2020 Manicure Trends You’ll Want to Rock This Year

It’s a new year and a new decade

Photo: Instagram/@nailsbyknock/

Photo: Instagram/@nailsbyknock/

It’s a new year and a new decade. Even the beginning of a different season gets us excited for all the new nail trends to follow, so can you imagine the felicidad of seeing what 2020 has in store for uñas?! There are not only a rainbow of hues that will be in style this year but a ton of various designs and ideas that will have you running to the nail salon. 

Since we always want you to be in the know when it comes to the latest and greatest in beauty, we are sharing 30 nail trends that you will be seeing everywhere (if you haven’t already).

French Manicures (+ Rainbow Nails!)

French manicures were big in 2019, and the ’90s trend is trickling into 2020. Not only is the traditional French a popular option, but so are modern, ’20s versions of the style, including color French, 3-D pearl French, and double-sided French.

Mood Ring Nails

A nail style that you’ll want to try out for yourself, and will no doubt be staring at endlessly, is the tiger eye/cat eye/mood ring trend. The mood ring nail polish is especially cool, as it not only throws off different colors, but it changes hues with a change in temperature. The effect is both futuristic, but also vintage ’70s at the same time.

Negative Space

The striking negative space trend is continuing into 2020 for nails. You will see patterns like swirls, stripes, polka dots, leopard print, and more. The only thing holding you back from a fabulous negative space manicure is your imagination.

3-D Nail Accents

Whether you’re applying them to an over-the-top mani, or using them to delicately add some oomph to a bare nail polish, 3-D accents are still in vogue for 2020. Think pearls, studs, chain, crystals, and the like. You can really get creative with these embellishments, so have fun with it!

Tapered Square Shaped Nails

One of the things we always want to know about is the latest, trending nail shapes. You can have a fabulous color or design on your nails, but if the shape is considered super out of style, then the desired effect can fall short (although, at the end of the day, rock what you want!). Tapered square seems to be the latest incarnation of ’90s-style uñas, and the closest to the original, throwback square shape. 


There has been quite a buzz lately about pearlescent nails making a comeback. These frosty hues were big in the 1980s, and still look so pretty today. Of course, with the advancements in nail polish, there are cool effects now that make pearlescent and iridescent nails throw off beautiful hues.

Cloud Nails

A specific trend that is dreamy — quite literally —is cloud nails. Done in everything from nude, to sky blue, to stark black, usually with fluffy white clouds, these nails are adorable, but not too saccharine.

’80s More is More

Don’t be afraid to opt for all things extra when picking out your 2020 nail designs. While super simple uñas are on-trend, so are delightfully ornate ones. We have seen a bunch of electric ’80s-inspired patterns and prints, with cheery pop Art colors to match. Because girls just wanna have fun. 

Accents on Bare Nails

On the other end of the nail trend spectrum are bare nails. These delicate uñas in shades of whisper pink and ultra-light beige get their oomph from another trend — adding accents to them. This way, you get the best of both worlds, an easy to care for and go with everything mani, and attention-grabbing details like crystals, studs, or a singular dot on each nail. 

Galaxy Nails

We mentioned the cloud nail trend, but this next one is totally out of this world. Galaxy nails feature pretty details like stars, moons, and complete constellations. You can mix and match ideas to find a style that is good for you, or ask for your nail tech to recreate your specific zodiac constellation.


While pastels naturally crop up for the spring season, they have emerged as a big nail trend for 2020. We can credit this to the ’90s resurgence, when the light candy hues were seen on everything, from nails to makeup to clothing. A particular trend within this trend are yellow nails, that instantly evoke sunshine and cheeriness.

Artsy Swirls and Other Designs

2020 is the year to get really artsy with your nails. From vintage swirls to painterly stripes, and everything in between, it’s time to start thinking of your nails as a blank canvas. They’re also an accessory, so use some interesting nail art to instantly add interest to all your outfits.

One Design Per Hand/Several Designs

There is so much nail art being created lately, that several designs are being featured on different nails and different hands. We have seen looks where one hand features a single color or pattern, and the other hand is in a completely different hue or style.

Animal Prints

Animal prints aren’t going anywhere in 2020, and that includes on nails. You will see the ever-popular leopard, as well as cow print (also part of the Western nail trend), and python. A way to upgrade a leopard mani for the new year is to feature this fun print in French manicure form (a la Kylie Jenner).

Barely There Polish

We touched on this briefly, but whether or not you wish to adorn your nails, barely-there polish will be a thing for 2020. Soft pinks, creamy beiges, whisper whites, super light greys and lavenders not only leave your nails looking like your nails — but better — but they are also forgiving when it comes to chips and nail growth. And they go with everything in your closet!

Milky Nails

If you want a neutral mani with some added interest, then the milky white nail trend is a stylish option. Created to resemble milk, these nails strike a perfect balance between sheer and opaque. The result is beautiful, yet understated.

’90s Short Dark Nails


You may not want to opt for short nails, but that doesn’t mean they have to lack drama. The word is that short, dark nails are going to be in style for 2020. The rich, moody hues offer all the drama necessary, and the influence is said to be that stylish decade we are all getting so much inspiration from — the ’90s. A trend within this trend is dark green nail polish, which lets you go dark without automatically reaching for the black, or burgundy shades.

Tonal/Gradient/Ombre Manicures

Everyone’s been having so much fun with the tonal/gradient/ombre nail trend that it is also trending for 2020. There are so many ways to recreate this look, from dainty pastels to bright pops of color, and everything in between. From different colors on each nail, to a fade-out effect across them. You could literally do this type of mani for the whole year and never repeat the same hues and look.

Western-Inspired Nails

Western-style nails are another trend for the new year. While we have only seen these interpreted with a fun cow print, we look forward to seeing if other versions of the aesthetic are recreated.

Nail Stickers

Nail stickers allow you to add some stylish detail to your uñas without having to have any artistic talent. They will be trending for 2020; some designs we have seen are stars, flowers, angels, and the LV monogram. 

Matte Polish

Matte nails is another 2020 trend that instantly allows you to transform your preferred polish shade. The good thing about nail trends this year is that there is something for everybody, with options on either side of the spectrum. And you can combine these trends, like creating negative space with a cool matte, artistic design.

Pearl Details


Just like leopard print, pearls have dominated the latest trends for a while now. And they are going to remain popular in 2020. We have seen tiny pearls placed on bare-ish nails, pearls arranged to create a French manicure, and huge baubles creating a more-is-more look.

Long Acrylics

Blame it on the ’90s style resurgence (although we have continuously been rocking the trend since then), but long acrylics will be one of the nail trends for 2020. People are not afraid to go super long with their nail length, and the added bonus in that is that there is so much more room for cool designs and effects.


Another cheery trend that you’ll want to try out on your uñas is the addition of butterflies. The look is pretty and unexpected, and a spring-worthy alternative if you want to do something different from solid pastels and florals. 


Foliage plants have seen a return in decor, fashion, and nails. The 70s style plant, will be seen on many manicures this year. It’s a style you can go minimal, maximal, or in between with. We recommend taking a walk on the wild side!

Foil Nails


Another style you can take to the max is foil on nails. A trend for 2020, foil is available in various hues and styles, but is seen often in gold. If you want to be more subtle with it, we have seen beige or pink manicures that feature small gold flakes, for a metallic touch.

Snake/Python Nails

Another fun trend to try out on your nails in 2020 is python/snake print. It’s a win-win trend since the colors are neutral, but the print is elevated. It’s a great aesthetic when you want a mani that will go with most of your looks but want something edgy.

Coffin/Ballerina Shaped Nails

If you like coffin/ballerina nails, fret not. You don’t have to give up on this stylish nail shape, because it will continue to trend into 2020. If you want to try something slightly different, but more late 2019, 2020 (and very ’90s), then go for the tapered square shape. It takes the iconic 1990s square and brings in the top just a bit for a modern twist.

Almond Shaped Nails

Almond-shaped nails, which have been popular for several seasons now, are still going to be in style this year. This throwback shape is not only pretty; it will also make your fingers look longer, especially if you wear your nails in a hue that is nude for your skin tone.

Shades of Blue

Perhaps it’s because Classic Blue is the Pantone Color of the Year, but blues of all shades will be trending in 2020. You can opt for one beautiful blue hue across all nails, or don several on each hand. Cool colors like this will relax you, and look ultra-cool against classic denim.

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