The biggest nails trends to know for 2023

 (Nail trends 2023)
(Nail trends 2023)

2022 was a big year for nails. With salons fully reopened after two years of the virus-who-shall-not-be-named, we all went overboard with OTT, do-not-try-this-at-home manicures. Otherworldly 3D nail designs first popularised in Korean went global, while TikTok churned out a new must-have style by the hour. And, it appears 2023 will be no different.

“To me nails are like little pieces of art that you can tell a story through or show off your personality,” says nail artist Michela Brandimarte (@manimamaniere) and we totally agree. So although below are the six trends that will dominate throughout the year, we’re loving that each one can be customised to your personal taste.

The chrome craze continues

Towards the tail end of 2022, you couldn’t get away from the Hailey Bieber glazed donut nail trend. Across TikTok and Instagram it felt like every influencer and niche internet celeb had the most gorgeous iridescent nails that practically shone out the screen. I’ll admit even I jumped on the bandwagon, and throughout the festive period received endless compliments on them.

It’s no surprise then that Carolina (@nailedbyCarolina) believes chrome nails will continue to dominate in 2023. She recommends keeping the look fresh by combining a few different colours for a mismatched mirrored manicure, or go for an extraterrestrial rendition by embellishing 3D holographic detailing, such as metallic caging or molten-esque droplets onto your talons.

Although it’s recommended you go to a salon, it’s actually pretty simple to get this shiny, reflective effect at home. All you need to do is buff chrome powder — like OPi’s Tin Can Man (; £20) — over any nail polish of your choosing.

Optical illusion French tips

This trippy manicure will have you double-checking whether someone spiked your morning coffee. Using an innovative new ombré technique, the optical illusion French tip creates the illusion of differing depths between your nail bud and tip — and we’re obsessed.

Although it’s hard to trace the origins of this look, many Instagram and TikTok users who have recreated it tag @brushedbyb_ and @reallyhotgirl as their inspo. What’s more, some have even shared how to achieve this spacy manicure. To achieve this look begin by painting each side of the nail a different colour and using a damp sponge to blur them in the centre. Once dry, a fine-lining nail brush is used to section off the tip and reverse the fade in the same manner. Warning: it’s fiddly, so best to book into a salon (or at the very least, block out a solid few hours if attempting at home).

The optical illusion French Tip is great because you can experiment with whatever two colours you like — meaning you can add your own personality into this soon-to-be ubiquitous trend.

Micro tips

Considering the French tip was first created in 1975, it’s no surprise manicurists are constantly updating it with chic design tweaks. As well as the above optical illusion French tip, another iteration set to blow up in 2023 is the micro French tip — an ultra minimalist version that sees the nail tip decorated with a barely-there line.

First popularised by celebrity nail artist Harriet Westmoreland — the creative genius behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s perfect manicures — it’s now been replicated across social media. In fact, on TikTok the #MicroFrenchTip has over 44 millions views.

Double down on 2023 trends by choosing a chrome finish, or go totally out there with juxtaposing base and tip colours. What’s more it’s fairly simple to recreate at home—- our best tip is to invest in a super thin nail brush, like Nails Luxe Brush H (; £17.50), to get that sharp, hardly noticeable tip.

Velvet (cat eye) nails

As is the case with many fashion and beauty trends, the velvet — or cat eye — manicure was first popular in the 90s but is now seeing a massive resurgence. It’s easy to see why. Just like the material it’s named after, these decadent nails give off a seriously luxe vibe. A mix of glitter and metallic polish effects, this trend creates the illusion of a velour-like texture on your nails without the fuzz.

“I believe it will be a strong nail trend this coming year because of how interesting it looks and the gorgeous velvety eye illusion it gives,” says Brandimarte. “It’s definitely a good way to get an alternative manicure with a clean and slick look.”

Best of all? It’s surprisingly easy to do. “All you need is cat eye gel and a magnet,” agrees Brandimarte, recommending Vettsy’s (; £15.80) product range. Inside these speciality polishes are tiny magnetic glitter particles that can be manoeuvred with a magnet into glistening, dimensional patterns. Be warned, it only works before the polish dries - so be sure to act fast.

Aura nails

Your choice of manicure says a lot about the vibe you’re in. For example, you might pick dramatic red talons if you’re feeling fiery, or pastel shades for more muted spring days. The latest trend however is far more meta.

Aura nails are designed to reflect your, well, aura — and they’re absolutely everywhere. “Aura nails in my opinion are going to be the biggest trend of all this coming year because of how playful and entertaining they are to look at,” says Brandimarte, who adds they’re currently her most asked for style.

For those who don’t know, an aura is the energy a person emits. It’s usually described through colours, for example, pink means your energy is gentle and loving, while yellows are optimistic and freespirited. It’s now being translated into nail art via stunning multicolor gradients created with an airbrush or with blooming gel polish that replicates the energy field radiating around you. Of course the colours don’t have to accurately reflect your aura, but it is a neat way to tell the world how you feel — if you so choose.

The half-moon manicure

Although pop star Taylor Swift’s red half-moon manicure in her 2022 Bejeweled music video is behind its latest comeback, the half-moon is actually a vintage technique. The design originates from the Golden Age of Hollywood, specifically the 1950s, and is named after the teeny cresecent-shaped whiteish area on your nail bed called the lunula - or “little moon” in Latin — which is left accentuated in this manicure.

It’s not just Swift who’s been revitalising it either, Olivia Wilde’s character in Don’t Worry, Darling also famously sported it, while it’s been the signature manicure of burlesque icon Dita Von Teese for over 20 years.

We recommend the colour red for this look, specifically OPI’s Big Apple Red shade (; £14.90) which was used in Don’t Worry, Darling. It’s also arguably easier to DIY than a French manicure — just outline your lunula line and paint the rest of the nail as usual