Beyond Red & Pink: Explore Bold & Beautiful Nail Color Trends

Nail Color: Expressing Beauty and Individuality Through Your Fingertips

Nail polish has long been a staple in beauty and fashion. But over the last few years, nail art and bold colors have exploded in popularity. According to market research, the global nail polish market is projected to reach $15.55 billion by 2025, driven by increased demand for gel polish and nail art services ( Nail color has become a new form of self-expression and identity. No longer just an accent, nails now make a bold fashion statement.

From chic chromes to neon brights, let’s explore some of the hottest nail color trends making a splash right now.

Nail Art Goes Mainstream

Nail art has become increasingly popular over the last decade. But painting and decorating nails is hardly a new trend. Archeologists have found evidence of Egyptians dyeing their nails with henna as far back as 3000 B.C. And during China’s Ming Dynasty in the 14th century, royal fingernails were painted red and adorned with gold and gems. However, for most of history, ornate nails were reserved for royalty and elites.

In the 1920s and 30s, mainstream nail polish emerged, allowing average people to paint their nails at home for the first time. The half-moon manicure became a popular style, starting a basic nail art trend. But elaborate nail art didn’t truly go mainstream until the late 20th century. Hip hop stars like Missy Elliott sported airbrushed and sculpted acrylic nails in music videos in the 1990s. Nail art exploded in popularity in the 2000s and 2010s thanks to social media. Instagram offered a place for nail artists to share their creations and for fans to discover new designs. Now, everything from perfect ombré fades to 3D sculpted nails grace magazine covers and red carpets.

Today nail art has entered the cultural zeitgeist like never before. Even major fashion houses like Chanel and luxury brands like Rolls Royce have collaborated with nail artists. Celebrities like Cardi B, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish showcase stylized nails on stage and social media. While extravagant designs still reign at fashion weeks and music videos, simpler trends like color blocking and minimalist patterns have also gone mainstream. The days of nail art being an underground subculture are clearly long gone.

Playful Pastels

array of vibrant nail polish colors including neons and chromes

Pastel nail polish shades are trending for spring and summer. Soft, subtle pastels like lilac, mint, and peach provide a delicate pop of color. According to 20 top springtime pastel nail polish trends ideas in 2024, light pastels complement spring fashion and remind us of flowers blooming. Pastels also work well year-round for various skin tones.

Popular pastel nail trends include ombre fading, colorblocking with white tips, and layering glitters or topcoats for a chrome effect. Pastel chrome nails reflect light beautifully. Overall, pastels provide a soft, feminine look perfect for special occasions or everyday wear.

Retro Reds

Red nail polish is a timeless classic that never seems to go out of style. This fall, retro reds are back in a big way. From bright cherry reds to deeper oxblood hues, red nails are a must for the autumn season.

According to Marissa, “red nail polish trends for fall 2021” are leaning towards natural shades in creme and jelly finishes (source). These shades are modern twists on retro reds, providing a subtle wash of color that is both sophisticated and edgy.

For a fun retro red look, Marissa recommends trying Kissu Miss You nail polish, which has a bright cherry red creme finish. Pair it with “DIY fall nail art ideas for beginners” like polka dots orcheckerboard patterns for a mod 60’s vibe (source).

Other gorgeous retro red shades for fall include OPI’s Red Lights Ahead, a pillar-box red creme(source), and Essie’s Jelly Apple, a sheer cherry red jelly ideal for the perfect wash of natural color (source).

So whether you’re looking for a rich, dramatic red or a soft, natural wash of color, retro reds have you covered this autumn.

Royal Blues

Blue nail polish is having a major moment right now. From navy to cobalt, royal blue shades are dominating the runways and social media. According to How to Rock Blue Nail Polish Like a Pro | Blog, “It’s essential to keep abreast of the latest blue nail polish trends. As new shades and finishes emerge, it becomes crucial to identify which hues complement your skin tone.” Blue nail polish pairs perfectly with the fall 2022 Pantone colors of Viva Magenta and Veri Peri. Darker midnight blues and shimmering metallics are ideal for creating a sophisticated manicure.

When wearing royal blue nails, it’s important to find the right undertone for your skin. According to Pinterest, cooler-toned blues like periwinkle and pastel baby blue work best for those with pink undertones. Meanwhile, those with warm undertones can pull off richer, brighter cobalt blues. No matter your skin tone, royal blue nails make a bold fashion statement.

Emerald Greens

Emerald green nail polish is having a major moment. This rich, jewel-toned hue adds an unexpected pop of color to any manicure. Emerald green has a sophisticated, almost vintage vibe that pairs perfectly with retro outfits and styles. According to Pinterest, shades like Essie’s “Wrap Party” capture the inky mystique of emerald greens.

Deep green polish provides a moody yet glamorous look. Emerald greens feel ornate and luxe, evoking their gemstone namesake. These dark green lacquers remind us of evergreen forests, adding natural vibes to any mani. Pair emerald nails with gold accents for a regal aesthetic. Or layer glitter on top for an eye-catching shimmer.

Beyond high-fashion editorials, emerald green polish also offers wearable shades for everyday. Lighter minty greens keep the look fresh and modern. Seafoam greens lend a soothing spa-like feel. Pair pale greens with nude tones for an organic earthy manicure. Emerald greens work year-round but feel especially suited for fall and winter when deeper hues come into play.

Gold Rush

Gold and metallic nail polishes have become a major trend, adding a touch of luxe glam to any look. Rose gold in particular has exploded in popularity, with its warm, feminine vibe. According to Pinterest, searches for “rose gold nails” increased by 130% in 2018 (source). The soft, romantic pinkish hue flatters all skin tones.

Beyond rose gold, we’re seeing an array of gilded tones like champagne, bronze, copper, and 24k gold. These metallic polishes add megawatt shine and make nails look instantly more expensive. For maximum impact, layer a rich gold over a dark color like black or navy. Or go for an ombre fade from metallic to neutral (source).

Gold nail polish gives off glitz, glamour and wealth. It’s bold and eye-catching but still chic enough for everyday wear. This trend shows no signs of fading, so don’t be afraid to gild those nails and join the gold rush!

Rainbow Brights

A fun and playful nail polish trend to try this summer is vibrant rainbow colors. Think bold and bright shades in neon, pastel, and jewel tones like hot pink, electric blue, lime green, and purple. According to xo.ideas, bright nail polish is especially trending for summer looks.

Neon nail polish provides a fun pop of color to spice up your manicure. Try painting each nail a different bright shade for a eye-catching rainbow mani. Or do color-blocking with multiple neon colors on one nail. An ombre neon look starting dark at the cuticle and graduating lighter towards the free edge is another trendy option.

For inspiration, look to the runways – designers like Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung featured models rocking bright neon nail colors during Spring/Summer 2023 fashion weeks. Vibrant rainbow manicures pair nicely with summer outfits and make a statement for pool parties, music festivals, and vacations.

Chic Chromes

Chrome and mirrored nail polish colors are having a major moment in 2023. The futuristic, reflective finish of these polishes adds instant edge and luxury to any manicure (chrome nail polish trends – Lemon8). Chrome nails first emerged as a trend in late 2022 and have continued to grow in popularity for their versatility and high-fashion look.

There are many different ways to get the chrome effect. Traditional chrome polishes contain tiny flecks of metal or pearl pigments to create that signature shimmer. However, some of the most popular chrome styles use a two-step process, with a neutral or pale base color topped with a special topcoat containing reflective pigments. This allows the chrome finish to reflect the base color underneath for a more dynamic, customizable manicure.

Chrome nails are predicted to be one of the biggest nail trends of 2023. The looks gaining traction include rose gold chrome, blue chrome, chrome French tips, and chrome nails with glitter or crystals for extra dimension (chrome nail polish trends for 2023). The versatility of chrome makes it the perfect polish to take your nails from day to night.


This article has explored exciting new nail polish colors and trends that go beyond classic reds and pinks. From playful pastels to bold blues, jewel-toned greens, shimmering golds, bright rainbow hues, and futuristic chromes, there are so many fresh and fun options to upgrade your manicure.

While some nail art trends come and go quickly, exploring new colors is a great way to express your personal style and stay current. The beauty of nail polish is it allows for creative experimentation and self-expression. Don’t be afraid to try bolder shades or unexpected color combinations. A vibrant manicure can be a confidence booster and conversation starter.

As you choose your next nail color, think outside the box. Look for inspiration in the latest runway shows, Instagram influencers, or even artwork and nature. Put your own spin on trends by mixing and matching shades. Most importantly, have fun with your manicure! Nail art should be a source of joy and self-care. Don’t be afraid to swipe on a shade you’ve never tried before.

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