Trend Bender: The Top 4 Spring 2012 Nail Polish Trends Thursday 12 April, 2012
The top four nail polish trends for Spring 2012 contain some of the usual suspects (brights and pastels), but also a few unexpected, more adventurous options (texture!).
A month or so ago I was asked by LCN, a high-end nail brand, to speak about (then) upcoming spring nail trends. The presentation was literally the weekend after Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week ended, so I even pulled together some of what I saw backstage for next fall (I’ll save that info for a future post). With only a few days to put together my Power Point (which I have to admit, I’d never done before, and excessively fretted about before even trying it, but found somewhat easy to do, though utterly time-consuming), I dove in, scouring through the hundreds of spring polish collection offerings, singling out four top trends, and matching these color stories to both predictions from Pantone Color Institute, which basically decides what the hot colors of the season will be (if you haven’t heard, Tangerine Tango is the “it” hue right now; Sephora has done a capsule collection based around this), and what was seen on the Spring 2012 runways. Then I stood in front of a bunch of friendly faced nail technicians, and rambled on about texture, opacity, what looks best with what, etc. I think it went well. The feedback seemed positive.
Shoot forward more than a month, and here I am, thinking: Why not share this on my blog? So here are the trends I pulled together: Pastels!, Texture!, Bold Choices! and Brights! (Emphasis on the !. I’m not sure if these are meant to be shouted, but if you read them that way, by all means, empty your lungs.) Without further ado…
The first trend, Pastels!, is expected for spring. After all, this is the season when everything’s in bloom, and pastels feel fresh, soft and sweet. You’ll want to pluck up the full-coverage opaque creams; they’re the most beautiful version of this color story. My suggestion is to wear a brighter pastel, like a vivid lavender or sky blue, and top it with a holographic glitter top coat (China Glaze Techno is a personal favorite.) The key word is “holographic”; the glitter should have a prismatic effect and not simply be a silver or gold. This gives the pastel additional pop and dimension.
The second trend, Texture!, is right up my ally. Mainly, it’s glitter, glitter and more glitter. Multisize glitter particles with rough edges seem to be a major source of sparkle for spring, but also there are new formulas that have a base that dries to a very granular feeling. And if you’re not one to go the glitter route, you can always try this faux texture trend: Paint your nail the color of your choice (I suggest a full-coverage vanilla cream or navy), and then sponge on a burnished gold polish for vintage, patina feel. Finish with a matte top coat if you want to turn up the cool factor.
Look no further than trend No. 3, Bold Choices!, for your ballsy-est polish hues. This is all about venturing into the fun zone, and the buzziest of the bunch are the bumble-bee yellows that are like little rays of sunshine on your fingertips. Green is also still on the rise, with mints, wasabis and Granny Apple greens vying for your nails’ attention. And naturally, blue is still hovering as the polish color du jour, though I doff my cap to the most enticing of the group, cornflower, which just seems to be so fashionable. What I told the nail techs about this trend: If your clients (or in this case, you) feel a little hesitant to venture to the bolder side, you can always point them to the more “grayed-down” versions of these color groups, which tend to skew more sophisticated. For instance: A muted menthol like OPI Thanks a WindMillion almost plays out like a neutral.
What is spring without Brights? The ultra-saturated zing of an in-your-face papaya, tangerine or fuchsia hue is a total mood-lifter. Though there are plenty of shimmers on the market, I have to once again hand it to the creamy opaques as being the ones to adopt. They just have more “z” in their “zing.” My two top tips for this trend: You must, must, must top them with a high-gloss top coat. This just adds to their beauty. And: For the more daring, do a two-tone French. Yes, I’ve heard a lot of Twitter chatter as of late about how the French manicure “must die!” from top beauty editors and bloggers, but I’m sorry: A nail bed shellacked in tangerine with a tip of bold magenta is gorgeous. Do a wavy French tip if you must. Or a chevron. Or a moon. Whatever—it all looks aces in my book.
And there you have it: Your top four spring polish trends. Now go out there and put some polish on. I don’t want to see a bare nail out there—bare skin, yes; bare nails, no.
(Photos compilations: by me; Karen Walker image: courtesy of CND; polish images: via Nailpro; design sketches; via Pantone)