“Nail Tints” Are The Answer To Healthy, Glossy Nails — & Manicurists Are Sold

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Photo: Via @byeleanorohara.
While I love the thrill of spotting a burgeoning micro trend, when it comes to nails there’s no denying that they come and go fast. One minute everyone’s stepping out in cherry-red manicures for spring, and the next double French tips are the coolest nail art look. However, unlike the more opulent colors and textures that were proving popular in winter, spring and summer 2024 is gearing up to focus on nail health.
If TikTok is anything to go by, nail enthusiasts have been switching out their classic gel manicures for more pared-back gel overlays, while others have been opting for a more natural look entirely. Enter: Nail tints. 
Effectively bottling the minimalist nail aesthetic, nail tints are designed to help you achieve chic, glossy nails in the comfort of your own home. While they only provide a subtle hint of color (think of them as the nail equivalent of a lightweight skin tint) just a couple of coats will make nails look glowy, fresh and healthy.

What are nail tints?

As the name suggests, nail tints aren’t something to opt for if you’re looking for a full-coverage, colorblock manicure. Instead, they offer a “no-manicure manicure” look, imparting a translucent wash of berry-esque color. “Nail tints are sheer, tinted polishes designed to enhance your natural nail color,” explains session manicurist Ami Streets, who compares them to a lip oil or a tinted moisturizer — for your nails. “They give a super glossy finish and the illusion of ‘perfected’ nails in one easy step, so it’s a really quick way to make nails appear ‘groomed’ with minimal product,” Streets explains. Thanks to their lightweight coverage, nail tints are incredibly versatile to wear; you can layer up as you see fit.

What are the benefits of nail tints?

Not only do nail tints lend an effortless, minimalist manicure, but using them can be beneficial to the health of your nails, too. “Many options contain a cocktail of ingredients to nourish and strengthen nails, like Manucurist’s Active Glow, which contains sweet almond oil to soothe and AHAs [alpha hydroxy acids, essentially chemical exfoliators] to restore and rejuvenate nails,” explains Streets.
Nail tints are designed to be applied directly to bare nails, so there is no need for a basecoat. They also make a great option for anyone who wants to ditch gel, acrylic or BIAB manicures and embrace and improve their natural nails. It takes just one or two coats applied to naked nails. Like traditional nail polish, a nail tint can be removed easily with cotton pads and a standard nail polish remover.

What are the best nail tints?

Nail tints are emerging as a category to watch, but there is one in particular product that most manicurists swear by: Dior Nail Glow. Streets herself raves about it thanks to its effortless ability to impart a pretty veil of pink color. Likewise, top nail artists such as Harriet Westmoreland and Julia Diogo are also fans of the cult nail tint, which complements all skin tones and nail shapes.
Dior Nail Glow was the original formula that prompted an array of ‘dupes’ on the market and, as a regular user of the product, I can see why,” says Streets. “The pink tint is the perfect sheer color to make nails appear naturally healthy looking, and the super high-shine finish looks as glossy as gel polish.”
For a more budget-friendly option, Streets recommends the Nails. Inc Glowing My Way Nail Perfector. “It’s a similar pretty, pink, sheer shade and it gives nails a beautiful shine,” says Streets. She recommends layering a couple of coats if you want a more intense color, or just one if you want to make your nails look “done” in a rush.
If you like to switch up your nails often, then Manucurist’s new extended Active Range offers a wardrobe of nail tints with different finishes and treatments depending on your nail needs. I love the Manucurist Active Glow Blueberry, for a subtle pink-jelly manicure, and the Manucurist Active Smooth, which helps to minimize ridges and texture while creating an almost pared-back, milky manicure effect. 
Finally, if your nails are particularly brittle, prone to breakage, or are in need of some TLC after a stint of gel manicures, then Essie Hard to Resist Nail Strengthener, contains nail bonding technology to improve nail strength and prevent breakage and peeling, alongside a subtle pink tint for a dewy shine.

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