Unlike say, accidentally dying your hair bright red like Sarah Hyland, trying out some of 2020’s biggest nail art trends is much lower stakes and relatively easy to do at home. From abstract art-inspired manicures to pastel ‘90s fashion throwbacks, the nail trends that are everywhere in 2020 are fun, optimistic and surprisingly simple. Most of the nail trends below can be achieved with a steady hand and a couple of colours—you can also mix shades for a truly custom look.
Plus, spending half an hour painting delicate little flowers onto your nails is actually a pretty genius hack to focus on something soothing for once. It’s like a mandated self care break from looking at and touching your phone for a while. You can’t get overwhelmed by bad news when you’re not reading the news—and when you’re ready to come back, just make sure you’re consuming news in a healthy way.
Break out your supplies and your cuticle oil, it’s time to nail these trends.
The 10 Biggest Nail Art Trends Of 2020
Abstract Art Nails
The abstract nail art trend is defintely art gallery-inspired, though interpretations of this colourful, wavy style are so varied it can be kinda hard to pin down. It’s perfect if you’re indecisive about what colour you want to wear or are only just dipping your pinky finger into the world of nail art.
If you thought the ‘70s trend was just only back with flared-pants and modern takes on the mullet hairstyle, think again. One of 2020’s biggest nail trends takes inspiration from hippie nostalgia. Think psychedelic smileys, flowers and rainbow colour schemes.
Super tiny, minimal nail art
Minimalists and people with shaky hands rejoice, this nail trend is about doing less. One dot and a few little strokes can make a dainty flower, or just stop at one well-placed dot.
Another minimal and modern nail art trend we’re seeing everywhere is negative space nails. If you like the fresh look of a natural nail but want to add a bit of interest, this one’s for you. Have a play with negative space French manicures, squiggly art or, our favourite, a little grumpy daisy.
Evil eye nail art is everywhere this year. Maybe it’s a collective effort of people trying to ward off the bad vibes of the front half of this year? It’s certainly not a replacement for a face mask but we’re enjoying all the takes on this nail trend.
A natural progression of ‘90s fashion trends returning is, of course, the pastel nail. We’re seeing it in fashion, with a favouring of pastel blues, lavenders and limes and incorporating it into your nails is a low commitment way to play with the trend.
Also sometimes called a "skittle manicure" we like this nail art trend for how stunningly easy it is. It's either five complementary colours in light to dark shades or ones put together just 'cause they look nice. Like the hand version of a bunch of paint swatched. The hardest thing to do in achieving this nail trend is just picking the colours you want to feature. Pick a bunch of tonal shades for a subtle effect or go HAM and do whatever.
Activist and social issue nails
The phrase is “wearing your heart on your sleeve,” but loads of nail artists are taking to putting their thoughts on their nails. Whether it’s messaging to stay home, to wash your hands or tributes for people we’ve lost this year, it doesn’t look like the activist nail trend is going anywhere soon.
If you can’t achieve balance anywhere else in your life, there’s always yin-yang nail art. It’s another nail trend that requires minimal tools and colours, but you can get creative with negative space and placement.
Branded and designer logo nails
Whether it’s a simple Nike swoosh, an LV logo or replicating a super popular brands print, like the Marine Serre half-moons below, the branded nail art trend is everywhere in 2020. While you could, with patience and the right podcast in the background freehand these designs, there’s also no shame in leaning on some nail decals or stickers.