I remember back in high school getting my nails done for the first time. I think it was for homecoming, and every girl couldn’t wait to get the same thing…long, square, pink and white acrylics. No one wanted color, nail art was just tacky (except for maybe a few strategically placed crystals), and it was all about finding the cheapest nail salon around, but I still felt so mature and glamorous! I went through a few years of on and off with this style, before I gave it up and just started keeping my nails natural. I’m sure a lot of women were still getting professional manicures during that time, but it just really wasn’t a big “thing”.
So fast forward a few years, and in comes this new product called SHELLAC™. Now, you can have polish that lasts up to two weeks on your natural nails. Ladies who don’t want the damage of acrylics or gel can have a manicure that isn’t going to look chipped and worn in a few days, and suddenly, we start seeing manicures in every color of the rainbow and modern nail art enters the scene.
I can confidently say that now, nothing is off limits when it comes to your nails. Long, short, square, round, classic or wild, your nails are a way to express yourself and your personal style. So for a little inspo, I’ve rounded up 10 of the most swoon-worthy manis from Instagram.
Love these pretty tropical flowers that are still soft and wearable thanks to the nude base coat. Can’t you just see yourself sipping on a piña colada with this manicure?
A classic red manicure never goes out of style, but I love stars and this one white star adds just enough to make this one special.
Ombre isn’t just for your hair! This pastel pink and blue manicure is bringing it back to 2016 when Pantone couldn’t decide on just one color of the year.
What do I love about this one? Everything. Literally everything. The colors, the shape, the matte finish, the fact that it’s like a work of art on her hands. You could recreate this one exactly as it is or vary some of the elements and either way you won’t go wrong.
This geometric nail art feels inspired by mid-century modern architecture but with a fresh color palette. If your home décor is reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd White design this may be the manicure for you.
Did I mention I love stars? Maybe its because I have zero artistic ability and a star is about the most “artsy” thing I can draw, but I’m always drawn to them on clothes and nails. I love the contrast of this blush mani with the pop of black stars.
Here’s another for the mid-century design enthusiast. This nail artist was inspired by terrazzo when creating this detailed artwork.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a palm leaf mani. This trend has been everywhere from clothing, to jewelry, to wallpaper and I’m obsessed with the subtle gold details on the nails opposite those with the palms.
Since 90% of my wardrobe is black, I would be remiss to not include at least one black manicure in this list. I’m all about bright and light nails in the summer, but that doesn’t mean I’m afraid to rock a darker hue in the middle of July. And this one’s the perfect combo of a little bit of sweet with a little bit of 90’s punk.
And finally, whether you have a child, need to connect with your inner child or you still believe in magic, how can you go wrong with unicorn nails? Search #unicornnails on Insta and you will see some much wilder options, but these are a pretty way to jump on this trend without getting too out there.
So, at your next manicure appointment, try one of these or use them as inspiration to come up with your own signature look. The point is, all bets are off when it comes to nail design and its easier to change your nails than your hair, so feel free to express yourself!