20 Spring Nail Color Trends You’re Going to See Everywhere

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These gorgeous spring nail colors will help you welcome the warmer weather—and give you the best-looking manicure ever you’ve ever had.

Dreaming about the first day of spring? We certainly are. And even if it’s not quite time to break out the flirty floral dresses, you can set the mood for the loveliest season with the perfect spring manicure. From periwinkle and pearlescent shades to über-cool nail art inspired by Euphoria, spring nail colors and trends are all about soft colors combined with arty, dreamy style. And nail art. Lots and lots of nail art.

“The trend for spring is captivating shades that literally shimmer with optimism and possibility,” says celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann. The looks are different than what we saw with winter nails and Valentine’s Day nails, drawing inspiration instead “from a runway season underpinned with femininity and friskiness.”

When it comes to nail art, that could translate into subtle sparkles, interesting designs, or even an updated French mani. The vibe is fun and playful, and the good news is that you don’t have to be a nail pro to pull off these looks. “The pendulum is swinging towards simpler, more minimalist designs,” says Christina Kao, founder of Le Mini Macaron. With a few contrasting brush strokes or a thick, angular swath of white polish, you could create your own nail design worthy of Instagram.

How we chose our favorite spring nail colors and trends

To help you find the best looks for spring, we asked fashion forecasters and celebrity nail artists for their top picks. We also made sure the looks weren’t out of reach for nail novices, then found the best nail polishes and nail tools to help you achieve them. The only problem? You might fall in love with all of them. Whichever ones you choose, make sure your manicure lasts as long as possible by using a top-quality base coat and top coat.

Nail trend: Space-age tints

Space Age Tints Via Opi Professionals Instagram.comvia opi_professionals/Instagram

If you have to pick just one trend for your nails this spring, opt for an otherworldly look featuring swirling pastels. “It’s all about pastels with punch—tone meets texture,” explains Lippmann. Many of these space-age colors have multiple effects in one, like frost combined with sparkles, or an iridescent hue combined with holographic features. The effect is trippy, because depending on the light, the color can change or shift. If you don’t want to do a full manicure like this, try them just on an accent nail or two.

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Nail trend: Euphoria-inspired nails

Euphoria Inspired NailsVia @Natalieminervanails/Instagram

It’s OK to admit that you watch Euphoria more for the amazing nail art than for the plot. And you’re not alone: Spring nails are drawing heavy inspiration from the incredible nail work of celebrity manicurist Natalie Minerva, who creates the dreamlike, over-the-top looks for the show. An easy way to create similarly swoon-worthy nails is to start with a neutral or sparkly nail base color and then sponge on an accent tone. (It’s easiest to use disposable nail or makeup sponges to create gradient designs). Don’t worry about achieving a perfect look—the idea is to have an ombré, melted-nail-polish look. You can even add nail stickers to boost the dreamy effect.

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Nail trend: Dove gray nails

Dove Gray Nails Via Evogelcanada Instagram.comvia evogelcanada/instagram

Gray nails have been extremely popular for a few seasons now, but things are lightening up a bit for Spring 2022. Think a super soft gray that’s almost silver or white. Another cool idea: “gray-dient” nails. To achieve this look, simply use a slightly different shade of gray polish from the same family on each nail, subtly creating a design that’s chic, cool, and modern.

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Nail trend: ’90s-inspired nails

90s Inspired NailsVia @rhymes_with_pizza/Instagram

Retro is all the rage when it comes to spring nail colors, with a special emphasis on looks that were big in the ’90s—from deep, vampy reds and intense sparkles to light blues and pale pinks adorned with cute designs. Craft your own club-kid-inspired manicure, or opt for simple nail art that celebrates your love of all things girly and adorable. (Yep, like sparkly, gold butterflies that even ’90s icon Mariah Carey would approve of!) You can achieve the above look by using a thin nail brush to paint your favorite motif onto one or all of your nails—or you can make things really easy by using nail stickers. If you opt for a dark color, by the way, you’ll definitely want to use this $8 liquid latex that will give you a salon-level manicure.

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Nail trend: Athleisure nails

Athleisure NailsVia @ilnp/Instagram

OK, this one took us by surprise as well, but if you think about it, it makes loads of sense. Over the past two years, most of us have learned to elevate our athleisure game to an art form, so why not take the trend a bit further and apply it to our nails? According to Kao, even spring’s soft and subtle manicure looks are all about shine, which could act as the main accent in an otherwise low-key look. Consider matching your nails to your workout wear—think a rose colored mani to match the zipper on your favorite cute hoodie, or a shimmery top coat to balance monotone sweats—or even adding a bit of taupe or nude sparkle for detail.

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Nail trend: Holographic shades

Holographic Shades Via caitlinswatches/Instagram

One of the more unexpected spring nail color trends? Colors you have to work to see. Gorgeous holographic shades play with light to offer teases of color, whether you use them as a top coat on accent nails or on all your digits! This isn’t our first rodeo with holographic nails this year, but instead of the heavy greens or blues we saw in winter and fall, spring holos are light and frothy and don’t overwhelm your mani. It’s a fun way to make people to do a double take, too.

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Nail trend: Very Peri mani

Very Peri ManiVia __slyvka/Instagram

In case you missed this very important news, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2022 is Very Peri, a stunning periwinkle blue with a hint of red. The experts at Pantone chose this color for its perceived sense of optimism. If you’re not ready to upgrade your entire wardrobe just yet, polishing your nails with Very Peri shows that you’re on-trend without taking things too seriously. Also worth noting: You don’t have to stick to the shade exactly to get the effect. Play around with periwinkle shades that best match your skin tone. For example, if you have pale skin, you might want to stay on the baby-blue end of the spectrum, while olive-toned, brown, or black skin tones could handle bolder versions of the same shade.

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Nail trend: Very Peri accents

Very Peri Accents Via Leminimacaron InstagramVia @leminimacaron/Instagram

Meanwhile, if you like the idea of Very Peri more than you like the actual color, consider adding a few details to your nails rather than a full color application. Kao likes the idea of combining the color of the year with trendy application. “French manicures are a great way to try bright, bold shades that might feel daunting otherwise,” she says. “Very Peri French tips or lilac French tips are a fun way to refresh your mani mood for spring.” Other ideas: Try pastel spring nail polish with one or two fingernails polished in perfect Very Peri style, or even white, frosty nails with a tiny periwinkle accent. Of course, you can also use these colors on your pedicure.

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Nail trend: Motifs

Motif NailsVia @Nails_Of_La/Instagram

People have stopped wearing their hearts on their sleeves—this spring, you’ll see them wearing their messaging on their nails. “People love motifs, whether it’s something personal or something ’90s-inspired,” Boyce says. “Think evil eyes, Nirvana-inspired happy faces, and aliens.” And while hand-painted nail art is all the rage, these motifs can also be found on nail decals and nail wraps. Choose your favorite pink as a base, and then add an accent if you’re feeling inspired.

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Nail trend: Luxurious textures

Luxurious Texture NailsVia @michelleclassnails/Instagram

One of the hottest spring trends involves deeper, richer finishes that go way beyond just a little bit of gloss. Simone I. Smith (that’s Mrs. LL Cool J to you and me) is the founder of S.I.S. Luxe Lacquer, a new line of polishes with luxurious textures and finishes. “The whole reason I started this nail polish line was because I couldn’t get any sparkle, chrome, or shimmer the way I wanted,” Smith says. She particularly loves this effect with purple polish, and with the right one, you’ll find light-reflecting elements that add gorgeous shimmer and sparkle.

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Nail trend: Jeweled mani

Jeweled Mini NailsVia @leminimacaron/Instagram

Crystals and gems aren’t just for the holidays—they look amazing with spring nail colors as well. You can create a pattern in advance by dotting a color where you’d like to apply a gem, or randomly stick on crystals. Better yet, skip the complicated gluing and try press-on nails instead. Feel free to combine manicure looks, playing around with solid nails, French tips, or even washes of color. There are no rules to blinging up your nails this spring. Just have fun!

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Nail trend: Impressionism-inspired nail art

Impressionism Inspired Nail Art Via @nails_of_la/Instagram

Have you been seeing teeny, tiny works of art on people’s nails lately? You’re not imagining it. Spring nails will take inspiration from actual works of art. “Impressionism seems likely to trend,” says Boyce, “as nail artists focus on brushstrokes, colors, and lighting over lines and contours. Think Monet and Van Gogh.” The effect is stunning, but arguably the best part of this trend is that it’s pretty foolproof. Start with your favorite spring nail polish color, then paint on a stroke of different colors or textures. You can even add some metallic accents if you’re feeling inspired. Just be sure to let each coat dry before applying the next, and finish with a clear top coat. Pro tip: Choose a sheer color, like the pretty pink in the picture, for a dark design overlay.

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Nail trend: Extreme minimalism with new neutrals

Extreme Minimalism With New Neutrals Nails Via @naillook_by_m/Instagram

The flip side of rich hues and loads of bling? Extremely subtle color, which is another big nail trend for spring. “I think as creative and bold as nail art is going to be in 2022, there will also be a push for extreme minimalism,” Boyce says. “Just very clean nails in a natural shape in either a sheer neutral that looks really glossy and shiny, or in a new neutral shade.” Minimalist nails might have the tiniest bit of sparkle to pick up the light, but otherwise, you’ll want colors that blend in with your natural skin tone. An important note: Minimalist colors for light skin will look a lot different than shades that achieve the same effect for darker tones.

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Nail trend: All the colors

All The Colors via @deborahlippmann/Instagram

As we recently saw with winter nails, sometimes the only rule is to use what makes you happy. Smith told Reader’s Digest that she created all the colors in her line to be worn year-round, which is fun for those of us who prefer one shade over all others (for Smith, it’s purple), or if you’re trying to match your mani to a favorite outfit. While spring nail colors traditionally were once limited to pale pinks, you experiment more this spring and wear what you like the most. If you prefer gel nail polish, we have plenty of options in that category, too.

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Nail trend: Beautiful skin with barely there polish

Beautiful Skin With Barely There Polish NailsVia @Nailsby_Amyb/Instagram

All of our experts agree that there are times when your mani can take a back seat to soft skin and perfectly groomed cuticles. And after a long winter wearing gloves, you might want to show off your super soft hands most of all. Boyce jokes that she takes better care of her hands than her face, constantly applying moisturizer and cuticle oil multiple times a day. “A good tip is to keep a bottle of hand cream and cuticle oil next to you as you work,” she says. “If you see it, you’ll remember to reapply it.” Speaking of cuticles, Boyce advises against cutting them too much. If you have a hangnail, trim them by softening them first, if necessary, and then using a cuticle remover. You’ll also want to check out the best ways to strengthen your nails.

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Nail trend: Gold or metallic accents

Gold Or Metallic Accents NailsVia @nails_of_la/Instagram

Ooh-la-la! Gold is having a moment this season, and this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Boyce says you can try anything from “a gold foil accent, a simple gold ombré tip, using gold foil to create a raw French tip, or a thin line of metallic gold as an inlay.” Simply polish your nails with a sheer color that matches your skin tone and then add gold foil to the tips, just to where your nail tip meets your nail bed. Follow with a high-shine top coat.

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Nail trend: Alternating nail colors or designs

Alternating Nail Colors Via Heluviee InstagramVia @heluviee/instagram

Having trouble deciding between spring nail colors and designs? Combine two of your favorite looks instead! Polish every other nail with a full coat of nail polish, and use gentle swirls of color or tinted French tips on the remaining nails. It’s a fun way to experiment with nail art, and even if you goof on the design, you can just polish the offending nail with a full coat of polish.

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Nail trend: Modern French manicure

Modern French ManicureVia @nails_of_la/Instagram

What can you do with a French manicure? A lot, apparently! Spring 2022’s modern French mani involves “playing with angles and thickness of the tip, and playing with the texture finish between glossy and matte.” Boyce likes the look of “a half French at an angle,” which is pretty easy to do. Apply a clear or sheer pink base, and then, instead of drawing a traditional moon shape on the tips, go for a bold angle in white. The white part should take up most of the nail, as opposed to just the tip. By the way, here’s what your favorite nail polish color and style reveals about your personality.

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Nail trend: Pop-art French manicure

Pop Art French Manicure Via Cococuenco Instagram.comvia @cococuenco/Instagram

You can also expect a lot of detailing in French manicures this spring, ranging from just one color to “a shadow look, or even an outline look, to modernize the classic look,” says Boyce. She shared a cool tutorial of a nude-on-nude French manicure with bright orange thrown in to make things really pop. Also notable: The tips aren’t identical, so you can have a lot of fun using a detail brush to draw on a shape you love. Get creative!

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Nail trend: Classic French manicure

Classic French Manicure Via Leminimacaronvia @leminimacaron/Instagram

For Spring 2022, the classic French manicure is getting a slight update. Back in the day, this iconic style usually made an appearance on nighttime soap operas and at the mall. Nails back then featured nails that were shaped in a short, almost aggressively square-shaped tip. This season, however, you’ll want to opt for a sheer pink base with slightly longer, white oval tips—and it’s a look you can wear anywhere and with anything, from your everyday business casual outfits to your favorite jeans and tees.

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Rachel Weingarten
Rachel Weingarten is an award-winning freelance writer specializing in beauty, fashion, lifestyle, career/business and tech. She's the author of 3 award-winning books, and co-founder of a national non-profit, the RWR Network.