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12 Spring Nail Colors to Try That Are More Than Your Typical Pastel Shades

UPDATE-spring-nail-colors-02-thumbnailUPDATE-spring-nail-colors-02-header

Spring is just around the corner! You know what that means? Spring cleaning is definitely in order. While you’re stashing away your winter sweaters and coats to make room for your warm-weather favorites, don’t forget to pay attention to your beauty products too.

After you swap out your skincare for lighter textures, take stock of your nail polish collection and pick your new-season favorites. Or, better yet, invest in some new polishes. This is the perfect time to try out fresh new nail colors (just ask any beauty editor—we live for new nail ideas) to usher in the spring flowers and sunshine. After all, warmer temperatures and sunny skies mean you can ditch the mittens and flaunt the best spring manicure for all to see. Plus, we’re sure you were getting sick of maroon and brown manicures after they ruled this season’s fall and winter nail looks. 

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 these 12 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 Target, Sally Hansen, Ulta Beauty, Walmart, Amazon, and more. While spring nail colors aren’t technically official until March 19, 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 nail inspo to help you “spring” into action. 


About the Experts:
Katya Kan is the owner of Brooklyn-based nail salon Ruchki da Nozhki.
Nettie Davis is a decades-long manicurist who invented Pottle, the original refillable nail bottle.

1. Baby Blue:

COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Get Lost

COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Get Lost

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 blue shade? 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.

2. Stormy Lilac:

MISCHO BEAUTY Nail Polish in Unbroken

MISCHO BEAUTY Nail Lacquer in Unbroken

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.

3. Jelly Tinted:

MANUCURIST Active Glow

MANUCURIST Active Glow
Courtesy of MANUCURIST

There’s no better way to kick off spring than using a multitasking nail polish that actually takes care of your nails while looking good. After winter, our nails need some major TLC from all the cold and gloom dulling their shine. For a soft pink, rosy-tinted manicure that boosts shine and gives nails essential vitamins, this is a must-have polish to have in your collection. Too minimalist for your liking? Add a little extra sparkle with these nail gems from DECO BEAUTY if you desire!

4. Nude:

HOUSE OF MAKEUP Nail Lacquer in Flat White

HOUSE OF MAKEUP Nail Lacquer in Flat White

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.

5. Barbie Pink:

GUCCI 402 VANTINE FUSCHIA

GUCCI 402 VANTINE FUSCHIA
Courtesy of GUCCI

If you think Barbie nail looks are over, think again! Celebrate spring by going bold with fuschia. Truly, you can’t go wrong with any sort of pink nails for spring. Try this polish all over or use it as an accent for a colorful french-tip manicure. You can expect this color to be making quite the appearance in many of our editors’ nail looks this season!

6. Ballerina Purple Pink:

DIOR Vernis in Tra-La-La

DIOR Vernis in Tra-La-La
Courtesy of DIOR

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. This color is muted at first glance, but paired with spring accessories and outfits, it adds the perfect pop of understated yet sophisticated color for the season. 

7. Pastel Green:

NAILMEDIC Nail Polish in Rise & Slay

NAILMEDIC Nail Polish in Rise & Slay

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.

8. Neon Coral:

TRUST FUND BEAUTY Nail Polish in Game Changer

TRUST FUND BEAUTY Nail Polish in Game Changer

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.

9. Cobalt Blue:

DECO MIAMI Nail Lacquer in Namaste By the Pool

DECO MIAMI Nail Lacquer in Namaste By the Pool

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.

10. Canary Yellow:

LONDONTOWN Nail Polish in Daisy Chain

LONDONTOWN Nail Polish in Daisy Chain
Courtesy of LONDONTOWN

Davis says this pop of color will boost anyone’s mood. This bright yellow with olive undertones says I’m ready for spring. Playing around with different yellow tones will be a huge trend this season. Don’t be afraid to swatch a few different yellow polishes at the nail salon to find one that suits your skin tone and mood. 

11. Tinsel Pink:

CIRQUE COLORS Nail Polish in Pink Lemonade

CIRQUE COLORS Nail Polish in Pink Lemonade
Courtesy of CIRQUE COLORS

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. Forget anyone who says glitter has to be reserved for the holidays. This polish is sure to help you ring in the new season, as its name alone makes us want to set up a lemonade stand of our own on an upcoming sunny day.

12. Metallic Purple:

LONDONTOWN Brill-Ant

LONDONTOWN Brill-Ant
Courtesy of LONDONTOWN

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. We love this example of how to execute a chrome pastel manicure. Pastel colors feel predictable for spring and Easter, but this manicure keeps things interesting and fresh with chrome and multiple colors. 

Looking for more nail inspo and the latest color launches to try? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated March 1, 2024 12:00 AM