Nail Trends for 2013

Whether you want something dark and sultry or bold and funky, you can find a new favorite nail color for the new year.

From neutral nail color to new technology, check out what's hot in nails for 2013.

Nail Techniques

French with a twist 

In 2012, we saw plenty of reverse French manicures with dark tips instead of the traditional white. For the new year, expect French manicures with a new, different twist. The sideways French manicure will be popular (a vertical split) as well as pale nails with a striking diagonal tip, half moon accent or other graphic shape in a contrasting shade.


Magnetic nail color hit the scene in 2012 and will be going strong in the new year.  You can achieve a cool 3D look in an instant with magnetic nail color. Simply apply the lacquer and then hold the included magnet over each nail while the polish is wet. Add a top coat and voila! — shiny, 3D nails you'll love.


Ombre hair color has been trendy for a couple of years now, and, in 2012, we were introduced to ombre nails. If you like this look, you are in luck because the trend will continue throughout the next year.

It looks professionally done if you have the patience for it, and all you'll need are two different shades of polish. Use a  top coat and a base coat, and find that having a makeup sponge handy can help to clean up any mess and tighten up the edges of the colors. 

  • First, make sure that your hands are moisturized, clean and dry. That's the first step to any successful manicure and should be a standard practice.
  • Apply your base coat and the base color. It is recommended to use two coats, depending on the polish used. This will show as the lower color on your nail, closest to the cuticle.
  • Use a paper bowl to pour a small amount of the second color (the one that will appear at the tip of your nail), and dab a tiny amount on your makeup sponge. Do this slowly and carefully, never applying too much at a time. This will help to keep the mess manageable.
  • This is important: Make absolutely certain that your nails are fully dry before applying the second color. Dip the makeup sponge into polish and dab the tips of your nails in quick, short strokes. Make sure to cover the end of your nail.
  • The top coat becomes a blending tool with this style. It will act as a re-wetting agent to bleed the two colors together, and keep your color lasting and solid.

Nail Colors

Deep and dark

Black nail polish isn't just for Twilight fans and teenage goths. Dark nail polish is usually hot for winter, but this trend will even carry into spring this year. Dark shades we love include OPI's Suzi Skis in Pyrenees (a deep, rich blue-gray) and Essie's Licorice (a beguiling jet black cream).

Light and icy

On the other end of the spectrum, light shades of nail polish will also be trendy for the new year — especially in the springtime, of course. We like CND's Pink Lily as well as the new Zang Toi Spring Summer 2013 Collection for Zoya. This collection features three "Ice Princess" shades with subtle metallic tones of cool lilac (Julie), icy pink (Gei Gei) and shimmery yellow (Piaf).

Green, three ways

Green will be one of the hottest colors of the year in fashion — and in nails.
  • Emerald — When emerald was named Pantone Color of the Year for 2013, we knew this rich hue would find its way into the beauty scene and it has. Many of your favorite nail lacquer brands will release emerald-y shades in 2013.
  • Mint — Mint green has been popular in spring for the last two years, and we'll see more of the same in 2013. If you like pale shades of polish but want something a little different than girly pinks, then mint might be the answer for you.
  • Accents — Bold color combinations are going to be on-trend all year. One of our favorites is jet black nails accented with brilliant green designs.

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