6 Biggest Nail Trends From NYFW

by Julia Talisman

From out-of-this-world “orbit nails” to festive confetti fingertips, these are the NYFW nail trends you need to know — and try! — right now.

1. Metallic
Rodarte’s stunning return to New York Fashion Week included one of the most magical beauty look we’ve seen in a while. Morgan Taylor Lead Artist Eichi Matsunaga used various shades of metallic lacquer and crystal embellishments to create a nail look that perfectly complemented the modern art-inspired makeup and romantic, rose-adorned tresses.

Rodarte Spring 2019 (Jennifer Graylock)

Speaking of sparkle, we loved the chic, molten manicures at Greta Constantine’s ‘80s-inspired presentation. Models wore various metallic shades from Emilie Heathe’s forthcoming Liquid Assets collection (launching for holiday 2018). Our favorite? “Mr. M” – a rose gold shade inspired by American architect Peter Marino.

Greta Constantine Spring 2019 (Aliyah Morgan)

2. Brights
Backstage at Jeremy Scott, Miss Pop for essie created an “orbit nail” by tracing vibrant shades of cobalt, coral, turquoise and magenta (colors she chose to match the bold pieces in Scott’s collection) around the perimeter of each nail. We’re calling it: This is the next nail art trend to try.

Jeremy Scott

Models at Veronica Beard wore vibrant, reverse French manicures, courtesy of Betina Goldstein for essie. Goldstein painted each nail red before adding a thin strip of fuchsia along the base of the nail. The chic take on a classic red manicure was the perfect complement to the designer’s sexy, feminine collection.

Veronica Beard

Jelly Nails (perhaps the biggest beauty trend of summer ’18) are here to stay – and we’re not mad about it. For Sandy Liang’s Spring/Summer ’19 presentation, Holly Falcone for ZOYA chose three peppy shades of polish, each with a gelatin-like finish. “The nails added a playful feel, very much echoing Sandy’s eclectic spirit,” said Falcone.

Sandy Liang

3. Over-the-Top
There’s nail art, and then there’s CND nail art. When it comes to handcrafted, meticulously intricate, wildly creative nail art designs, CND most definitely takes the cake. The brand’s talented nail pros began working on looks for Libertine’s Spring/Summer ’19 runway show months in advance, drawing inspiration from petit point embroidery (a key theme throughout Libertine founder and creative director Johnson Hartig’s latest collection). Nails were adorned with antique roses, Victorian pearls, vintage stones, 24k gold embellishments and monogramed signets. NBD.

Libertine Spring 2019 (Jennifer Graylock)

At Chromat, the always inventive Lady Fancy Nails drew inspiration from the collection’s wet t-shirt theme, creating a nail look that reflected the texture of wet fabric on skin. She then embellished nails with Anna Kikue beaded jewelry, to mimic droplets of water.


4. Artsy
Walking around with chipped polish is typically a fingernail faux pas. Leave it to legendary manicurist Jin Soon Choi to turn the look into a playful new beauty trend. Backstage at Tibi, Choi gave models colorful, “fashionably chipped” manicures. She then added glitter accents with Absolute Glitz, a new polish from her namesake collection.


At Christian Siriano, Gina Edwards for KISS Products, Inc. played into the collection’s tropical vibe with an exotic, “twisted zebra” nail art look. Edwards started with a black base and then used white polish to create a multi-dimensional, zebra-like effect. The result was an abstract, modern take on animal print you’ll want to test drive ASAP.

Christian Siriano (Diane Bondareff)

5. Graphic
At KITH’s Spring/Summer ‘19 show, Alicia Torello for essie created four nail looks, each spotlighting a signature design element of the collection. Our favorite? Her homage to Versace’s Greek key border. “It’s a modern and graphic twist on a recognizable hallmark,” said Torello. 


Julie Kandalec for essie dreamt up seemingly endless nail looks for Opening Ceremony’s Spring/Summer ‘19 line. This graphic check design, which she created to match a gingham print piece from the collection, was a true standout.

Opening Ceremony

6. Minimal
Those in favor of a more minimal mani will love the simple look models wore at Carolina Herrera. Alicia Torello applied a single dot of ZOYA’s Snow White polish to the base of each nail before adding a clear top coat. The streamlined look played perfectly against the bright colors and playful prints in the collection.

Fact: Nude nails are always in style. Backstage at Proenza Schouler, manicurists painted models’ nails with Pure Nude, a gorgeous neutral shade from the new Lancôme X Proenza Schouler collection. What makes this pale polish extra-pretty (and super-wearable) is its subtle pink undertone. Tres chic!

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