Once neglected in favour of other beauty statements, nail trends have dominated social media pages and the red carpet in recent years with everything from metallic tips to 3D designs.
If you thought that selecting the perfect nail colour from the rainbow wall in the nail salon was hard, the myriad of treatments and design options on offer make choosing the perfect nail look an overwhelming task. However, in recent months dramatic acrylics and lively nail art have taken a backseat in favour of minimalistic and natural looks.
Natural doesn’t have to mean boring, with celeb favoured nail artists offering some minimal nailspo and a number of fun twists on the classics. Here we take a look at the reasons behind this natural shift and some of the hottest natural nail trends to try now.
Lengthy acrylic nails have spent a long time in the limelight. Part of their allure comes from their popularity amongst celebrities, frequently seen on the likes of Cardi B and Kylie Jenner.
Acrylics are by far the most popular artificial nail. They are a combination of liquid and powder that dries to create a hard, protective layer on top of your natural nail. A nail tip is applied to extend the nail length and then painted with nail polish to cover the artificial tip and nail bed. Despite their strength and durability, acrylic nails are difficult to remove without causing damage to natural nails, often a big turn-off for many considering having them done. This means you either have to keep up with refills every 2-3 weeks or go through the 4-6 month grow out period of your damaged natural nails.
Another popular option are gel nails. Gel nails are a way of “curing” nail polish with UV light to extend the life of your manicure. Two to three layers of gel nail polish are applied with each layer being set under the UV lamp guaranteeing up to 2 weeks of chip-free nail polish. The perfect choice for those on the go, however removing the gel at home can be tricky and again can sometimes lead to dry and damaged natural nails.
Despite the popularity of these artificial nail trends, they come with their limitations. Despite the damage to natural nails, these options are also restrictive. Both gel nail polish and acrylic nails leave you stuck with your chosen colour or design for a couple of weeks, often these options are not suitable for all occasions, specifically work and professional environments.
Enter the natural nail. Forced into our lives throughout lockdown whilst nail salons sat eerily empty, natural nails have become a big hit. With the freedom to adapt your nail look as frequently as necessary and a number of great products to keep nails strong, long and healthy, there has never been a better time to embrace our natural talons.
Now we may have begun to embrace our natural nails, but if your nails are damaged and distressed you may find yourself reaching for the press-on’s quicker than you can say mani-pedi.
Don’t fear, there are lots of ways to boost your nail health. The long, strong nails of your dreams may not be as difficult to achieve as you think.
Start by using a cuticle oil daily, a simple yet very effective step. According to Ama Quashie, session manicurist and founder of Ama salon, the secret to growing your best nails is: hydration, hydration, hydration.
Secondly, nourish from within. Healthy diets and supplements are thrown at us daily and it can be difficult to figure out the facts from the myths. However, knowing what is needed in order to achieve healthier nails is essential. If a bumpy, ridged nail bed is completely ruining your mani, you might need to increase your vitamin B9 intake.
Otherwise known as folic acid, this vitamin repairs and multiplies the cells that make up nails, which speeds up growth and promotes overall nail health. It is also said to strengthen nails and prevent breakage.
This can be taken in the form of supplements, or foods that are rich in folic acid such as whole grains and beans.
Finally, consider using a nail treatment designed to strengthen nails and promote growth. With regular use, treatments can help to prevent peeling and dryness for longer, stronger, healthy looking nails.
When thinking about natural nails, it’s easy to resort to a classic french tip or nude polish. Although there is nothing wrong with timeless trends like these, there are plenty of ways to spice up your manicure.
Fuelled by Instagram sensations such as Bella Hadid’s favourite nail artist Mei Kawajiri, otherwise known as Nails by Mei and social-media sensation Park Eunkyung of Unistella.
Take a cue from nail artist, Rebecca Jade Wilson who has been a big advocate for a natural mani.
“My big manicure trend for this year is neutral with black accents. People are also investing more time in their nail health, which will inevitably lead to a rise in more natural manicures.”
Keeping nails simple with a subtle nod to nail art gives a chic touch to neutral nails whilst remaining versatile.
If short neat nails are your thing, try experimenting with colour. Rainbow nails, complementary pastels and mismatched nail colours are all over Instagram and gives you the freedom to experiment with shades that are bang on trend.
For instant dreamy, minimal manicure inspo check out Betina Goldstein’s insta feed. For a chic twist on the classic french manicure, try Betina’s reverse manicure. Leaving tips bare and instead giving cuticles a clean crescent of colour, a natural but super trendy take on the humble white-tipped mani.
If you’re hoping to embrace natural nails rather than heading to the salon for a full set, there are lots of products out there that will help you make the most of your natural nails and keep them looking strong and healthy.
This ultra-hydrating cuticle oil should definitely earn a spot in your beauty routine. Effortlessly nourishing cuticles for healthier and stronger nails. Available in four blends, the oil is also free from mineral oil as well as certified vegan and cruelty-free too.
If you’re looking for a nail supplement that actually does what it says on the tin, then look no further. These supplements are made with highly potent biotin to boost nail thickness and prevent splitting and breakage, offering an easy way to nourish nails from within.
This all-in-one moisturizing treatment uses revolutionary Micro Smart Active Technology delivers a controlled release of ingredients to lock in moisture and help repair nails over time. Promoting healthier nails whilst giving a subtle hint of colour.
Nail polishes that are free from potentially toxic chemicals can also help to promote healthier nails. This oxygen permeable formula will support healthy nails and is also free from parabens, gluten and alcohol. Available in a range of beautiful shades, there is no need to forfeit healthy nails for a pretty manicure.