12 Gel-Nail Designs That Are Big News In Salons Right Now

If you have a nail appointment coming up and are thinking about getting a gel manicure, you might be looking for some inspiration. The good news is, you've definitely come to the right place as we have saved, screenshot and double tapped our way through endless images of seriously cool nails. Plus, the pros of a gel manicure means that your nail design will last around two weeks, and will stay chip-free too. No more painting your nails every couple of days.

At Who What Wear, when we look for gel nail designs, we typically turn to what the fashion set are wearing. After a little Instagram digging into the accounts of our favourite celebrities, editors and influencers, you can usually find the talented nail technicians behind their nail designs. They are the ones who, in my eyes, really shape the shades and nail designs that we'll all be wearing each season.

I was curious what nail designs and nail colours are beginning to crop up more, so, I took to my feed to have a scroll on some of my favourite celebrity nail technicians' accounts. Keep reading below to find out the best gel nail designs for 2023 to help make deciding on your next manicure colour or designing much easier— you are welcome!

1. Classic Red

If nail shade-induced panic washes over you once you are sat in the nail salon (we've all been there) then red is a failsafe, timeless shade that will never not look chic. It makes your nails look polished and it is one of those shades that will go with everything you wear.

If you want to mix it up a little bit, then opting for a bright red like this one by Julia Diogo, who is the resident nail technician at The Corinthia London. I'm seeing bright reds like this everywhere at the moment.

2. Ink

There's something about a blue mani. This deep navy shade oozes sophistication.

If dark shades like black or brown tend to wash out your hands, you might find navy is a more flattering option when you want to venture to the dark side.

Inky hues look best when finished with a glossy top coat to really enhance the shade.

3. Glazed Nails

gel nail designs: glazed donut nails Hailey bieber @nailsbyzola



Hailey Bieber's go-to nail technician, Zola Ganzorigt, practically broke TikTok when she shared how she creates Hailey's glossy, 'glazed donut' nails. Her secret? Using a chrome powder over OPI's gel nail shade, Funny Bunny, to get that semi-sheer sheen. We predict this trend will continue through autumn and winter.

The trend looks great dialled down with a sheer, slightly shimmering base colour.

gel nail designs: glazed donut nails Hailey bieber @nailsbyzola



We're also seeing the trend interpreted in pastel shades, like this lilac ombre nail design.

4. Minimalist Swirls

If you aren't a big fan of full-on nail art, this swirly design is the perfect minimalist take. Think one colour swirls in classic black, or muted pastels.

gel nail designs: nail swirl nail art @thehangedit



We're immediately screenshooting this muted green swirly nail art for our next nail appointment.

5. Liquorice

Black is a timeless gel nail design that we come back to time and time again. Great for minimalists, you can count on a deep black shade to make your fingertips look chic.

Another plus of black gel polish is that it always looks super shiny.

No matter your nail length of shape, black gel polish will always look good.

6. Matcha

Matcha is having a moment, and we aren't just talking in lattes. The colour looks beautiful in a milky matcha hue on short nails. 

gel nail designs: rosewood red @paintedbyjools



Or try it more in the shade of its original powder form, which looks gorgeous on the tips of oval nail shapes.

7. Neutral Hues

Sometimes, simple and neutral shades make the best hues for gel nails. After all, you know that you won't regret a nude colour like you might with something a bit more bold. Clean girl nails are always a good idea.

Another plus of neutral shades is that the nail regrowth won't be quite so obvious when compared to a bold shade, so you can extend the life of your gel mani.

If you're a nail minimalist, then a pinky-beige shade is guaranteed to tick all your boxes.

8. Geometric Shapes

gel nail designs: geometric nail art @imarninails



Negative space nail art makes a great gel nail design to opt for. How fun are these mutli-coloured shapes? They make a good option for a gel manicure appointment, as it can be hard to create the look at home–unless you have steady hands!

gel nail designs: geometric nail art @imarninails



Same shapes, but a whole different mood. Choosing one shade in varying shapes looks super cool.

9. Crocodile

I'm seeing this deep, crocodile green shade on just about every cool-girl right now. This particular shade by Biosculpture is called Free Lovin'.

I'm seeing all the top nail technicians flouting this shade on Instagram right now.

This shade looks particularly chic on shorter fingertips.

10. Bordeaux

Full bodied and glossy, bordeaux is a year-round classic shade and it instantly makes your hands look expensive.

The most stylist shades almost border on a deep brown with just a hint of red.

We're totally mesmerised by the shine of this bordeaux gel manicure.

11. Double French

Instead of a classic French tip, the double designs have been cropping up more and more. They're a really fresh and fun take on the classic style.

gel nail designs: double French nail art: @thehangedit



I'm totally obsessing over this double French design with clashing colours.

gel nail designs: double French nail art: @thehangedit



So chic and elegant. 

12. Chrome Accents

I regularly scroll on celebrity nail technician and Chanel nail artist Betina Goldstein's Instagram for the low-down on nail trends. She has a number of chrome nail looks,which she says is a nod to Beyoncé's Renaissance album artwork. I love these minimalist chrome accents on each of the nails.

It looks equally great in gold, too.

Silver chrome tips and gold jewellery are a winner.

Shop At-Home Gel Nail Essentials:

Everything you need to trim, shape and spruce up your fingers and toes.

Using a cuticle oil everyday will keep your nails healthy and strong and actually help your gel manicure to last longer. 

Great for use in between gel manicure appointments. It really helps to repair and renew the nails while giving a natural pinky-hued shine.