Jan 21, 2013

Mani Mania: 10 Must-Try Nail Trends for 2013

By Tarah Damask

When someone asks you what your most versatile accessory is, if you answer handbag, watch, sunglasses or earrings, you’re overlooking the accessory that will never go out of style: your beautiful, shape-able and paint-able nails.


They’re the only accessory you can revamp on a daily basis without breaking the bank. And they’re so serious, there are writers out there putting a whole lot of effort into coming up with those adorable names you find on the top of the polish bottle. And beyond the vast sea of colors waiting to be enjoyed is a world full of nail art – designs that dreams are made of. So before you start tapping those fingertips on your tablet to find your next clutch or bracelet, take care of your nails first by cloaking them in one of 2013’s must-try trends.

High-Shine Metallics

Your beauty choices should always be a reflection of your inner personality. When it comes to infusing that personality into your manicure, you’ve got the opportunity to really achieve mirror-like reflection! High-shine metallic polish is in for 2013, so get your gleam on. If you don’t need a pair of sunglasses to take a safe glance, they’re not metallic enough! Essie ‘Mirror Metallics - No Place Like Chrome' Nail Polish, $8, available at Nordstrom.

Barely There Nude

When you’re feeling a bit demure or you’re rocking a neon frock that doesn’t need any extra color competition, ease off of the high-impact nail trends and go for pure elegance. Nude nails are all over the runways, and they happen to make your fingers look long and slim – bonus points! Finding the nude that works best with your unique skin tone is a cinch when you wear “nail foundation” created for that very purpose. HIPPxRGB Nail Foundation, $16, available at Beauty.com.

Gold Leaf

All that glitters is gold, and now that can even include your nails. While you will find a ton of DIY options on Pinterest for carefully tapping insanely delicate gold leaf onto your nails (really, it’s quite a process), why not take the easy road to this luxe effect? Reach for a clear lacquer full of gold leaf pieces. The finished product is a marbleized effect that looks more like gold inlay than an easy-to-use topcoat. Rococo Gold Leaf Lacquer, $48, available at Beauty.com.

Long-Wear Gel

When you’re a fan of natural nails but not a fan of the short lifespan of your typical home manicure (or professional manicure for that matter), you spend time contemplating futuristic nail options. You know, the types that allow your manicure to last two weeks without having to submit to fake nails. Well, trendsetter, the future is now. Long-wear gel manicures are real, and with home kits, you can do it all by yourself. Mally 24/7 Professional 17pc Gel Nail Polish System, $182, available at QVC.

Magnetic Magic

You definitely played those games when you were little with the magnetic dust behind the plastic screen – you drew designs by dragging the magnet above the dust. Same logic applies here (but when you’re done you get to show off your artwork wherever you go). Oh, right – and it’s a huge trend for 2013. In this case, you simply hover and drag the magnetic cap above your nails. Get those nimble fingers ready to design! Wave Magnetic Polish Trio, $30, available at Sephora.

Glitter Dipped

Dipping your tips is a big deal in 2013, but the dripping blood trend (think red nail polish trickling down over bare nails) is just a little bit scary. Skip the more morbid manicure options, and go for eye-catching glitter instead. Unlike your classic application of coat of glitter (with or without a color beneath), the idea here is to coat your tips for a little touch of glamour. Sort of like sprinkles on a cupcake. So cute. Deborah Lippmann 'Let's Go Crazy' Glitter Nail Color, $18, available at Nordstrom.

Caviar Effect

Your nails go everywhere with you, and they’re so easy to dress up – so why not give them the posh treatment they deserve? Compared to the mighty pricey caviar you use as an edible garnish, caviar for your nails is but a drop in the bucket. So throw on a coat of polish and a dusting of caviar beads, and feast your eyes upon the decadence. Truly scrumptious. Ciaté 'Caviar Manicure - Black Pearls' Set, $25, available at Nordstrom.


You could spend all day with a set of nail pens, meticulously creating cheetah spots on your nails – prints are SO in! But, you might need to put your glasses on. And using your non-dominant hand, well, things could get a little shaky. If you’re not really into the potential for messy DIY manicures, go for the easy route with nail strips. Press them on and trim them … it doesn’t get any easier. Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Kitty Kitty, $9, available at Target.

Matte Meets Gloss

Visualize a tuxedo. That beautiful contrast between the matte jacket and the satin lapel? Well, that’s what’s happening on the runway with matte-meets-gloss French manicures. Skip the expensive duo kits for this one. Your best bet is a matte finisher that you can use to transform any polish from shiny to subdued. Go for a matte base color and a glossy tip, and you will evoke some major nail envy. Essie Matte About You Matte Finisher, $8, available at Amazon.

Stripes and Color Blocking

Paint your nails with a solid color and then layer a solid black rectangle down the center of your nail (from the tip to just above your half-moon), and you’re in business. Then again, throw a diagonal stripe across your nail or indulge in some color-blocking! What’s wrong? Sounds impossible? No problem! You need nail art striping tape. You can use it as a guide to create blocks or stick it on for a quick artful stripe. NPW Nail Art Striping Tape, $5, available at Urban Outfitters.

  • Mani Mania: 10 Must-Try Nail Trends for 2013
  • High-Shine Metallics
  • Barely There Nude
  • Gold Leaf
  • Long-Wear Gel
  • Magnetic Magic
  • Glitter Dipped
  • Caviar Effect
  • Prints
  • Matte Meets Gloss
  • Stripes and Color Blocking
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Mani Mania: 10 Must-Try Nail Trends for 2013
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