Best Nail Trends for 2012

Catchy Nail Fashions

Have you noticed the manicures and nail art on the athletes of the London 2012 Summer Olympics? I love how a girl can have creativity with her nails, just being very eye-catching and cute but without screaming "LOOK AT ME". The most fashion-forward nail trends range from bright and beautiful to dramatic and high-tech.

Pedicure done at party for tween girls
Pedicure done at party for tween girls

Trendy Colors

Greens and Blues
Green colors of all types - neon green, pale green, pistachio, chartreuse - are a top trend in nail shades. Teal is an especially appealing color for nails. All shades of blue, from light sky blue to deep midnight blue are making a statement on the hands and feet of fashion-conscious women. Have you been seeing lots of green and blue fingers and toes at the Olympic pool on the women swimmers? It looks fresh and pretty on these energetic young ladies.

Oranges and Yellows
Another color trend that is growing in popularity are yellows, golds and oranges (think shades of tangerine or hot coral).

All Things Neon
More sophisticated neon colors (not your average day-glo) in a rainbow of colors have been top sellers in recent seasons, especially hot pink.

Nude with Beige or Skin Tone Polish
Nude nails with a beige or flesh tone instead of the traditional light or sheer pink are the newest look. The nude coat can be topped with French manicure tips. This is a great look for a professional in a conservative field, or for any woman who likes a more natural look.

Glitter, Sparkles, and Shimmer
Glitter and shimmer continues to be popular. They can also be used as a topcoat to add sparkle and shimmer over a base coat of solid color.

Dark Beauty
Dark shades with a lot of black in them have a kind of Goth/Twilight/Kristen Stewart look. Think dark burgundy, deep plum, midnight blue, or a steely dark gray. I like how dark shades look good even on shorter nails, so anyone can enjoy a dramatic look.

See the accent nail on Missy's ring finger?
See the accent nail on Missy's ring finger? | Source
Crackle Nail Polish
Crackle Nail Polish
Rihanna's Minx'ed Manicure
Rihanna's Minx'ed Manicure | Source

Artistic Finishes

Glitter, Sparkles, and Shimmer
Glitter and shimmer continues to be popular. Look for topcoats that add sparkle and shimmer over a base coat of solid color. Nail polish the color of liquid metal suggests class and wealth (you've literally got gold at your fingertips). One of my favorite combinations is sparkly gold on the toes, plus silver or platinum on the fingers.

French Tips, Remixed
Forego the traditional nude base with white tip manicure for a mixture of unexpected colors. New combinations include: red tips/cream base; black or steel gray tips, with a silvery base. Black spiderweb decal tips, nude base. Grammy award winning singer Adele sported a kind of reverse French Tips at the award show, called the Louboutin manicure. The nails were painted one color (a silvery jewel color) and the underside of the tips were painted another, bright red in her case. Obviously, one must have fairly long nails to achieve this look.

Nail Art and the Accent Nail
Do all your nails in one style or color, then choose one nail (on one hand or one on each hand) to do in a different color. Or add a decal, stripe, or gem to just that nail. Small bottles of "Finger Paints" come with extra skinny fine brushes for striping or freehand painting, if you or a friend has a steady hand. Olympic athletes have been showing their patriotism by carrying a mini-version of their country's flag on their nails. Very inspiring.

Crackle finish
Just like doing your furniture with that stuff from the craft store. Apply a base color, then apply a crackle overcoat in another color. Wimbledon 2012 champion and fashion icon Serena Williams (did you know that there are websites that just chronicle her changing nail styles?) sports a silvery crackle over a dark base. Crackle finishes can be done at home and are available in many drugstores and cosmetic outlets like Sally Beauty Supply, or online.

The Minx Manicure
Forget about acrylic nails and the stinky glue they use to affix them. The newest craze is Minx, a thin, sticker-like film that is applied to the nail using a heat gun. The fume-free adhesive is heat activated. It's almost like shrink wrapping a decal to your fingernail. Almost any graphic design, even a company or team logo, can be manufactured using Minx technology. Since it is not painted on, there is no drying time, no smudges, and the finish is durable, up to four weeks. This manicure is definitely a splurge as it costs quite a bit more and must be done by a professional salon technician. The most impressive look seems to be the liquid metallic one sported by celebrities like Beyonce.

Selected Picks

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat & Top Coat COMBO FULL SIZE .5
OPI Natural Nail Base Coat & Top Coat COMBO FULL SIZE .5

OPI is my personal favorite brand and I use the base and top coat, I find it to be very durable and chip-resistant.


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MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

The first time I saw blue nail polish I thought it was a fad that would end quickly. That was over twenty years ago and now I see blue polish in every shade and think it is beautiful. I have never heard of the minx technique. It sounds interesting, but like you said, it is pricey so I probably won't be having that done soon. Great hub. I really enjoyed your updates on the latest trends.

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