As Plato once wisely stated, trends come and go, but nails are forever. (Hey, can you be positive that he didn’t?! Exactly.) And now that 2017 is, thankfully, dead and done, we can now look forward to the newness of 2018. Which, as any good beauty-obsessed human knows, means a load of new trends. So to help you hit the ground running with your nail lewks, we present to you the seven nail trends you’ll be seeing a lot of…and then a lot more.
Unlike the shiny (and chipped) black nails of your My Chemical Romance days, 2018's take on black nails is definitively more subtle, and somehow more edgy, thanks to a layer of mattifying top coat. Just paint it on in lieu of your usual top coat, and watch your polish dull itself down.
OUR FAVORITE: Opi Matte Top Coat, $10.50
We saw a hibernation of shiny red polish over the last few years, but what is once old is always made new again, and this year, we're seeing a revival of classic, '90s-level red nails with true-red polish and ultra-shiny top coats.
OUR FAVORITE: Flora 1761 Nail Lacquer in Flanders Poppy, $16
What do you get when you mix a perfectionist with a nail-chipper? Blocked-off nails, i.e. clean, perfectly angled blocks of polish that cover only a third of the nail bed. Just apply a base coat, let it dry, stick a piece of tape over the bottom two-thirds of each nail, and then paint with your favorite color (we're really digging metallics for this trend). Peel the tape off, apply a top coat, and boom—done.
OUR FAVORITE: Côte Nail Polish in No. 95, $18
Yes, the accent nail has become so accented for 2018, that it's officially the only polish in a nonexistent manicure, almost like a midi-ring on a bare hand. To get the look, freehand a straight line across your accent nail (or use two pieces of tape to guide you) with a skinny-brushed polish, then paint all of your nails—yes, even the blank ones—with top coat.
OUR FAVORITE: China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Reggae to Riches, $7
Alright, so maybe bright green isn't in your future for this year's trends, but outlines most definitely are. Just paint on two coats of your favorite polish, let them fully dry, then, using a nail-art pen in a dark shade, outline the entirety of your nails (you may have to do two coats) for the framed effect. Let dry, then seal it all together with a top coat.
OUR FAVORITE: Emori Nail Art Pen, $8
We're not talking about the nudes of yesteryear, which were, in reality, a few shades lighter or darker than your natural nail color, giving them a nude-ish feel. No, the nudes of 2018 are so perfectly color-matched, they look like a smudge of nothingness—almost like a tinted moisturizer for your nailbeds.
OUR FAVORITE: Essie Nail Polish, $9 [editor's note: Essie has a huge range of nudes for virtually every skin tone]
Not quite the outlined tips of 2017, dipped tips look just as the name implies: Like you dipped the very edges of your nails in polish. To make it a little less messy, though, just freehand paint your nails by wiggling just the edges of the nail polish brush over the tips of your nails, after applying a base coat. Since this style pretty much disappears at the first chip, apply a gel-based top coat to help polish last longer.
OUR FAVORITE: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat, $7
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