Sprucing up your manicure is a great way to inject a little personality and fun into any look, and best of all, it doesn’t have to require a visit to the salon. We’ve found some great nail art ideas which are easy to master for both beginners and nail experts alike.
So if you find yourself with ten minutes to spare, it’s time to get creative and customize your nails.
Our Top Nail Art Ideas
Polka Dot Nail Art
Polka dots are the perfect introduction to nail art as you really can’t go wrong. Paint your nails in one shade, then use either a dotting tool, the end of a bobby pin or a toothpick to paint on polka dots. Be as random as you like with the dots, and paint on half dots around the edges for a less structured look.
You can choose any color for your dots to completely customize the look, and you can also play around with different tools to achieve varying sized dots. Take things to the next level and layer up different shades and different sizes for a multi-dimensional look. Just make sure you wait for each layer to dry before moving on.
V-Tip Nail Art
Nail art ideas don’t always have to mean glitter and sparkle. You can still enjoy a subtle and sophisticated look with a touch of customization. The V-Tip look is great for the job. Simply paint your nails as normal and wait for them to fully dry, then use a different color to coat the outside corners, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape in the middle.
The best bit about the V-Tip is that you can go as bold or as subtle as you like. Go all out with completely contrasting shades such as yellow and purple, or red and blue, or just go for variants of the same shade such as a light pink and a dark pink.
Speckled Nail Art
For speckled nail art, all you need is two polishes and a piece of crumpled plastic; it really is as easy as that! Paint your base color and leave it to dry, then paint your secondary color onto a piece of crumpled plastic and lightly dab it onto your nails for a speckled look.
This works particularly great with gold or silver polish for a party look. You can even paint an accent nail in your secondary color to bring the whole look together.
Ombre Nail Art
You can apply the ombre trend to much more than just your hairstyle. In fact, an ombre nail makes for a unique style. Start off with your main base color and coat your nails, leaving them to dry completely. Apply the same color to a sponge and then introduce a darker color to one end of the sponge and blend for a gradient. Pat the sponge lightly onto your nail to transfer the color for an ombre look.You can place the darker color on either end of the nail, although the preference generally is so the nail gets darker as you go towards the tip.
Whilst you can be experimental with your colors, it’s best to use two which are fairly similar such as a light and dark purple. If you use two completely contrasting colors, they may not blend easily and can turn a murky shade. If you want to jazz up your ombre nails you can use nail glitter as your gradient.
A permanent marker does just as good of a job as nail polish, and is the perfect tool for beginners, especially as you can easily remove any mistakes with rubbing alcohol without disturbing your polish.
Spruce up any manicure with a metallic sharpie to easily add polka dots, stripes, hearts and stars. You can go with gold, silver or even the on-trend copper for a stylish finish. We love teaming up our metallic pens with matte polishes for a seriously chic look. Nothing beats a matte black nail with the tips filled in with a gold sharpie!
Diagonal Nail Art
Tape is your best friend when it comes to nail art ideas as it can help you get those smooth, straight lines even if you don’t have a steady hand. Taping off half of your nail diagonally is one of the easiest ways to add interest to your manicure.
Simply paint your nails in one color and leave to fully dry, then tape off half the nail and paint your second color over the top. It’s important you wait for the second color to dry before peeling the tape, otherwise your straight edge may smudge.
We love using two similar colors in two different finishes, such as a matte black and a glossy black for a subtle but chic look.
Lace Nail Art
Painting through fabrics is a quick and easy way to achieve nail art designs that look much more intricate than they actually are. People will be admiring your steady hand!
Paint your nails one color, then layer over a piece of fabric, such as lace, and paint on your second color. You will be left with a gorgeous lace pattern on your nails. If you don’t have lace on hand you can even use a bathroom loofah to get a detailed netted look.
Nail art doesn’t have to require a steady hand, a ton of equipment or hours of practice. With these quick and simple nail art ideas, you can wow your friends and add a bit of jazz to any manicure.