Hottest nail art trends for AW20 and how to create them

This year has been like no other. With salons shut from early spring until late-summer, many nail techs will have missed the chance to show off their creative flair when it comes to spring/summer 20 designs and this is sure to have an impact on autumn/winter 20 nails. “Summer shades and designs will run through to autumn more than ever,” says OPI educator Belinda Price. 

We’re used to seeing a shift in gear this time of year from neon brights and punchy corals to more muted shades and toned-down hues, but this autumn will see a meeting of these trends. “This year we’ll see a lot of nail trends staying around for the long haul, evolving on a seasonal basis rather than whole new trends coming in,” says Danielle Walker, educator for the Georgie Smedley Group, which distributes brands including Gelish. 

Covid-19 lockdown took away the luxury of nail appointments for clients for months and as a result we’ll be seeing people going all out to make up for lost time. Rather than opting for minimal nails, as clients might normally have done in September and October, it’s predicted after a summer of no appointments that we’ll be heading full steam ahead into out-there nails, combining a plethora of different designs. 

“I’ve been seeing a lot of multi-design nails that incorporate a variety of patterns, such as neon ombré with animal prints or nude nails with geometric shapes and patterns,” says Becca Butterworth, master educator at the Georgie Smedley Group. “Nails with a little bit of everything will continue to be in demand.” 

Lex Woods, master educator at the Georgie Smedley Group, agrees: “Rather than softer tones and cable knit designs everything will be bold and daring. This autumn will be all about standing out.” 

Nail art trend one: marvellous marble 

Blue Quartz nails by Salon System nail expert Julie-Anne Larivière

“Marble nail art will continue to be a core trend as lots of clients may feel they missed out on it due to the closure of salons,” says Lisa Lilley, brand ambassador for the Georgie Smedley Group. 

“It’s a trend that works for all seasons simply by changing the colours used in treatment. For example, for autumn, I envisage rich and warm tones.” The company suggests pairing grey-toned marble nails with darker red tones and a pop of gold to border the cuticle. 

Elissa Newton-Smalls, nail tech and CND education ambassador, sees the appeal of marble too, commenting: “Marble can be created in any shade and can be made as simple or as detailed as you wish, making it adaptable for any nail size. Add glitters and foils to really make the design pop.” To bring marble nails bang up to date, we advise using the autumnal colour palette as a canvas and just do a marble statement nail. 

Image: Blue quartz nails by Salon System nail expert Julie-Anne Larivière

Crystal Nails 4 U image[Sponsored content] Crystal Nails Heal The World & Spread Love Collections

Crystal Nails have lots of Crystalac trend colours for autumn/winter 20, includingeight new three-step Step CrystaLac trend colours – 3S133, 3S134, 3S135, 3S136, 3S137, 3S138, 3S139 and 3S140 – the result of years of research. The brand has taken the permanency of colour gels and added an exclusive in-build brush to it, and this material has a soft self-levelling attribute and cures under either UV or LED lights. The brand’s Heal the World collection includes earthy green shades, while Spread Love features an array of natural colours. 

Price: £34.95 for each Crystalac Kit

Nail art trend two: drink up

CND Fall 2020 campaign image

Autumn is the season of comforting drinks, from mulled wine, hot apple cider and hot chocolate, to decadent red wines, and nail designs are set to take inspiration from the drinks cabinet. Enhance the rich tones with flashes of gold to enhance the depth of the sultry shades. 

For clients who want to shy away from nail art, stock up on earthy shades – think mustard, caramel, pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate browns. 

“Colours inspired by cosy scarves, atmospheric candles and autumn leaves will always be popular as the nights draw in. Stock up on these colours now,” encourages Georgie Smedley Group brand ambassador Diana Pajeva. 

Image: CND Fall 2020 campaign image

Nail art trend three: animal magic

Snakeprint nail art

If you love creating animal print designs then you’re in luck as this trend is going absolutely nowhere. “Animal print never really goes away and its popularity is going to continue to grow this year,” says Newton-Smalls. “Snake print and leopard print will be very in this season.” 

Jaz Moger, Salon System’s nail expert, also believes that tortoise shell will continue to be a hot print for AW20 “as the colours are very warming and complement the darker evenings well.” 

The beauty of animal print is that it’s easy to change the colours to fit the seasons, says Nicole Parker, educator at the Georgie Smedley Group: “An accent of leopard print can be paired with a nude autumn hue for a subtle hint, or you can use neon tones for a more striking choice for the clients who like to go further with their nail art.” 

Image: Shutterstock

Other AW20 nail art trends to watch:

These were the biggest nail art trends for SS20 and some may surprise you.

Lead image: OPI AW20 campaign photograph