Traditionally, our winter manis feature festive red, classic berry, and inky black, but bright shades of green are starting to sneak their way in as the standout shade of the season. Let’s look at the facts—Gucci just launched its gorgeous nail collection with a bright grass green, Megan Fox and Kourtney Kardashian ditched traditional red for slime green nails in their joint Skims campaign, and every cool girl on Instagram is suddenly matching her nails to a purse or jacket of the same shade. And according to data from Pinterest, searches for emerald green nails are up 300% this year, and forest green nails are up 244%.
Though it’s definitely reached a fever pitch this year, celebrity nail artist and author of the Nail Art Design Book Julie Kandalec says that the trend has been brewing for some time. “I actually take the green nails trend back a bit further to Billie Eilish when she began wearing monochromatic neon green head-to-toe,” says. “Ugly was the new pretty. Especially today, with ’90s trends taking such a strong hold on the beauty and fashion industry, nails are a bit of an entry point for a color people wouldn’t wear on their bodies.”
Kandalec has a point, and bold green has been all over fashion—trend experts have started calling it Gen Z green, similar to the once ubiquitous millennial pink. Kendall Jenner’s iconic Saks Potts Coat and Eilish’s trademark green roots may have kicked off the trend a few years ago, but a quick look through the websites of trendy retailers like Lisa Says Gah and Aritzia (to name only two) show vivid green is here to stay.
But as Kandalec mentions, the color is unconventional, so it can be intimidating to try it, even just on your nails. (For what it’s worth, I’m personally obsessed with Gucci’s green and find it surprisingly lengthening on my stubby nails). Which is why she recommends easing into the trend with some nail art. “Green can be a less common shade to wear, but lucky for us, it flows perfectly with nail art—flower petals and stems, fall and winter flannel plaid print—and with holiday nails as well—holiday wreaths, Christmas trees, holiday lights—making December the perfect time to try it out,” she says. And if you’re still feeling tame, the Pinterest-favorite darker greens are the perfect way to dip a finger in the trend, for holiday and beyond.