New in nails: 7 trends you'll be seeing everywhere in 2024

The hot styles, shapes and colours to try right now.

The hot styles, shapes and colours to try right now

3 closeups on hands with nail art. Left: An almond-shape manicure with black and beige polish and a black bow on the middle nail. Middle: An almond-shape manicure with blue polish and clear, 3D patterns on top of the nails. Right: A short, square manicure with light pink polish.
(Source, left: @abigailnaillab/Instagram; @glamnails_byrose/Instagram; @amandaevamarie_nails/Instagram)

It's a new year, and there's a ton of nail inspo out there. Could there be a better time to experiment with nail art trends? But if you're feeling overwhelmed by the hundreds of styles and aesthetics you're seeing, no sweat — we've distilled them down to the looks of the moment. We asked four nail experts across Canada to weigh in on the hottest trends they're seeing this year so far, and which ones they expect to have staying power.

The milky way

French tips? Still in hot demand, said nail technician Kenzo, of Kenzo Nail Studio in Etobicoke, Ont., who gets requests for the style like clockwork. However, these days, clients are trading in striking white tips for a softer, blended look. "We do a very light pink for the base and then the milky French tip," Kenzo said, which you can see in this look by the salon that went viral on TikTok.  

I'm just a girl

The nail techs we talked to agree: the playful coquette aesthetic that took over feeds during the holidays is here to stay — their clients are flocking to them en masse in pursuit of the look. 

"Bows are huge in nails right now, and I think [they're] going to be bigger in spring," said Amanda Campbell, a mobile nail tech based in Toronto who loves the trend. "I drew 10 bows on all my fingers for Christmas. I was obsessed," she said. "I have a lot of clients just now starting to request [them]. Thankfully I've been practising!" 

Bows are also a near daily request at Kenzo's salon. As for colourways? Rose Duong, a Vancouver-based nail tech, said pink and white coquette-style nails are the most sought after, but iterations in sage green, red and baby blue are asked for, too. 

In 3D

A quick scroll through Pinterest and you'll likely come across a nail set featuring all sorts of thumb-stopping 3D shapes and textures, from abstract blobs to more intricate, sculpted shapes. This is a common ask for Abigail Panilan-Yan, a Brampton, Ont.-based nail tech who specializes in coloured acrylics. She'll sometimes reach for clear gel to create texture ("I just started using [it] because it's becoming more trendy," she explained), but for more detailed designs, like butterflies and flowers, she'll opt for acrylic powder to sculpt and form the shape. Hint: Expect these motifs to be trending even more come spring, she said. 

Direct from Douyin

Those long, bejewelled and ethereal-looking sets you've been seeing everywhere? They're called Douyin nails: styles made popular by creators on Douyin (a.k.a. the Chinese version of TikTok). Nails done Douyin-style tend to run longer in length, and feature "rhinestones, super small beads or big gemstones, and chrome colours," said Duong, who's known for creating this look. 

Short cut

When Sofia Richie Grainge debuted her wedding nails last year, the internet went wild. The look, with its subtle milky hue, screamed quiet luxury. But what really made a lasting impression was its length and shape: short and softly square, which nail techs have been seeing more requests for this year. "At the start of January, everyone was doing 'the big chop,'" said Campbell. However, she did note that some clients had regrets, and were pivoting back to regrowing their nails and opting for an almond shape. As for her? "I did the big chop, too, and I actually prefer it."

Alluring aura

Aura nails were an entire mood in 2023 — and they still are, especially among Panilan-Yan's regulars. While some artists pat eyeshadow onto the nail using a brush, Panilan-Yan's go-to technique for creating the blurred spherical effect is via airbrush. But it doesn't end there. "[I'll] even put stickers on the nail, use the airbrush on top of it and take the stickers off," she explained. "It creates a sort of shadow design that's really pretty, and that's what's trending."

Heavy metal

Still haven't hopped on the chrome train? 2024 is a great time to experiment. Chrome finishes were made popular by Hailey Bieber's glazed doughnut nails in 2022, but our affinity for them shows no signs of stopping. At Kenzo Nail Studio, clients opting for neutral looks will still add a chrome finish to make them pop, said Kenzo — a classic and elegant look. But if you've vowed to channel your inner badass this year, molten metal details are where it's at. (Pinterest's 2024 trend predictions include metal everything, from nail art to decor.) Slivers of shiny chrome on top of a dainty French tip? Yes, please. 


D’Loraine Miranda is a Toronto-based writer and editor.

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