After wire manis became the cool way to do nail designs last year, I thought, Finally, a nail trend I can finally get on board with. To be frank the often fiddly, overly pretty, nail art designs of the past have put me off. I find them kitsch and just not suited to my job or style. While bold block colours can be fun, there's something sophisticated about having just a line or two on a clear perfectly polished nail.
Luckily enough for me, Instagram agrees, with the more minimalist designs having become a popular choice among many a mani lover. I stumbled across the #minimalnails hashtag that revealed thousands of other simple mani enthusiasts. Clearly the chicest way to do your nails right now is to be as streamlined as possible.
By far the standout look was a clear nail (or a very light pink) with a simple white, black or gold line adorning it. The idea is to catch the light oh so slightly. The new nail design aesthetic is about a subtle look that is as ideal for the office as it would be on a night out. It's nail art for women.
Click through our gallery of the best nail designs for 2018—take these to your local salon and beg your manicurist to re-create them.
Simple black and white lines are super chic over a clear varnish. This look will also go with any outfit you own.
The new take on a classic French manicure—add an extra stripe of white for a fresh look.
While we love the inverted French mani, the real draw is the simple silver line through the middle of the nail.
Want something colourful still? Opt for this elegant look.
You need a steady hand for this look, but playing with the combination of matte and high-shine texture rather than colour is a super-subtle nail design we can totally get on board with.
Once you have your clear coat on, it's time to dip this pen into your chosen colour and dab away.
For more painterly swipes, try an ultra-thin striping brush like this one.
One of the biggest names in nail design is Wah London, and its founder Sharmadean Reid has created a stellar line of nail-art products that are far better than their affordable price tag might suggest.
Create fine lines with this tape.
Lettering also makes for great nail art, and WAH London's kit takes all the fiddliness out of drawing your own.
Love the look of the gold stripes? Use this tape to create intricate steady lines that don't require painting them (which is only for the serious nail-art aficionado).
Models Own also does great nail art pens in a range of colours.