It’s official—these are already set to be the 10 biggest nail trends of 2023

Nail trends had a pretty big year in 2022, from Hailey Bieber’s glazed-donut nails (opens in new tab) and TikTok’s red-nail theory (opens in new tab) to the modern French manicure (opens in new tab). And we bring good news—the nail obsession isn’t going anywhere in 2023. In fact, if these trends are anything to go by, nails are going to have an even bigger year. And we are here for it.

With limitless creativity at our fingertips (quite literally) and salons now offering a variety of styles to choose from, we’ve never seen so many innovative designs and fresh techniques. In 2023, we’re fully unleashing all imagination on our nails with optical illusion designs, cat eye techniques and Barbiecore galore. 

But, if nail art isn’t your thing, don’t fret! Nail condition is getting the spotlight; focusing on hydration, health and unpolished beauties. Here, the pros discuss all of the trends we’re going to see everywhere next year, plus how to try them yourself. 

The biggest nail trends 2023:

1. Pink glazed nails 

Hailey Bieber’s doughnut-glazed nails were everywhere last year, and we predict 2023 will be no different. Hailey Bieber’s Christmas nails (opens in new tab) at the end of last year were the perfect red festive spin on Bieber’s traditional doughnut nails. And we simply could not wait to see what Bieber and her nail artist Zola Ganzorigt, would come up with next. And Ganzorigt had us all waiting until February to find out what will no doubt become one of the biggest nail trends this year.

We weren’t let down. Hailey’s latest look incorporates her classic glazed, moonlight finish but with a new twist—the pink gazed nail. 

“This super on-trend blush pink hue is everywhere right now, across catwalks, beauty products and now nails,” Juanita Huber-Millet, Founder of Townhouse (opens in new tab) nail salons tells us. 

Hot pink and sparkly, it’s looking very barbiecore to us (see trend two below). 

Get the look:

Leighton Denny Get Glazed

Use this alone for the traditional glazed doughnut look. For a pink glazed look, first use your favourite pink polish and use get glazed as a top coat for your own unique shade.

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Nailberry Pink Guava Oxygenated Nail Lacquer

This bubblegum pink will make for the ultimate pink glazed nail look.

2. Barbiecore 

Of course, the release of Barbie (opens in new tab) in July is going to extend beyond hair trends and onto our talons. “Think lots of pink (all shades from hot, Barbie pink to fluorescent pink) on long, oval-shaped nails,” says Metta Francis (opens in new tab), nail technician and founder of Nails by Mets. “Alongside pink, there will be a nostalgic nod back to the ‘90s and a retro vibe, inspired by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling’s neon pink and green spandex and double denim — think of it as Barbiecore and dopamine dressing combined,” she adds. 

Get the look: 

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Nails Inc Percy Pig Nail Polish

3. Micro-French nails

Micro French nails has already increased over 200% in search this year. Otherwise known as the skinny French, the French manicure stands the test of time, and this year we are going to be seeing a lot more of the micro French, which looks chic in every shade of polish.

“French tip nails are a classic that has had a makeover, securing its status as a staple of the nail design inspiration pages. Gone are the days where a French meant a simple white tip, now the term is being used to describe much more ‘out there’ tips, minimal tips and everything in between,” says Charlotte Knight, nail tech and founder of Ciaté London (opens in new tab). 

Considering giving this one a try at home? Knight shares her top tips:

“Use tape to section off your tip and paint on your desired colour” or practice with a small nail brush. “Alternatively, you can opt for a nail sticker to get you this look, simply seal with a clear coat after applying in your desired area to ensure it lasts.”

Get the look:

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Nails. Inc French Mani Hack Nail Polish Duo

4. Your nails but better 

If going over the top with your nails isn’t your thing, then fear not, there’s something for you too. “On the flip slide to Barbiecore, the ultra-hydrated and natural manicured look is going to continue well into 2023,” says Francis. “It’s about maintaining healthy nails and nursing your nails back to good health.” And this can be done with a variety of treatments both in the salon and at home. Nail treatments like IBX or CND Rescue RXx have never been so popular.

“Use lots of nail and hand serums and oils and plenty of rich creams, which feels super luxurious. It’s something I’ve been doing for many years, but I’m seeing requests for this type of service growing in popularity,” says Francis. With ‘cuticle oil benefits’ being a hugely searched term on Google over the past three months, we’re predicting this to be the case.

Get the look:

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Mii Nourish + Nurture Nail and Cuticle Oil

5. Prescriptive manicures 

Stay with us, we promise this one is a lot more interesting than going to your local pharmacist. Taking the concept of ‘your nails but better’ one step further is prescriptive manicures. Essentially, incorporating all of the bespoke nature of the above trend, using strengthening and moisturising treatments suitable for your nail type, but with the addition of a custom-made colour shade “to complement your skin tone,” which Francis explains is going to be even bigger in 2023. “More ‘prescriptive’ professional nail services will be in demand,” says Francis. “Less ‘in and out the door as soon as possible’ and more individual care and service, which takes much longer.”  

6. Opalescent polish 

“Off the back of the crazed glazed donut trend, opalescent polishes will be following us into 2023 until all our shimmery hearts are content,” says Zahra Beedassy, creative nail expert and founder of Plaster salon. (opens in new tab)

The difference between these trends is subtle but beautiful. Just like the precious stone, you’ll find that an opalescence is a more milky white base with a spectrum of colours shimmering depending on how the light hits it. Opal powder can also be added to a bunch of different base shades to get a unique finished design. 

Get the look:

7. Clean-girl nails

Yep, the clean girl nail trend isn’t going anywhere! This year, it is about taking minimalism and the skinification of nails but incorporating a little bit of nail art, too. 

“The world of skincare is taking over and people are taking care of themselves now more than ever. I think that the clean-girl aesthetic is here to stay; with minimal, short, well groomed nails being at the forefront,” says celebrity nail artist, Iram Shelton (opens in new tab). “The perfect nail shade to achieve this look is my favourite shade that you’ll probably have heard me talk about over and over again, OPI Bubble Bath. I find this shade compliments all skin tones and can be paired with nail art if that’s your style,” she adds. 

Often with this trend, nail art is in the style of very tiny embellishments, a reverse French manicure or teeny gold flakes. You can tone it up or down depending on how you’re feeling. 

Get the look:

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OPI Bubble Bath Nail Polish

8. Optical illusion nails 

Although this trend has been bubbling for a while, it’s going to explode in 2023 with more salons offering the intricate design. It essentially combines ombré and French manicure together to form a simple but effective finish that makes you second guess where one colour starts and ends. We especially love when the optical illusion trend has been jazzed up even further, including this matte finish, giving the design an ultra-luxe feeling. 

9. Layered textures

“Whether you’re using gold foils, gems, decals or raised patterns created with builder gels, textured nails offer us a bit of subtle drama for 2023,” says Beedassy. Think of it as maximalism for the minimalists. This design can be done at home (just hit up your local craft store for some supplies) or at the salon, depending on what nail art they offer. 

You can ask your nail tech what gems, foils or chrome powders they have, plus whether they can offer products like blooming gel to add some dimension. The possibilities are truly endless. 

Get the look:

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Manucurist Biodegradable Glitter

10. Embellished cat eye nails

True nail enthusiasts know that TikTok’s velvet nails are actually using the cat eye nail technique—where a magnet is used to manipulate the polish and create multidimensional effects. And it’s been around forever. Unlike velvet nails, which is just one effect you can create using this magnetic polish, the possibilities of cat eye nails are endless.

This trend will be stepped up a notch in 2023, using the cat eye effect as the base for added nail art over the top. Expect to see starry nights, galaxy 2.0 designs and even optimal illusion—combining two 2023 designs together to create something truly spectacular. 

Get the look:

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Mylee Cat Eye Nail Polish

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