Celebrity Nail Trends 2024 – Best Colors, Polishes, Art
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Red carpets are a seasonal source of beauty inspiration, with A-listers modeling interpretations of trends from hair bows to nude lipstick looks and variations of varnish on their fingertips. The custom gowns you see on the carpets of awards shows are more aspirational than attainable for everyday wear. But beauty looks, like this year’s red carpet nail trends — sheer pinks, glittery metallics, and reflective reds — are easy to emulate at home, with the creatives behind the looks sharing the polishes and techniques they use for the celebrity nail looks.
One nail trend tastemaker, celebrity nail artist Julie Kandalec, is an avid sharer of the tools, polishes, and insider technique tips that go into the nail looks she creates for stars like Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, and Jonathan Van Ness. When she’s not polishing the nails of A-listers, Kandalec is on a mission to give nail artists the recognition they’re owed via her “Credit the Manicurist” campaign, which calls on industry pros to tag nail artists in awards season coverage that features celebrity images with their nail designs on social media.
“So many celebrity fan accounts follow us, and as soon as they see something, they’re going to repost it. And if anyone’s not tagged, instantly we miss out on all of those posts that are being reposted by the fan accounts.” Beyond this visibility — which can impact future business for independent nail artists like Kandalec — crediting the manicurist is crucial for attributing trends to the nail artists behind them. “Especially if there’s extensions and nail art, or if it’s a really interesting look, people want to know who did the nails.”
We spoke to Kandalec about celebrity nail trends we’ll be seeing this awards show season, along with her expert tips on achieving similar looks at home for any occasion.
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Top Celebrity Nail Trends of 2024
For 2024, celebrity nail trends are extending beyond colors, with textures and finishes becoming trends in and of themselves. “Trends are definitely going sparkly, glitter, metallic, lots of flash,” says Kandalec. For the Golden Globes, Kandalec painted a glittery rose gold Gel Bottle gel nail polish on Blunt’s fingertips, aligning with the reflective embroidery on her Alexander McQueen gown. “Emily and I don’t normally do sparkle, so this was something fun for us and the red carpet,” Kandalec explains.
KB Shimmer Nail Polish in One Night Sand
Kandalec used a professional Gel Bottle polish for Blunt’s Golden Globes manicure, but to achieve a shimmery polish look at home, she recommends options from KB Shimmer. “KB Shimmer has the most incredible glitters, regular glitters, monotone two-tone and reflective glitters in every color of the rainbow,” she explains. “Every time I bring them to a client, they’re like, how do I pick?” Because shimmer and glitter polishes have more texture to them, Kandalec suggests a heavier top coat (or multiple layers of top coats) to smooth out the surface of the polished nail.
Chanel Le Vernis in Phenix
For Blunt’s Critics Choice Awards manicure, Kandalec applied one coat of this gold Chanel polish under two coats of a cherry red varnish. “Doing a neutral metallic gold, silver rose gold first, and then doing a more sheer color over it allows the metallic underneath to lightly shine through,” Kandalec explains. Try a similar approach with your favorite winter nail color, or wear this metallic on its own for a gold foil effect.
Lights Lacquer Nail Polish in La La Land
Kandalec recommends Lights Lacquer polishes for at-home glittery manicures. The La La Land shade has big holographic flecks you can apply over any of your favorite nail polish colors for instant iridescence. Follow up with a top coat to seal it in place, slip on a sequin dress, and you’re ready to party.
Sheer tones and nearly nude polishes are also on the up and up, creating a clean base for colorful dresses and statement jewels. Kandalec chose Peacci Brand’s Janes Jewels polish, a semi-sheer soft pink polish with flecks of gold, for Jessica Chastain’s Emmy Awards manicure. Jonathan Van Ness wore Gelish’s Creme de la Femme polish, which Kandalec calls “a super clean, shiny pink” for this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Peacci Nail Polish in Jane’s Jewels
Sheerer than it looks in the bottle, this Peacci nail polish is a baby pink with flecks of gold that added “a touch of luxury” to Chastain’s Emmy Awards look, according to Kandalec. For fewer gold flakes, stroke the brush against the opening of the polish container before applying.
Essie Nail Polish in Mademoiselle
Looking for a classic sheer pink for everyday wear? Essie’s Mademoiselle shade is a nearly translucent pink that lends the look of a fresh buff manicure, but with more shine. This shade has a touch of warmth similar to the professional Gelish polish Kandalec used on Van Ness’ Creative Arts Emmy Awards nail look this year.
True to today’s style trends, Kandalec explains that red is all the rage — but this classic tone is getting a twist with a reflective finish by way of layering metallic polishes underneath. For the 2024 awards show season, Kandalec’s clients have worn the full range of red tones, including deep Bordeaux tones and the candy apple red shade seen on Blunt for the Critics Choice Awards. Take cues from the actress and pair your a red nail look with a bold red lipstick to match.
Chanel Le Vernis in Pirate
For the Critics Choice Awards, Kandalec created the perfect candy apple red tone for Blunt with two Chanel Le Vernis polishes: One coat of a true gold polish, followed by two coats of a cherry red. “The first coat of the glittery gold gives extra dimension and shine to the red,” she explains.
OPI Nail Lacquer in I’m Really an Actress
For a one-and-done lustrous red manicure, try OPI’s Nail Lacquer in I’m Really an Actress. The ruby-toned polish has swirls of gold and red glitter, creating a dynamic finish that catches the light in any environment.
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Meet the Expert
Julie Kandalec is a celebrity nail artist and educator. To Julie, nail care is far beyond just polish. Always the artist, she is also trained in painting, drawing, color, and dance. Known for her gentle touch, calm demeanor, and precise attention to detail, Julie’s specialties vary from a clean, natural nail to elaborate, custom-designed nails. Julie’s work can now be seen in major publications, beauty campaigns, and regularly on the fingertips of Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne, and many more. To support Kandalec’s Credit the Manicurist campaign, shop her branded tumbler here.
Meet the Author
Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for Footwear News and celebritiestalks, where she writes and edits beauty, Fashion and lifestyle stories. She has over six years of experience as a writer and editor for national media outlets including Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She keeps her finger on the pulse of all things related to beauty and wellness, as well as the latest shopping trends and clothing brands.
Celebrity Nail Trends 2024 – Best Colors, Polishes, Art