These arty nail ideas for spring are bang on trend, and look sweet with summer dresses!
By Diane Small
A new season for most of us means a new look. Gone are the heavy sweaters and black bags. Instead, we dust off our spring dresses, straw bags, and sandals.
Our makeup should also match that look. It should be lighter, brighter, and that goes for our manicures, too.
Having a great manicure – done with non-toxic nail polish brands, of course – is an easy way to update your look without spending a fortune. And it’s also a great way to stay on trend. This season, it’s all about the arty nail ideas for spring. Yep, I’m talking about tiny, weeny drawings of rainbows and flowers; splashes of abstract colours in unexpected places, and absolutely creative twists on the classic French manicure.
I hit Instagram to find the hottest, most arty nail ideas for spring, and featured the best of what I found, below. And if you want more summer nail ideas, check out the selection curated by Top Trends Guide.
Main image: @Oliveandjune Image below: @paintboxnails
20+ Super Arty Nail Ideas For Spring
1. Tiny Rainbow Nails
Whether you want to show your Pride, welcome summer, or just sport a cool manicure, why not try some tiny rainbows? Personally, I think these look best with a contrasting shape, like a square or coffin nail. These have become the go-to shapes for social media influencers, such as singer Madison Beer and popular Instagram model Stassie Karanikolaou.
2. Ice Cream Shop Nails
Spring and summer for me bring visions of ice cream! There’s nothing more refreshing than a watermelon sorbet, or a scoop of vegan banana in my books. This manicure expresses all the colours – and flavours – of the ice cream shop! And there are plenty of 5-free or higher brands offering these shades this season, such as LYN nails, as shown below.
Image: LYN nails
3. Candy Stripe Nails
What can I say? This is one of the sweetest arty nail ideas for spring!
Evoke the sight and smell of the olde-style candy shop with this creative mani! Just paint your nails with a white base, then draw stripes of your favourite candy coloured polishes on top. Or vice-versa: start by painting each nail a different candy shade, then paint white stripes on top.
4. Elegant Ombre Coffin Nails
Ombre coffin nails with nude and white polish are essentially an updated French manicure. While the nail shape is quite bold, the subdue color palette allows this manicure to look more chic and sophisticated. This isn’t the easiest look to get on your own, so you may want to get some reusable press-ons instead of attempting to shape and polish this yourself.
5. Tiny Dots Mani
Sported by celebrities like Ariana Grande and Kendall Jenner, the tiny dots mani is super easy to get. I’d choose an almond nail shape as the base. Simply paint with the nude of your choice, then use a Q Tip or the base of a bobby pin to dot in whichever happy colours you love!
6. Gold Foil Mani
Planning an extravagant night out? These gold foil nails are the ideal accessory! And it’s sooo easy to achieve this look with the perfect gold foil polish. I’d recommend Gold Leaf by Nailberry.
Paired with a slicked back long hairstyle and some ethical emerald jewellery, this mani looks simply stunning.
7. Tiny Jewel Nails
Jeweled nails simply exude glamour! Mix this up by using a matte nude on some nails, a gloss nude on others, and maybe a pearlised polish on even others. Then, embellish one finger with tiny, sparkling rhinestones. This is a chic style that’s especially suitable for elevated occasions like weddings or galas.
8. Precious Metal Nails
In these uncertain times, precious metals are more sought after than ever! And the same is true for precious metal nails. Whether you want to paint them in a sparkly gold hue, or a more subdued silver, This is an easy look to achieve with the right polish. I’d recommend Gold Leaf by Nailberry or Stardust by Nailberry for a silvery shimmer.
9. Nude And Metallic Stripe Nails
A nude mani with a tiny silver or gold stripe decal just radiates elegance, especially when done on shorter, almond shaped nails. This sweet and sophisticated look is easy to do and looks great with spring and summer dresses! If you have a steady hand, you could try painting on a silver stripe yourself, but this is defo easier to do with nail decals.
10. Marbled Mani
Remember when you were a kid, and there would be tons of marbles in the playground come spring? Bring that nostalgia back to live with this marbled mani! It features lighter colours and lots of shine. It’s not the easiest to do on your own, so you may want to consider some press-ons for this look.
11. Spring Blossoms
This is one of the easiest arty nail ideas for spring to pull off. Just start with a baby pink shade as the base, then use a darker pink (or red, or whatever colour you prefer) to make the flowers. Carefully make five or so dots with your brush. When dry, dip the base of a hair grip (bobby pin) into a lighter shade to drop in the final dot in the centre.
12. Luxury Pearlised Nails
There’s really nothing more elegant than a beautiful manicure with a pearly vibe. While undoubtedly timeless, pearls have recently come back into style, due in part to singer Harry Styles who is rarely seen without wearing his pearl necklace. For this gorgeous manicure style, I’d recommend using 5th Avenue Fortress by 5 free brand Smith & Cult.
13. Flat Matte Nails
Not a fan of the girly pinks or sweet pastels for spring? Try these flat matte nails! There are plenty of great non-toxic brands doing flat matte polish, like Deborah Lippmann, or you can get a matte topcoat to put over any shade you love. The best one we know of is by vegan, halal and 8-free brand 786 Cosmetics.
14. Glittery Gold Nails
Glittery gold nails make for an absolutely sparkling manicure! The elegant style can be done by using polish with glitter built in, like Shattered Souls by 5-free brand Smith & Cult, or by sprinkling glitter atop a nude hue then smothering it with a top coat. depending on what kind of look you have in mind.
15. Flirty Nails
Spring and summer are the time for getting out there and flirting your pants off! And these nails say you’re up for some flirtation action. It’s easy to do: paint your nails with your favourite shade, then use the tip of a bobby pin to make little eyes from white and black polishes. Tip: I’ve cheated with my nail designs and used permanent markers and Liquid Paper for some designs!
Frances Liang: @purplenailbox
16. Mismatched Tips
The French mani is really having an artistic moment! There are many variations of this elegant classic appearing this spring, and below, is one of my faves. All you need to do for this look is paint the whole nail with the nude hue of your choice, then get out your polish collection and paint in tips of different colours, textures and finishes.
17. Silver Sequin Nails
A pretty peony pink mani gets a glam update with some silver sequins! This is a super easy look to achieve: just paint your nails as usual, then add a line of sequins on to one finger to really make a statement!
18. Sea Glass Nails
The summer season calls for the top trend on Instagram: sea glass nails! Which is your favourite oceanic hue: sapphire, teal or lime? Why not choose them all?
This daring style can be achieved by painting a topcoat of silver glitter polish over sage green jelly acrylics. But barring that, try using some press-ons instead.
19. Mondrian Nails
Planning to visit some art galleries this summer? Why not show your love of modern art with these Mondrian-inspired nails? Just paint little rectangles and squares randomly – but artistically – on a square-shaped nail.
20. French With A Twist
As mentioned, the French manicure is no longer all about looking ‘natural’. On the contrary! Wild makeup is trending this year. I love this look because those patriotic colours are good for the 4th of July – but they also work for Bastille Day, too! Just saying.
21. Neon Ombre
These nails are just dripping gorgeousness! It’s not easy to do ombre on your own, but it’s not impossible, either. To get the look, you’ll need some petroleum jelly, or better yet, an all natural balm like those made by Rabot 1745. You’ll also need a makeup sponge, two or more nail polish colours, and a nice, shiny top coat – I like this 5 free, vegan friendly one by Zoya. Then, just follow these instructions.
22. Starry Nails
If you’re new to arty nail ideas for spring and just want to take a few baby steps towards the look, this is a great introduction! Sim
23. Astrology Nails
Speaking of starry nails…if you’re really into the stars, why not go for this astrological manicure? It’s a bit tricky to achieve – after all, you’ll need to know the constellations you want to depict – but if you swear by your horoscope, you may love expressing that on your tips!