As the temperatures dip, so can the desire to utilize your beauty arsenal. The thought of bundling up and emerging from home can be repellant in the coldest weeks of the year, and getting all dolled up to do so sounds even less appealing. Snowflakes in your lashes are a major look killer, and the icy winter wind is going to turn your cheeks the ruddy color of blush anyway, right? But there's good reason to add a little color to your look, even when your inner chill runs deep. And your winter nails are the perfect place to start when it comes to dressing up—or down—this winter.
In 2023, nail trends are all about the return to minimalism. Long gone are the days of bright, cosmic colors, and long coffin shapes made popular by nail artists in 2022. Instead, we're turning to fun finishes, shorter lengths, and more classic styles this year. As for which specific colors to reach for in winter 2023, we turned to LeChat Nails Educator and California-based nail tech, Hemi Park, for her expert opinion on winter 2023's trendiest shades. From lovey-dovey reds to cool, mood-based shades, here are the best winter nail colors to lift you from your cold-weather slump.
Valentine's Day Red-y
The early winter season is all about the day of love, so reds take over the season's nail trends, says Park. You can't go wrong with a classic red shade, or change it up with added shimmer.
If you're looking for a classic red, turn to OPI's Big Apple Red. This shade is flattering on every skin tone and we guarantee your confidence will soar while wearing this on your nails.
Park personally recommends this shade as it's a "frosty bright red that gives a bit of shimmery dimension to the classic red nails." Keep in mind, this gel polish does require a LED/UV light to cure, but you'll be rewarded with a chip-free manicure that lasts weeks.
Paige DeSorbo from Bravo's Summer House came out with your new favorite Valentine's Day shade at GLOSSLAB. It's a full-coverage cherry red that will get you in the lovey-dovey mood. Plus, it has nail-strengthening biotin, vitamin E, and rosemary. Buy online or try it out at any GLOSSLAB location.
As previously mentioned, one of the biggest nail trends of 2023 are fun and easy finishes. Sure, we've seen the glazed donut look take the internet by storm, but why not try something new this winter with a jelly topper? "Jelly colors are super fun to layer over chrome, foil, glitters, or cat eye nails, and it instantly transforms any light color bases," says Park. When you want to spice up your mani, throw on a layer of one of the shades below for an instant fun look.
Park says she loves to use this magenta pink-tinted clear coat to layer. Layer one coat for a sheer wash of fun color or pack on extra coats for more pigment. Whichever route you choose, you'll nail the translucent nail trend with this pretty pink polish.
ICYMI, "Digital Lavender" is the It-color of 2023, so why not hop on the trend with your nail color? This polish provides, a sheer, yet buildable wash of lavender grey color that will effortlessly take you from winter to spring.
Don't be fooled by the opaque color of this bottle—this shade goes on sheer for a subtle wash of red. This small, but mighty bottle also serves as a basecoat and topcoat in one, plus contains moisturizing ingredients for extra healthy nails.
Do you remember those rings from the early aughts that changed color depending on your mood? Well in 2023, your childhood favorite ring is now in nail form and Park loves the style. "Mood colors are becoming my favorite for chilly winter season because they are temperature-activated and super fun to watch the colors turn into different shades based on whether you’re hot or cold," she explains. Be prepared to do a double-take when you go step out into the cold with these fun color-changing polishes.
Thermal nail polishes like this one were practically made to wear in the winter. When your nice and cozy indoors, this polish is a pretty light blue, but when you step outside, it'll turn into a dark purple.
For those that prefer more understated colors comes this shade from Parrot Polish. At first glance, this polish is your standard black shade, but once the temperature warms up, it turns into a neutral gray tone.
For winter 2023, Park recommends this color-changing polish,. "It is a deep burgundy purple when it’s cold then dramatically turns into bright hot pink when it’s warmer," she says. "You’re going to have so much fun watching this shade changing, and your winter mood will be so joyous."
In the past few years, you may have noticed nudes and pale pinks on the hands of every celebrity and influencer, and according to Park, that trend has no sign of slowing down. "As for an overall winter trend, it seems like everyone is still into nude and sheer pinks, and it’s very much expected given the fact that French nails are still leading the nail trend," she explains. For your go-to nude shade, look for a polish close to your natural skin tone. If sheer pink is more your vibe, Park says to "look for a very sheer peachy pink color, which is absolutely perfect color as a base, layering nude, or by itself."
You may have seen Bubble Bath all across your FYP page, and that's because it's a universally flattering shade of nude. This polish works on just about every skin tone and can be worn on its own as as a base layer for your favorite DIY designs.
Park named LeChat's Pure Confidence shade her "go-to nude nail polish." She explains, "It has slight dark pink beige undertone that perfectly blends in with my nails while masking off slight imperfection."
Park is also a fan of a very light pale pink shade with opalescent flakes, like this polish from Sephora's in-house collection. She says she loves a pearly pink because they "look beautiful by itself and layering this shade over other nude colors makes it a bit more fun, but also add hint of pale pink to my manicure."
When it comes to seasonal nail colors, there are some shades that are considered staples during the wintertime. Year after year, you can expect to see midnight blues, wine reds, eggplant purples, and simple blacks once the weather gets cold. These dark and moody colors perfectly capture the aesthetic of winter, hence why we turn to them again and again.