Looking for fresh and fabulous nail inspiration? Nail art is an exciting way to elevate your manicure and express your personal style. Whether you’re into bold brights, minimalist neutrals, or want to make a statement with unique designs, there are so many on-trend options to choose from.
Get ready to be inspired to take your nails to the next level! Here are some of the top nail art trends you need to know about:
Chic and Simple: The Minimalist Mani
For an elegant and effortless look, you can’t go wrong with a minimalist manicure. This trend focuses on a clean, crisp solid color with little to no embellishments. The emphasis is on flawless application and perfectly shaped nails.
Start with a neutral or lightly-pigmented base color in a matte, shiny, or subtly textured finish. Barely-there nudes, pale pinks, and grays are timeless go-to’s. For a more eye-catching twist, go for a rich deep red, electric blue, or pastel purple.
When it comes to embellishments, less is more. A mininalist mani may feature a single strip of glitter, a tiny heart or star accent nail, or an itty-bitty crystal or stud detail. Gold and silver metallic tones pair nicely with neutral and pastel polish shades. Classic styles like French dips also work beautifully with the minimalist aesthetic.
The minimalist look is versatile enough for everyday wear or special occasions. It’s easy to achieve nail art perfection when you’re only focused on one color and a mini detail or two.
Architectural Edges: Negative Space Nails
If you love graphic prints and optical illusions, negative space nail designs are about to be your new fave. As the name suggests, negative space nail art utilizes the blank “negative” space on the nails as a feature, rather than just filling in every bit of bare nail with color.
To create this eye-catching look, start by painting the base of your nails with the negative space color—black, white, and nude tones are striking choices. Once dry, use striping tape to mask off a shape or line on each nail, then paint over the tape with your accent color. Peel off the tape to reveal a fun color-blocked design.
Get creative with different patterns like zig-zags, diagonals, grids, and curves to make each nail unique. The combinations are endless– try pairing pastels with white negative space, neon brights with black, or glittery solids with nude. A strip of rhinestones or metallic studs amps up the wow-factor even more.
This style works best on long squared-off or coffin-shaped nails, as the vertical lines help elongate the shape of the nails. The graphic illusion makes your nails look like a chic work of art.
Natural Inspiration: Earthy Marble Nails
Channel zen earth goddess vibes with the marble nail trend. These mesmerizing designs recreate the look and texture of marble, granite, and other natural stones. While neutral marble patterns are classic, don’t be afraid to branch out with bold and colorful variations.
Start with a base coat, then use two or more nail polish colors to create the marbled effect. Dot, swirl and blend the shades together using a toothpick or dotting tool. You can go for a subtle look by mixing complementary colors like copper and sage green, or make it bold with contrasting brights like purple and neon yellow.
To finish, outline the marble pattern with a dark polish or liquid latex for definition. Metallic gold or silver accents over the marble design adds extra dimension. For extra shine, top it off with a layer of top coat or glossy sealant.
The stone-like appearance of the marble effect gives off an earthy, organic vibe. It’s a cool way to decorate your tips while looking totally natural.
Citrus-Inspired: Bright and Cheerful Fruit Nails
For a mani that’s fruity, fresh and fab, take inspiration from juicy citrus fruits. Vibrant shades and playful fruit motifs will instantly perk up your nails for spring and summer.
Lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit colors are ideal for channeling the bright, cheerful vibe of summer. Opt for a solid neon yellow, vivid coral, or try several colorful shades blended together. Patterned fruit-printed nail decals and stickers let you get super playful with the theme.
For extra pop, add glossy 3D fruit charms. Layer them over a base coat or attach them to nude or clear gel nails with nail glue. Small watermelon slices, lemon wedges, oranges, cherries, and grapes make for irresistibly cute accents on one or two fingers.
Fruit-scented nail polishes are another fun way to get the fruity effect. Formulas infused with citrus oils like lemon, tangerine, and orange blossom smell as good as they look while caring for your nails.
With bold bright colors and juicy details, fruit nail designs are a fresh, fabulous way to celebrate the summer season. They’ll have you looking perfectly peel-ed for any occasion!
Pretty as a Petal: Soft and Feminine Florals
What’s more feminine than flowers? Pastel petals, delicate bouquets, and vivid blooms adorning your nails are guaranteed to get compliments. Whether you prefer botanically accurate flowers or abstract floral motifs, there are so many ways to work this soft and romantic nail trend.
Subtle floral lace stickers and decals allow you to quickly add intricate detail and texture. Metallic rose gold or champagne-toned blooms are ideal for weddings and formal events. For an light, ethereal look try sheer jelly polishes in soft pink, buttery yellow, and pale green layered over a neutral base.
If realism is more your style, paint each nail tip with a photorealistic flower, like peonies, roses, or wildflowers. Use a tiny detail brush and practice your flower painting technique. A matte top coat helps give painted blooms a smooth, velvety finish.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try unexpected colors too. Vivid violet orchids, red poppies, and deep blue hyacinths are impactful. Keep leaves and stems green, or experiment with complementary shades like lemon yellow leaves against lavender flowers.
Large-scale abstract floral prints are another way to decorate your nails artfully. Use wide brushes, sponges, or stamps to create bold blossoms in vivid colors. Outline the shapes after painting for a clean defined look.
Let your nails bloom with these fresh and feminine floral ideas!
Bold Geometry: Graphic Shapes and Patterns
If you gravitate towards monochromatic palettes, geometric lines, and graphic prints, you’ll love this nail art trend. Triangles, squares, zig-zags, dots, and every shape in between can be used to create eye-catching nail designs.
Start with striping tape to mask off straight lines, triangles, and other shapes before painting over them. For intricate patterns, nail vinyl stickers are ideal. They come in sets with a variety of shapes to mix and match on each nail.
Once you’ve created an outline, fill it in with a rainbow of colors–try matching different shades to each shape. Glossy black, white, and metallics also make a graphic impact when paired with bright shades.
For extra flair, add mini silver or gold studs and rhinestone decals inside the shapes. You can also use a striping brush dipped in black or white polish to hand paint intricate lines and dots. Sealing designs with a coat of clear top coat keeps all the edges crisp.
If freehand isn’t your forte, stick on pre-designed press-on nails or reusable stickers with geometric patterns. Dotted speckled prints, optical illusions, and color blocked bands are playful patterns to try.
With so many shapes, colors and designs to choose from, you can change up your geometric nail art daily!
Gilded Glam: Metallic Nail Polish and Embellishments
Want showstopping nails that shine brighter than a disco ball? Metallic nail polish and decor provides the most dazzling, light-catching effect. There are so many gorgeous ways to incorporate metal and shine into your manicure.
For mega-watt shine, an all-over coat of foil or chrome nail polish makes a stunning style statement. Coppery, rose gold, silver, and gold metallic polishes pair perfectly with formal occasions. Nude or black polish underneath amplifies the mirror-like effect.
To accent solid color nails, add radiant glitter, sequins, beads, or crushed foils just on the tips or to create designs. Try a classic french manicure with glitter tips for a glam twist. Globs of glossy gel create 3D textures and interesting dimension.
Nail art kits come with sheets of gold, silver, and multi-colored foils to easily apply. Use foil glue for the best adhesion and seal with top coat after. Rhinestone stickers, glitter appliques, and chrome powder offer more dazzling options.
Why choose one metal when you can have them all? Mix silver and gold for a modern mismatched look. With endless metallic colors and textures to experiment with, your nails will beam with Insta-worthy radiance!
Retro Revival: Nostalgic Plaid Nails
From punk rock to preppy, plaid nail designs are having a major moment reminiscent of the edgy-yet-classic ’90s style. Revive the retro vibes with checkered patterns, tartan prints, and contrasting line designs.
Nail wraps make it easy to quickly apply colorful checkered or grungy tartan patterns over nails. For DIY plaid, use different width striping tape to create overlapping lines and squares. Fill them in with contrasting colors like black and white, silver and blue, neon yellow and purple.
To recreate the look of layered plaid shirts and skirts, use three or more colors to make the lines stand out. Thick intersecting stripes in bold shades evoke ’90s punk bands, while dainty pastel checks are feminine with preppy charm.
Don’t limit yourself to just squares and straight lines. Experiment with plaid patterns using diagonal lines, uneven shapes, and deconstructed designs. For extra nostalgia, seal the look with a layer of dark matte top coat.
Channel clueless, punky, or preppy plaid style with this playful pattern. Your nails will time warp back to the trends of decades past!
Cheers! Cocktail Glass Nail Art
Get ready to raise your martini glass nails for a toast! Cocktail glass nail art transforms your tips into mini vessels ready to be filled with shiny faux bubbly. Sequins, beads, crystals, and more recreate every aspect of a festive drink.
To recreate a classic stemmed glass, paint your nails a solid color to serve as the base. Use striping tape to create triangular shapes. Fill in with sheer nude, gold or silver polish as the glass outline. Stud the bottom triangles with beads, sequins or crystals to depict fizzy drink bubbles.
For martini glasses, paint the upper half of the nail with white tip polish. Onto the lower half, apply a sheer triangle of brownish-red for a liquor effect. Outline with gold striping tape and fill in with bubbles. Tiny pearl beads along the rim finish the elegant look.
Metallic polishes like rose gold and gunmetal gray make stunning statement glasses. Get creative with custom shapes like champagne flutes, rocks glasses, and decorative coupes. Cocktail umbrellas, tropical fruits, and swizzle sticks take the theme over the top. Make sure to check nails for any signs of damage like white lines before starting your nail art.
With so many options for dazzling drink designs, you can craft a new cocktail look for every occasion. Cheers to nails that are five-drink fabulous!
The world of nail art keeps expanding with new trends to try every season. Whether you’re in the mood for minimalist, bold prints, or want to wear wearable art on your fingertips, there are so many ways to express your personal style. Use these on-trend nail ideas as inspiration when planning your next manicure masterpiece!