This post may contain affiliate links.
It’s time to give your manicurist a call, because the spring/ summer 2019 nail trends are here, and they absolutely beg to be mimicked. When it came to shapes, the spring 2019 nail trends ran the gamut from short and square to long and pointed, with some moderate options in between. There was also variety in the spring/ summer 2019 nail polish trends when it came to color, with a ton of bright yellows and pinks as the seasonally appropriate options, and some darker shades as well for those who don’t care too much about arbitrary rules.
When it came to the spring 2019 nail art trends, there was less diversity, but instead there were two options that were essentially polar opposites: uber-minimalist designs, usually applied over a bare nail, and extreme appliqués and embellishments that stand out even from a distance. Give all of the spring 2019 nail polish trends a good hard look – maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new, or maybe you’ll stick to the safe classics. We guarantee that this is a season where you can’t go wrong!
Spring 2019 Nail Trends: Shapes
#1. Short Squoval Nails
The squoval nail shape fits a shorter nail perfectly, since it gives the sleek elegance of a square without the harsh edges. It is the perfect way of looking sophisticated and put together without uncomfortably long nails.
While normally this shape works best with simple, solid colored nail polish, we actually saw it paired with a lot of joyful sparkle, like at Kate Spade, where models’ natural nails were filed into clean squoval shapes and embellished with glitter, and at Anna Sui, where confetti glitter nail polish gleamed.
#2. Almond Nails
An almond nail is a classic with which you can never go wrong, especially if you favor medium or long nails. The overall spring/ summer 2019 nail trends leaned towards length, and that also included long almond nails, which were usually in the form of press-ons that were prepared in advance. We saw dark, marble-inspired almond nails at Laquan Smith, and impossibly shimmery press-ons in the same shape at Tadashi Shoji.
#3. Long Square Nails
A square nail is usually a more serious nail, but once it obtains length it actually becomes one of the most dramatic nail shapes, especially when embellished with appliqués. On the runways we saw a lot of lengthy press-on nails with a squared-off tip, including the embellished nails at Adeam and the fierce green nails at Area. We saw more reasonably sized (but still longer) square nails at Christian Siriano.
#4. Stiletto Nails
Every serious, calm woman needs to break out of her shell at least once in her life, and the spring 2019 nail trends are giving you just that chance with some really intense stiletto nails. This manicure shape, with its fierce length and pointed end, is both truly feminine and sharply dangerous. Is that not what we need right now?
Of course the most impressive stiletto nails we saw were on The Blonds runway, where they fit in perfectly with the Disney villain theme. At Kim Shui, stiletto nails were just a touch more wearable and painted a metallic shade.
Spring 2019 Nail Trends: Polish & Art
#5. Glitter and Sparkle
Get your sparkle on with bits of glitter, and don’t worry too much about applying it precisely – the nail artists responsible for the spring/ summer 2019 nail trends certainly didn’t.
The theme at Kate Spade was one of the late designer’s quotes, “she leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes,” which expressed itself in nude nails covered with just a few delicate sparkles per nail. It was all about that small touch of sparkle at Tibi, where glitter polish was only applied to an accent nail, and only near the ends, in an undone, almost chipped look. Anna Sui’s girlish runway gave us confetti nails covered in multi-colored sparkles.
#6. Metallic Nail Polish
Take heed – metallic nails are reserved for those who do not mess around! Metallic nail polishes have a comeback for the spring/ summer 2019 nail trends, and for a good reason – they can be edgy or luxurious, fierce or frivolous, all depending on how they are applied.
Metallic nails were undeniably fierce at Kim Shui, thanks to their sharp stiletto shape. They were painted a silvery duo-chrome shade that gave us retro-futurist space warrior vibes.
All kinds of intensely long oval nails were on display at Opening Ceremony, with one of our favorite designs being silver stripes over a metallic blue polish. We have Rodarte and Badgley Mischka to thank for a more delicate take on metallics, at the former with nails painted a rose gold and then dotted with a few delicate and colorful jewels, and at the latter with simple almond nails painted a lovely metallic silvery-white.
#7. Joyous Yellow Nails
Pantone declared a few different yellows as the defining shades of the season, and the spring/ summer 2019 nail art trends verify and strengthen that claim. Yellow nails were all over the runways, adding sunny cheer.
The models not wearing cutesy character manis at Alice + Olivia wore bright yellow nails instead that were artfully matched to jackets and bags. At Natasha Zinko, shorter nails were given a joyful touch with a bright canary yellow shade.
The nails were also fairly short at Maryam Nassir Zadeh and decorated with an acid washed yellow design. At Tibi and Chromat, we saw all kinds of nail colors, including quite a bit of yellow.
#8. Frame Nail Art
We saw two very different takes on frames in the spring 2019 nail art trends – something that particularly stood out because we hadn’t seen much of this particular nail art design before this season.
At Jeremy Scott, a two-toned manicure appeared framed, as a thin line surrounding the perimeter of the nail was colored lavender, acting as frame, inside of which the polish color of choice was a soft pink. The frame effect at Libertine came in the form of a gold chain nail appliqué that was carefully applied around the perimeter of the nail, with a gorgeous floral design in the center. This was a super cool way of doing nail art, and we are excited to see if designers will keep innovating it in future seasons!
#9. Black and White Nails
If you’re not a big fan of color, but still want to play around with nail designs, you might like the black and white spring/ summer 2019 nail art trends that a few designers made use of.
The black and white nails at Christian Siriano were flawlessly marbled into an organic zig-zag design that flowed beautifully and gave the feeling of movement. At Opening Ceremony, a check pattern of black, white and gray was one of the more restrained nail designs used. A black and white twist on a French manicure at Fashion East totally won us over with its graphic and bold design.
#10. Bare Nail Touched with Art
The most minimalist of the spring/ summer 2019 nail art trends were small designs drawn or stuck to mostly bare nails, either all over or just on an accent nail. This trend was one of the most ubiquitous, because it is quick, easy, and versatile.
At Nicole Miller, bare nails were used as writing surfaces, proclaiming BAD on one hand and decorated with red flames on the other. Kith also deserves a serious mention, as we saw many different designs decorating bare nails there – our personal favorite was a square black spiral decorating only the nail tips, although Americana-striped tips also deserve a mention.
A clear press-on nail at Moschino was the perfect canvas for the now iconic black scribble that decorated every outfit on that runway. At Tibi, we enjoyed the purposefully flawed manicure, as the nails were left mostly bare while only a small part near the tip was covered with a swipe of nail polish, with a sort of chipped effect. Minimalist white reigned at Monse, where the nails were left bare save for some clever white striping.
#11. Red Nails
Red nail polish could never go out of style, so it was only natural that it would be included in the spring 2019 nail polish trends. Red nails are usually a way of showing a passionate, seductive side with just a swipe of a brush.
Red nails were the height of class at Ryan Lo, with their lovely almond shape and sexy sheen. They were painted to contrast similarly shaped white nails. The press-on red nails at Veronica Beard were similarly classy in an oval shape.
The nails at Custo Barcelona showed us that red could be adorable, as the red chosen was cool-toned, and applied to shorter nails. If you prefer a deeper red, on the other hand, have a look at the dark shade used to polish the nails at Brock Collection.
#12. Cutesy Drawings
You can get super cute with the spring/ summer 2019 nail art trends. If you have a flare for the precise, or access to some stickers, then you should definitely play around with some of the adorable designs we saw on nails this season.
It was all about stickers at Alice + Olivia, with nail designs featuring cute cartoon characters as well as good luck charms like eyes and hamsas. At GCDS, colorful smiley face stickers over a rainbow stiletto manicure did the trick, interjecting whimsy into a fierce nail shape.
Nude nail polishes are a great choice as an all-over color for the spring 2019 nail polish trends, rather than strictly as part of a French manicure.
We saw the classiest of nude nails at Noon by Noor, solidly colored and with a classy squoval shape. A pinkish nude nail at Oscar de la Renta combined femininity with sophistication, thanks to half moons of bare skin at the bottom of the nail adding interest. Lastly at Brandon Maxwell, nude nails were super simple, as they were created with just a couple of coats of Essie’s Sugar Daddy.
#14. Spring Femme Nails
Peaches and pinks were the perfect shades for femme nails in the spring 2019 nail polish trends. They interjected the runways with a girlish touch that echoed princess trends in both fashion and accessories, and were perfect complement to springtime florals.
Pastel peach at Gucci gave ultra-short nails a feminine twist, while a deeper peach at Temperley London was specifically chosen to match peach-colored lips. The nail art at Tome was all about different shades of pink in a feminine ombre. Even cheery millennial pink nail polish made an appearance on press-on nails at Marco de Vincenzo.
#15. White Nail Polish
Are white nails clean and virginal, or do they just look like you mistook the white-out bottle for polish? It’s up to you how you feel about this color as one of the spring 2019 nail polish trends.
The nails leaned more towards clean beauty at Ryan Lo, where many of the models sported almond-shaped nails painted cleanly with a creamy white. At Guy Laroche, on the other hand, there was a bit of white-out vibe, as the nails were shorter and there was ample space between the coat of polish and the cuticles. Even at Monse, we saw a touch of white, applied diagonally across a bare pinky as an accent.
#16. Dark Solid Colors
Some runway nails made us forget that we were looking at springtime looks, with artists making dark, solid polishes one of the spring/ summer 2019 nail polish trends. This was true for both Armani collections, with dark blue nails showing up on the Emporio Armani runway, and dark green nails making an appearance at the Giorgio Armani show.
We saw similarly dark green nails at Koche, along with some solid black nails as well. The black nails at Philipp Plein were also memorable, as they were extra long and studded with a few jewels, while at Tom Ford, black nails were simply elegant.
#17. Three-Dimensional Embellishments
We can always expect a few nail artists to go all out in their designs, by building up nails loaded with 3D appliqués that can be seen from a mile away. Most of the 3D nail embellishments that we saw in the spring/ summer 2019 nail trends were on the opulent side of things, made with gold and precious jewels, but there were some notable exceptions.
No manicure was quite as striking as the opulent one we saw at Adeam, where three-dimensional jewel-encrusted golden or silver appliqués added sparkle and drama.
At Area, massive nails sported an embellished French manicure, with the base of the nail covered in a nude shade, and the tips embellished with stick-on jewels applied in clean little rows.
Nail piercings also showed up, decorating the tips of blue nails at Chromat. The golden chains and jewels used at Libertine complemented ultra-feminine manicures replete with delicate floral designs.
Last but certainly not least are the magnificent nail creations at The Blonds, with each fake nail carefully built and embellished to represent a specific Disney villain.
#18. Two-Tone Nails
One of the most minimalist and wearable spring/ summer 2019 nail art trends is the two-tone design, where you do nothing but just apply a coat of your favorite solid color and paint the tips in another color using the shape you like.
Two-tone nails came in different color combinations at Fashion East, implementing the same French manicure design yet in an updated, modern way, where you ditch the classic nude and white color combination.
Sadie Williams used pointy black tips over a golden nail color for an edgy, yet simplistic look, while Kith decided to add a third color to the pack, since the nude nail polish used as a base coat was almost invisible.
#19. Clear Press-On Nails
The most unusual, unexpected and fiercest spring/ summer 2019 nail trend is wearing ultra-long press-on nails in their raw form without later on applying a nail color to make them look more natural. This trend is the perfect logical sequence of the spring 2019 clear bag trend and the PVC materials used all over the runways for the upcoming spring.
Area, Sandy Liang and Marta Jakubowski used colored clear press-on nails in bright, bold shades, from neon yellows and greens to red. Vivienne Westwood kept the tips of the clear talons as they were and added a metallic color to the nail beds. As for Fashion East, the clear press-on nails used for the show were more opaque and matte, yet equally long and fierce.
Photos via Livingly, Vogue