White nail polish has been a staple in the nail care world for decades. Recently, it seems to be making a resurgence and becoming an on-trend nail color again. Let’s take a look at the history of white nails, their symbolism, how celebrities are wearing white nails, and whether white is truly a trending nail polish color for 2022.
The History of White Nails
White nail polish first became popular in the 1930s when Hollywood starlets would paint their nails a pale white to offset their bright red lipstick. The look gave an overall glamorous vibe and soon white nails became synonymous with classic old Hollywood beauty.
In the 1950s and 1960s, most women preferred the natural bare nail look and white nails fell out of favor. However, white nails had a major resurgence in the 1970s and 1980s when disco culture embraced bold, bright colors and graphic prints. White nails complemented these funky looks perfectly.
Through the 1990s and 2000s, French manicures and nude nails were more on-trend than white nails. However, white nails began popping up occasionally on fashion forward celebrities looking to make a statement. Now in 2022, it appears white nails may be making a comeback.
The Symbolism of White Nails
White nails are associated with:
- Purity and innocence
- Cleanliness and freshness
- Retro and vintage styles
The color white represents a clean slate and fresh start. White nails give off an aura of sophistication and elegance. They also allow you to accessorize with any color as white matches everything.
How Celebrities Are Wearing White Nails
Many Hollywood A-listers and fashion icons are rocking white nails lately:
- Kendall Jenner paired white stiletto nails with her Met Gala look.
- Gigi Hadid wore white almond nails with silver crystals at Fashion Week.
- Bella Hadid rocked white square nails for a beach vacation.
- Rihanna wore edgy white coffin nails to the premier of Ocean’s 8.
- Cara Delevingne went for a glossy white manicure for a red carpet event.
These celebs kept their white nails polished and professional for formal events. But white nails can also work for a more casual laidback look.
White Nails for Everyday Wear
While celebrities tend to wear white nails for high profile occasions, this color is also great for everyday wear:
|White Nail Style
|A basic white manicure is simple but elegant. Matte, glossy, or pearl finishes give different looks.
|French white tip
|A white tip on natural nails is a modern twist on the traditional French mani.
|White with nail art
|Add pops of color with flowers, polka dots, or graphic prints over white nails.
|Iridescent white polish with silver, gold, or opal sheen is eye catching.
|Transition from white to a sheer color like pink, blue, or yellow at the tip.
White nails are easy to achieve at home and last a long time before needing a touch up. They are a great natural-looking option for the office or casual weekends. Play around with different white shades and nail shapes to find a white manicure that expresses your personal style.
White Nail Inspiration from Runways
At recent fashion weeks, white nails were spotted on the runway models of several top designers:
|White Nail Style
|Chanel Spring 2020
|Solid bright white stiletto nails
|Valentino Fall 2021
|Pale white almond nails
|Armani Couture Spring 2022
|Short square French white tip
|Dior Cruise 2022
|Solid white coffin nails with pearls
|Givenchy Summer 2022
|Glossy white ballerina nails
Leading fashion houses like embracing the simple elegance of white nails. This shows the versatility of white for both minimalist and dramatic runway looks.
Are White Nails Actually Trending in 2022?
Based on celebrity influence, runway sightings, and everyday wear, white nails appear to be rising in popularity this year. The #whitenails hashtag also has over 200,000 posts on Instagram which shows growing interest in the manicure.
According to Google Trends data, searches for “white nails” have steadily increased over the past 12 months, with the highest interest being in April 2022:
|Google Search Interest for “White Nails”
While interest has waned slightly from its peak earlier this year, searches remain well above their 2021 levels, confirming the upward trajectory for white nails.
An industry poll also showed the popularity of white compared to other top nail polish colors:
|89% said on-trend for 2022
White was rated as the most on-trend nail color for this year by nail care experts. The minimalist white manicure is having a major moment.
Based on all the evidence, white nails are clearly back in style this year. From retro glam French tips to edgy solid white stilettos, there are many ways to rock this trending manicure. White nails offer a fresh, polished look that stands out from the usual nude and pink shades flooding social media feeds. As celebrities, designers, and nail care brands embrace white polish, expect to see more clean, crisp white manicures as we head into 2023.