This post may contain affiliate links.
Let’s celebrate the warmer seasons with the spring/ summer 2018 nail trends! For this new fashion season, manicurists and nail artists created all manner of nail polish looks. On some runways, we saw big, embellished nails in loud colors, while many others chose to keep it simple and subtle.
Browse through these spring/ summer 2018 nail trends to find the style that suits you best, with a breakdown of spring/ summer 2018 nail shape trends, 2018 nail polish trends, and 2018 nail art trends.
Spring/ Summer 2018 Nail Shape Trends
#1. Short Nails
In a nod to practicality, many nail artists this season skipped the press-ons, and let models rock short but groomed nails. At Emporio Armani, most models’ nails were short and squared off, as well as at Marchesa, and Oscar de la Renta. This look was often paired with a solid swipe of opaque, lustrous nail polish, like at Sonia Rykiel.
#2. Long Ovals
Long ovals are that classic nail shape that almost everyone wishes for, naturally. They are long enough to scratch, but not so long as to be inconvenient. We saw the perfect example of classic long oval nails on the Adam Selman runway. Other runways to feature long oval nails included Francesca Liberatore, Antonio Marras, and House of Holland.
#3. Stiletto Nails
If you thought the spring/ summer 2018 nail shape trends were all about practicality, think again. While many of the looks we saw were quite down to earth, many nail artists were not afraid to go all out with long stiletto press-ons.
At Tom Ford, Fenty x Puma, and Jeremy Scott, the extravagant stiletto nails were painted with eye-catching shades. At The Blonds, the stiletto nails were truly unique, covered in busy designs and some 3 dimensional appliques.
Spring/ Summer 2018 Nail Polish Trends
#1. Classic Red Nails
Red is a timeless color that will always have its place on the runways. It is sexy, elegant, and high-energy, so it was no surprise to see red nail polish become one of the spring/ summer 2018 nail polish trends.
The Orly shade Love My Nails is the warm red used to paint the nails of models at the Adam Selman show. This shade worked perfectly with a long, oval manicure.
At Vfiles, we saw a dramatic red stiletto nail, with a big of haphazard metallic nail art that worked well with the vibrant collection.
At Eudon Choi, a cool red shade of a polish on short nail designs was a perfect complement to a very feminine collection. At Sonia Rykiel, a vibrant warm red stole the show.
#2. Nude Nails
You cannot go wrong with a pale pink, beige, or light taupe, a timeless and natural nude nail polish color that easily becomes a trend every season, so it is no surprise that is part of the spring/ summer 2018 nail trends.
For Alexander Wang, the perfect nude was Essie’s Topless & Barefoot, a pale shade that worked well with short, squoval nails, and suited all models regardless of their skin tone.
#3. Ocean Blue Nails
While warm and neutral tones generally ruled over the spring 2018 nail trends, a few nail artists bucked the trend to make blue a whole trend of its own.
At Fenty x Puma by Rihanna, long press-on nails were painted an electric blue that had the perfect amount of energy for summer. At Concept Korea, short nails were painted an equally bright albeit lighter sky blue.
The only muted version of the trend was at Emporio Armani, where a navy blue was used to paint the models’ nails.
#4. Bright Matte Nail Polishes
A fun way to play with really bright, neon nail polish shades is to change up their finish. While we’re used to glossy brights (and we certainly saw some examples on the runway), nail artists changed it up with electrifying mattes for the summer 2018 nail trends.
At Jeremy Scott, models wore stiletto nails painted in bright pinks and oranges, with a classy matte finish. At Christian Siriano, in addition to the sketchy designs and florals, there were also some duo-colored neon matte nails on display.
#5. Opaque Shimmer Nails
In a fierce continuation of last season’s trend, opaque shimmer shades showed up on many runways, becoming the ‘it’ choice for easy and quick yet glamorous nails. It is easy to see how this shade became one of the spring 2018 nail polish trends.
At the Rebecca Minkoff show, a metallic light purple shade made for a wonderful base shade, and was decorated with a central stripe of dark purple. At Oscar de la Renta, the nails were all class, painted in a gorgeous golden sheen.
Spring/ Summer 2018 Nail Art Trends
#6. Bare Nails with Black Stripes
Nude and black is a nail combination that is soon becoming as ubiquitous as the French manicure. As part of the spring/ summer 2018 nail art trends, it was all about nude nails with thin black lines for decorations.
CND for Club Monaco, for example, painted nails in a clean and crisp nude, and then added a dark stripe right along the bottom, near the cuticle. The look at Zero + Maria Cornejo was similar, but the bottom stripe of black nail polish was a little thicker, while the nails were kept quite simple.
At Kate Spade and Phillip Lim, it was all about minimalist nude nails with a single stripe on an accent nail. At Kate Spade, a vertical line of black had been drawn, while at Phillip Lim, it was horizontal.
At Tibi, we saw the most graphic take on this spring 2018 nail trend, with a thick stripe and a thin strip drawn diagonally along the tip of the accent nail.
#7. Nail Art with Colorful Stripes
Striping in all kinds of colors was also apparent all over the spring 2018 nails this season, although black was the clear winner. Even so, we saw all kinds of reds, greens, and blues striping both long and short nails, allowing you to get creative with the spring/ summer 2018 nail art trends.
The funnest take on stripey nail polish came from the Tanya Taylor runway, where thick swipes of red and white were painted on the nails in a swirly pattern. At Alice + Olivia, we saw a unique French manicure, with a thin strip of teal replacing the traditional white.
No two nails were alike at Christian Siriano, but a standout nail art design was a really sketchy and artistic take on colorful stripes over a white base.
#8. Nails with Jewel Appliques
There is no better way to turn up the glam than by gluing some jewels to an already fierce manicure. This is a perfect way to jazz up nails for a night out, and is one of the most vibrant spring 2018 nail trends.
At Philipp Plein, single, clear jewel appliques were attached to each stiletto nail. They were large and shiny, and looked extremely glamorous.
At Naeem Khan, the appliques were a little more delicate. A series of small, press-on crystals were glued unto the pinky and middle finger over a shimmery silver polish, and looked lovely and subtle. There was a similar applique design on the nails at the Area show, but the overall look was more high fashion and less delicate because the base shades were either a vibrant pink or a dark, vampy purple.
Lastly, at Libertine, the jewel appliques had a punk edge, as they were black, surrounding a yellow smiley face, and to add to that, the tip of the nail itself was surrounded by a barbed wire accessory.
#9. Barely There Polish
There were all kinds of takes on nude and natural nails as part of the spring/ summer 2018 nail trends, and one of those trends was not covering the natural nail with any shade, and simply leaving them bare, either all over, or only at a few spots.
At Marc Jacobs, we saw an easy and simple take on nail polish in various colors that was painted a few millimetres above the cuticle, to create a negative space effect (that also looked a little bit like a grown-out manicure). There was a similar effect, with bare half moons at Francesca Liberatore, with the rest of the nails painted a metallic silver, another of the season’s 2018 nail trends.
At Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, nail artist Adam Slee simply coated the models’ nails with a clear base coat, letting the nails’ natural color shine through, and then added a single red letter per nail, declaring phrases like ‘dark child’ and ‘wild fire’.
#10. Springtime Floral Nails
The spring 2018 nail art trends included floral decorations, in a not-so-subtle nod to the season. At Michael Costello, the floral design was quite subtle, painted in a metallic pink over a paler, lustrous pink.
At Creatures of Comfort, we saw a more abstract take on floral nail art, painted with various Essie shades in a minimalist petal pattern over sheer nails. The pattern on the nails at Novis was similar, but across the board nails were painted with blue petals.
Lastly, at Christian Siriano, where unique nail art designs reigned, one of the winning patterns was a colorful French manicure with little flowers as decorations at the tip.
#11. Abstract Polka Dots
There were no cutesy polka dots as part of the spring/ summer 2018 nail art trends. Instead, the polka dots we saw on the runway manicures this season were artistic and sophisticated.
At Moschino, white oval dotting over a gray base on the nails had a graphic “net” effect. At Ryan Lo, the nails were painted a base shade of shimmery brown, and then dotted with a thick, textured shape in a lighter beige.
At Tadashi Shoji, a nude nail was decorated with pale peach dots, for a subtle and soft polka dot effect.
#12. Logos on the Nails
Branding is everything in our world right now, so quite a few labels decided to have their branding extended to the models’ nails. Nail art showcasing names or logos was one of the cheekier spring 2018 nail trends, and playing with words and symbols can be a fine way of incorporating it into your own nail painting habits.
At Monse, an “M” was drawn on the thumbs in red and white stripes, over otherwise fairly nude nails. At Helmut Lang, a simple black stamp on every one of the pink, squared off nails declared “Helmut’, and lastly, at Kith, we saw the Champion logo in red, white, and blue.
#13. Extended Paint
Why stick to only painting the nails? On quite a few of the runways, the spring 2018 nail art extended beyond the nails to decorate the fingers and hands. At Antonio Berardi, for example, the nails were painted a delicate nude, while the hands themselves were decorated in white or black patterns.
At both Jeremy Scott and Francesco Scognamiglio, silver glitter was used to decorate the hands. At the former it was somewhat more restrained, and restricted only to the fingers, while at the latter it extended all the way down to the back of the hand.
#14. Glitter Nails
A season without glitter is a season not worth paying attention to. For the spring/ summer 2018 nail trends, there were a lot of cool and unique takes on glitter nail polish, to liven up everyone’s spirits.
For Tom Ford, press-on stiletto nails were decorated with a gorgeous glittery rose gold to black ombre. At Anna Sui, it was all about short nails covered in silver in the form of both small and large glitter pieces that gave a chunky, textured effect.
Lastly, at Jeremy Scott, while the nail was kept matte, the fingers themselves had been covered in silver glitter for a funky look.
Photos via Livingly