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The Newest Noteworthy Nail Trends

Published April 9, 2023
Published April 9, 2023
This Is Zun via Pexels

Whether spotted on a celebrity, the runway, or social media, nail trends often cause hype as consumers rush to salons in the hopes of recreating a viral look. In a time where what is seen online influences the way brands and consumers alike act, several trends are constantly at one's disposal, inspiring the next aspirational manicure. With the global nail market expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.27% until 2028, it has become clear that consumers care for their nails perhaps now more than ever. To keep on top of the latest crazes, BeautyMatter has rounded up the nail trends gaining the most traction across social media:

Half-Moon Nails: The term half-moon in reference to nails is usually associated as a nickname for the nails’ lunula (the lighter crescent-shaped part by the nail bed); however, recently, the term has adopted a new meaning. Several nail artists are showcasing their take on half-moon nails across social media―painting the entire nail and leaving the lunula unpainted, or decorating it in contrast, emphasizing a crescent moon shape. Originating from 1950s Hollywood glamour, the nail trend is regaining popularity with its new name because it is extremely versatile. Some are going for a more neutral look while others go bright and bold. A handful have also opted to paint only the outline of the lunula, leaving the nails plain except for one small, curved line. The trend has gained a lot of traction on TikTok, with multiple users referencing Olivia Wilde's manicure in the film Don't Worry Darling and Taylor Swift's look in her Bejeweled music video—confirming that celebrity influence is still strong in the nail category. Standout TikTok creations underneath the hashtag include a rainbow half-moon manicure created by @polished_yogi, alongside @lightslacquer's look of an iridescent half-moon contrasted with a deep burgundy, which amassed 289 thousand views.

Dry Manicure: The dry manicure simply does not involve water or any form of soak. Drill tools are popular for dry manicures and are used to exfoliate the cuticle rather than cut it as is done in a regular manicure. Those following the trend are also strongly against pushing back the cuticle, which is part of a more traditional manicure to allow for maximum visible polish before regrowth. Instead, the dry manicure softens the cuticle with the drill to keep it healthy. The trend has several viral videos under #drymanicure on TikTok, with over 175 million views many of which discuss its benefits. One of the most proclaimed benefits is the amount of water saved through dry manicures, which results in cheaper water bills for the salon as well as more sustainably conscious businesses and clients. Another alleged benefit of the technique is its sanitation—many have shared that bacteria can build up in warm water getting underneath the cuticles and into the body. However, several salons have debunked this fear, stating that regularly cleaned equipment eradicates the bacteria, making all types of manicures sanitary and safe.

Pop-Art Nails: Since rising to popularity on TikTok at the latter end of 2022, #popartnails has gained an astounding 72.4 million views. A video posted by nail content creator @michellekhxn that instructs followers on how to achieve the cartoon-looking trend has gained over 38.8 million views and an impressive 5.5 million likes. In the video, Khan starts with a bright base color (varying for each nail) followed by a bold black outline around the edges of the nail, and a lighter streak of the selected color on the side that is finished with a white line on the parallel side to create an artificial, pop-art, shadow effect. Once complete, the full set of nails resembles an animated image. Despite the skill and precision of the video, in the comments several users recommended that Khan add a matte top coat for an even more cartoonish result, as shown in @alinahoyonailartist's video, which has over 99 thousand views.

Micronails: A minimalistic trend embraced heavily by "clean girls," micro nails are the polar opposite of the long, coffin-shaped acrylic nails which were very popular in the 2010s. Featuring simple designs and natural shapes, micro nails often don't include extensions or added tips and are decorated in a low-maintenance fashion. Popular styles include clear polish, accompanied by a thin line of neutral color on the tip of the nail. The trend has been praised on TikTok for its level of ease, as well as the minimal time it takes to achieve the look—with several users claiming it takes no more than 10 minutes to perfect. Across the app, #microfrenchnails has over 1.3 billion views, with popular entries coming from trans/female-owned press-on nail brand @scandalbeauty whose video showcasing press-on mini manicures has over 64.7 thousand views. Due to the precision needed to create such a thin line along the top of the nail, several TikTokers have shared hacks to achieve the perfect line, with some recommending painting the back of the finger and pressing it onto the nail. At the same time, big nail brands, such as OPI, also celebrate the trend. These brands share their version of the micro manicure that uses a beauty blender as a guideline in the same way as the finger and finishes the look by pressing the polish onto the nail.


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