The ‘boring manicure’ is here to stay— these 12 looks have won me over

The biggest nail trends of 2024 look set to get even bolder as we approach the summer months—from glow in the dark nails to sunset-inspired manicures. But if intricate nail art and eye-catching colour pop designs don’t fit your personal aesthetic then you’re in luck—a more pared-back approach to nails is emerging from the abundance of neon manis and summer brights. I’m coining it the ‘boring manicure‘—and, as a woman who likes an easy and drama-free life, I say that with joy.

Milky manicures, glazed doughnut nails and micro-French tips continue to be popular choices because they are simple to create and easy to maintain, but deliver an effortlessly chic aesthetic,” explains Kirsten White, nail technician and CEO and founder of London Grace. “The trends are universally appealing, suiting all skin tones, nail shapes and lengths too.”

Sure, some might say boring, but their simplicity is undoubtedly what makes these basic manicures so appealing. And who can deny how effortlessly beautiful a perfectly executed, expertly groomed, and ultra-glossy nail can look? These manicures might not have the bells and whistles of a bedazzled lavender chrome manicure, but your nails will still take centre stage with these elegant looks.

From nude BB cream nails to glowy ‘no-manicure manicures’, I’ve rounded up the 12 best boring manicures to inspire your next minimalist nail look.

1. Fombré nails

Combining the colours of a classic French manicure, but with the colour fade technique of an ombré design, this subtle and chic approach to nail art is about to be everywhere.

2. No-make-up mani

While the details are immaculate—seriously, look how neat those cuticles are—this look is the nail equivalent of only wearing a skin tint. Sheer, natural, and effortless.

3. Sheer white

Chiffon soft and barely-there, this milky white manicure is a sophisticated take on the block colour manicures that dominate during the summer months.

4. Classic French

Some might call it a boring manicure, I’d say that a French manicure is a classic for a reason—when it’s executed impeccably like this one then nothing makes me feel more polished.

5. Lipgloss nails

Proving that basic nails can still be fun, this high-shine manicure looks so juicy and fresh and that transparent pink shade is just beautiful.

6. Naked French

This modern twist on a classic French manicure embraces sheer, milky shades for both the tips and base for a softer take on this timeless look.

7. BB cream mani

A light layer of neutral polish that’s close to your skin tone and an ultra-glossy top coat is all you need for this effortlessly polished manicure.

8. Glazed doughnut nails

We’ve all been obsessed with glazed doughnut nails since Hailey Bieber stepped out wearing them, and it’s easy to see why when this dewy manicure looks so damn good.

9. Beige manicure

Call me basic but this minimalist manicure is utter perfection to me. An opaque, sandy beige applied all over the nails is so wearable and a nice alternative to the more sheer, clean-girl manicure. This will be a huge colour for 2024.

10. Iridescent shine

At first glance this looks like any other boring manicure, but look again and you’ll notice a subtle sparkle that catches the light. A grown-up take on glitter nails.

11. Milky mani

It’s as much about the translucent milky nail shade as it is about the hydrated hands and nourished cuticles in this strikingly simple manicure. I can only dream of my hands and nails looking this healthy.

12. French crème

Not as bright as buttermilk nails, but with a definite yellow undertone, the French crème manicure is slightly more opaque than a milky manicure and will appeal to fans of neutral colour-block manicures.

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