Outdated Nail Trends That We Should Bring Back

If you just got a manicure and you're already thinking about what to do with your nails next time, then you're probably nail-obsessed, and we're definitely part of that club, too. Getting your nails done is a foolproof way to upgrade your look, and often your mood. There's no better feeling than arriving at the salon, relaxing in your chair, and leaving with fresh nails that are filed, shiny, and covered in fresh paint.


While we'll always love getting our nails done, it can be just a little stressful, too. While manicures are supposed to be spa-like with tons of tranquility, choosing the right color, nail shape, or design can be daunting — and with soaringly high manicure prices, you definitely want to love it. While the feeling of freshly done nails is amazing, there's nothing worse than leaving the nail salon and feeling unsatisfied with the final product. So if you're already planning the next manicure you'll adore, may we introduce you to outdated nail trends that need to make a comeback? These trends were all ubiquitous in years past, and they'll guarantee your nails will look stylish and reminiscent of the '90s and '00s we know and love.


A French manicure – and all things square-shaped

First up, we have a long-forgotten trend few thought would ever make a comeback, but it's slowly becoming just as ubiquitous as it was in the '90s and early '00s. The prim, pink and white French manicure. Who would've thought? Many can remember walking up to their nail salon of choice in a Juicy Couture velour tracksuit (Paris Hilton is that you?!) and requesting a perfect French mani with striking white tips at the ends (extra points if they were acrylic). For many of us, French manis were practically the only choice for years. In fact, the French manicure been in style (and not) for several cycles since their original inception in 1975. Replaced by intricate nail designs comprising everything from flowers to cartoon characters to abstract prints, French manicures seemed boring and passé, until now. 


Nail expert Michelle Humphrey explained to French Vogue, "The French manicure made an epic comeback this year and is here to stay, alongside its sibling the American mani, which has a softer, more natural white tip." So yes, that French mani you loved so much in the early aughts is set to make a major comeback, and will look amazing alongside other reimagined '00s favorites like Fendi baguette bags and chokers. 

Another trend Humphrey says is coming back? Square nails — so move over oval-shaped manis!

'90s inspired jelly nails and short nails

Remember those jelly sandals from the '90s that so many of us had? Jelly everything was where it was at in the '90s and '00s, and we're thrilled the look is back. Sure, the jelly sandals trend makes us a little worried for the state of our feet — anyone else remember how much they make you sweat? Even if you're not into jelly sandals, you can try jelly nails. Beyond Polish reports that the millennium-era trend is coming back in a big way. As you may remember, jelly polish is somewhat transparent, and dries shinier than other kinds of polish, making it more glass-like. Also, the see-through polish style is perfect for adding all kinds of nail designs on top if you want to change it up after a week.


Another nail trend that's finally (thankfully) making a comeback? Short nails. While long oval nails have been the status quo for years, manicurist Rita Remark told Elle, "While longer oval nails will still be popular, I see a shift to shorter lengths."

Glittery manicures and press-on nails

Who else can remember glitter everything in the early aughts? The glitter-encrusted t-shirts, hats, and even Swarovski-covered Sidekick phones celebrities like Britney Spears carried everywhere. As explained by Who What Wear, glitter manicures are back in a big way, so bring on all the sparkly polishes you haven't used since 2007 (actually don't, get some new polish). Although the outlet says that slightly sheer, subtle glitter manis have been around again for a few years, now is the time to bring on the "chunky" glitter manis that will make you think of Limited Too (in the best way possible). These kinds of glitter manicures should be as in your face as possible, and be as deliciously decadent as a crystal-studded cell phone!


Another trend that is making a comeback has us thanking the heavens: press-on nails. Who else can remember sticking on nails they bought at the drugstore back in the early aughts? Coveteur writes that press-on nails are back with full force, but today's version fit better and stay in place for longer.

Naked manicure and deep Bordeaux nails

If you tend to wear black, white, nude, and gray, and look to past '90s icons like Jennifer Aniston, then we've found the perfect mani styles for you. While we often associate millennium-era fashion with excess, thinking of sequins, crystals, and yes, all those Ed Hardy baseball caps and tees, it was also a time for sleekness and subdued styles. Yes, there was glitter everywhere, but remember that stunning white Calvin Klein slip dress Cher wore in "Clueless" that made everyone collectively gasp? While we still need that dress, we love paying homage to years past by being slightly minimalist with our fashion choices, and that includes comeback manicures.


As explained by Beauty Crew, the "naked" manicure is back. This look involves a nude-as-can-be polish with just a hint of shine, and usually a thin white tip with a natural squ-oval (rounded off square) nail shape. This mani got its name because it looks just like an unpolished nail from afar, but way sleeker. It's also similar to a French manicure, but in a more subdued way. Another 90s trend coming back? Wine and Bordeaux-colored nails, which are grungy in the chicest way (via Who What Wear).