Goodbye, glitter: Spring nails trend toward pale colors, miniature flowers and ombre

Beautiful woman’s nails with beautiful french manicure ombre peach and white
Beautiful woman’s nails with beautiful french manicure ombre peach and white Getty Images/iStockphoto

With the gloves finally coming off after a brutally cold winter, it’s time to think a bit more about what your nails look like. And luckily for those who don’t like flashy fingers, spring trends are skewing toward a more natural look.

This spring, it’s all about finding subtle ways of adding a little flair. Instead of bright colors or excessive glitter, the season’s trends reflect more of a return to nude colors, tiny embellishments and a more manageable shape.

“Right now, we are noticing a lot of people ditching the traditional French (tip) for the pink and white ombre,” says Chau Tran, from Mani Pedi Me in Overland Park. “It’s much more of a subtle, natural look.”

The ombre trend has been around in hairstyles for a while. Picture a dark color that fades into a lighter shade, or vice versa. Now that look is finally moving toward nails.

Usually, the same color fades from dark to light on all 10 nails.

But customers are also requesting different hues on each finger or toe.

“We’ve had a lot of clients asking for multicolored nails but of the same family or the same shade,” says Mary Nguyen, who co-owns Blush Nail Lounge in Brookside with her sister, Jenny.

“An ombre of nude on their hands turns out really nice,” Jenny Nguyen says. “You go from the darker nude on the pinky to the lightest nude on the thumb, and maybe even add a little jewel on there or a simple design.”

Subtle design elements are also trending. They don’t have to be flashy; they don’t have to dazzle, but adding a small embellishment, either on an accent finger or on each finger if it’s small, is gaining popularity.

“With spring coming up, people will ask for nail art but still keep it pretty simple,” Mary Nguyen says.

Tran says she’s seen “a lot of minimalistic designs like a single line, dot, or gem at the base of every nail.”

“I would say late fall and early winter was when the minimal nail art started,” she says. “Now that spring is coming, people want the natural lighter colors but combined with fall/winter nail art.”

Miniscule flowers, simple stripes or tiny dots are easy ways to add a subtle burst to a low-key manicure.

“We love when clients come in and ask for nail art,” Mary Nguyen says. “We kind of get to play with our imagination and do something fun for them.”

And while pointy, claw-like nails saw their time in the spotlight, this season will see more coffin- and almond-shaped nails.

Tran notes that most salons charge extra for ombre and nail art.

“So if it came down to the costs and you had to pick one color I would say a dusty rose would be your best choice,” Tran says. “Subconsciously, we pick lighter colors during the spring because it’s like a new beginning.”