Calling It: These Trending Nail Colors Are the Only Ones That Matter This Winter

Well, folks, it’s almost winter. Though it feels like we were only just plotting our summer manicure plans and perfecting our at-home french manicure skills, the time has come to start talking about the shades we’ll be breaking out ahead of the holiday season. It snuck up on us, but trust and believe, we stay ready!

Unlike years past, when deep shades like navy, black, and burgundy crept in to take the throne as soon as the leaves start to change, winter’s trending nail colors are surprisingly bright. There are hues from all over the rainbow popping off this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Considering all that we’ve endured this year, we deserve extra-chipper manicures. From bright hybrid hues to minimalist glosses and all the shimmer you’ll need to get ready for blankets of snow, check out the 10 best winter nail colors to try now.

This vibrant blue-green mashup of a color isn’t one we’d typically assign as a winter shade, but it’s having a major moment right now. Olive and June, a brand that continually influences nail color trends with its seasonal collections, dropped the perfect option as part of its winter collection this year. And honestly, its just the latest nod to the Southwest-inspired color palette that’s been dominating the nail industry all year. Perhaps the unseasonal popularity of this particular hue is another sign that we could all use a pick-me-up wherever we can get it, but we are totally into the idea of a bright winter manicure. 

On the softer side of the aisle lies this beautiful pale purple that’s at once sweet and sophisticated. A deeper play on the dusty rose hues that gained traction over the summer, this muted lavender evokes the cozy winter feels without falling into the played-out “cold temperatures equals dark colors” trap. There are options available that lean more heavily into purple undertones and ones that read more pink, so there’s a shade to match any and every skin tone.

When Chanel speaks, we listen, and this winter, the beauty arm of the iconic design house is indulging our lower-maintenance beauty routines with its latest launch of an almost-clear polish that gives just enough to blur and perfect the nail bed for an effortlessly manicured look. That’s right. Barely-there polish is officially in. Although this particular offering is indeed marketed toward the male-identifying among us (the buffed-shine nail look has, for some reason, been always been considered a well-groomed guy thing), all gentlefolk alike should feel free to lean into this trend. Sometimes, you just need a little something to clean up the hands without having to lean in to a full color moment. And if you’re concerned about going up against a tiny polish brush, a simple buff and shine works just as well to get the look.

Emerald green has always signified opulence, and what better time to lean into the abundant vibe than winter? Shades of green, from muted matcha to neon slime, have been bubbling up in both the fashion and beauty worlds all year, but the impending cold season has marked a shift to the deeper end of the green spectrum. It’s one of those colors that works just as well in a buttery, opaque finish or in a shimmery one if you want a little extra holiday cheer. Non-cheesy Christmas manicures, here we come.

Red nail polish will never not be in style, and this winter is no different. But it’s not the orangey red of summer or the tawny red of fall that’s taking off now—it’s the classic, fire-engine red you’d see adorning the fingers of ’90s supermodels. It’s classic.

Rain clouds have entered the chat. Another color moment we’re seeing is this washed gray that has an ever so slight blue tinge to it. It conjures cold days and soft blankets without being dark or depressing. Expect to see it all over.

This deep cocoa iteration of fall’s It nail color shows no signs of letting up as we enter winter. Of all the brown shades that have been popping throughout autumn, it’s this deep brown that’s invited to the holiday season. It’s the perfect warmed-up substitute for black, which can sometimes read stark or lifeless.

I don’t know who still needs to hear this, but white nail polish never goes out of style. For winter, though, creamy, opaque shades are best, as are snowy, pearlescent, and shimmery ones that give a little boost of cheer.

Cheers winter with the crushed-diamond effect of this pale gold and beige love child. Whether it’s tinted more yellow or leans into rose gold territory, you really can’t go wrong.

‘Tis the season for shimmer, but for those who prefer to get the look without going full glitter, consider a metallic tone like this to add a vibrant yet chic element to your beauty wardrobe. From bronzy tones to metallic khaki and any other high-beam neutral you can imagine, this look is so perfect for winter.

Up next, We’re Dismissing Predictable Nail Colors—Here’s What We’re Wearing Instead

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