With each new calendar year comes a whole new set of beauty trends. But when it comes to nails, the biggest trends of 2023 are frankly not trends at all. In fact, we see a return to the classics. Sure, they’re somewhat lofty and endlessly chic classics, but the sentiment remains true. “I see a shift to a more minimalist version of trends,” says Tweezerman celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik (opens in new tab), who works with stars like Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez. “It’s getting easier and cleaner.” Shorter nails are taking the place of extra-long acrylic nails, fun finishes like chrome and velvet are pushing bright, bold designs to the sidelines, and French manicures, which got a funky spin as one of the 2022 nail trends, are getting even more dainty and elegant.
Don’t get me wrong: there are absolutely no rules when it comes to choosing your perfect manicure. But if you want a peek at what will be appearing on red carpets, Instagram, and magazine covers in the coming months, keep scrolling. I’ve enlisted the top nail professionals in the industry to create a guide to the biggest nail trends in 2023. So pin this page, take a screenshot of your favorites, and scroll on to get ready for your next manicure.
Extra-long acrylic nails have a time and place (we’ll forever be obsessed with Cardi B’s duck nails). That said, this year the trend is going the other way. “Last year it was all about super long nails and crazy, abstract nail art, this year we’re taking a more classic approach,” explains nail technician Hannah Thayer. “Everyone is starting to embrace a more natural nail length instead of the artificial, long nails,” adds manicurist consultant for Dashing Diva Zola Ganzorigt, who works with clients like Hailey Bieber. “When it comes to shape, a medium almost shape is the most popular because it’s the most durable for natural nails.”
If there was one beauty moment that defined 2022, it was Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails: the silver version, the brown version and the Rhode gray version. And we are happy to report that the chrome splendor can no longer be ignored. “Glazed donut and chrome nails are in because they’re minimalist, chic and work in different seasons,” says Ganzorigt. “It’s getting easier and easier to try these trends with the explosion of at-home press and nail strip options. I always refer my clients to Dashing Diva (opens in new tab) for this, they have a huge variety to choose from ranging from seasonal colors to intricate nail art designs.
If going to the salon isn’t your preference, you’re really in luck. Brands across the board continue to fuel innovation and create beautiful press-ons, nail stickers and kits for the home in virtually any shape, size and finish. “There are so many velvet magnetic nails, push nails, and gel nail strips to choose from at home,” says Ganzorigt. Need some inspiration on where to look? Check out brands like OPI, Manime and Static Nails.
As funky designs take a backseat this year, the trend is to really lean towards a seasonally appropriate hue. “Clean, one-colors are becoming increasingly popular,” explains Eunice Park, Aprés Nail Research and Development Manager. “Like the viral ‘red nail theory’ trend, people are enjoying the sheer simplicity of accurate, one-color application.” So whether you opt for moody winter nail shades like dark burgundy, dark brown and black, or go pure nude (Park likes Aprés Nail’s Gel Couleur range), you can’t go wrong.
French Manicure Evolution
This is an evolution if there ever was one. The traditional French mani pretty much dominated in the early 2000s. But then it went MIA for about two decades to come back and be better than ever. Fun color combinations had their time to shine, but this year the look has gotten even sleeker than the OG. “French manicures thin the ends to just guided edges,” explains Bachik. For those who want to have a little more fun? “Add a glitter liner.”
Lip Gloss Nails
You know the beautiful shine on your lips after applying lip gloss? Imagine that same sheer amazingness on your nails. The look has rightly been dubbed “The Lip Gloss Nail” and can be done in a wide, wide, wide variety of shades. “Full coverage nudes are getting sheer and shimmerier,” Bachik points out, but you can also achieve this look with pale pinks or even translucent reds.
If something like a lip gloss nail isn’t your speed, allow me to introduce you to the moody matte – it’s literally the opposite. “I absolutely can’t get enough of deeper moody tones (think: blue and green) finished with a matte topcoat,” says Thayer. “The matte adds an unexpected level of elegance to dark nails.” To get the look, she recommends using Dazzle Dry in Self Made or Mythic Teal with the Mattify Top Coat.
The return of the accent nail
Never did I ever think I’d see the day, but the one-accent nail has returned. “For those who want a little extra flair, try choosing a simple design on one or two nails to accentuate an otherwise neutral-toned mani,” says Thayer. “I love using some gold foil or leopard spots, because who doesn’t love leopard?” You can also make a simple line in the middle, or if all else fails, just stick a sticker.
“Three-dimensional nails are getting simpler, like a sprinkle of pixie dust or a single crystal,” says Bachik. The subtle addition adds a little extra fun to an otherwise classic manicure, while remaining simple, chic and sophisticated. One of the best ways to get the look at home is to order small rhinestones and pin them to the base of each nail with pointed tweezers.
Toss in texture
In the same way that glazed donut nails have become famous, a handful of other textures are getting their well-deserved 15 minutes of fame. “Chunky glitters are now becoming more shimmers and pearls,” says Bachik. Take the collection of Essie Chromes, for example. “They’re more sheer and iridescent.” The same can be said of the velvet nail trend.
Sometimes the best manicure requires no polish at all. “It’s the most minimalist, but sometimes a clean, perfectly groomed natural nail is the way to go,” says Bachik. “I think this blows up because it allows DIYers to take their favorite celebrity look and simplify it.” While this may not be the *most* exciting look in the book, it’s generally the easiest to DIY. “Everything you need to achieve this is in my Tweezerman x Tom Bachik Ultimate Nail Care Set.”
Meet the nail stylists
Zola Ganzorigt is a manicurist from Los Angeles. Her careful eye and creative approach to nails has made her a favorite with talent such as Hailey Bieber, Sydney Sweeney, Jessica Alba, Christina Aguilera, Sabrina Carpenter and Vanessa Hudgens. Ganzorigt’s nail art ranges from minimal, nude manicures to bold, artistic designs, and has been featured on covers and campaigns for brands such as Miu Miu, Good American, Sweetgreen and Fabletics, along with editorials for publications including Doorman, The cutand The official.
Tom Bachik, one of the top “Man” icurists in the world, is one of the most sought-after nail professionals in the fashion industry and among the celebrity elite. Coined as “The Rad Manicurist”, he currently polishes the hands and toes of A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Zooey Deschanel, Victoria Beckham, Anne Hathaway, Heidi Klum and Jessica Simpson to name a few . Top publications and high-end brands such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Allure, InStyle, Gucci, Versace and Armani rely on Bachik for his unique and stunning nail designs. With over 20 years of experience, he has developed product innovations and application techniques for some of the most well-known companies in the industry. He was the first nail technician to sign with Chanel and is currently traveling the world as the very first ‘Global Nail Designer’ and celebrity manicurist for L’Oréal Paris. As a graduate graphic designer, Bachik is all about designing the most fashionable looks – whether it’s the most elegant, timeless and classic natural nail manicure or styling something unexpectedly bold and cutting edge; his designs are unparalleled works of art. Bachik has won over 300 prestigious nail competitions, including the WINBA World Championship. He has also judged nail art competitions in the US, Europe and Asia. He lives in Southern California, is married to his wife, Liz, and has two sons and a 15-year-old daughter, Zoie, who visits regularly as his nail art muse.
Eunice Park is the research and development manager for Apres Nails.