‘I’m a Celebrity Manicurist, and These Are 6 Pretty Nail Color Trends To Try This Spring’

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Pastel nails are just the tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to nail colors for spring, one might call to mind pastels and shades that are reflected in nature, like pinks and greens—all striking signals to the season’s optimistic energy of rebirth and renewal. (Call it dopamine dressing for your nails, if you will.) However, according to celebrity manicurist and nail artist Julie Kandalec, owner of Julie K Nail Atelier in New York and author of the Nail Art Design Book, the colors of the season aren’t limited to the aforementioned. Less expected but no less welcome nail colors have emerged, like red, chrome, and jelly nails, which will lend nice sheen and a subtle touch of visual interest.

Of course, there are no hard rules about which colors to paint your nails for spring, and one could argue that anything goes. If you’re looking for inspiration, though, consider the list ahead as a starting point. Below, Kandlec six nail color ideas for spring, all sure to carry you through to sunnier days.

6 Nail Color Trends To Try for Spring

1. Pastels

There’s a reason why pastel nail colors remain in heavy rotation year after year—they channel spring’s joy and optimism. Kandalec points to colors like lilac, light blue, and yellow, as some of her top picks for the season. Keep in mind: there is no one shade of pastel that is right for everyone; what’s most important is choosing a color that makes you happiest. If you’re unable to decide which pastel shade to wear on your nails, Kandalec suggests painting each nail a different color. For example, you might wear a lilac hue on your index finger, light blue on another, and so on and so forth.(You get the picture.)

2. Green

If there is one color that evokes spring’s arrival, it’s green. After a long winter, green closely connotes the colors seen in nature, as grass emerges from the ground and trees grow back leaves. “I’m seeing a lot of green,” says Kandalec, and when it comes to the hue, you are spoiled for choice. There’s sage green to emerald green, and everything in between. Kandalec also points to neon green, which she suspects we’ll be seeing more of closer to the summer season, when things start heating up. All to say: If you want to go green this spring season, you’ll have a wide array of options to choose from.

3. Pink

When Barbie hit the big screen, the color pink had the world in a chokehold—and it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere any time soon. Kandalec says that pink is all the rage this season, but you can expect to see more subdued varieties of the hue, as opposed to bright, bold, and supersaturated this spring. The pink in question, according to Kandalec, is “very sheer and high glossy,” adding that you’re likely to see more cool-toned pinks versus warm peachy pinks this spring. “I’m seeing it on celebrities and the red carpet, the Oscars and even the Grammys,” she says, which only reaffirms pink’s persistent popularity.

4. Red

As an antithesis to pastels and pinks, consider red. While undoubtedly a classic choice for any season, the color has regained new steam with the rise of the “mob wife aesthetic,” says Kandalec, which for those who are unfamiliar with the trend, it’s a nod to the style embodied by characters like Adriana La Cerva from The Sopranos, who often paired dramatic beauty looks with a devil-may-care attitude. Spring calls for brighter, warmer varieties, according to Kandalec, with an emphasis on vivid blue reds and orange reds (Kandalec’s personal favorite within the red color family) in lieu of moody, dark burgundy and bordeaux reds.

5. Chrome

When you think of chrome, chances are gold, silver, and bronze immediately come to mind, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, chrome is no longer limited to heavy metals. “Companies are coming out with a variety of shades and opacities of chrome,” says Kandalec. While you can certainly opt for opaque metallic nail polish, Kandalec has a particular affinity for sheer chrome nail products, which you can layer over the polish shade of your choice for an iridescent sheen. Kandalec adds that options with an iridescent holographic effect are as mesmerizing and easy to achieve at home.

6. Sheer Jelly Colors

Kandalec is most excited about sheer jelly colors this spring, which offers a juicy pop of translucent color, resulting in an effect that is reminiscent of, well, jelly. To achieve jelly nails, it’ll require nail polish with some translucence. The color-averse among us can dip their toes in the trend with jelly colors with shades that are closer to your natural nail color, says Kandalec. Using neutral hues also has the added benefit of hiding eventual nail growth, scuffs, and chips, she says, which can extend the period between polish changes, saving you time, effort, and if you frequently visit the nail salon, money.

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