7 hot nail trends for summer 2022

2022 is all about the throwback, with noughties-inspired nail designs leading the way. Melanie Macleod finds out why they work just as well today as they did in the 2000s.

With summer in bloom, it’s time to put the burgundy and forest green polishes back into hibernation to make way for optimistic colours, with Pantone Colour of the Year 2022 Very Peri setting the tone for punchy pastel hues to take centre stage.

Nostalgic nails are here to stay too, with designs that take inspiration from the early noughties hitting the big time – that’s right, rhinestones, classic French and frosted metallics are back and more in-demand than ever before.

Not a fan of throwbacks and pastel designs? Not a problem, as Amy Martin, ambassador for the Georgie Smedley Group, points out there’s a trend for everyone right now. “The great thing about being a nail tech in 2022 is that there are no limits to what we can achieve.

“We are fortunate to live in a time where we have so many great nail art products on offer and social media platforms to share content and take inspiration from other nail techs, so go out there and have fun.”

Here are the SS22 trends to watch, as told by leading nail pros and some of the nail experts who were involved in the Nail Stage and Nail Competition at Professional Beauty London 2022.

Spotlight on periwinkle

Periwinkle manicure

Everyone’s been talking about pastel lilac-blue hybrid periwinkle since it was named Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2022 – luckily it looks amazing used in spring and summer nail designs.

“I think we can expect to see a lot of lilac and purple shades making an appearance this year,” says Martin. “Lilac is a great shade to use in both spring and summer. It’s also the perfect base for adding nail art such as flowers or a purple quartz marble.”

Frosted nails

Frosted accent nail

HBO’s Euphoria brought frosted pastel make-up back in a big way and the subtle metallic look works just as well on nails, according to Martin. “Products such as chrome stix and powder mean that we can create frosted metallic nails easily,” she says. If your clients don’t want to go overboard on the noughties nostalgia, a statement frosted nail is a low-key way to court the trend.

Standout embellishment

Embellished nails

Already spotted on media mogul Kylie Jenner and those trend-setting Euphoria girls, pearl, rhinestone and gem-encrusted designs are set to be big news this year, especially in the world of bridal nail art.

These are special-occasion nail art designs, created to make an impact rather than to last for weeks on end.

Micro nail art

Minimal nail art design

Ultra-fine, line drawing art has been all the rage in interiors for a while and it’s making its way onto our nails too, with simplistic, silhouette-style sketches set to be all over our finger tips in 2022.

“We’ll see a return to simplicity, soft colours and low-key micro nail art,” says Sue Davies, director of the Federation of Nail Professionals and organiser of Professional Beauty London’s Nail Competition. “Pastel tones work well for this trend as they make

Chunky French

2021 was all about the micro-French, but now that all things noughties are back on our radar, expect to see clients asking for that chunky French loved by reality stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie back in the early 2000s.

“The long, square, bright white and pink base was the go-to mani for the everyday classic look back then,” says Martin. “I think this trend will make a comeback with a 2022 spin on it. Think French manis paired with 2022 sticker nail art for the perfect fun twist on a classic, timeless design.”

Thermal nails

Generally spring/summer is when we put away our thermals, but they’re going strong when it comes to nails, with more than 17,000 #thermalnails hashtags on Instagram. The look is part lava lamp, part weather heat map, for a quirky, different-every time look.

“Thermal nails are created by layering colours, then filing them away to expose the different colours underneath, such as pastel and neon shades,” says Kathy Holroyd, Salon System’s marketing director.

Nail experimentation

Everyone has that one client who *always* goes for the same shade (or at least a variation on a theme) but they might surprise you this year, dipping a toe into more dramatic designs.

“We’re flooded with nail inspiration every day on social media and after two years of uncertainty, I think everyone will look forward to their next nail appointment as they get to finally express themselves through their nails again, with a different design each time,” says CND education ambassador Victoria Trafford.

This feature first appeared in the March issue of Professional Beauty magazine. To be the first to read the trends every month. Subscribe to the print edition of Professional Beauty here.

Lead image: CND