Exploring 2023’s Hottest Nail Trends, From Auras to Bows – Our Team Favorites!

Fancy French Manis

Close up of a French manicure with swirly, coffee-inspired tips
Byrdie

“Who knew such small canvases could hold so many big ideas? This year, we learned just how many multitudes our fingertips could contain. There were stunning French manicures with crocodile, tortoiseshell, and checkerboard print tips (to name a few). Plenty of neutral bases were topped off in chrome and velvet, too. My personal favorite, however, has to be this coffee-esque, marbled, foil-accented manicure I got for a Byrdie #ManiMonday shoot. I received compliments on the daily when I was wearing it, and I can’t be modest: It is a gorgeous one.” – Eden Stuart, editor

02 of 08

Short Nails

Close up of a warm red manicure on short nails
@lolo.nailedit / Instagram

“While I love the timeless elegance of long, almond-shaped tips, I physically cannot stand the feeling of long nails. When they’re not getting tangled in my hair while shampooing or slowing down my typing at work, they’re getting all kinds of moisturizer and sunscreen trapped under them. This is all to say that long nails are not exactly my favorite, so I was absolutely delighted when short, natural nails started to make a comeback this year. To my eye, there’s nothing more pleasing than a crisp, solid-toned manicure with clear shaping, and that’s something you definitely don’t need a lot of length to pull off. You can catch my short nails and me vibing (and typing at the speed of light) all through 2024.” – Holly Rhue, associate editorial director

03 of 08

Lip Gloss Nails

A glossy clean lip gloss manicure on long oval tips
@overglowedit / Instagram

“When it comes to nails, I am as basic as it gets. I love a barely there, minimalist vibe, and lip gloss [manis] do it for me every time. The ultra-shiny finish matches every outfit and skin tone and just offers a luxe feel no other shade, in my opinion, can give. Whether your aesthetic is old money or clean girl, this mani fits right in.” – Jasmine Phillips, social media editor

04 of 08

Bow Manis

Close up of a French manicure with a pearly tip and gold bow detail
@overglowedit / Instagram

“If the Bow Renaissance has one fan, that one fan is me. Versatility is key for me when it comes to nails, as one week, I may have super long, natural nails, while the next, I’m rocking short tips due to breakage. Bows just work for every single length and never fail to make me smile. Paint them super small and dainty, or make them big and bold with a 3D charm. Pair them with French tips and chrome, or play into the mismatched trend with a rainbow of ribbons. Whatever your aesthetic is, there’s a bow out there for you.” – Abby Dupes, associate editor

05 of 08

Aura Nails

An aura manicure in shades of purple with chrome details
Byrdie

“I’m obsessed with the endless possibilities of the aura nails trend! This year, Y2K trends came back with a vengeance, and it was cool to see the airbrush art that was popular back then translate to nail art. The trend is mostly contingent on a gradient pattern with a darker color on the outside fading to a lighter shade in the middle, but I’ve seen so many creative iterations of this look that have made me fall in love with it over and over again.” – Star Donaldson, associate social media director

06 of 08

Strawberry Milk Manis

A hand folded over the palm, fingertips with a strawberry milk mani
@cirquecolors / Instagram

“A lot has been said about the rise of food-inspired nail trends, and I am staunchly in the pro-tasty manicure camp. Maybe it’s my checkered past as a nail-biter, maybe it’s my natural inclination toward fun wordplay, but haters be damned: If you slap a yummy name on something pretty, I’m going to try it. This year, my favorite of them all was the strawberry milk mani. Sure, it’s just another name for a juicy pink color with a bit of transparency, but why not live a little and embrace the camp of it all? The mani itself is pretty, classic, and deliciously simple. I always feel my best when I embrace my inner strawberry girl.” – Madeline Hirsch, news director

07 of 08

Box of Chocolates Nails

Close up of a manicure in gradient shades of brown
Byrdie

“Gradient manicures have been having a major moment this year, and I love this take on the trend. We dubbed this look ‘Box of Chocolates,’ as it features varying tones of brown arranged from light to dark. As someone leaning into neutral manicures these days, this was definitely my favorite nail look of the year. I also have to mention this is the manicure that garnered the most compliments and intrigue this year, so that’s saying something.” – Olivia Hancock, editor

08 of 08

Chrome Stars Manis

Hand folded with a chrome star manicure on a neutral glossy base
Byrdie

“I love anything with a little extra sparkle and shine, and with the chrome nail trend and all its offshoots taking the beauty world by storm, it’s been a good year for it. The variety that involves metallic stars and sparkles has been my absolute favorite from the moment I saw it earlier this year, and when I finally tried the mani out this fall, I was just as obsessed. The mesmerizing sparkles and tiny gems garnered countless compliments throughout the weeks I rocked the look, and I couldn’t stop staring at my own nails. And, as a bonus, the design happens to match my wrist tattoo.”

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