The 5 Biggest Nail Art Trends to Try in 2020

Your nail inspiration for the year, right here.

Nail Trend
Photo: instagram/betina_goldstein, instagram/julieknailsnyc

We've officially entered a new decade, which means it's time to stop painting your nails that same red or baby pink color every time you give yourself a manicure.

Even if you're not one to make New Year resolutions, 2020 is all about easy, simple, and just plain cool nail art. And that's an intention manicure ethusiasts can get behind (and, you know, actually keep).

If you're looking for inspiration on how to switch things up in the manicure department, Betina Goldstein, editorial nail artist and Instagram nail art sensation, along with Rita Remark, editorial nail artist and Essie global lead educatior, have a few suggestions to get you started.

From subtle muted tones to out-of-this world constellation designs, the duo break down the five biggest nail art trends of 2020.

French Manicure

The '90s staple has survived another decade. And if you can remember anything from the early 2000s, you may only think of the French manicure as square arcyclic white tips. But the 2020 version sees nails filed in an almond shape for a softer look, and even color. "We’re seeing it in two variations: the classic, pink nails with curved white tips, and an ombré, with the white tips lightly fading into the pink," says Remark.

Not your typical French manicure, nail artist Michelle Humphrey went with metallic gold tips a clear, natural base.

New York-based nail artist Julie Kandalec gave the French manicure a modern twist — literally. Instead of straight white tips, she added squiggle shaped ones to neutral-painted nails.

Mismatched Nails

The Choose Your Own Adventure of manicures, the color combinations are endless when doing this nail art trend. For a more subtle look, choose five shades in the same color family, or get your ROYGBIV on and paint every finger a different color of the rainbow. "We started to see this trend emerge near the end of 2019 and it will only grow in popularity in 2020, says Remark. "It’s a nail art look with no nail art tools or skills necessary. Simply choose a variety or complimentary or coordinating nail colors and, like you did in grade school, polish each nail a different color."

Remark painted each nail a neon shade for her own take on the rainbow manicure.

Glossier founder Emily Weiss' maincure combines two nail art trends in one. Her rainbow French manicure includes different colored tips on each finger.

Muted Tones

If a solid one-color manicure is more your vibe, Goldstein predicts that muted tones like lavender and soft gray, along with desert shades like caramel and sand are going to be huge for 2020.

Humphrey's shiny earth gray manicure works across all seasons.

Yes, burnt orange goes hand-in-hand with PSLs and fall, but the bright, yet soft color is an unexpected choice that won't feel out of place in the summer or the dead of winter.

Constellation Designs

From stars and constellations to astrological symbols, Remarks says that these nails will be a playful nod to our horoscopes and the night sky in 2020.

Try connecting the dots you've scattered on your nails, and you'll have yourself 10 mini constellations. Or instead of doing using white to mimic stars in a deep blue sky, manicurist Hang Nguyen reversed the colors.

Creating quite possibly the chicest night sky manicure we've ever seen, Goldstein painted half of each nail in navy blue, then added gold stars and moons.

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Phython Print Nails

"For the more adventurous nail art enthusiast, python print nails will be major," says Goldstein. Given that cow and zebra print nails were two of 2019's biggest nail trends, snakeskin is a natural progression.

Goldstein hand-painted this black-and-white python print, which looks amazing when paired with gold rings.

And while this abstract print works well on short nails, it's also killer on long, stiletto nails, too. Take Goldstein's red phython print manicure as an example.

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