Shades of the season: Tutorials to recreate catwalk nail trends

Marie-Louise Coster looks at key nail trends from the catwalks that we’ll be seeing in salons.

Marie-Louise CosterThe summer is most definitely my favourite season and what makes me love it even more are the colours associated with it, and even more so, the colours we will be wearing on our nails.

Of course, spring saw an influx of pastel shades, beautiful pale pinks, peach, nude, pale blue, mint green, lemon etc. and I believe those shade will carry through the summer as well and be a continuing feature.  

The summer will now follow on from that and we will see, in addition to these shades, a stream of brighter versions of these tones - fuchsia pinks, bold blues, coral shades and still nude...because everyone loves a nude! 

Trends themselves come from lots of different sources; from brand manufacturers themselves, products and styles of application that are popular within our industry at the time, and from the fashion industry. In my opinion, the fashion industry is the most influential when it comes to setting trends. What we see on the catwalk is recreated, and sometimes diluted, within high street shops - that goes for the clothes, hair, make up and nails.

I am lucky enough to work at Fashion Weeks in London and Paris, as well as on editorial photoshoots and advertising campaigns. To get an idea of what will be popular from a nail point of view, we need to look back at what was seen on the catwalk last September at the various Fashion Weeks around the world.  

Now there will be lots of designs and styles from the simpler to the more outlandish, but we have to consider what will translate well on the high street and what is wearable for our everyday client. 


Nudes are always popular and wearable by anyone providing you get the right shade, and can be transparent to opaque.
So, let's start with nudes, always popular and wearable by anyone providing you get the right shade. Nudes can be transparent to opaque, and we saw a full spectrum of this at London Fashion Week with the likes of Eudon Choi, David Koma and Jasper Conran all opting for nude nails, echoed further at Paris Fashion Week by the likes of Hermès.  

When you use a nude shade there is simply no hiding any imperfections! So, the key things with nudes, particularly more translucent ones, are that the nail is perfectly clean underneath the free edge. I read a really interesting post on Facebook where a nail tech asked if people cleaned under the free edge because she had had a client in that had really dirty nails and because she wouldn't clean them the client tried cleaning them herself on the nail techs towels, she was appalled. She wasn't the only one, I was appalled reading it that she didn't clean under the client's free edge! Why would you not complete a service and ensure that the nails are beautifully manicured, clean, well hydrated and the hands nourished? This is even more paramount when creating a nude nail.


Pantone's colour of the year is Living Coral and you can expect to see a lot of that this summer.  Coral is a beautiful, easily wearable colour for anyone and goes with anything and is always my go-to shade in the summer months. Coral was featured on the catwalks for SS19 by Gucci and Temperley, and I am sure it will feature heavily within salons up and down the country. 

The beautiful thing about coral is it can easily be used as a key colour when creating nail art, either as a base for other colours or as the detail upon a nude shade. Coral works well with so many colours it really does give you huge scope when creating nail art.


Finally, on the catwalks, there were some bolder colours featured - bright red and bright blue - within the mix of everything else, so collectively all these shades will create a great palette for the client to choose from and for you to create masterpieces with.

Nail Art

Marie-Louise Coster Yuhan Wang nail art SS19
I created some two-tone nails when I was Lead Manicurist for Yuhan Wang, a simple, opaque nude with a large red dot at the tip.
Nail art has really gained momentum in the last few years and I think that it is only going to pick up speed as the season is underway. There was a lot of two-tone nails on the catwalk for SS19; personally, I created some two-tone nails when I was Lead Manicurist for Yuhan Wang, a simple, opaque nude with a large red dot at the tip. A style that would be very easily recreated in the salon and could be created with different colours or by placing the dot in a different place on the nail.  

Alternative French Manicure application is also popular and can very easily be achieved. You can use any colour combination and really give it a twist, or you could switch your French Manicure up and place the darker colour in the half moon area of the nail. Equally you could do two (or even three or four) tone colour blocking on the nail and could even use foils to create a multi-tonal nail. There really are a lot of options.

In addition to this, a design that I think never dates when it comes to summer, is flowers. One stroke, aquarelle, freehand… whatever is your preferred medium you can create some beautiful flowers as art that are unique to the client and the colour tailored to her.

My key piece of advice is do not panic when it comes to nail art, practice and work creating designs that you are confident with. Pre-paint some colour pops with designs that you are confident doing and have them on your nail desk for clients to choose from, change them up each season and develop your skills as you work. 

Marie-Louise Coster is a Session Tech, Beauty Therapist, Trainer and Business Consultant, with over 20 years' experience in the industry. All About Mi Beauty & Holistic Training School is ABT-accredited.