Top Manicurists Talk Us Through 2019's Coolest Nail Trends

2018 has been a pretty great year for manicure trends. Jelly nails, pressed flower nails and tie-dye nails reigned supreme in salons and, of course, on Instagram, prompting us to ditch the failsafe nudes (sorry, Ballet Slippers) for something a little more offbeat – and next year promises to be just as cool. Ahead, top London manicurists Ama Quashie, Ami Streets and Lauren Michelle Pires predict what's going to be huge for 2019.
Textured nails with a fine art approach
"I think in 2019 we’re going to see a lean away from the played out nude, natural nail, and a comeback of playful colours and textures, but these textures will have a more fine art approach," Lauren tells R29. "Beads and embellishment aren't going anywhere, but I think we'll see a lot of textured colours, for example, different tones blended together, with physical, textured surfaces. I have a feeling 2019's nails will be so much more playful."
Tortoiseshell nails
"As a big fan of brown shades on nails and tortoiseshell print, I'm really excited about experimenting with this trend," Ama, who recently opened her first salon in Brixton, tells R29. "It almost works as a softer animal print look and it can be adapted to suit all skin tones. It's also super chic and I think it works all year round."
Toxic-free manicures
"Consumers are becoming a lot more aware of what they’re putting in and on their bodies and making more informed decisions when it comes to nails is only a positive thing," says Ama. "In the same way people are having an increasing amount of choice in the food they eat, materials they wear and general consumption, I believe we should have a choice with nails too and I wanted to bring another to the table," which is why Ama offers a free-from menu in her salon.
"With a lot of research and development in place, I feel the payoff on free-from brands is finally on par with household nail brands in how long they last, their finish and their colour range. I feature Kure Bazaar (regular polish) and NCLA (gel) on the menu."
Sheer, see-through nails
"Jelly nails have influenced pretty washes of see-through colour on nails, which I think will continue into 2019," Ami told us. "For a fresh take on the jelly nail trend, go for neutrals or pastel hues with a '90s twist – pale grey, lavender and even iridescent, shimmery colours in pinks and warm neutrals. Pantone picked Sweet Lilac (pink-infused lavender), Soybean (beige) and Living Coral (soft warm orange) as a few of its essential shades for the new season, and we'll see more of these hues in salon for sure."
Font nails
"We're going to see the classic negative space manicure diversify from the typical French tips and half moons to more dynamic, graphic shapes in 2019, such as diagonal lines, slogans or font-style drawing," says Ami. While fonts, logos and slogans look great on all colours, Ami suggests ditching bold hues for something a little more understated to make it fresh. "Take your favourite sheer base and decorate it using bright pastel colours for an updated take on this trend."
Sheer meets metallic
"Metallic gold or silver accents over sheer colour, such as encapsulated items using gold leaf, foils or metal shapes, for example, round studs, adds subtle but chic interest to an otherwise very subtle nail," says Ami, who predicts that 'naked' nail colours will be bigger than ever.
Tie-dye nails
The tie-dye nails manicure trend probably makes you think of fluorescent '90s attire, long thrown out or banished to the back of your wardrobe. But on nails? It's unashamedly groovy, and South Korean nail artist Park Eunkyung, aka @nail_unistella, is one Instagram manicurist spearheading the look. The technique is clever: carefully painting nail polish onto the nail in individual swirls then pulling a striping brush through the centre before the polish dries to create the spiral effect.

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