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5 weird & wonderful nail trends of the 2010’s

By Emma Hobday | 30 June 2021 | Feature

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Remember the ‘Tens?  The decade of 2010 to 2020, where Lady Gaga wore that meat dress, Gangnam Style became a global hit, Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot and the Harry Potter films came to an end (sob).

In the world of nails however, there were some truly weird and wonderful trends that caught the eyes of team Scratch. Read on for our trip down nail-trend memory lane…

  1. We’re definitely not against fluffy things in general (dogs, slippers, cosy jumpers) but fluffy nails? Many questions arose with this indeed, questionable trend, such as what happens when you wash your hands? Wouldn’t it all just come off in the shower? Could you do your make-up without fluff going up your nose? The list goes on.
fluffy nails


2. Scented nails were rife in the ‘Tens, along with scented gel pens and flavoured lip glosses, all a great talking point for school. Coming in fruity flavours like strawberry, passionfruit and mango, or more ‘grown up’ scents like cinnamon, coffee and floral scents, this is one trend we can see re-emerging (I admit I kind of like the idea of a pink rose scented nail polish).



3. 2011 was the year of the crackle. OPI, Nails Inc, Barry M et al all jumped on the crackle bandwagon, where the nails were painted either in a crackle effect colour or a top coat over colour that resulted in a cracked look.



4. 2013 went off with a bang with the feature nail or ring finger mani. This involved painting one fingernail (usually your index or ring finger) in a different colour, adding variety, a different design or pattern. This avid nail trend follower got a sparkly silver Shellac mani for her 21st birthday with a sparkly gold index finger, which brings back many happy memories. I did consider doing this again recently for a DIY mani, but felt it was best left in 2013.

one nail different colour


5. Holographic nails were everywhere in 2016, thanks to Gigi Hadid rocking a holographic mani at the Met Gala that year, which subsequently exploded all over the ‘gram and social media. Occurring when a special pigment was applied in nail polish to give it that pretty sheen, the trend was perfect for both short and long nails, and also tapped into the ongoing mermaid trend at the time – holographic shiny blue-green nails were a ‘Tens woman’s dream.