Here’s to Great Tips: 2016’s Top Nail Trends

One of the easiest — and most cost-effective — ways to give your style a jolt of fresh energy this season is to mix up your manicure. Whether you’re a huge fan of elaborate nail art or more of a minimalist girl, there is a new nail approach waiting for you that will suit your tastes and keep you right on trend in 2016. Consider these top 10 ideas to modernize your digits, then take your favorite idea to the salon — or test it out in the comfort of your own home!

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If pressed to choose just one nail trend that defines 2016 to date, it would be the influx of metallic polishes taking over fashion editorials, runways and salons from the cities to the suburbs. It’s easy to see why this trend is so popular: It’s highly adaptable. A sheer rose-gold manicure can work everywhere from the office to a romantic date night (and it’s also easy for women of all ages to wear); those who are bolder can opt for chrome-shiny shades ranging from pure silver to brilliant primary colors. Choose your favorite color — any color — and there’s a metallic out there to go crazy with!

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Continuing the huge rush of all things shimmery, glitter stands almost neck-to-neck with metallics in terms of popularity. Again, it’s simple to tone this look down or amp it up to fit any situation. Try a neutral nail with a sweep of pretty opalescent or soft pink glitter for a conservative but on-trend look … and then go all out at night with rock-star sweeps of gold, silver, red, blue or any color that strikes your fancy. Experiment also with different sizes of glitter: Tiny granular pieces give a gentle glow, while bigger ones provide an almost sequined effect.

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Ballerina Nails:

While the wicked-looking stiletto nail has been on trend for some time now, those who are a little nervous at brandishing sharp points — but love a long, dramatic nail — will love the newest shape: the ballerina. One look and it’s obvious where the ballerina got its name: the long, elegant shape with a squared-off tip resembles a dancer’s pointe shoe. If longer nails are impractical, you can always try a more moderate iteration of the shape. It works on medium lengths just as well.

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Modern French Tips:

Gone are the days of French manicures that consist of an overly wide, squared-off white tip. Today, it’s all about slimmer tips (some even whisper-thin) in any color you like. A bright primary tip in a surprising color such as green gives a subtle edge to any manicure, or even try mixing trends by painting your tips metallic or coated in glitter.

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Naked Nails:

One of the most refreshing trends this year turns out to be the simplest of all: a clean, neutral, unadorned nail that goes anywhere and looks great with anything. Simply choose a neutral shade that suits your skin tone, try a pale pink or even just go for a coat of clear polish. One caveat: As there is nothing but a natural palette to focus the eye on, this manicure requires scrupulous attention to cuticles and cleanliness. Take due diligence!

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A slightly different twist on the “naked nail” is a straightforward, no-frills manicure utilizing one interesting color. This season, mustard yellow and cobalt blue provide a fresh visual while still being surprisingly adaptive to most styles and situations.

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A visually striking yet completely goof-proof way to modernize your nails is a stripe. Single, multiple, thin, fat, criss-crossed, top, bottom, any color … get creative.

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Artsy Brushstrokes:

Make your nails light as a feather with feathery strokes of white on a neutral or darker base. Reserve the strokes to the tips of your nails, brush them all over or try a diagonal swipe for a dreamy effect.

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Ombre Pastels:

If you’re a fan of delicate shades, try layering two or three of your favorites (pink, baby blue, lavender, etc.) to create a subtle rainbow/ombre effect. Let each color dry partially before blending in a layer of new hue.

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Henna Designs:

If you’re inspired by the intricate patterns seen in Hindu culture, which traditionally cover the hands and feet, you can try them out on your nails. This is one of the newest and hottest manicure styles for the season, complementing the wave of bohemian/”globetrotter” clothing styles currently popular in fashion. When achieving the look, you don’t necessarily have to stick to the browns and rust tones of natural henna; feel free to experiment with brighter colors if they appeal to you. Use a neutral or light background and either a Sharpie or fine brush to practice the designs. Nail art devotees claim the process looks challenging but is actually surprisingly easy once you get going!



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About the Author

Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli is the Head of Marketing for Ogle School. His responsibilities include leading Ogle School's marketing and branding strategy to amplify Ogle School's passion for helping create future beauty professionals in the communities Ogle School serves.