One of the most frustrating things about Fashion Week is that because it happens a season in advance, half the trends you see—and fall in love with—don’t apply until spring rolls around. But nail polish knows no season. So even though these cool new nail trends are technically for next spring, who’s going to stop you from jumping the gun and dabbling in metallic manis or minimalist nail art a little early? (Not us, that’s for sure.) Click through for some serious manicure inspo that’ll take you to 2017 and beyond.
Spring Nail Polish Trend: Grayscale Nails
The two-toned nails in black and pewter (technically, it’s Inglot Nail Enamel 960) actually gave off a tough, too-cool vibe at Baja East—instead of looking like you worked way too hard on your mani.
Don’t let it fool you: A sheer wash of gray at the tips actually looks delicate, like watercolor, but the nails at Monse were meant to look as though they’d been “dipped in petroleum.” The shades used here? Manicurist Madeline Poole mixed Sally Hansen’s Commander in Chic and Au Nature-al.
Pastel gray? It’s a thing. With a lavender tone and staying on the lighter end of the spectrum, JINsoon’s Auspicious at Brock makes gray seem groundbreaking.
Black is basic (not that there’s anything wrong with that, we tell ourselves, as we collectively sip our PSLs). But a matte finish and minimalist design, with just block in the center of the nail, gives the almost-black JINsoon in Audacity a modern edge, like seen here at Vera Wang.
Spring Nail Polish Trend: Soft Pink
Treat nail polish like paint: At Adam Selman, nail artist Naomi Yasuda mixed baby pink with a burnished gold (MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Snob and Gold Pearl, respectively) for a result that’s surprisingly subtle—and adorable.
The cloudy pink mani—the result of two coats of Essie’s Hi Maintenance—at Altuzarra is on the neutral end of the scale, which makes it perfect if you want something feminine but still low-key (which, incidentally, makes it the ideal bridal manicure).
At first glance, this looks like your usual pink manicure, fit for a lady who owns a poodle. But with a closer look, the saturated tone of ZOYA in Mia and the square nail shape at Jill Stuart take it to the next level.
Here’s a challenge: Try to match your makeup to your mani. The monochromatic pink look at Reem Acra embodied the saying “Go big or go home.” How lead manicurist Naomi Gonzalez scored this bubblegum shade of pink: She layered ZOYA in Bela over two coats of ZOYA in Barbie.
Spring Nail Polish Trend: Moody Metallics
There’s bronze, there’s silver, there’s gold…and at Marchesa, there’s this silky pewter shade (it’s ZOYA in Claudine—if you, like us, need this on your nails ASAP).
Faded, two-toned nails at Michael Costello—in unexpected shades of dark pink (Essie in Sole Mate) and gold (Essie in Good as Gold)—are girly in all the right ways.
The grungy, smeared silver manicure (a combo of Morgan Taylor Lacquer in Chain Reaction, Give Me Gold, and Sweater Weather) at Zero + Maria Cornejo looks like you were trying to paint your own nails and failed miserably—which might actually be why it spoke to us. But even though it’s haphazard, the groomed nails keep from looking like an accident.
Cuticles finally get their due! So does glitter—because in a sparkling rim around the edges of the nails, like the “gold chain” look at Rodarte, it actually looks dainty and subdued (neither of which is a word we’d typically use to describe glitter). To copy nail artist Tracey Lee’s creation, use Morgan Taylor New School Nude as a base, then using a detail brush, paint a thin line of Morgan Taylor Gold & Glitter directly onto the surrounding skin.
Spring Nail Polish Trend: New Neutrals
The manicure at Alexander Wang was supposed to look like nude nail polish that’d been bleached out by long days in the sun. Mission accomplished, if we do say so ourselves. Nail artist Michelle Saunders painted nails in a single coat of Essie’s Cocktails and Coconuts, a layer of Essie in Au Natural, and topped both off with matte topcoat.
Are you having flashbacks to painting your nails with white-out in grade school? (Us, too.) What makes this throwback seem new again is the sharp, squared-off shape of the nails. This time, skip the school supplies and use Morgan Taylor Lacquer’s All White Now instead.
Here’s one aspect of the Marc Jacobs show that didn’t raise eyebrows and actually does deserve applause: Elegant, almond-shaped nails in an equally crowd-pleasing greige color (it’s Marc Jacobs Beauty in Pearly Whirly, FYI).
Spring Nail Polish Trend: Graphic Art
This mod nail art look from Jeremy Scott is easier than it looks: Miss Pop, the star manicurist, suggests dispensing out a little nail polish and using a pencil eraser to stamp it onto the nail.
Long nails, don’t care! The benefit is that you have more room to play. At Tanya Taylor, random corners of each nail were filled in with bright colors—think pink, turquoise, and orange.
Even cuter than the rainbow tips on this reverse French manicure at Creatures of Comfort: The gold foil triangles at the base of each nail.
A subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it homage to the accent nail, the swapped colors on each ring finger were a playful addition to the dual-toned mani at Rebecca Minkoff. Obsessed with the crimson and beige pairing here? Get it for yourself with Essie Maki Me Happy and Essie Go Go Geisha.
The blues more your tune? Great; turn ’em up with these random squares created by manicurist Alicia Torello at Novis. The shades used: Christian Louboutin in Batignolles and Wherever.