Take stock of these five nail art trends to watch for this summer so your nails can be ready for the beautiful summer of 2022!
Green, Pink, Blue, Periwinkle, and Multi
No matter the embellishments, the thing we notice most about nails is the color. In 2022, the green trend of the previous year will continue, with variations from deep forest shades to frothy lime, and maybe something approximating Beyonce’s neon lime tennis ball color from her iconic Oscar dress.
While green is still in the running, new colors will rise (or return) for the summer of 2022. Pantone’s color of the year is periwinkle, a cross between lavender and robin’s egg blue that isn’t quite purple and isn’t quite aqua, but has a nice sea-breezy feeling about it anyway.
Speaking of the sea, blue is an up-and-comer for summer 2022. We may see a shift away from fall-ish and wintry deep navy to a lighter, more poolside shade.
Pink is a summer classic and there’s an Instagram-worthy tug of war going on about which pink will be THE pink; but don’t worry, there’s room for all shades, from pale to neon and all the bubble gum in between.
If you just can’t decide which color will be YOUR color this summer, choose five and put a distinct color on each finger. That multi-color look will be right on trend.
Waves, Marbling, and Stripes
Painting a squiggly line down the middle or along the side of your nail, while leaving the rest neutral, will be a thing in 2022. It’s a way to jump on the multi-color wagon with a wiggly twist.
Marbled nails have been around for a while, but in 2022 we’ll see them looking less like a kitchen counter and more like the iridescent insides of a sea anemone (we’re getting a lot of ocean themes, it seems!). Marbling will stray from staid grey, white, and black into multi-color land as well.
Stock up on the nail tape for summer 2022. You’ll want to create nails that mix negative space with color, both in vertical and horizontal stripes, as well as curvier shapes you can cut nail tape to create.
Variations on the French
Nice people get French manicures, right? Well, yes, but this year, nice creative people will be messing with the French manicure a bit. Picture an inverted chevron shape at the tip of the nail, with two stripes rising from the sides of the nail to meet in the center, instead of the prim curved line following the nail tip exactly.
Another variation we’ll see on the French manicure takes a page from another trend discussed below—minimalism. Over a pale neutral or a glowing saturated neon shade, the thinnest of white stripes just glazes the fingertip.
We’ll also see nails that change out the white on the tip in the traditional French manicure for a bold bit of gold glitter, or a black stripe topped with multicolored mini-swirls.
Finally, consider flipping the French on its head. Paint a thin line of white or contrast color at the base of your nail, just above the cuticle. This, of course, will call attention to your cuticles, so keep them moisturized and clean.
Damaged cuticles can lead to infections. If you notice redness or swelling, thickening, or nail detachment, see your doctor right away for treatment of a possible infection.
Stickers and Dots
The dotting tool is all the rage, and people are using it to create tiny floral patterns, polka dots, and animal prints on their nails. But never fear! If you’re not the best at close, detailed work, you can be saved by the sticker.
Instead of dotting on flowers or patterns with a nail dotting tool, choose from a variety of sticker collections that will get you smiley faces, stars, or other instant shapes to just peel and stick for a snazzy look.
At the other side of the pendulum’s swing, away from the multi colors and the waves, you’ll find the neutrals, quietly occupying the territory reserved for understated elegance. Match color to you skin tone and leave it at that. Be sure to use a proper base coat, as it’s so important for gel nail polish.
Healthy Nails Never Go Out of Style
Along with these five nail art trends to watch for this summer, healthy nails are a necessary base to any type of nail art. Many summer activities, from swimming in chlorinated pools to digging in the garden, can weaken or damage your nails. Keep up basic nail maintenance no matter what style of nail art you choose to sport this summer.
This means keeping your hands clean, and minimizing chemical damage to your nails. Wear gloves when washing dishes by hand or when working outdoors in the garden.
You should also wear sunscreen or gloves when curing the layers of a gel manicure. The UV light that sets the gel shines in wavelengths similar to those from the sun’s burning rays, and repeated exposure could subject your skin to the same type of damage as overexposure to the sun.
Let’s Talk About Length
Celebrities have “people” who fluff their hair, fix their makeup, select their clothes and jewelry, and, wouldn’t you know it, do their nails for them. Those two inch talons extending from the fingertips of your favorite recording artist took some nail artists a long time to apply and decorate. It will take equally long to remove acrylic nails.
The same is true for gel and dip powder nails. They take a long time to apply, cure, and remove, and all types of artificial nails can damage the nail bed if incorrectly applied, removed, or left on for too long.
If, like most people, you don’t have four hours to invest in getting your nails done and having them removed, you might opt for a simpler and healthier approach: keep your natural nails trimmed, and use a base coat or strengthening product to keep them from breaking or splitting. Clean them gently, and give them a day or more a week to “go naked” and just recover from a multi-layer manicure involving bonding, curing, and/or color.
Natural nails are made of keratin, the same substance that makes up hair. Keratin is not living tissue, so it’s not accurate to say nails need to “breathe.” Still, nails can dry out, crack, and when cracked, they can become infected. Some types of manicures require a long soak in acetone to remove the polish, which is hard on nails and can make them brittle. Breaks also help prevent yellowing.
Have fun with nail art this summer, and take good care of your hands and nails with sunscreen, moisturizer, and occasional breaks from nail polish. And never cut your cuticles! If your manicurist insists, run!