the trend. Finish with a top coat for a versatile manicure that will last all week.
Forget what you thought you knew about seasonal nail colors—spring doesn’t automatically mean soft pastel shades. A muted, smoky lilac like this almost-taupe long-wear polish is a great nail color choice for anyone looking to soften the transition from dark winter tones to lighter spring hues. This shade is reminiscent of blooming springtime flowers, but it’s muted enough to wear for a fun twist on a neutral mani.
Mauve nail colors have been trending for a while now, and it’s easy to see why. Neutral and understated, this polish is totally office-appropriate and still fun enough to rock when you’re off the clock. This extra-glossy nail polish offers an ideal balance of grounding beige and floral purple. Style tip: Wear this color on your toes and pair it with an off-white manicure for the ultimate low-key spring color combo.
Nothing goes better with sunny days and warmer temperatures than a neutral mani. A gorgeous nude shade like this offers the best of both worlds. It creates a gorgeous contrast against bronzed and darker skin tones, but it’s bright enough that it won’t wash out fair or light skin tones, either. Plus, Kan says spring will likely bring creative nail art trends “inspired by flowers, plants, sunshine, the ocean, and cute animals,” and this neutral shade acts as a fool-proof base coat for these fun springtime nail designs.
Anything rose gold is slated to be a top spring nail polish choice this year—but in all honesty, you can’t go wrong with shimmer any time of the year. This polish pick features tiny specks of gold that catch the sun just right, making it a gorgeous go-to for any day that you’re out and about. Plus, this shiny long-wear polish is 8-free, meaning it steers clear of some questionable chemicals found in many traditional nail polish formulas.
This creamy, romantic nail polish delivers a glossy, ultra-pigmented manicure that flatters all skin tones. It’s also super long-wearing and resistant to chipping and cracking, so you can easily wear it for date nights and beach days. In need of a fun nail art idea? Mix and match with magenta or lilac nail polish shades for a DIY ombré nail design.
April showers bring May flowers—and bright yellow nails, too! Yellow will be trending this spring in a big way, and there’s no better time than spring to try this sunny color for yourself. This egg-yolk yellow nail polish will brighten up your mood every time you look at it.
According to Kan, pastel green is consistently a popular spring nail polish pick (thanks to all those blooming flowers and lush plants). Hop aboard the green color trend by trying a soft pastel like this mint green shade. It creates a striking contrast on deep skin tones, and it’s also super flattering on fair skin tones. Plus, this nail polish formula is infused with keratin and calcium to strengthen and restore your nails when they’re in need of some extra care.
Kan spots nail trends ahead of time by scoping out fashion week runways. “While everyone is focused on the clothing, it’s fun to focus on the nails too!” she says. “French manicures started to make a comeback last year, and based on the runways, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of them. But instead of the traditional thick white line, they’ll feature fun neon colors.” So keep an eye out for creative takes on the classic French manicure that use neon, spring-inspired colors just like this vibrant shade of coral.
According to Pantone, classic blue has a “reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection,” which is exactly the kind of energy we're hoping to carry over into 2021. If you’re ready to board the “classic blue” bandwagon, try this glossy cobalt nail polish that features a zing of purple as well. It's bright enough for a statement manicure but still offers that calming and soothing mood. Plus, this formula is vegan and cruelty-free.
The easiest way to do nail art without the fuss of doing nail art? This iridescent polish that’s equal parts fun and fashion-forward. It’s also great if you can’t commit to the shade (cue: panic at the polish wall): this 12-free shade appears blue at first glance, but can also take on a pink, green, or purple sheen depending on the light.
Green and spring go way back, and this slightly deeper, blue-tinged shade feels especially fresh for the season. It’s gorgeous for a manicure, but don’t sleep on it for a pedicure—just picture this gorgeous shade peeking out of a pair of strappy sandals.
When you’re in the mood for something breezy—both in color and formulation, this floral-inspired shade is a breath of fresh air. The color itself is stunning, but it’s the long-lasting formula (read: no extra touch-ups!) that will win you over this season and beyond.
Nothing screams “I’m on vacation” quite like this tropical shade of blue, whether you’re hitting the beach or just taking a Saturday morning to yourself. Plus, the bold hue is gorgeous on every skin tone.
Who says gray is boring? On a mani, it’s anything but. This blueish gray is classic, chic, soothing and—most importantly—goes with every outfit you have planned for spring. To take the minimalist-cool vibes to the next level, finish it off with a matte top coat.
Already in the summer mindset? Show it on your nails (or toenails!) with his bright, sunny shade. It’s all but guaranteed to make you smile the moment you paint it on.
This polish is literally two colors in one: indoors, it’s white and when you go outside, UV light transforms it to the prettiest pink. It’s the perfect beauty party trick now that you’ll be spending as much time as you can outdoors!
It may not look like much at first glance, but trust us, this muted green-gray is about to get you a million compliments (note: it’s particularly gorgeous on deeper skin tones). Pair it with a deep blue for a more understated look, or go for a vibrant neon polish for a fun contrast.
We’re of the strong opinion that glitter shouldn’t be reserved for the holidays. Not only does this micro-glitter polish shine like nobody’s business in sunlight, but it’s also ocean friendly. Unlike traditional plastic glitter, it’s made of biodegradable cellulose.
No nail polish collection is complete without a true fuchsia, and this one is as classic—and completely Insta-worthy—as it gets. Try it for a pop of color on toes, paired with a nude or ballerina-pink manicure.
The blue resembling Tiffany & Co.’s iconic signature shade is the perfect color for spring, according to Davis. Easter is just around the corner too, so it’s great for nail art or just by itself.
You can’t go wrong with a coffee-and-cream-colored gem like this one. Much like the sip itself, the color never goes out of style. Add some iridescent rainbow shimmer? You’ve got yourself quite the spring shade.
You’ll never go wrong with pink, and as this list suggests, there are so many springy variations that there’s really something for everyone. Davis suggests this minimal, soft pink because it complements every skin tone and adds a subtle yet striking pop of color to any outfit.
Davis says this pop of color will boost anyone’s mood. This bright yellow with olive undertones says I’m ready for spring.
Coral has so many variations, so there’s always something for everyone. And Davis loves this tangy-red mixed with orange because it’s “always just so delicious,” she says. “It’s a pop of color that demands attention.”
If you’re one for making a statement, this one’s for you. Davis is a fan because “It’s a beautiful shade that mimics the deep ocean blue,” she says. “It’s sure to turn heads.”
If you want to feel pretty with a light pop, this is the color for you. “A bold holographic coral with delicious pulp—I mean glitter—screams I am beautiful but not boring,” Davis says.
Classic periwinkle already made the list above, but add some edgy metallic for a spring look that’s sure to please. “The purple is pretty and the metallic makes it easy to match any outfit,” Davis says.
If you aim to stay on trend without making too much of a statement, this nude crème with a hint of coral will always be a safe, neutral bet for spring. “It goes with everything and is a delight to look at,” Davis says.
When it comes to your nails, it’s always ok to splurge. And what welcomes the new season better than a chic shade from Chanel? “As you can see from this whole list, purple is majorly trending for the season. It’s a happy, inviting color and goes well with most looks, which makes it a welcome reprieve for the darker, moodier shades from the previous season.”
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