8 Nail Art Trends and Ideas for Your Spring Manicures

Smiley faces, flowers, swirls, and more.

Nail Art Looks to Try This Spring
Photo: thehangedit/Instagram, aliciatnails/Instagram

Let me paint the scene: It's been three weeks since your last manicure and your nails are starting to look sad. So, you take off whatever polish is still kicking on your nails, but now you have no idea what color to choose for your next manicure. Even the shades in your ridiculously large nail polish stash seem boring.

Well, why don't you scroll through Instagram for some inspiration? In-between the selfies, memes, and pet photos, there's still tons of manicure ideas on your feed, thanks to nail artists and nail salons across the world. Yes, I'm suggesting you spend more time on your phone — but only for the sake of your manicure.

Just keep in mind though, mani ideas don't just stop at nail polish colors.

Whether or not it feels like it, spring is coming and there's no better way to get ready for the warmer days ahead than with some seasonal nail art. Luckily, there's a ton of spring nail designs on Instagram, too.

From rainbow French tips to smiley faces, these popular spring nail designs cover every manicure vibe.

But while I've rounded up the eight biggest nail art trends of spring 2021 below, the actual manicures are up to you.

VIDEO: How Much Do I Need to Tip at a Nail Salon?

1. Smiley Faces

You know how Annie sang, "You're never fully dressed without a smile?" Well, I say your manicure isn't done without a smiley face. This nail art by Holly Falcone is super fun, and extremely easy to do. Paint your nails with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Mellow Yellow, a banana yellow shade. Then, dip a nail art brush in OPI Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx to add the black eyes and lips.

It's impossible not to smile when you're looking at these multicolor happy faces by manicurist Hang Nguyen. If you love bright polishes for spring, this nail art is a fresh spin on your favorite colors.

2. Stop And Smell The Daisies

OK, floral nail art isn't exactly easy to do. That's where this manicure from Vanity Projects comes in. The petal tips are a remix on the classic French manicure, and less precious to paint than complete flowers.

3. Skittle Nails

After a long, cold winter mostly spent inside, why pick one vibrant color for your first manicure when you can paint your nails with all of them? Take Steph Stone's skittle nails painted with essie nail polish for example.

With this multicolor manicure Mel Shengaris created for Dove Cameron, you never have to pick between spring pastels again.

4. Eye See You

If it feels like somebody is always watching you, it's probably because you have eyeballs painted on your nails. Manicurist Madeline Poole used stick-on gel nails she made in collaboration with ManiMe for this quirky (and fun) take on the half moon mani.

It's hard to take my eyes off this mesmerizing manicure by Na Ho. The white swirls and gold foil add to the mystical vibe of the tiny evil eyes.

5. Brushstrokes

This manicure is the everything bagel of nail art. Manicurist Na Ho combined thick swirls, thin lines, and dots, plus a handful of nail polish shades. Select your color scheme, grab a couple different nail art brushes, and go wild because there's no right or wrong way of doing it.

Just like finger painting, anything goes when you're doing a brushstroke manicure. Nail artist Canishiea J. Sams played with a neon color palette by painting on lines and blobs of various sizes to create this eye-catching design.

6. Straight From The Farm

Cow print is having a moment, thanks to chic nail art like this pastel print by Alicia Torello using ManiMe gel nail stickers she designed.

Who would have thought monochromatic purple cow print could be so stunning. This manicure was done by @nailsbyi.duh on Instagram using Orosa polishes.

7. Rainbow Tips

So, your personal style is minimalist, but you still love color — no problem. Use your favorite shades and paint just the tips of your nails for a rainbow French manicure like this one by Miss Pop.

These rainbow French tips by Mimi D are actually tiny multicolored brush strokes. One reason Another this take on the classic nail design? It's completely customizable because you can mix and match whatever shades you damn well please.

8. Indie Nails

"Indie nails" is one emerging manicure trend according to Pinterest analytics. The look consists of mismatched nails, combining emoji-inspired designs and/or trendy patterns. Here, Hang Nguyen combines tortoise French tips with a few other of this year's trending nail art, including cherries, smiley faces, and stars.

Amy Le puts a minimalist spin on "indie nails" by accenting bare nails with allover polka dots and swirls. On some fingers, she switches up a classic white French tip for pink graphic lines and a cute eye.

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