NAIL that look |
Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins

NAIL that look

With a new season on the way, we asked some nail professionals about the shades and styles we can expect to see trending over the coming months

When it comes to nail trends, a change of season always brings some exciting new shades, styles and techniques, and the arrival of spring 2023 is no different.

“The colours I’m expecting to dominate over the next few months are pastels that are bright, but not quite neon,” says Kelly Marie Daly, owner of Kelly Marie Nail Academy in Co Cork and head educator with The Manicure Company. “I think we will see some corals and oranges as well, along with some green tones.”

“Milky shades have been huge over the last year, and I think we’ll see this trend continuing through 2023,” says Kamile Perez, chief operations officer, EMI Distribution Ireland. “I am seeing a rise in demand for neat and feminine manicures, with the ‘naked nail’ look becoming extremely popular, both for everyday wear, and with brides. This trend is great as not only does it look beautiful, it also offers the client a long-lasting manicure.”

”Metallics will remain popular in 2023,” says Victoria Trafford, CND educator. “Bright pops of colour will be used for French manicures and bold line work. The French is here to stay, but this year will see it done with alternative designs and a play on bold shades for the summer.”

“Twists on the French manicure are on trend; we will see lots of hard-line block colour nail art, rather than the detailed swirls we saw last year,” says Karen Louise, Salon System nail expert.

Among the French twists expected to be in demand over the coming months is the ‘micro French’, according to Pinterest Predicts 2023. The image sharing platform recently published its annual trend report, which found that searches for ‘micro French nails’ were up 235%. Instead of long, thick white tips, the micro version features a thin, sleek line at the tip, either in classic white, edgier black, or a pop of colour.

The same report is forecasting a decline in long, coffin-shaped nails in favour of short, stiletto ones. “Nail shapes are a personal preference for the wearer, however I think short and mid-length almond and square nails will continue to dominate,” says Trafford.

“While I think embellished and extended nails will be trending this year, softer almond, oval and more feminine shapes will be popular too,” says Louise.

Go for glaze

Meanwhile, nails with a chrome finish will continue to be popular in 2023, notes Trafford. Chrome nails went viral last year thanks to Hailey Bieber, who sported the ‘glazed donut’ manicure at the Met Gala in May. The look went on to take over T ikTok, with the hashtag #glazeddonutnails inspiring millions of views and tutorials. It became Google’s winning beauty trend for 2022 when ‘Hailey Bieber nails’ topped the search engine's trending nail queries.

“We are going to see more of this glazed finish this year, with a move towards illusion-style design, including 3D texture,” says Trafford. “Expect to see molten designs with a liquid-effect finish.”

‘Milky shades have been huge over the last year, and I think we’ll see this trend continuing through 2023’

“The ‘glass effect’ look and other metallics are also popular,” says Perez. “These looks can be seen across the fashion industry as a whole, not just in nails, and will be just as sought after this coming season.”

Another trend that took off on TikTok last year was the builder in a bottle (BIAB) one. As beauty enthusiasts around the world became curious about how to get healthier nails, hashtags such as #biabnails and #biabtutorial began appearing on the platform. Originally launched by The Gel Bottle, there are now numerous BIAB products available. Popular with clients opting for the minimalist look, the strengthening gels have been dubbed the ‘no make-up make-up for nails’.

“With an increasing number of clients requesting the natural look, along with architecturally-correct shapes such as the per fect oval or soft square, BIAB is extremely popular for growing nails to achieve that look,” says Perez. “So stock up on BIAB, as well as milky shades, as this naked aesthetic will be seen everywhere in 2023.”


To meet client demand, it's important for nail professionals to stay tuned to platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. “Social media plays a huge role in driving trends, especially those led by celebrities and celebrity nail technicians,” says Trafford. “Instagram and T ikTok are where the most popular trends go viral, and this is where clients get their inspiration.”

“Social media has a huge influence; at the moment, T ikTok and Instagram Reels are where we are all getting inspiration from,” agrees Daly.

“Trends are emerging on these platforms at a faster pace as well,” says Perez. “If you miss a couple of days on Instagram, what was on trend at the start of the week might be old news by the end of it. Celebrity trends are going viral in an instant, and clients are constantly watching for the next big thing and requesting it at the salon.”

Regular upskilling will help with staying on top on trends as well, according to Daly. “Keep doing courses to update your techniques, even if you are learning designs that you think you may never use in the salon. You will always take something from the training.”

It will also boost your profits, notes Trafford. “For instance, nail art is big business, so it is really worth your while      taking the time and money to invest in this skill to meet client demand.”

‘Social media plays a huge role in driving trends, especially those led by celebrities and celebrity nail technicians’

Equally, make sure you give it the time it deserves in the salon, she adds. “Nail art clients should always be booked in advance. In order to execute their desired design, you need to schedule their appointments in appropriate time slots so that you can do the work to your own high standard, and you don't run behind with your other appointments.”

Time management is very important for more intricate nail requests, stresses Daly. “And if your client is adventurous and opting for something very different for a special occasion – such as their wedding for example – do a trial in advance so you’re not under too much stress on the big day, and you are 100% sure you have per fected the requested look.”

This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the March/April 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland