Top Nail Ideas to Love from 5 International Artists

From pretty polish combos to innovative designs, we discussed joyful nail art with the world's best salons.

While the normal day-to-day routine may be on pause, springtime surely isn't on hold. Outside the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the weather's getting warmer—all of which has us in the mood for spring #ManicureMonday ideas. Last month we spoke with our favorite nail artists about how to achieve an at-home manicure, and now they're back to talk nail art trends plus cheerful polish shades for SS20. Get inspired to try these combinations and designs yourself or bookmark them as inspiration for a future appointment. And don't worry too much about making mistakes—just have a remover handy and practice will make perfect.

Photo: @paintboxnails

Negative Space
A modern design that is increasingly becoming popular globally (especially in New York) is playing with negative space, which means creatively showing off the natural nail. "We've seen this trend at fashion shows and noticed that many beauty personalities are gravitating towards it, too. It's a manicure that looks super elevated and brings a chic, clean aesthetic without trying too hard," says Stephany Koo, Owner of Plaza M Spa Dumbo and Plaza M Spa TriBeCa. Two ways to try this design are by drawing half-moon shapes or contrasting lines after dipping a finer nail brush into a polish of choice. Salons like Paintbox have begun to showcase nail art tutorials on their social channels and often use graphic elements in their negative space nail art. Founder/Chief Creative Officer Eleanor Langston says, "We love juxtaposing shades like a tonal, pale peachy-pink with a color pop of a cherry-red."

Photo: @unistella_kr

The Modern French
"Mixing up the classic French manicure is very on-trend now, especially in shades of blue," shares celebrity nail artist and owner of Unistella, Eunkyung Park, who hails from Seoul, South Korea. A fresh take on this old favorite is also trending in London according to Krisztina van der Boom, co-founder of the DryBy London studio. To achieve, they often opt for streamlined, organic shapes or a "side French" as exhibited below and she says, "Start with a nude shade as the base and once it dries, join with touches of blue, white, or yellow. We also love the occasional metallic for spring and summer at the tips." Los Angeles-based Sarah Gibson-Tuttle of Olive & June also agrees that embracing a French comeback is a fun option, "We've been experimenting with many different layers of color at the tips of our nails—it adds dimension while still being chic."

Photo: @drybylondon
Photo: @oliveandjune

Optimistic Motifs:
Lastly, if in the mood to take a break from neutral hues, try a bright, sunny manicure to uplift spirits. "We are loving mixing different pastels to start the season off," says Gibson Tuttle. This design is a fresh spin on an ombre manicure and can easily be achieved from home—just alternate painting each nail with a different colorful polish. Gibson Tuttle recommends using Olive & June's new shades: KMC (a sage green), JRL (a sunny yellow), and JM (a peony-like lavender). For the at-home artist that's feeling more advanced, Park has been experimenting with cheerful shapes, which you can try by using nail art brushes, a bobby pin's edge to create dots, or a thin wooden nail stick to draw lines. "Clouds, cherries, butterflies, and waves are very popular at the moment. We expect they'll continue to be and we're also seeing vivid, neon shades on each nail trending in Seoul and beyond.”

Photo: @unistella_kr
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