tips & trends
pantone color of the year: sk8 with destiny
Celebrate with a Very Peri mani.
Twice a year in an undisclosed European hotel (or perhaps in recent years, on Zoom), a secret society convenes and debates ensue. The heated topic on the table: the next must-try hue. While these international rendezvous are shrouded in secrecy, the results are ultimately revealed to the entire world in the form of the Pantone Color of the Year. This highly anticipated decision takes into account many influences ranging from film to fashion to technology and can impact everything from the clothes designers create to the nail polish you pick out at the salon. It’s all very reminiscent of that iconic belt scene in The Devil Wears Prada.
In 2022, Very Peri—a spritely blue with violet-red undertones—secured the coveted title. According to Pantone.com, this shade “is a symbol of the global zeitgeist of the moment and the transition we are going through.” Joyous and dynamic, Very Peri is meant to encourage “courageous creativity and imaginative expressions,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. It is also a welcome bright spot in dark and uncertain times.
Find out which shade in the essie rainbow will help you nail the trend. Plus, discover over two decades worth of iconic Pantone colors with polish shades to match.
2022: Very Peri
For the very first time in the Color of the Year history, the institute created an entirely new shade to reflect the “innovation and transformation” happening around the world. This periwinkle hue was inspired by everything from video games to the metaverse and has already been spotted in high-fashion form on the runway at Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, and Valentino.
Try it on nails: sk8 with destiny
2021: Illuminating + Ultimate Gray
Some colors are even better together. In what was a very tumultuous year, this sunny yellow and grounding gray were meant to represent happiness and fortitude. Wear each shade solo or mix up your mani by sporting both at the same time.
Try it on nails: curbside pick-me-up + serene slate
2020: Classic Blue
Calm and confident, this alluring azure is meant to “bring peace and tranquility to the human spirit” in a fast-paced world, notes Patone.com. From suitcases (Away) to skateboards (Globe), Classic Blue left its mark on 2020.
Try it on nails: flare for fun
2019: Living Coral
Go on and get happy! Inspired by nature, more specifically coral reefs that are home to a kaleidoscope of colorful creatures, this playful hue symbolizes “our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” in a digital age, explains Pantone.com.
Try it on nails: love yourself to peaces
2018: Ultra Violet
The cosmos served as the jumping off point for this blue-based purple made legendary by musical icons like Prince and Jimi Hendrix. Intended to inspire ingenuity, originality, and connection, this vibrant shade is worthy of visionaries past and present.
Try it on nails: no time to pause
Described as a “fresh and zesty” by Pantone, this hue is rooted in nature and reflects the natural world’s ability to continually regenerate and renew. Designed to breathe life into everything from fashion to beauty to architecture, yellow-green is still very much a go!
Try it on nails: take controller
2016: Rose Quartz + Serenity
A tranquil balance of warm rose and cool blue, this dynamic duo, according to Pantone.com, was designed to be the “antidote to modern day stresses.” It’s still the perfect pair to call upon for a meditative manicure.
Try it on nails: polished and poised + bikini so teeny
Like a fine wine, this rich and earthy tone gets even better with time. In 2015, this “full-bodied, red-brown” hue added instant warmth to interiors, cheekbones (it was THE blush shade at Michael Kors’ Fall 2015 show), and beyond.
Try it on nails: a-game
2014: Radiant Orchid
From Juicy Couture sweats to Emma Stone’s gown at the Met Gala, this expressive and exotic shade was everywhere in 2014. Dare to wear it on lids, lips, or nails now and forever.
Try it on nails: run wildflower
Elegant and luxurious, this verdant hue was once the Color Institute’s crown jewel. According to Pantone.com, it brings “a sense of clarity, renewal, and rejuvenation” to a complex world.
Try it on nails: along for the vibe
2012: Tangerine Tango
Care to dance with this spicy orange? The attention-getting hue marries the “adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow,” says Eiseman. Thanks to its energizing effect, this color continues to trend.
Try it on nails: in a flash sale
Some may be surprised to learn that this mood-boosting color is especially adept at attracting hummingbirds. In 2011, Honeysuckle also caught the attention of fashion houses, beauty brands, and industrial designers who used it to perk up clothes, cosmetics, and even a Cuisinart ice cream maker.
Try it on nails: crave the chaos
In a year marked by earthquakes in Chile and Haiti, as well as an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, turquoise was a welcome escape. Inspired by tropical waters, this soothing shade boasts both the “serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green,” notes Pantone.com.
Try it on nails: garden variety
It’s safe to say that many needed a drink after the 2008 financial crisis. Enter Mimosa, an optimistic yellow that continues to be as comforting as a cheery brunch cocktail.
Try it on nails: taxi hopping
2008: Blue Iris
Bold and bright was the forecast for 2008. While things didn’t exactly go to plan, this purple-blue, described as “anchoring and meditative” by Eiseman, is still thriving.
Try it on nails: find me a mannequin
2007: Chili Pepper
Spice up your life! Pantone proclaimed 2007 to be the year of self-expression and nothing makes a statement quite like this deep and dynamic red.
Try it on nails: bolt and be bold
2006: Sand Dollar
Soft, sophisticated, and subdued, this sandy color became an instant classic. Low-rise jeans (one of the trends that defined 2006) may fall in and out of fashion, but this neutral beige is timeless.
Try it on nails: mind-full meditation
2005: Blue Turquoise
The sea served as inspo for this aqua hue that captured hearts around the world, including that of Donatella Versace who peppered the shade throughout her Fall 2005 collection.
Try it on nails: in the cab-ana
Drawing inspiration from the bloom of the same name, this brilliant shade of orange is the perfect blend of red and yellow. It was a big hit with A-listers like Selma Blair, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner who all wore it on the red carpet in 2004.
Try it on nails: clambake
2003: Aqua Sky
As cool and calming as a quick dip in the ocean, this shade of blue was chosen with the hopes of bringing a bit of serenity to a chaotic world. Swipe it on and zen out.
Try it on nails: turquoise & caicos
2002: True Red
The color of love and strength, this deep shade of red was selected to honor the victims of the September 11th attacks and recognize the impact this event had on people around the globe.
Try it on nails: bubbles only
2001: Fuchsia Rose
While nobody can be certain, Pantone’s Color of the Year may have inspired P!nk’s dye job, which was as bold and bright as the rising star herself in 2001.
Try it on nails: mod square
What better way to celebrate a new millennium than with a calming shade of sky blue? Like all things Y2K, we expect it to make a strong comeback.
Try it on nails: air dry