There’s nothing like a great manicure to give you a pick-me-up. With all of the time we spend typing and tapping on our devices, it only makes sense that our nails should look fabulous as often as possible. And since you can DIY almost any nail look, a mani is an accessible little luxury.
Not a nail-painting expert? No worries! As with most things, when it comes to nail art, practice makes perfect. Whether you prefer to do your own nails or to pay a professional to pretty up your hands, there are so many ways to get creative with your manicure. Check out these nail design ideas!
23 Nail Art Ideas to Inspire Your Next Manicure
Winter Nail Art Ideas
This snowflake manicure is pretty advanced, but you can use this nail design idea as inspo for an easier-to-recreate alternative! For a beginner version, start with a pale blue base coat. Once the blue polish has dried, use a thin brush to create simple snowflake drawings on each nail. You can also use nail glue to adhere white or silver sequins to increase the “Wow!” factor.
If snowflakes alone aren’t giving you enough of a winter vibe, maybe a snowman manicure will do the trick. Use a darker blue polish for your base coat, then a thin white brush to add white tips and a few dots of snow flurries to each nail. Once those details have dried, use the same thin brush and white polish to draw a snowman (or woman) on one nail on each hand. Take it a step further by adding classic snowman details—scarf, buttons, hat, eyes—in red and black.
3. Blue Details
Not all winter nail ideas require dainty snow details! Instead, consider going with a wintry palette and a single accent nail on each hand. Paint four nails on each hand in a darker blue or gray, leaving one free for something a little funkier. Using a thin brush, swirl lighter shades or metallics onto the accent nail.
4. Wintry Trees
This design is on the more advanced side and might be better suited for a professional nail artist. Just look at those delicate details! If you do decide to mimic these wintry trees on your nails (a black nail art pen will go a long way to help you with this one), it will be worth your time and patience.
Spring Nail Art Ideas
A daisy manicure can be as colorful (or simple) as you’d like it to be. Prep your nails with whatever base coat color helps you embrace the spring season—you can use the same color on every nail or mix things up—then use a nail pen or thin brush to add the white daisy petals and a colored center dot.
6. Colorful French Mani
There’s no rule that says that French manicures require your fingers to be tipped in white polish. Mix things up for spring by using a neutral shade for most of your nails and a thinner brush to follow along the curve of each one with a color that makes you smile.
7. Floral Details
Now that you’ve practiced some basic daisies, you’re ready to take your floral fingerpainting to the next level. Brighten up a beige or pale pink base with colorful details near your nail beds and at the tip of your nails. If you want to get super detailed with this style, a set of nail art pens might be easier to work with than brushes.
8. Pastel Swirl
To achieve this tie-dye swirl style, apply a layer of white first. Once it dries, layer the other colors you’d like to use on top of each other and on different sections of each nail. There’s no right way to do this—you just have to experiment! When you’re feeling good about the mix of colors, drag a clean detail brush across each nail to create a marbled effect.
Summer Nail Art Ideas
9. Gold-Flaked Geode
The geode aesthetic is popular these days, so any professional nail tech should have some practice with making this look happen. If you want to try a DIY approach, begin with a white base coat. Then use nail art pens or polish on a detail brush to outline the shape of the geode across each nail. Once that outline dries, add flecks of gold or silver polish.
10. Patterned French Manicure
Remember what we said earlier about there being no rule that says all French manicures must have white tips? Well, no one ever said that French manicures can only have a single color on the tip, either! Shake up this classic look by using nail art pens outline the tips of your nails in an array of colors. Recreate the marbled effect you see in this photo by using a clean detail brush to drag little lines along the length of each color stroke before it dries.
Is there a fruit that’s more summery than watermelon? Bring a splash of summer to your manicure by keeping most of your nails neutral, then drawing in the pink, green, and black details at the very bottom of each one.
12. Desert Vibes
Do you dream of starry desert nights in the summertime? This mani is the perfect source of inspo! Unless you have a lot of experience with DIY nail art, leave this one in the capable hands of a professional. It could be the perfect design if you’re looking for acrylic nail ideas!
Fall Nail Art Ideas
13. Fall Color Combo
Simplicity can go a long way. Choose an assortment of fall colors and use them in a pattern on each nail. Adding black to the mix will really make an impact.
14. Fall Foliage
It’s time to put those nail art skills you learned drawing snowflakes in the winter and flowers in the spring to use… this time, on foliage! Practice drawing or painting leaves and branches in red, yellow, orange, and brown tones.
15. Orange Details
If you want to get creative with your nail art come fall, make sure you have an orange polish in your collection. You can use it as an accent color with neutrals—like the gray and gold in this photo—or kick it up a notch by painting orange plaid or pumpkins on your nails.
16. Gold Sparkle
Forget everything you ever heard about not wearing white after Labor Day. By mixing white polish with gold metallic details, you can keep a white manicure in season well into the fall.
Check Out Acrylic Nail Ideas
Nail Art Course with Acrylic Paints.
Nail Ideas Great for Anytime of Year
17. Ombre Nails
A clean ombre effect can be a challenge to achieve on your own, but it never goes out of style! This is one of our favorite nail design ideas, no matter the time of year.
18. Half Moons
A basic nail art design, these half moons can be mixed and matched in whatever colors fit your mood. After your base color dries, use a thinner brush to paint the half moons at the bottom of each nail.
19. Polka Dots
Polka dots will probably never go out of style! They leave room for so much variety and are easy to achieve on your own. All you need are a few shades of nail polish and a thin detail brush to dab the colors onto your nail!
2021 Nail Trends to Inspire Your Next Mani
20. Indie Nails
The indie nail trend takes our collective passion for individualism and self-expression and applies it to, well, nails! With this kind of manicure, every nail looks a little different. There are no rules.
21. Velvet Nails
Velvet manicures hit the scene just in time for last holiday season and have become increasingly commonplace for salons. If you want to try a velvet mani on your own, your best bet is to purchase a product called flocking powder, which you can apply on top of your paint color of choice.
22. Brown Mani
Neutrals are very in this year. Mix and match your faves to create a manicure that will match every mood and outfit.
23. Checkered Nails
Checkerboard nails in a variety of colors can be a great accent to a more basic manicure.
Play With Different Nail Designs!
Nail Art: Colorful, Creative Designs to Paint and Share .