Hot looks: spring/summer 16 nail trends

As the weather gets hotter, so will the nail art this season. Spring brings with it a wealth of bold new pastels and bright, highly pigmented purples, greens, fuchsias and reds for techs to play with. Whether clients opt for a block colour or a more detailed design to complement their clothes, you can be sure that this season’s fashion trends and colours will be on their minds when it comes to their manicures. After all, spring and summer gel-polish styles need to last them through the endless outfit changes of a full summer holiday, festival or wedding season.

We outline some of the hottest trends spotted on the catwalks and high streets for spring/summer 2016, and reveal how the brands and top techs have translated them into wearable nail art looks and colours for any client.

70s inspired
The seventies are set to come back with a vengeance this season, from tan suedes and fringing showcased by designers including Jonathan Saunders and Rebecca Minkoff on the runway, to bohemian paisley patterns and exotic embellishments. The busy, brassy patterns that defined the decade have been made desirable again, from chevron to patchwork and repeated geometric patterns. These would all translate well to nails, either in sticker decals on a statement nail or simple blocks of polish in contrasting tones.

Burnt orange, russet and camel shades have stuck around, but if these are too autumnal for summer-loving clients think about the decade’s colourful, bohemian side with Indian-inspired almost neon shades of blue, purple, pink and orange in beautiful hand painted designs.

With denim, suede and fringing dominating the catwalks, the professional nail brands have answered with some striking but natural-looking tones for the season ahead. Cuccio’s Got the Navy Blues will satisfy clients’ craving for deep-dye denim, while LCN’s Copacabana Gold and Polish Pro’s dusty pink Oh So Chic give nudes a new twist. Greens such as IBD’s foresty Metro Pose and OPI’s grassy I’m So Swamped nod to the natural trend that shaped the decade, while Jessica’s bright, peachy orange Fashionably Late, Orly’s magenta Window Shopping and Morgan Taylor’s rich purple Extra Plum Sauce embrace the Indian summer influence of the decade.

Bold stripes
The catwalks were packed with clashing colours for the coming season and while some shows mixed them up in patchwork creations, many chose solid stripes of colour, pairing hot reds and oranges with deep greens or sky blues. Roksanda, Paul Smith and Jonathan Saunders all went bold on the stripes, using them across their collections in vivid pairings. High-street stores have already embraced the trend with strong stripes on midi dresses and skirts, weaving in a retro feel.

Bold stripes present ample opportunity for simple yet stunning nail art. Start out easy with a two-colour design, or get creative mixing in all the colours from one of the new spring polish collections – Jessica and Essie both have some gorgeous new brights to try for this.

Anything goes for the bold stripe trend and the brands haven’t disappointed this season, with brights in every shade for techs to experiment with. Bio Sculpture’s Turn Up The Volume offers the ultimate in hot red, while Polish Pro’s Raspberry Ruffles, China Glaze’s In The Near Fuchsia and Gelish’s Tag You’re It give plenty of options for a pop of pink, or take it a bit darker with Morgan Taylor’s rich Kung Fu-chsia. Mix up the classics with a bright green such as Essie’s Off Tropic or a rich purple like Spa Ritual’s Supportive. For a fresh finish, try pairing a bold aqua such as Jessica’s Strike a Pose with a bright, canary yellow such as Gellux’s Lemon Sherbet.

Silk and lace
Contrasting textures in pretty, subtle colours underpinned the silk and lace trend. Underwear worn as outerwear featured heavily on the catwalks for the spring/summer season with design houses including Dior, Givenchy and Celine layering lace, silk and chiffon in whites, nudes, pinks and black. Like all runway trends, this was given a more wearable edit for the high street.

From subtle broderie trims on shorts and skirts to layered lace with a bohemian edge, expect the lingerie look to loom large as the weather gets warmer. The trend kicks in just in time for wedding season, making it a great one for bridal nail art. Try embedding a vintage-look lace over a subtle, shimmery nude, or go bolder with a black lace-effect design on a soft lilac base.

The gorgeous lace, toile, silk and satin textures of the catwalks have been translated into some shimmering nudes, subtle glitters and soft pinks. Go for a goldtoned glitter with a holographic edge such as IBD Canned Couture or Bio Sculpture’s Glitter Bug, or add some subtle colour with All That Jazz’s Diamonds Are Forever – a nude base with a multi-colour glitter. Cuccio’s Message in a Bottle, Polish Pro’s Lilac and Lace and CND’s Lavender Lace give a shimmer to the subtle mauve shade, while Orly’s Beautifully Bizarre is the prettiest of pinks. For a super-sophisticated take on the trend, try nude Gentle from Spa Ritual or the pale Let’s Chalk About It from China Glaze.

Vintage florals
Florals for spring is hardly surprising, but this year the focus is on petals from past decades, for a refined, grown-up alternative to the usual bright blooms. Seen on the runway paired with ruffles and high collars, the vintage floral trend has a touch of the Victoriana. Faded pastels, ornate leaves and pretty patterned borders feature in spring/summer high-street collections, showing that there’s more than one way to translate a floral feeling, especially for clients who usually run a mile at the mention of the word.

Try out sophisticated, one-stroke petal designs in teastained tones or create delicate but simple patterns of leaves and stems. The updated floral colour palette features muted blush pink, olive green and poppy red, while black, navy and grey make for unconventional base shades.

The pinks, greens and blues in vintage prints have a softer and more muted tone than typical spring florals, and there is plenty in store from the pro brands to help you recreate the looks. Kick off with a tea-toned base such as China Glaze’s Sorry I’m Latte or the darker Humidi-Tea from OPI, then choose a pretty pink for the flowers, such as LCN’s Cotton Candy, Gelish’s Cou-tour The Streets or the aptly named Picking Petals by Perfect Match. Try contrasting with Jessica’s lilac It Girl or powderblue Peppermint Cream from Gellux. Grab some contrasting greens to give depth to the leaves that finish the look. Orly’s minty fresh Vintage and All That Jazz’s pretty teal Rules of Engagement are perfect.