These 2024 nail trends are destined to dominate, according to celebrity manicurists

And they're *actually* wearable

Nail Trends 2024
(Image credit: Iram Shelton/Alyx Lippiatt)

When it comes to the biggest 2024 nail trends, you can take a welcome sigh of relief. As with 2024 hair trends, we're saying goodbye to faddy, of-the-moment microtrends and instead welcoming a return to classic looks and techniques that help you get the most from your manicure. Whether you want all-over polish or nail art, there's going to be something you can lean into throughout the year ahead.

How do I know this, I hear you ask? Because I have spent a great deal of time researching and writing about nails over my career and, well, I have a number of the best manicurists in the world on metaphorical speed dial. Far from a nail connoisseur myself (mine are currently chipped and broken), I reached out to some of the most trustworthy women I know when it comes to manicures to get their insights on what nail trends we should all have on our radars this year—here are the best 2024 nail trends.

1. Metallics 2.0

Iram Sheltons gold metallic nail trends 2024

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

While chrome nails have been everywhere over the past few months, it looks like things are only going to get bigger and better in the near future. "Metallics and chromes are huge right now, and they aren't going anywhere," says celebrity manicurist, Iram Shelton.

We're talking golds, silvers, gunmetal and bronze. You can go high-shine or muted and matte – the finished result is entirely up to you. "This chic look is so versatile and suits all nail lengths and shapes," says Juanita Huber-Millet, Founder & Creative Director at Townhouse.

2. Balletcore

Alyx Lippiatt's balletcore nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @alyxlippiatt)

Balletcore isn't just set to be one of the biggest make-up trends for 2024, it's going to big news for our nails, too. Essentially, it's just an elevated, more modern take on the milky manicure and sheer polish trend we've seen reign supreme in recent years. "The Balletcore trend is set to make waves in the coming year in the beauty and fashion spaces," says Juanita. "Go for shades of soft pink reminiscent of ballet slippers and milky whites. If you fancy adding that little something extra, ask for a dainty bow nail art accent – perfect for that ultimate balletcore aesthetic." Bow stacking meets balletcore – I'm into it.

3. Polish revival

Iram Shelton's nail polish revival nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Okay, even I was shocked to hear this one. But, when Iram talks, I listen. You heard it here first: regular polish is back. "With the cost of living crisis, people are choosing to do their own nails. Lacquers [and polishes] are a lot easier to apply and remove at home, and are always a cheaper option," she says. And I've got to admit, I'm kind of here for this more low-fuss approach to my nails. In fact, I've already swapped my next gel appointment to a regular polish one—it's time to give my nails (and acetone-dried cuticles from gel removal) a break.

4. The modern French

Alyx Lippiatt's minimal French nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @alyxlippiatt)

The skinny French, the micro French, the minimal French—whatever you want to call it, just know it's not going anywhere. "The minimal French is one of my personal favourites," says Juanita. "The trend has certainly grown in popularity, evolving from the ultimate classic white, French finish to including a variety of colours. I encourage experimenting with different colours to achieve the perfect French style to suit your look. I love a bold red French mani."

Having said that, 2024 is also about to make way for a different kind of French manicure, too. While the micro French has dominated the past few years, we're also set to see people having more fun with their classic French manicure. “The French tip nail trend will continue to be popular throughout 2024, however rather than opting for block colour, people are going to be experimenting so much more with shapes and patterns to explore this. Many of this year’s trends are all rebelling against the previously reigning ‘clean girl’ trend so truly pack on as many colours as possible with your favourite pattern, I draw a lot of inspiration from past decades such as 70s swirls,” says Chaun LegendLottie London’s Artist in Residence.

5. Short squares

Iram Shelton's short square manicure nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

I don't think I've ever been more thrilled to read about an upcoming beauty trend as I am for this. Short nails are back. My nails are always snapping and my nail beds aren't particularly deep, so this fills me with great joy. "My personal preference is short because it’s more practical and gives that clean, old money look," says Iram. "They’re also so much easier to maintain and more achievable for those who don’t like nail enhancements." The key to making short nails work? Great nail health and regular manicures.

Colours I have been personally reaching for on my short nails right now are deep brown/reds and glossy blacks.

6. Shade layering

Alyx Lippiatt's shade layering nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @alyxlippiatt)

Layering your polish shades is becoming quite the trend—and it's hit the big time in 2024. In fact, I ended up doing it for the first time at my last manicure appointment. When I realised there wasn't a shade quite what I wanted, my manicurist suggested I layer two colours to achieve my desired look, and it worked.

Manicurist Alyx Lippiatt says, "We’ve started to see polish layering a lot, which I think will continue into 2024. With more and more techs experimenting with different shades, I think we will see a lot of ‘custom mixes’ from our favourite, iconic brand shades. If your tech doesn’t have the shade you want, they may just make it for you! Start with the darker of the two shades and experiment with what looks good by swapping out what shade goes over the top! I love a black like ‘Liquorice’ from Biosculpture layered with a true red such as ‘Night At The Opera’."

7. Almond shapes

Iram Shelton's almond shape nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Almond-shaped nails is a trend every single expert I spoke with wanted to shout about, telling me it's going to absolute dominate this year. "I think long almond nails are the most popular shapes, and I reckon it's going to stay this way. [Along with short, square nails,] they're the most flattering nail shapes, in my opinion," says Iram.

Juanita says the popularity of longer, almond shapes is down to the lengthening illusion it creates of the fingers. "The look creates an illusion of longer, slim fingers and adds a touch of elegance to the hands," she says.

How to achieve it yourself? "All you have to do once you have grown some length on your nails is clip off the corners and lightly file from side to centre. This will give you the perfect, elegant almond shape," reveals Alyx.

The best thing about almond nails is that you can switch up the finishes—both matte and glossy manicures look equally as great.

8. Bright and bold

Alyx Lippiatt's bright and bold nail trend 2024

(Image credit: @alyxlippiatt)

If you're bored of the milky manicure trend, Alyx has good news for you – brights are making a comeback, too. "For the last two years we’ve had a frenzy of sheer, barely-there manicures (which will definitely still be around), but I think the return of the bold nail will happen next year," she says.

While oud nails and super-dark colours are having their moment right now (it's winter, after all), brights are finding their place in 2024, too. "Everyone likes a dark nail in the winter but think cobalt blue for late winter, a cherry pink for early spring and lemon yellow in the summer. If you’re scared to have a bright shade, try it on a shorter nail—this always gives a nice balance without looking too much," she adds.

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.