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2016's Best Nail Trends That Revolutionized Your Fingertips

There's no doubt that nail art has always been fantastic, but 2016 saw some trends that legit blew us away. From zodiac-inspired stenciling to magically intricate mosaics, we've rounded up a few of our favorites that you'll want to try out ASAP.

Shattered Glass Nails

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These nails shatter any and every expectation. Using tiny pieces of cellophane that reflect the light, the magical trend is totally DIY, and utterly Instagram-worthy. Accounts like jadoreluxurypr shared some of our favorite inspiration, and we even have everything you need to know to rock these glass nails right now.

Photo: @jadoreluxurypr | Instagram

Mosaic Nails

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First cousin to the amazing glass nail trend that made it big in 2016, the mosaic nail trend turns your mani into an actual work of art. Of course, it'll be hard to want to do anything when your nails look this amazing (seriously, who wants to mess up a mani as cute as cutieclesbyt's?!), but you'll definitely want to scroll through this nail art and give it a try ASAP.

Photo: @cutieclesbyt | Instagram

Sunglasses Nails

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If this trend proved anything, it's that 2016 gave us some of the most (literally) dazzling nail trends we've seen to date. Creating a rainbow of color on your nails is totally possible with the mirror and sunglasses nails trend, and if you didn't give it a go in 2016, it's bound to carry into summer 2017. Want to see how it works? Read up on how to get the sunglasses nails here!

Photo: @julieknailsnyc| Instagram

3-D Acrylic Nails

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The 3-D nail trend isn't new by any means, but the Insta artists seemed to have mastered it in 2016. Simply taking a basic color and creating more intricate details provides a never-ending bank of ideas for nail artists, which is obvious after taking a look at all the incredible designs they came up with. Take jessicacherryf's intricate white detailing as just one example — we're seriously obsessed.

Photo: @jessicacherryf | Instagram

Intricate Floral Nails

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Some of the best nail art emphasizes intricacy, and we are obsessed with the feminine floral nails that have popped up all over Instagram this year. It's the perfect trend to carry into spring 2017, and artists like vy_nails_cr prove you'll be ready to ring in the new year with a design as classic and neutral as this.

Photo: @vy_nails_cr | Instagram

Succulent Nail Embellishments

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Succulent-inspired hair and nails boldly took the stage at the end of the year, and nails like those on arozona are seriously envy-worthy. Whether you want to bring the 3-D effect to life or stick with a simple drawn-on approach, you'll have succulent-inspired nails in no time at all. (Plus, they'll remind you of a warmer time while you're stuck in the winter cold — we promise.)

Photo: @arozona | Instagram

Election-Inspired Nails

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Sure, election season might cause a divide between parties, but we can all agree on one thing: These election-inspired nail ideas are pretty dang amazing. Of course, we'll have to wait a few more years to get back to rocking "Vote" on our nails, like Julia Graf. But these rad U.S.-inspired designs will be ready for the next big vote.

Photo: Julia Graf | YouTube

Olympic-Inspired Nails

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Besides the election, the Olympics were the next biggest event to take over 2016. We saw some rad nail art that was perfectly games-inspired, and we can't help but anxiously wait to see what other amazing designs pop up again in four years.

Photo: The Daily Varnish

Zodiac-Inspired Nails

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It is the year for everything zodiac. From zodiac handbags to zodiac makeovers, there was no shortage of influence from the stars. We found some of the best nail art to help you flaunt some zodiac sign love, and kelseyraes_kreations proves that these nails can look absolutely ah-mazing. Sign us up ASAP!

Photo: @kelseyraes_kreations | Instagram

Glow-In-The-Dark Nails

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Few nail trends literally pop like this glow-in-the-dark one, and we're seriously obsessed with the way this trend took over the YouTube world in 2016. Thanks to cutepolish's simple tutorial, it takes just a few steps to prep this DIY, leaving your nails shining brighter in no time. Read up on how to make your own glowy polish here!

Photo: cutepolish | YouTube

Using Negative Space

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There is something about simplicity that doesn't get as much appreciation as it should. Thanks to some super cool artists like channiepoo, clean lines and shapes were a huge trend for 2016. And you'd be super on trend if you used negative space (i.e. unpainted parts of your nails) in that clean design. Not only is it a style that's easier to create, but it's so aesthetically pleasing.

Photo: @channiepoo | Instagram

Powder Dip Nails

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Looking for an alternative to traditional acrylics? This year we saw a massive rise in the powder dip trend. Besides simply boasting the benefits of calcium and vitamin E, acrylic dip nails last four to six weeks longer than regular acrylics and are seriously fun to apply. (Just look at simplynailogical's killer mani!) Watch how the dip nail process works here.

Photo: @simplynailogical | Instagram

Half-Moon Nails

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Of course, there is something seriously amazing about taking a twist on a traditionally favored trend, and that's exactly what the half-moon mani did this year. This design takes our beloved French tips and flips it on its head, but we can fully get behind it. buffandfile proves that the design can look just as elegant — if not more — than it's counterpart, and we can't help but love it.

Photo: @buffandfile | Instagram

Oval Nails

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Now it's time to prep for your at-home mani. So what nail shape took home the "Most Popular" crown this year? The oval nail, of course! The classic shape is not only uber gorgeous, but it's easy enough for a DIY job, too. Follow cutepolish's guide to make sure your nails are trimmed and good to go.

Photo: cutepolish | YouTube

Coffin Nails

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The 2016 nail shape trend that takes designs to the next level would have to be the coffin nail. The long, shaped nails are more slender than your typical lengthy styles, and they're wearable for nearly any occasion. After drooling over nailsbylauren_702's shape, this is a trend we hope sticks around for the new year. (Plus, this is one Instagrammer that has most of 2016's nail trends on lockdown in one mani!)

Photo: @nailsbylauren_702 | Instagram

Stiletto Nails

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The next nail shape step up from coffin nails is the daring stiletto nails. Rihanna and Adele both rocked this gutsy shape that mimics the point of the badass shoe. This nail shape is a total girl power move, just look at Instagrammer angelica.leira's rocking nails.

Photo: @angelica.leira | Instagram

The Matte Mani

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"Matte" was definitely a beauty buzzword in 2016, and Instagrammers like the awesome glambymeli are showing just why the matte mani is so hot. Matte doesn't mean you can't add a little bling on there (we'd encourage it even), but you can also rock it solo in a bold color for high impact.

Photo: @glambymeli | Instagram

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