21 Spring Nail Designs to Kick Off the Season
by Rachel Weeks
Believe it or not, winter is almost over, and it’s time to peel off those snowy mittens … so you can show off your manicure! Start the season in style with these flirty and fun spring nail designs.
Pastel Leopard Print
The perfect spring nail designs start with a pastel base coat, and this mani has all your favorite pastels covered. (Of course, you can stick to one color if you’d prefer.) Once the base is dry, add some sass to your pastel palette with a white leopard print; you can use a nail art pen as Allie of Brit Nails did or a dotting tool as we did. Finally, protect your design with a clear topcoat.
Springtime Color Blocks
Skip the typical pastel palette, and try something more lively, like this color-blocked nail look. Start with a base coat of your choice. Once dry, cover the sections of the base coat you’d like to save with tape, making sure the edges of the tape are secure, and add the second color. Again, once dry, tape off the sections of the second color you’d like to save, and apply a third color. For more help, check out Chalkboard Nails’s instructional video.
Spring Mix and Match
One design not enough? This pretty mani combines the power of gradients, polka dots, and flowers to make the ultimate spring nail look! A tip for keeping your mix-and-matched nails cohesive: Minimize the number of colors you use. For instance, this design has many patterns but really uses only five colors. For more details on how to get this look yourself, check out the full tutorial
Sometimes all you need to take a manicure to the next level is a few well-chosen acrylic flowers and beads. Fairly Charming blogger Stef found these at a beauty supply store and paired them with a complementary shade of salmon. Take a hint from Stef when applying 3-D elements to your nails, and keep the bigger pieces toward the cuticle of your nail. There’s less of a chance to knock them off there.
This abstract floral look is as cute as it is easy. Start by taping off a point down the center of each nail. Then, using a nail art brush or a toothpick, scribble bursts of color around the point. Finally, add tiny black dots in the center of each flower blob and cover with a matte topcoat.
There won’t be butterflies outside yet, but you can still include them in your springtime beauty look. Start with a base coat of your choice—in this case, blue. Then, with a black nail art pen, draw an arc from the middle of one side of your nail to the middle on the bottom. Draw three longer, skinnier arcs off of that arc, and fill in everything outside those arcs with black. Top it all off with some white dots and a topcoat.
Foxes and Flowers
Awwww. This foxy spring nail look is too cute for words. And it’s not as complicated as you think. One Nail to Rule Them All blogger Alice made these using five different colors and a nail art brush. Except for the fox’s head, everything is made from a series of dots! Check out the full tutorial to try this look on yourself.
Pink and Gold
No need to overcomplicate things this season. This pink-and-gold color-blocked mani is the perfect everyday spring look when you need a touch of sparkle. And it’s so easy! Start with a base coat—we love this coralish pink—and top with a shimmery gold. Whether you use tape to keep your lines straight or you freehand it, this is one versatile nail look.
We’re head over heels for this pink nail look! It’s simple, elegant, and perfect for the season; and, it doesn’t hurt that you don’t need any artistic ability to achieve it. Simply pick your favorite polish, and mix in a white polish to get different shades of the same color—one shade per nail. For some great tips on color mixing, check out LuLu’s helpful tutorial.
Pop of Red
Nothing like a beautiful red polish to add the pop of color your outfit needs. We love this confetti mani for spring because it doesn’t go overboard and is so much fun! To really nail this look, pair your favorite red and nude polishes with a pastel confetti polish, and use tape to mark off the red diagonals.
Spring is the time to up the glamour! These gorgeous nails are the perfect accent to a soft, flowy dress but are sure to add a little sparkle to any springtime outfit. Start with a nude base coat, and add arcs of black dots with a dotting tool or a toothpick. Protect with a topcoat, and while it’s still fresh, stick on a rhinestone. Seal the rhinestone with another layer of quick-dry topcoat.
Not all floral designs are treated equal, but we love this textured look. Calm down—it’s not nearly as complex as it looks. Start with a neutral base, like the gray-lilac used here. Then crisscross it with random dots and lines; think leaves and stems. Finally, using a dotting tool or—if you’re careful—the brush in the bottle, dab on five-petaled flowers in colors of your choice. As always, protect your work with a topcoat.
So Nailicious always knows the perfect way to keep festive looks chic on your fingertips, and these gold-flecked Easter eggs are a great example. If you have the pastel polishes to get this look done, all you need is OPI’s 18k White Gold topcoat to finish it off. It really is the best way to add a little shimmer to any mani.
These pop-art poppies only look complicated. Like most flower nail art, they begin as blobs but, with the help of a black nail art pen, look like masterpieces! Start with a base coat of your choosing, and roughly paint in some flower petals. When your flowers are dry, add white dots in the center of your blobs. Then take your black pen, and define the petal shapes and edges with small jagged lines. Not so hard! For more details, check out this tutorial.
Florals and pastels aren’t the only ways to celebrate the season. This rubber-ducky mani captures the essence of spring in a bold, fun way. The duck-face nail should be no problem with a nail art brush. And if your freehand skills are up to par, give those little rubber ducks a try, but we don’t think they’re absolutely necessary to pull off this playful look.
Marc Jacobs Daisy Delight
As if we weren’t in love enough with Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Delight fragrances, this adorable nail look came along and swept us off our feet. And it’s so easy if you already have the colors in your collection! Paint all your nails with an opaque white base coat. Then dot on five-petaled flowers in fuschia, pale pink, and teal. Pay attention to the way the flower sizes vary. We recommend using a dotting tool to keep petal sizes consistent. Finally, add a shimmery gold center, and finish with a topcoat.
Retro Half-Moon Mani
This mod half-moon mani is super-chic and unique! Inspired by retro swimsuits in pastel with heavy black trim, Rebecca of Rebecca Likes Nails created this look with a base coat in a pinkish lilac, a black polish, and a nail brush. After the base coat, outline your nail in black with a thin nail brush. Then carefully add the final arc. Remember, you can always add more, but it’s hard to take any back.
Foil Decals on Pink
If you’re feeling uninspired by all the pastels and flowers, maybe a little metallics will hit the spot. Start with a subtle pale pink gradient, and top with geometric foil decals, like the ones used by Sammy of The Nailasaurus. She used the DIY Nails line of Foil Nailcals, and we think they look great!
Bright Pastel Stripes
If florals aren’t really your thing, give this springy, stripey look a try. All you need are a couple of bright pastels, an opaque white, and striping tape, lots of striping tape. To recreate this look for yourself, follow So Nailicious’s easy step-by-step instructions. She breaks it down perfectly. Seriously though, you’re going to need more striping tape.
Pastel Tie Dye
Holly from The Trendy Nail nails this abstract tie-dye look with three different nail colors and a little nail polish remover. In her instructional video, she describes how to achieve the watercolor look with nail polish, so I’ll leave that to her. If you’re looking for a new nail art technique, look no further than this unique manicure.
We are in love with this abstract floral look from Wondrously Polished. It screams spring without overdoing it, and it’s so easy to achieve and customize. Start with two of your favorite flowery colors—Lindsey chose dark pink and light green—and make a gradient from one side of the nail to the other. Then, using a brush and a white or cream polish, dab on petals in a circle, starting from one spot on your nail. This tutorial will help if you’re having trouble.