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The hottest winter nail trends to try now

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From Hailey Bieber’s ‘glazed donut nails’ to chrome french manicures, these are the nail trends you need to try on your next visit to the salon.

Winter’s well and truly underway, and while we may not be loving the colder weather and shorter days, we’re definitely appreciating the transition to winter fashion (hello, big coats and chunky boots). Autumn and winter are the best seasons to experiment with all things fashion and beauty, from switching to a darker hair colour to introducing a new red lipstick into your makeup routine, and of course, trying out the latest nail trends.

Although there’s no rule book for winter manicures, it’s usually a time to stray from neon pinks and colourful nail art and instead embrace moodier tones. If you’re looking for inspo for your next nail appointment, you’re in luck — we asked three nail experts to share their thoughts on the latest nail trends and colours, as well as how to look after your nails in the colder weather.

Natural nails are having a moment

Gone are the days of long acrylics and chunky diamantes. In 2023, natural nails have been having a moment moment — largely due to the range of services that make longer natural nails more attainable, from dipping powders to builder gels. “Acrylic nails were once really the only option for adding length,” says nail technician Millie Brux. “However, since BIAB (builder in a bottle) was released, it’s been an absolute game-changer for both clients and technicians. Made from a soft gel, BIAB allows cuticle oil to soak through, keeping the nail nourished while providing strength and protection, thus allowing natural nails to grow.”

While BIAB doesn’t add as much length as typical extensions, it can be used to slightly extend nail length, and is really versatile, too. “BIAB can be worn alone, giving a beautiful, natural nude glow and high shine to the nail, or used under gel polish for added strength,” Millie continues. “Recently, we’ve seen a rise in BIAB with a matte top coat, something I call ‘The No-Mani Manicure’, a service that’s very popular with those not able to wear obvious nail coverings in the workplace.”

Read more: Sofia Richie Grainge just brought back foundation lips

Nail health is a top priority

The cold weather can wreak havoc on beauty routines, causing dry skin and chapped lips. Unfortunately, the same applies to nails. “Winter and the cold weather it brings can impact our natural nails. Just as the leaves fall, wilt and curl inwards, so do our nails, which are prone to dehydration and becoming brittle during the winter season,” says Julita Fagan, manicurist at 14 Day Mani.

“In order to ensure you’re achieving the best wear from your manicure, I recommend using cuticle oil two to three times daily,” she says. “This should be liberally applied to the cuticles and rubbed into the entirety of the nail and surrounding skin for added hydration. You can also combine your cuticle oil with a quality hand cream to further moisturise the hands. Using cuticle oil not only allows for better visual wear of your manicure, but it also aids in longevity. Add cuticle oil to your daily routine and watch the magic happen!”


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Neutral nails can be dressed up with these tricks

Neutral nails will always be a classic, and thanks in part to TikTok’s Clean Girl Trend, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. “Nude and neutral shades will always be a crowd favourite, however, there are many ways to elevate them, if you want to do so,” says Julita.

“Placing a small dot at the top or centre portion of the nail is probably the easiest design to achieve, yet is a timeless option,” she continues. “Such is the same with line work designs, whereby a thin line is drawn vertically or horizontally on the nail. Small, chrome accents are also a great way to elevate a simple mani. For those who want to step it up another level, the tiniest heart placed at the centre of a nail, or a single-lined swirl at the tips of the nails, are also great, eye-catching options.”

Read more: Our pick of vampy lipstick shades to see you through autumn and winter


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Red nails reign supreme

Some colours will always be timeless for winter, including reds and other deep tones. “A clean and polished, one-colour manicure is always a favourite during the winter months,” says Julita. “Reds, deep wines, greens and brown shades will always be present and kept heavily in rotation throughout the season. 14 Day Manicure has an extensive range of gel polish colours to choose from. A few of my favourites are Lipstick Red, Sight and Dreamer and Love at First Sight, each available from the Scarlet Secrets collection.”


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Coloured chrome is a must-try

“Each year, the season’s nail trends are full of rich browns, crimson reds and deep purples. This year, these colours are all back — but with a twist!” says Millie. “Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails (that’s a pearlescent chrome colour on top of a neutral hue) were all the rage earlier this year, and it’s a trend that’s carrying on into the winter months, only layered over more seasonal coloured varnishes. Pinky-purple tonal chromes over berry colour gel are stunning, along with golds over greens and silvers over blues — the possibilities are pretty much endless when it comes to the chrome trend.”

If you’re wanting to dip your toes into the trend without going all-out straight away, chrome tips can be a great option. “Gold tips in particular work really well for a chrome french mani,” says Millie.

@haileybieber Here’s my nail combo 👀 the 🔑 is to mix whatever color you choose with clear polish to thin it out ✨🫠 @Zola ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依


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