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‘MsPattyCake’ Breaks Down the 2020 Nail Art Trends to Know

Expect glittery versions of a vintage look, and the perseverance of animal print.
By Ariana Vera |
Patricia Ezell MsPattyCake nail art
photo by Kathleen Higgins

If you’re reading this, congratulations. You’ve witnessed a pivotal decade in nail history. This may sound dramatic but think about it, the 2000s were defined by drugstore polishes your friend applied at sleepovers and French manicures for special occasions. Fast forward to the 2010s, and acrylic long nails, 3D nail art, and large rhinestones are now mainstream.

Of course, many of these trends are nothing new at all (black and Latina women have been rocking elaborate nails since the 90s). But there’s no doubt celebrities like Cardi B and Kylie Jenner, plus plenty of Pinterest-sourced inspiration, have inspired women to challenge their notions of what a manicure means this decade.

So what comes next, after such a monumental ten years of nails?  I caught up with Patricia Ezell (better known as her alter-ego MsPattyCake), the Dallas nail art concierge whose Instagram features everything from fruit- to Simpson-themed nails, for her thoughts on the trends our tips will see in 2020.


Animal Print

Whether you think animals are too cute to eat or not, everyone can agree on animal printed nails. Animals prints going to be big,” Ezell says. Her Instagram includes plenty of leopard and tiger print nails, but I personally think this cow spotted manicure would be the perfect way to start 2020.


Half Moon

“There’s definitely a push to bring half moon [manicures] back,” Ezell says. The trend that paints a half moon shape at the bottom of the nails (or leaves the lunar shape unpainted) is nothing new. It can be dated back to the 1930s, according to Mashable. While retro-lovers have taken interest in the trend for a while, Ezell predicts more glitter, metallic and double dipped versions of the vintage trend in years to come.


Color Blocking

You’ve definitely scrolled past color blocked manis, which are often paired with cute delicate rings. The trend features different toned individual nails and found a lot of popularity this fall. Though most tend to choose neutral tones in the same color family, Ezell hopes to see people make bolder choices, along with mismatched left and right hands. “When they’re not identical on each hand, I love it,” she says.”



Ezell has a lot of clients that come in and ask her to create certain works of art or album covers. Peep these Keith Hearing-inspired nails (shown below). Though there’s a lot of customization happening in Los Angeles and New York, Ezell expects this trend to expand in the next decade.

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