In 2012, prepare to see more and more luxe, designer influence in nails – everything from the pretty pastels at Chanel to the new mint and pistachio shades from YSL and Essie. With new spins on neutrals, textures and colours, there are plenty of luxe nail offerings. We turned to Leeanne Colley, Revlon Nail Expert and owner of Tips Nail Bar and Spa in Toronto, for her take on the hottest nail polish trends of the year.

Nail polish trend #1: Glitter


Norman Ambrose Spring/Summer 2012;
Image courtesy of CND

Sparkling nails continue to shine for spring. CND nail artists created a two-tone French manicure at Norman Ambrose Spring 2012, using a
hot red hue on the base of the nail and finished it with a gold glitter tip. For a fresh update on glitter, Colley suggests trying a glitter fade. “Start with a solid base colour, then fade a fine or chunky glitter overtop in an upward motion from the tip to the centre of the nail,” she says. Try: For a bold look try Revlon Nail Enamel in Scandalous—a dark fuchsia with different sized glitter for real depth and dimension

Nail polish trend #2: Metallic and magnetic polishes


3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer 2012; Image courtesy of

Taking cues from the
metallic makeup seen at Chanel, Ralph Lauren and 3.1 Philip Lim, this trend is trickling down to nails for spring. Be sure to apply metallic lacquer with smooth, even strokes as it shows more flaws than opaque polish. For added dimension, try doing magnetic or holographic nails – magnetic polish contains particles that create a ripple effect when they come in contact with a special magnet located in the lid of the bottle. Nails Inc. currently has a selection of magnetic nail lacquer available at Sephora, and Sally Hansen will release some later this year. “The big trend here is about anything with a really interesting finish,” says Colley. “These enamels are wearable and give the illusion they were professionally applied even if they weren’t.”

Nail polish trend #3: The new neutrals


Frankie Morello Spring/Summer 2012; Image courtesy of

New neutral tones offer a refreshing look that is perfect for everyday wear. Barely there nudes were the chosen hues for nails at the Frankie Morello, Monique L’huillier and Joseph Altuzarra Spring 2012 shows. “Last year beige was all the rage for neutral nails,” says Colley. “This year, nudes are specifically about earthy tones like sand, stone, granite and bone.” Try Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Bare Bones. The technology in this polish will keep your manicure going strong for up to 11 days. For a hint of colour, demure and neutral pastels are the way to go. Try OPI’s grey-green pastel in Stranger Tides as seen at Rebecca Taylor’s Spring 2012 show or Colley’s favourite—Revlon Top Speed in Jaded for a gorgeous pale mint with a hint of shimmer.

Discover how to add a splash of colour to your manicure and another must-try trend for this spring, on the next page…

Nail polish trend #4: Bold pops of colour
Carlos Miele Spring/Summer 2012; Image courtesy of

Brilliant pops of colour made a splash across Spring 2012 runways. Models for Wes Gordon, Milly and Karen Walker wore electrifying shades of neon on their nails that created contrast against fabrics. “Bold berries, bright corals, purples, reds, blues, greens and neons will be the go-to shades for spring and summer,” says Colley. Try China Glaze’s new Electro Pop collection. Their Wicked Style, Sunshine Pop and Fuchsia Fanatic are all hot shades.

Nail polish trend #5: Gradient/ombré
Jen Kao Spring/Summer 2012; Image courtesy of CND

Gradient and ombré manicures are another big trend for this year. At the Jen Kao Spring 2012 show, CND nail artists started the base of the nail with an intense black polish and gradually faded it into an electric blue at the almond-shaped tips. For an ombré look across your whole hand, pick five similar shades of your favourite colour and paint each nail in a different hue starting with the darkest hue on your thumb to lightest shade on your pinky finger for the ultimate ombré effect.

Remember: Keep hands and nails healthy to maintain these manicures. Use cuticle oil like CND’s Solar Oil regularly and apply a clear top coat every couple of days to keep polish in place. Colley says, “If you experience a chip use a fine nail file and shorten your nail slightly or add a coat of glitter to hide any imperfections.”

Read more:
The best grey nail polish shades
The top red lipsticks of the season
7 red lipsticks under $30