The Biggest Nail Trends Of 2018 So Far

Photographed by Tegan Davis.
Nail trends by the seasons are pretty predictable: soft watercolours for spring (groundbreaking), candy-hued brights for summer, and moodier reds, blues, and greys for fall and winter. But then there's this kind of unique period - from 1st December until New Year's Day — where chic and sophisticated goes out the window in favour of red-and-green glitter and candy-cane stripes.
But you don't have to fall victim to the tacky Christmas manicure; we're seeing a nail trend that'll work for all your upcoming parties and well into 2018. It's fun, it's festive, but it can also go subtle and low-key. It's time to get reacquainted with shimmer.
Advertisement
Nail pro Jessica Washick says she loves shimmer (note: not glitter) on nails right now because it gives a frosted and diffused shine. “Shimmers are so fun for the Christmas season and beyond," she explains. "They’re not hard to remove the way glitter can be, and they help create an elevated look." And celebrity nail artist Whitney Gibson agrees that both chromes and iridescent colours are going to be big this season."I think having a futurist, unpredictable finish on your nails can be the wild card element in your look — dressy but also chill," she says.
Ahead, our favourite ways to wear the finish.
2 of 24

A post shared by Paintbox (@paintboxnails) on

@paintboxnails
This is silver's sweet spot: shiny chrome that's also inexplicably a bit matte and gritty.
Advertisement
3 of 24
@aliciatnails
Mirrored nails are edgy, on-trend, and chic.
4 of 24
@delicacy_nails
Honestly, silver shimmer polish was made for Kirakira.
5 of 24
Amethyst nails to amplify your mystical magical vibes.
6 of 24

A post shared by JINsoon (@jinsoon) on

@jinsoon
More of a golden girl? Do your thing.
7 of 24
This shape-shifting chrome manicure (which transforms from pink to gold to green in the light) is next level.
Advertisement
8 of 24

A post shared by Nails inc (@nailsinc) on

@nailsinc
A shimmery chrome finish makes light pink feel a little less cutesy.
9 of 24
@whitneygnails
The shimmer is barely detectable here... until the polish hits the light.
10 of 24

A post shared by Tom Bachik Nails (@tombachik) on

@tombachik
Nothing says femme fatale quite like talons dripping in the most high-shine black lacquer. Just don't forget the vampy lip.
11 of 24

A post shared by JINsoon (@jinsoon) on

@jinsoon
Work some negative space into a dark, shimmery navy.
12 of 24
@aliciatnails
We're getting lost in this marbled mani.
Advertisement
13 of 24
@zoyanailpolish
For a more subtle take on the trend, you can revamp the average nude by popping on a shimmer finish. Washick recommends a coat of Deborah Lippmann's WOW on top of your go-to neutral polish to get that frosted finish.
14 of 24
@cassmariebeauty
And it doesn't need to be a full sparkle finish — a tiny shimmer detail adds dimension to an otherwise basic nail look.
15 of 24

A post shared by Olive & June (@oliveandjune) on

@oliveandjune
We may be over the unicorn product trend, but we'll be into the magical holographic effect for a long time to come.
16 of 24

A post shared by Olive & June (@oliveandjune) on

The reverse french manicure is cool in any colour, but when you add a half-moon of shimmery silver close to the cuticles and a lavender accent on the tips — instant upgrade.
17 of 24
And you can vary your shimmer placement like so, doing one chrome nail, one shimmer, and the rest with minimalist accents.
Advertisement
18 of 24
@whitneygnails
A holographic overlay makes a pale pink shade way more eye-catching.
19 of 24

NY manicures ftw #paintboxmani #nationalnailartday

A post shared by Jen O'Brien (@thejenobrien) on

A subtler take for those who don't want to go full-blown chrome.
20 of 24

A post shared by Windy (@simplywindy) on

Believe it or not, this metallic, windowpane-inspired mani is actually a set of press-ons from the Christian Siriano x imPRESS collection. We've tested them ourselves and these babies stay pretty durable throughout the whole week.
21 of 24
Even this funky twist on the chrome trend looks great.
22 of 24

A post shared by WAH Nails London (@wahnails) on

Get the Barbie effect without the mess of the dream-house glitter.
23 of 24
Add texture to the trend by asking for a mani that utilises a swirl of metallic polish. The result? A foil effect that demands a second look.
24 of 24

A post shared by Nails inc (@nailsinc) on

Add a chrome top coat to any polish and it'll take your pretty manicure to new heights.
Advertisement

More from Nails

Watch

R29 Original Series