Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


With summer approaching, we asked some nail techs what trends and techniques will be popular with clients over the coming months

“Nail trends change very quickly, but vibrant and bold colours, minimalist designs and holographic finishes will continue to be popular this summer,” says Catriona Holt, owner of Creative Hands in Greystones, Co Wicklow. “In the salon, we are already noticing our clients go for brighter shades.”

“I think the glazed donut trend will continue to be in demand,” says Sara Madigan, owner of Gloss House in Booterstown, Co Dublin. “Our clients love a classic, minimalistic look, but the glaze gives their nails that extra something. For clients going on sun holidays, we’re predicting they will be opting for intricate summer swirls. We had a lot of requests for pearlescent lilacs in spring, but I think the more adventurous client will opt for stronger lilacs and purples as we move into the summer months. It all depends on lifestyle – our naked manicure, which gives very clean and refined results to the cuticles and nail plate, is very popular among clients who are working with their hands on a daily basis.”

“Many clients choose colours based on their lifestyle,” agrees Anna Jezkova, owner of Prestige Nails in Cork city. “Some always stick to two or three shades, depending on their occupations, and others will follow trends. Bright neon shades will be popular this summer, as will pastel shades, which are always a big hit. And the naked nail look, which is where semi-transparent nude or light pink colours are used, will still be in demand. Thanks to social media, nail art has became very popular, even with clients who never requested it before. The trend now is towards abstract designs, geometrical shapes and minimalism, combined with a hit of sparkle or foils.”

“Nail art is sought after around every holiday season, so we’ll be painting intricate flowers for the summer,”says Madigan. “More and more clients are returning to the workplace now, so minimalistic nail art is dominating after last year’s Barbiecore trend.”

“Nail stickers are very popular too,” adds Holt. “They are a great way to create something exciting on the nail while saving time.”

French fancies

Meanwhile, the French manicure isn’t going anywhere. “Right now we’re loving the pearl French as a twist on the traditional version,” says Madigan. “Every summer, there is rise in demand for the coloured French as clients love this look, which is suitable for every age.”

“The French manicure is very popular every year, whether it is the traditional white or the colour variations,” says Daniela Delux, De Luxe Nail & Beauty in Dublin. “There are some new twists to the traditional French, such as adding gradient glitter at the cuticle.”

Also known as the micro French manicure, the skinny French is trending as well. “This is still super popular, along with the double skinny French, which is very cute,” says Holt. “Clients want the perfect smile line with a clean finish, so it’s important for nail techs to practise perfecting this.”

“Another new twist on the classic is the ombré French – that is also becoming a popular request,” adds Jezkova.

Social platforms

Social media continues to play a major role in dictating nail trends. TikTok, in particular, has had a huge impact on the nail industry, according to Madigan. “Through its short video feature, there is a wide range of nail art tutorials that meet the needs of many budding nail artists,” she says. “Instagram will always play a big part in driving trends. Clients love to scroll and explore the different hashtags that are being used to share new trends. As a very image-focused platform, it is perfect for showing before and after looks.”

“We find that clients run out of nail ideas so they search for colours or trends on social media,” says Jezkova. “Some platforms are equally popular, but with different generations and audiences. For instance, Instagram is popular because of its photos and videos, and TikTok is big with the younger generation.”

“When it comes to your business, social media can take over and become a full-time job,” says Holt. “As trends and topics change so fast, my top tip is to find a niche you are passionate about and focus on creating content around one thing. Instagram and TikTok are great platforms for helping to build your brand.”

Health matters

Another trend within the nail industry is the growing interest in nail health, as clients opt for BIAB (Builder in a Bottle) nails and products with low or no hema (hydroxyethyl methacrylate).

“We have had more requests for BIAB and Russian manicures as clients look to improve the health and strength of their nails,” says Orlea.

“We’re also seeing more clients avoiding gel products completely and instead attending the salon for regular manicures to keep their nails and cuticles in good shape,” says Madigan.

“I think clients were always interested in nail health, but there wasn’t always a lot of products available,” says Jeskova. “These days, there is a variety of nail treatments to meet every client’s needs. Many nail products now have improved formulas and feature beneficial ingredients.”

Tips to succeed

Keeping up with such product innovations will help you stay competitive. “As a nail tech, you should always be learning about new products and trends so you can become the best artist you can be,” says Madigan. “Ongoing education will help both you and your professional reputation.”

“Make sure too that you offer a variety of nail services – this is as important as having a selection of colours,” says Jeskova.

“The talent in the nail industry in Ireland is incredible and clients appreciate the skills in the sector,” says Holt. “So as a professional, it is very important to put value on your time. We invest constantly in education, training and products, and this all takes time and costs money. I would love to see more nail technicians in Ireland value themselves and their skill set, and reflect this in their pricing because it’s crucial to calculate your costs correctly to build a sustainable business.”

‘More and more clients are returning to the workplace now, so minimalistic nail art is dominating after last year’s Barbiecore trend’

This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

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This article appears in the MAY/JUNE 2024 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland