I may have just worn a puffer coat, sweater, and scarf to work today, but I swear I can feel spring in the air. Sure, the temperature is still low most days, but before you know it, warmer weather will be here, and like my dad always says, "prior planning prevents poor performance." So though it may still feel like we're in the throes of winter, why not get ahead of spring 2023's biggest trends? Looking for an easy way to do so? Give your winter nails a refresh with a popping new spring shade.
The biggest nail trends of 2023 are clean and simple. The long-shaped, design-laden nails of yesteryear are taking a backseat to the natural, one-color manicures of now. As for what exact colors to reach for, we tapped two of the pros—LeChat Nails Educator Hemi Park and Celebrity Nail Artist Elle Gerstein—for the scoop on spring 2023's trendiest colors. From classic pastels to mermaid-esque shades, these are the spring nail colors to grab for your next manicure.
Mermaidcore, aka the beauty trend that’s taken over TikTok, is getting translated for nails this spring, says Gerstein. Think shimmery, seashell-inspired nudes, chrome-like finishes, and pale pastels. If you don’t have a mermaid shade on hand, turn to glitter toppers like LeChat Perfect Match Sky Dust Glacial Dust, below. “This layered on any blue, pink, or pastel anything will instantly turn it into a mermaid nail/color shifter,” Gerstein adds.
This pretty lavender shade is screaming to be your next spring manicure color. The subtle shimmery gold in this polish amps up the pastel purple, making it the ultimate spring mermaid shade. Plus, this polish features 10 active ingredients like biotin and keratin for extra healthy nails.
Glittery nails are a surefire way to achieve the mermaidcore trend, especially when it includes iridescent pastel shades. As Gerstein mentioned, this polish turns any shade into a mermaid-esque color, so get fun with your favorite shade or go for a more subdued look with a neutral base color.
This frosted pink is especially great for sunnier days—once the light hits the subtle glitter in the polish, the color flashes to a pretty blue. Dare we say this color-shifting color is like that of a would-be mermaid's scales?
This milky white polish has subtle holographic glitter for a cool multidimensional finish. Maybe its just us, but this shade reminds us of the pearly seashells you find washed ashore. Apply two to three coats for opaque color, or throw it atop a pastel shade a more vibrant look.
Barbiecore isn’t going anywhere this year. In fact, the shade will grow even more in popularity if our spring 2023 color trend report is any indication, and Gerstein would be inclined to agree. “With the Pantone color of the year being announced for 2023 as Viva Magenta, this shade will definitely be trending,” she explains. Getting into this trend couldn’t be easy with a few swipes of these punchy pinks, below.
Right out of OPI's new spring collection, comes the Shade Break the Internet, "a vibrant, glittery pink which is spawning the new trend Barbietastic," Gerstein says. If there was a real-life Barbie doll, we guarantee she would be wearing this nail polish.
Nothing screams spring time like a Malibu Barbie pink that has the luxe appeal of Chanel. The Le Vernis formulation is already made to leave chipped polish behind, so any spring activities can be nail friendly.
I audibly gasped when I saw this hot pink shade while scrolling on Nordstrom. This extra-hot pink polish is sure to be an attention grabber on your nails during the warmer months. Plus, we love that this polish uses vegan-friendly ingredients.
Not everyone is into hotter-than-hot pink and we respect that! If you're looking for a subdued take on the Barbiecore trend, look no further than Zoya's Brandi shade. It's still a popping pink, but a slightly more pared-down version of the trendy color.
Blame it on the “clean girl” craze, but you’re going to continue to see natural, nude colors everywhere on nails this spring. Gerstein dubs the trend “Vanilla Latte,” and says it “gives ‘expensive’ nail vibes.” Vanilla latte nails, are all about “a clean look that emphasizes modelesque, natural beautiful hands,” she explains. “This will be trending because everyone wants to spend their money wisely and have it show that they do.”
Fans of neutral nail polish know that once you find your perfect nude shade, there's no going back. People of Color is a brand that creates shades specifically with people of color in mind, so out of their extensive range, you're bound to find your next favorite nude.
On the days you simply do not have the 45 minutes to apply base coat, color, and top coat, (not to mention the drying time), use an all-in-one like Orly's. Just apply until your desired opacity, let dry, then you're good to go. This beige shade is great for easy touch-ups, too.
Park says this shade is a "pale mauve beige that would be a go-to nude shade for minimalists," and we couldn't agree more. This shade is the perfect neutral for a parred-down manicure, with just a hint of pink to distance it from a true nude.
Down to Earth
According to Gerstein, “airy and grounded colors in moss greens and burnt neutrals” are going to be big for spring. Leafy greens, rust shades, and soft browns are perfect for those who don’t want to fully commit to bold color, yet still like a little something extra. Think of earth tones as edgier neutrals—they look good on any skin tone and work with anything in your closet.
Match your nails to the early spring weather. March and April are almost perpetually cloudy, so why not paint little rainclouds on your fingers?
This rusty brown shade gives neutral nail colors a punchy update for spring. This polish is 73 percent plant-based and free from 21 potentially harmful ingredients and you don't have to sacrifice any color payoff.
You heard it from Gerstein—moss green is going to be the it nail color of spring. Jump on the trend with Artist's Garden from Orly, a light leafy green that will bring a touch of cool color to all your spring 'fits.
Pastel shades are to spring like dark, moody colors are to winter. Let’s be real, while spring pastels are nothing new, when warmer weather rolls around, they’re a staple. There’s something about pale rainbow shades to cheer us up from the winter blues. Park agrees, too, adding, “I’ve been dying to jump onto creating with more pastel shades, especially light greens, and lavender shades.”
A little bit of sparkle goes a long way, and when that glitter is suspended in an icy blue, it's an easy transition color from the deep blues of winter to the melting snow of spring. Oh, and this formula is plant based and 100 percent vegan with all the desired shine without chipping.
This minty pale green color reminds Park of mojitos, meaning it's the perfect shade for pools and exotic vacations and is great for the early summer season, too, she says. Throw this polish on when you're in need of some color after a winter full of nudes.
Lavender nails are a must come springtime, no ifs ands or buts about it. The color just radiates the cheerful vibe of the season and it doesn't hurt that this polish uses all-natural ingredients either.
If the thought of yellow nails sounds abhorrent to you, you probably haven't tried a pastel yellow. While we love this punchy color, it's the brush that's the real selling point here. It has a slight angle to it, making it easier to tackle your non-dominant hand.
Meet the Nail Pros
A natural born nail artist, Elle opened her own business at age 17, with over 80 clients per week. Now one of the industry's top artists, Elle is world renowned for her cutting-edge nail shaping, and her understanding of color, texture and trends. For Elle, nail styling means creating the ultimate glamour. Her celebrity clientele includes Lindsay Lohan, Blake Lively, and Kelly Ripa.
Hemi hones eight years of nail experience and has built a career and branded herself in nail competitions. She has competed all over the USA attending various nail competitions including Nailpro, Nailympia USA, and NAILS Next Top Nail Artist. Hemi broadened her career horizons from 2019 when immersing herself in the Korean nail industry by organizing and moderating nail competitions and related events. Hemi is known as Sugarplumfairyfingers on social media, runs her private nail studio, and works as a LeChat Nails Educator.
Brooke Knappenberger is the Editorial Fellow at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.
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