Most of us aren’t heading to the nail salon right now and lots of us are rocking our natural nails, so they’re shorter than they would be if we were going to the salon: Say hello to DIY nail art for short nails. One of the best things we can do right now is to get creative with our self-care and manicures are a perfect way to combine lots of these skills. So we are honing our mani and pedi skills en casa, with (mixed) fun results. We are all for combining much-needed self-care nail time with DIY art school.
That’s why we wanted to share some pretty, fun, and colorful nail art that you can try out for yourself at home. The best part is that you can pick and choose inspiration here and there, change up the color palette, and make your next manicure something on-trend, but with your own hip twist. Plus, you don’t have to have long, faux nails to pull of these looks. Here’s to finding new ways to stay happy, well taken care of, and creative.
Caturday Feline French Manicure
Part of being upbeat is being surrounded by the things that make you feel so. Like adorable cats. This fun mani, by Sarah Kane of @topknotnails features four furry felines against a beigey-nude background. Try this out; you can make the cats as detailed as you want!
Betina Goldstein is a rock star of nail art. One look of hers that we love and that is so easy to recreate is this minimalist circle look. You put nail polish regularly on three nails, saving two for DIY artsy circles. Latinx Betina shows you each precise step in this informative Instagram video.
Summer Neon Orange French Manicure
French manicures will always be in style, and for many seasons, nail artists have been having fun revamping the classic look. Nail It! Magazine featured this bold version created by Dirnaq Qaynağı of @nail_art_xedish, that says “summer” in neon orange, and “artsy” with half-moon touches and long lines.
Pastel Nails with Marbling
On the more soothing and subtle side of things for nail art is this marbled mani by Lauren Bush of @shapeandpolish, featured by NailsMagazine. You get pretty washes of mint green, pink, purple, and yellow; the effect looks great on short nails, with not a lot of effort. Just google marbled nails for an easy DIY video!
If you’re looking for something almost out of this world, why not opt for some celestial nails? Emily Gilmour of @emilysmakeupandnails hand-painted this stunning scene of clouds, stars, a sun, and a moon, all in neutral white and black. Of course, you can go more simple with more basic versions of these shapes and still get a stylish mani. You can even affix nail stickers in this theme to the nails.
Pattern Pick and Mix Manicure
Nail art is so fun. Don’t feel the need to stick to the same pattern or print for multiple nails. Have fun! This “pick and mix” manicure screams fun, especially in the 1980s and ’90s nostalgic prints and pops of color.
Black and White Monochrome Daisy
You can sport nail designs and still have a look that will go with almost everything in your wardrobe. Just keep the colors neutral. This monochrome daisy mani in sharp black and white does the trick. You get all the drama, without any cray colors.
Python Print Nails
Another cool Betina Goldstein mani to check out is her DIY python print creation. Who knew you could create snake print nails with things you have right at home?! This Instagram tutorial will show you how, with a toothbrush, bobby pin, and a cut-up laundry bag.
Fine Lines and Picasso Faces
You can get as artsy as you want with your nails; just think of your uñas as a blank canvas that you can get really creative on. Like Oliwia did with this “Picasso faces and fine lines” mani. There is so much detail packed onto two nails but done in a way that gives off a relaxed, almost minimalist vibe. It’s boho nail art done right.
Coming Up Daisies
We will never get tired of seeing pretty flowers on nails. Especially hippie daisies. NAIL CHARK shared this floral vintage-y mani that we can recreate in so many different colors and ways.
Half Nude|Half Tortoise
We are seeing a lot of nail art that balances the desire to have neutral nails but still have some glam fun. Nails by Heather shared her fab manicure that literally splits the difference between tame and wild. One side of the nail is in a demure pinky-beige nude, while the other takes a walk on the wild side in still-neutral-yet-glam tortoise.
Simple, Sweet Hearts
It doesn’t have to be February to show your nails some love. We are talking hearts, a shape that always looks sweet and pretty on a manicure. It’s also such an easy one to paint on nails, and you can have fun thinking of different versions, colors, patterns, and more to try on your mani.
Cheery, Happy Faces
We all need as much positivity and happiness in our lives now as possible. Bring on the cheer! Something as simple as a happy face-emblazoned manicure, like this one from Marina Iwakoshi, will make you smile and remind you that better times are on their way.
Bright White Stars
Along with hearts, stars are a shape that we love to see on everything from clothing to decor to nails. It’s also super easy to paint on nails, even for the nail art novice. Not feeling like getting that detailed or buying nail polish with a superfine brush? Grab some star stickers and drop them on your mani! After all, it’s perfectly fine to give yourself a gold star–or various.
Soothing Ocean Waves
The ocean is a soothing, beautiful piece of nature we want to be more around than we already are. Bring the beachy vibes home to you with an ocean-inspired manicure. Studio by Elvira Safina created this stunning ocean-inspired nail art featuring blue waves on a cloud white background. It’s perfect for summer.
Green Monstera Print
Nature is such a huge inspiration in beauty. You will see endless photos of nails adorned with flowers, birds, butterflies, and botanicals. Vanity Projects shared this leafy, greeny manicure by @ayumutksw that features glimpses of monstera leaves on a light beige backdrop.