Fingernail art is no different from any other art form today: it is a mode of expression. Similarly to how you dress and how you do your hair, how you do your nails is a way of showing and telling your surrounding world who you are. It is as codified and signified as any other act of self-expression, and as such, when a new nail style becomes popular, what the look reads as and means is as important as how freaky it looks.
In order to decode and understand some of the hottest new nail trends, we looked at them through the lens of each zodiac sign. The result? 16 nail trends that are matched to the zodiac personality or element that fits them best. What you wear on your nails corresponds to what you are saying about yourself, and we've picked the ones that will match your personality traits the best! Read through for some serious nail art inspo, and then try some of these expressive looks for yourself!
16 Fire Element: Thrasher Flames
If you're one of the three fire element zodiac signs, then you know that you tend to be passionate and dynamic. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, fire elementals can also be temperamental, getting angry quickly, but also forgiving quickly. They also tend to be physically quite strong, with an abundance of energy and an adventurous spirit. With a list of attributes including self-awareness, creativity, and intelligence, people under the fire zodiac sign seem to always be ready for action. So, if you're an Aries, Leo or Sagittarius, this trend is for you!
Although it might be a rather literal interpretation, who better to pull off fire nails than a fire sign!?
Thrasher graphic tee-shirts have been trending for quite a while, the iconic red-and-yellow flames striking against a white or black tee. The popular look has been translating to nails as of late, with this almond-shaped and black based pair being just one of the many interpretations shown on Instagram. #firenails has nearly 6,000 tags on Insta, which range from classic red flames to blue and purple, but we think this pair by @kuklanails is one of the best! The black base makes them totally wearable, but the delicately painted flames are unmistakable.
15 Aries Puts A Spin On A Classic
Aries is the first sign in the zodiac and the first sign among the fire elements. An Aries' presence marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent, according to Astrology Zodiac Signs. Aries tend to be very competitive, constantly striving for perfection and to be the best. They seek speed and action, preferring highly dynamic situations. Aries also tend to be very well organized, capable of completing many complicated tasks simultaneously. Unfortunately, Aries can sometimes quickly become impatient, and even aggressive, and are prone to venting their anger or even taking it out on other people. However, Aries always fight for their goals and can embrace teamwork to make everything turn out the way they picture it in the end.
Since Aries are organized and together but also naturally brave and unafraid of risk, we thought this fun twist on a classic french manicure fit the sign perfectly. People of this sign possess "youthful strength and energy, regardless of their age," and "quickly perform any given tasks." As such, they are perfectly matched in this energetic and punchy but also ageless and capable graphic mani. The chic checkerboard is fun and forward without being careless, and the base nude keeps things classic without being boring. Aries, try these out!
14 Leo Goes For Drama
Listed on any astrological breakdown of the sign Leo are their likes and dislikes, and always included are some iteration of the following. Likes: attention, being admired, expensive things. Dislikes: not getting attention, not being treated like a king or queen. Sound familiar, Leo? According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, Leos are natural born leaders. Possessing dominant traits such as drama, creativity, confidence, and a tendency towards high achievement, Leos tend to be difficult to resist. Leos also make and keep many friends, being generous and loyal, and usually having a healthy sense of humor and penchant for bringing people together. The fire element in Leo makes them warmhearted, usually laughing and having a good time and generally in love with life. Leos also are in a constant search for self-awareness but also a growth of ego.
These traits make Leos perfectly matched to the colored tip nail trend.
A nude base extends to a boldly colored tip, arching across the fingertip's natural end is a half-moon shape after which the color begins. The dramatic length of this pair lends itself easily to Leo's attention-grabbing personality, while the nude base adds interest without taking the look too over-the-top. This trend is definitely fit for the Queen of the Jungle!
13 Sagittarius Could Cut Glass
Sagittarius is another energetic fire sign. More curious than most, Sags love to travel and explore the world around them. Sagittarius is known as a sign with an open mind and a penchant to wax philosophically, causing them to wander globally to find meaning in their lives. Traditionally, Sags like change, and are optimistic and enthusiastic about the future. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, people of this sign have a strong ability to transform their ideas into concrete actions. As the final fire sign, Sagittarius must constantly be in touch with the world and thrive by experiencing as much as possible. Sags treasure freedom above all else, allowing them to experience and explore without bounds. Expressing a great sense of humor coupled with their intense curiosity, Sags are constantly soaking in new things.
A great way for a Sagittarius to express their personality through their nail art is to try a broken-glass manicure. This trend was created by artist Eun Jyung Park, the top nail artist of Seoul, South Korea, according to a Vogue interview. Done with either strips of iridescent ribbon or nail stickers, these tiny, shiny triangles look great placed side-by-side or layered. The final effect, whether on a dark or light base color, is of shattered glass. This is perfect for a Sagittarius, as broken glass represents freedom and trailblazing.
12 Water Elements Go Dark With Tattooed Nails
Water elements are mysterious and beautiful. Gentle and delicate while also capable of much destruction, water elements are considered highly intuitive. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, water elements are also emotional and sensitive, seeking always profound conversations and sincere closeness. While remaining quite private in their personal lives, water signs are unfailingly there to protect their loved ones. Water can be gentle and life-giving, or it can be volatile, and deeply unexplored. The three water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, and all three thrive on the emotional meaning and keep a sense of the unknown.
A recent nail trend that would be perfect for any water sign is tattooed nails.
A completely different kind of nail art, nail tattoos are done the same way as real tattoos. According to Vogue, a qualified artist uses a tattoo needle and ink to line-draw on the nails. The needle does not pierce skin or nail bed, but only the nail itself, and as such, the tattoo grows out with the nail. These darkly chic art pieces are very low-maintenance and temporary but can carry the same significance of a regular tattoo. This edgy trend is perfectly matched to any water sign.
11 Cancer Keeps It Subdued With Colored Tips
Imaginative, loyal, persuasive, but also pessimistic and reserved, Cancer is the first of the water signs. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, Cancer is both deeply intuitive and sentimental, while also being emotional and sensitive. Although Cancers tend to care deeply about their families and home, they do not usually open up to strangers, making them among the most difficult signs to get to know. Cancers are also generally loyal and able to empathize with other people. One of the pitfalls of the Cancer person is a great need for patience and love. Without enough of either, they will be prone to mood swings, self-pity, and even manipulative behavior. Conflict avoiders, Cancers rarely benefit from combat and instead are best suited to helping others. Cancers are happiest when at peace with themselves and surrounded by family and harmony.
A style of nail art that works well with the personality of the Cancer is a subtle colored tip. A far cry from the dramatic long colored tip trend we matched with Leos, this mani style is not attention seeking in a flamboyant way. The nail is a classic French from the bed up, with a nude half moon giving way to a white layer at the tip, before calmly ending in a lightly colored line. This trend was featured on the runway at Alice & Olivia for Spring 2018. The harmony found in this new take on a classic is exactly what Cancer seeks.
10 Scorpio Goes Punk With Pierced Nails
Scorpios are resourceful, brave and passionate, but also stubborn, secretive and violent. They tend to be quite assertive, believing in the certainty of their own opinions. Scorpios are also called determined and decisive, sorting through details until the truth is found, as they tend to strongly dislike lies. Scorpio is, however, an excellent confidante, as they will always keep your secrets. The purpose of life for Scorpio is to experience and express emotions, while also being known for their calm, cool behavior. Scorpios make excellent leaders because of their thoroughness and resourcefulness. Scorpios are often referred to as fierce, because of their intense dislike of dishonesty and quick jealous manner, as well as their deeply felt emotions.
Scorpios are often thought of as dark and mysterious, preferring to portray themselves as such rather than as easily deciphered.
One trend that matches this personality trait quite well is the nail piercing look.
Originally popularized in the 90s, this look used to be all about dangling charms and gems from the tips of the nails, however, it has come back with a 2018 upgrade. Preferred now are rings and studs, an edgier and also more sophisticated look. The small, delicate rings lend a hard and tough finish to a matte black nail look, giving that little bit of extra sharpness to a look for a sign that is both passionate and secretive.
9 Pisces Goes With A Fishnet
Pisces is the final water sign. Known as very friendly, Pisces often are in the company of a mixture of very different people. Pisces is also selfless, and according to Astrology Zodiac Signs they often are willing to help others without hoping to get anything back. Pisces is characterized by empathy and expressive emotional capacity, thanks to their water sign roots. Pisces commonly enjoy having artistic and musical talents, owing to their emotional intuitiveness and capacity for connection with others. Known as the most tolerant of the zodiac signs, Pisces is faithful and caring as well as generous and compassionate. Pisces are known for their wisdom and are never judgmental.
Pisces is represented by the fish. Although the fishnet design is a direct iteration of this imagery, it also has a deeper significance. Pisces is able to make many, many friendships and relationships throughout their lives thanks to their selfless nature and their genuine desire and drive to help others. Their ability to create meaningful relationships with almost anyone is a catch-all, like a net that fits everyone and anyone. Also, the trend is a bit more grown-up than the look's little sister, the fish-scale pattern nail. Perfect for summers by the beach!
8 Earth Elements Try An Abstract Floral
Earth elements are very commonly referred to as 'grounded,' meaning they are the ones who bring other people down to earth, and who have a firm grasp on reality. The earth element-based signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth elements all have a tendency to be conservative and realistic, but they can also be very emotional, according to Astrology Zodiac Signs. Because they are so in-tune with reality, they become quite connected to the material realm, including material goods. Despite this, they are very practical, understanding and appreciating things for their purpose and use. Taurus always stick by people in hard times and are very reliable.
One trend that would be great on any earth sign is the abstract floral trend.
This look is done on the runway of the Spring Summer 2018 Creatures of Comfort fashion show and is set to grow this year. Rather than an all-over floral design, this artistic take features zoom-ed in floral parts, each displayed separately on different nails. While some nails show stems and leaves, others show a petal or two, and still, others focus on floral centers. This creative look is well suited for earth signs, as it is a new take on a reliable summer style.
7 Taurus Is A Buff Nude Nail With Extra Attitude
Taurus is among the strongest of the astrological signs. Hailed as reliable, patient, practical, devoted, responsible and stable, the sign can also, unfortunately, be stubborn, possessive and uncompromising. One thing the Taurus hates is insecurity. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, the Taurus is practical and well-grounded. Taurus enjoys harvesting the fruits of its labor, putting in time and effort and eventually getting some reward out of it. The enjoy being surrounded by love and beauty, and highly value the sense of touch. Their conservative nature allows them to remain stable and steady, enduring through hard work and difficult choices to reach the point of completion in their appointed tasks. Tauruses find it easy to make money and stay focused on the same projects for as long as it takes.
An excellent trend to express the personality of a Taurus is the understated yet striking nude with gold embellishment look. A nearly skin-colored nail is an understated and classic look, but to amp it up, tiny golden embellishments are added. The small golden dots are placed as strategic accents. This look is no-nonsense without surrendering to being boring or plain. Since Taurus's earth element can make them conservative but also materialistic at times, it makes sense they'd choose a nail that is not flashy but also not overly simplistic. This nail marries the perfect combination of class and stability that a Taurus embodies.
6 Virgo Couldn't Choose One Color
While also an earth sign, Virgo is a far cry from Taurus. Whereas Taurus is stable and conservative to the point of edging on simplicity or plainness, Virgo is the middle earth sign, is mutable. Also known for hard work, practicality, and cleanliness, Virgos can sometimes verge on perfectionism that prevents them from moving forward. Virgos can bounce back and forth on issues because they feel as though they are not perfect, and as such, can become indecisive or influenceable. Virgos always do what needs to be done without complaining, and are very generous with their time, always ready to lend a hand. They thrive off of organization and beautifully aligned physical spaces in their lives.
Despite this love of organization, Virgos do still get caught up in their perfectionism, and as such can become stuck making decisions.
To make things easier for them, the look we found for Virgos to try is a multi-colored paint job.
This trend was featured on the Spring Summer 2018 runway of Baja East. Keeping the palette either all neutral or all shades of one color or tone makes things stay organized and keeps it from getting too kiddy. A sleek mix of black, white and beige looks great, and spending less time choosing your color means your nail tech has more time to paint it on perfectly. You're welcome!
5 Capricorn Gets Branded
Capricorn is, like Virgo, a perfectionist. However, rather than getting stuck making decisions, Capricorns tend to find their way to be the best way and can come off as quite condescending. As their sign represents time and responsibility, people who are born as Capricorns are often traditional and serious. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, these people have an inner independence that allows them to make constant progress in their personal and professional lives. Capricorns are good at making realistic, achievable plans, and as such make good leaders, able to manage many people at a time. Their inner confidence also is a benefit to their decisiveness. Capricorns are able to learn from their mistakes and work their way to the top based on merit. As the final sign of the earth element, they tend to focus on the material world.
Capricorns appreciate good craftsmanship and tradition, as well as perfection. People of this sign would do well to try the new branded manicure trend. As most recognizable fashion brands have a history of tradition and craft, what they stand for are the best parts of a Cap. As these brands have stood the test of time, they have come to mean perfection, quality, and merit. Capricorns are perfectly matched to the nail logo trend like this Helmut Lang set featured on the brand's Spring Summer '18 runway. The only set that might fit a Cap more perfectly could be monogrammed Louis Vuitton!
4 Air Signs Play Peek-A-Boo
Air signs are thinkers. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, Air signs are both rational and social, appreciating communication and relationships with other people. While they love social gatherings, they also love philosophical discussions and good books. Air signs are both friendly and intellectual, analytical and communicative. While they do enjoy giving advice, they are not as selfless as some of the Water elements, and they can sometimes be superficial. The three signs that come from the Air element are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Just as air can be felt but not seen, this nail trend is at once there and not there.
The fun clear elements almost read as cut-outs when lined like this, but are still solidly there.
These seemingly contradictorily nails are a great match for the Air signs, who have dual personality traits that are at once highly intellectual and highly sociable. Clear nails are definitely trending right now, with nearly 40k photos under the hashtag posted on Insta, and the looks are endless. Although made with only nude polish, crystal nail extensions, and a thin black line, this look is anything but boring.
3 Gemini Gets Two-Sided
Geminis are known as the Twin. According to Astrology Zodiac Sign, "expressive and quick-witted, Gemini represents two different personalities in one." People of the sign are sociable, communicative and ready for fun at times, but they have a tendency to change quickly, suddenly becoming restless, thoughtful and serious. Geminis are explorative and curious, and they live with an intensity that comes from feeling the pressure of time. Because it is an Air sign, Gemini is connected to all aspects of the mind. While Geminis can be adaptable and quick learners, they also can be paralyzingly indecisive, nervous and inconsistent. They can have a constant feeling of loss throughout their lives, feeling that their other half is missing, and so they are frequently looking for new friends and relationships.
Geminis have dual personalities, like two sides of a coin. It makes sense that the nail trend that would match a Gemini's personality is the double-sided nail look. Since the sign tends to be flexible and versatile, this nail trend matches, having one side one color, but also painting the underside of the fingernail's tip for a subdued but impactful look. This black-and-red iteration is done by Louboutin, featuring their iconic red underneath the nail as it is featured on the soles of the brand's shoes. It makes sense that a sign who wishes to experience everything in the world should wear more than one nail color at once!
2 Libra Finds Harmony In Watercolor
Libras are peace-seekers, people who appreciate living in the beauty of the world and hate conflict. Libras are a delicate air sign, willing to do nearly anything to keep the peace but sometimes being prone to carrying grudges and self-pity. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs, people born as Libras are fair and peaceful and dislike being alone. They thrive with a partnership, needing to mirror someone else as well as see themselves mirrored back. This is due to the sign's fascination with balance and symmetry, as well as equality. As an air sign, Libras enjoy a strong intellect and good social graces. Libras are strong in love, but they also are very fond of beauty, making them fond of expensive material things. Libras need to surround themselves and enrich their lives with music, art, and beautiful places.
A harmonious and artistic trend that suits Libras well is watercolored nails.
Watercolor paints are often used to depict nature, as their delicate colors and blurred lines in themselves mimic naturally found surfaces such as pond reflections and veins in rock. This pink set looks quite like a cut of pink marble. As watercolor nails reflect nature, they also instill a sense of peacefulness and harmony, as well as being beautiful in and of themselves. This trend is absolutely for you, Libras.
1 Aquarius Does A Forward-Feeling Wire Nail
Aquarius is usually quiet, shy people, although they can also be eccentric. They are always deep thinkers and as Air signs, highly intellectual, with a sincere love of helping others people. Aquarius can solve problems easily that would give others pause, as they are able to see both sides of an issue without prejudice. One ability that Aquarius have is their technique of adapting to the energy of their surroundings. Another attribute of the sign is that they enjoy using their minds. Without mental stimulation, they quickly become bored. Although timid, Aquarius can sometimes become abrupt and aggressive. The other side of this characteristic is that people of this sign carry a visionary quality, allowing them to perceive where the world and their personal lives are heading in the future. Finally, people of this sign have the power of easy transformation, adapting to the world around them and thinking progressively.
An experiment with negative space, these wire-framed nails are a very artistic and futuristic mode of nail art. Eun Kyung Park is again the nail genius behind this look. Delicately molded gold or copper wire traces the shape of a natural nail and extends beyond the finger's end into an air-filled metal frame of a tip. This look is both transformative and progressive, adapting to the current culture of manicured excess without losing artistry. Airy and light, this look is perfect for any Aquarius!