Fashion and beauty move faster than ever before these days, and to keep up with the “trend-mill,” you’ve got to stay ahead of the next wave.

2022 is all about having it all without having to compromise. Whether on the runways or the infinite speedway of our IG nail art feeds, we’re seeing everything from the pared down minimalism of diamond gels to sheeny technicolor chromatics of holographic polishes.

For the full 11-strong lineup, read on to get the download on the top trending nail colors on our radar in the coming year. Whether you are searching for new gel polish, acrylic, or dip powder nail ideas, these colors are sure to inspire your 2022 look.

#1: Lapis

For this nail color trend for 2022, we’re going back in time to unearth one of the ancient world’s most coveted gemstones.

If you aren’t familiar with lapis lazuli, it’s a striking semi-precious stone that pervades the art of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Reminiscent of azure and cobalt, lapis is such a stand-alone hue that it’s surprisingly wearable — like fine jewelry for your nails. Our top three shades in our nail polish treasure trove:

  • Ultramarine Cobalt Blue by Cirque Colors
  • Blue by Venalisa Gel Nail Polish
  • Butler Please by Essie

#2: Butter

2021 was a year of embracing the sunlight after a winter spent cooped up indoors, but for 2022 we’re softening the sunshine and melting into its creamier counterpart: butter.

A cousin of your staple nude, you can go ‘60s mod and apply this melt-in-your-mouth nail polish color with a matte finish. On the flip side, we also love this contemporary minimalism: a clean clear varnished base with the hem of the nail dipped in a buttercup shade like the precious Bee by Zoya or the creamy custard Limoncello by ella + mila. 

Pass the butter, please!

#3: Camo

Ironically, this coming season you may want to blend in in order to stand out in the crowd.

Camo colors like olive, forest, and army greens are major for nail polish brands producing new color formulations in the upcoming year. You and your nail artist can ally to reproduce the classic army dress. A few of our favorites in uniform:

  • This deep canopy color by Clou Beaute Gelpolish called (fittingly) Army Green
  • Camo Luxe, an incredible olive-grey with a sparkle finish by Bobbi Brown
  • Essie’s high voltage Warm Onyx Green

For a more feminine take on camo, assemble an army of pastel shades to remix camo in unusual palettes like lavender and pink.

#4: Holographic

Holographic nails are another knife-edge nail design trend on our radar for the coming year. We’ve seen hologram manicures all over the spectrum, from stormy opalescent hues that remind us of our Lisa Frank binders in middle school to multi-dimensional delicate pinks reminiscent of Lolita or Barbie.

Whether you cop a disco chrome shade like Mega by ILNP Cosmetics or a mood ring iridescent lacquer like Birefringence from ILNP Cosmetics, intergalactic holographic shades are here to stay according to qualified nail technicians all around. After all, if you can’t decide on just one shade to wear, why not wear them all? 

#5: Neon Pumpkin

In the coming year, we’re taking understated autumnal shades like canary yellows, tawny maples, and dusky scarlets up a notch.

Instead of your traditional pumpkin-spice-and-everything-nice shade, reach for a neon version of your go-to fall colors. They may look intimidating from the outset, but we love highlighter gel hues like JXL’s Bright orange and this matte formula from duri nail polish in Bedeviled.

They’re daring look is sure to spice up any outfit and put your fall nail look ahead of the pack.

#6: Neon Anything

The effects of post-quarantine life are cropping up everywhere, and that includes the manicures trending at your local nail salon. The desire to let loose and dive back into nightlife is blazing its way into the newest trends in nails, with rave-worthy shades darting across nails like glow sticks across a dark background. Any of the following hues are undeniably on-trend for the coming year:

  • Highlighter yellows like Color Club’s Yellin’ Yellow
  • Flamingo pinks like Twinkled T’s Bothered Hot Pink
  • Kelly greens like Orly’s Hip and Outlandish
  • Ultraviolets like Venalisa’s Gel formula in Violet Purple
  • Electric blue like Duri’s matte neon blue Tsunami

You don’t have to be an EDM fan to get in on life-of-the-party nails.

#7: Baby Blue

Clearly, the collective desire to take back the night is being countered by a wish to seize the day with sky blues making a serious comeback in the coming year. Creamy blue carpe diem shades like O.P.I.’s No Room for the Blues and Essie’s take on periwinkle Bikini So Teeny are undeniably super wearable on their own — and it’s the perfect color to embrace celestial-inspired nail art. 

Whether you dream up a nailscape reminiscent of the Sistine chapel or use a marbling effect to bring your nails to cloud nine, we love baby blues for its innocent, angelic feel and its reminder on a dreary day of the clear skies to come. 

#8: Ochres

As the ‘90s and early aughts filter back into fashion, the era of the supermodel is making its way back into the world of beauty, particularly in the different types of nail shapes paired with the newest stunning color trends. Lucky for us, this earth tone revival of warm pecans, coffees, and mahoganies are some of the most wearable colors on the market today. A few of our supermodel-inspired picks:

  • This vampy mauve Squeaker of the House by O.P.I.
  • A rich chocolatey shade like Zoya’s Emilia
  • A deep taupe like Thunder Road by Deborah Lippman

Whether you’re channeling Naomi, Kate, or Tyra, swap your old nude and make these rich earth tones a centerpiece of your manicure color palette in 2022.

#9: Emerald

It’s the new roaring 1920s, and we’re not in Kansas anymore. Green has been an unlikely nail hue for the past few years in beauty trends, but in the coming year it’s making a major comeback. Think jewel-tone greens like Cirque Color’s multidimensional Forest Green and deep jade like the creamy green Posh by Revlon.

To keep your chosen verdant hue juicy and versatile, opt for plenty of shine rather than a matte look and you won’t even have to wear a ring.

#10: Hibiscus

Pink is basically immortal when it comes to manicures, but hibiscus is just what the doctor ordered for the coming year. A few of our greatest loves:

  • The understated but vibrant Sexyback by Deborah Lippman
  • This blinding fuschia, 15 Minutes of Flame from O.P.I.
  • A sumptuous blend between pink and purple, like Jamaica Me Crazy by Essie

A blend of breezy beach holiday vibes and the sex appeal of a venus flytrap, juicy sorbet pink nails are one of the hottest fashion week trends trickling into salons everywhere — and probably your nail art IG feed.

#11: Crystal

For the ultimate in minimalist nail polish trends, translucent is the one shade that’s so undone it can’t be outdone.

But barely-there nails aren’t as simple as a trim, a cuticle clean-up, and a clear coat of polish. To nail this look, you’ll want a pristine base to work with and nails that are in nearly perfect condition. The best formula for impeccable denuded nails is gel — you’ll get that perfected look of a high gloss finish for any length of nail. You can start with these go-tos:

  • For DIY nails at home, try Essie’s Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
  • Want an incredibly glossy, wet-looking finish? We love Nail Magic’s Wet Top Coat in Clear
  • If you’re serious about high fashion nails, invest in this Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat by none other than Chanel

To rock this au natural look without forfeiting your creativity, we recommend coupling nail extensions with a few high gloss top coats, layered with crystal-esque nail art.

Beyond current nail polish trends, these fresh new takes on nail art are definitely not your ordinary manicure. Here are two of the latest trends nail art bucking manicure orthodoxy in 2022:

  • Intentional texture – We spy with our little eye a particularly warm and fuzzy trend making its way onto our Pinterest feed: textured nails as cozy as your favorite cable knit sweater. Instead of that accidental furry look you get when you fall asleep with freshly painted nails, this texture look is entirely intentional, embossing geometric patterns right into your chosen on-trend nail color.
  • Chicklet-shaped – Call it the boomerang effect — after season after season of oval-shaped, talon-length acrylic vs dip nails, we’re scaling back and enjoying the muted elegance of softer square-shaped nails. We love this silhouette with a dewy clear polish and lustrous fingernail frames like this nail look from Peter Do’s 2022 ready-to-wear collection.

We can barely wait for New Year’s Day to rock these new popular nail colors and design trends!

This year’s going to be a big one for fashion, style, and all things beauty. You need a beauty specialist to keep you sharp with every look, right down to your well manicured fingernails. But how do you find the right nail artist to keep your nails on point and on trend? Enter StyleSeat, your connection to top beauty professionals for all your hair, skin, and nail care needs. Whether you are looking for new nail technicians in Newport News or highly rated nail salons in Columbus, with StyleSeat, we’ll help connect you to countless experts in all things beauty!

Sources: 

Fashionista. We Already Know the Top Colors for Spring 2022. https://fashionista.com/2020/05/spring-2022-color-trends

Vogue. Peter Do, Spring 2022 Ready-to-wear. https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2022-ready-to-wear/peter-do#gallery-detail