Sleek and Chic Silver Nail Designs
by Morgan DeBoest
This year, we just can’t seem to get enough of metallic nails—they’re absolutely everywhere. We’ve gathered our favorite silver nail designs that are absolutely perfect for any occasion—from winter parties to jam-packed shopping days. The best part about silver? It goes with any of your go-to colors for the perfect design. Read on to find your new fave.
Glittery Silver Polish
The easiest way to get a flawless silver nail design is to use a few coats of a glittery silver polish, as Sarah of Chalkboard Nails did. Apply two coats of a satiny matte hue for the maximum amount of glitter, and finish with a matte topcoat. The best thing about glitter polish is that imperfections in the nail and polish application are hidden for the most part.
Deep Purple and Silver Crisscross
To get this sexy look perfect for the chillier months, take a few hints from Cristina of Let Them Have Polish. Start with two coats of a deep purple polish dense with glitter. Once the polish is super-dry, use tape to help create the straight lines needed for this geometric pattern. Two coats should give the perfect amount of silver coverage.
This glistening look from Emily of The Lacquerologist is reminiscent of icicles and snow-capped mountains. Start with two coats of your favorite glittery or chrome silver nail polish. Then use a nail art tool to draw on the blue and white stripes, starting at the tips of the nails and drawing up toward the cuticles. The lines should be mismatched but all going the same way. Finish with a coat of a shimmery topcoat.
Shimmery Silver Gray
If you need a more toned-down look, try these gorgeous shimmery gray nails from Jessica of Nail Polish Anonymous. Look for a gray that has little flecks of glitter in it—you’ll still get that shimmery effect, but it won’t be too overwhelming to the eye. Finish with a glossy topcoat.
We can’t get enough of this seriously eye-catching look from Pam of Polish Police. Opt out of the expected glittery silver, and go for a metallic chrome look instead. The thing about chrome polishes is that they definitely show every imperfection on the nails—every single ridge and line. To avoid this, use a ridge filler before applying.
Shiny Blue Double Accent
There’s so much shine packed into this glitzy mani from Katy of Nailed It that we couldn’t pass it up. Paint two coats of a rich royal blue on the index, middle, and pinky fingers and a glittery silver polish on the thumb and ring fingers. Use a striper brush to freehand-paint on the stripes—for a really multidimensional look, use a chrome silver instead of a glittery one for the stripes.
Diamond Accent Nail
For a seriously flashy mani, draw the bling right on, as Sarah of Chalkboard Nails did with this diamond look. Paint all nails except the ring finger with two coats of a glittery silver polish, and paint the ring finger with a rich black hue. Use a striper brush to paint on a diamond shape for the ring finger using the same silver polish, and seal it all in with a topcoat.
Raised Silver Glitter
This glitzy look from Leslie of Work Play Polish uses stamps and thick glitter polish. Start with two coats of any color you like—we love this chrome blue. Then use a silver polish with a stamping tool to create the pattern. Go over the pattern with a small art brush and a thicker glitter, and seal it all in with a topcoat.
Blue and Silver Polka Dots
Polka dots are often overlooked, but they’re such an easy nail art technique that anyone can master, and when you incorporate more than one color for the dots, it’s even cooler. To get this look from Emily of The Lacquerologist, start with two coats of an opaque white polish. Use a toothpick or dotting tool to create small dots with silver, light blue, and dark blue—or any colors you like.
Glossy Purple and Shiny Silver
For a truly memorable mani, try a different design on each nail, as Victoria of Manicurator did with these purple and silver nails. We especially love the leopard nails—you can get those by layering a silver base with brushed-on dots of black and purple polish. Use tape to get the stripe and triangle designs.
If you’re looking for a bit of silver but are oh-so-committed to another colorful hue, do what Sarah of Chalkboard Nails did. Paint on two coats of your favorite polish; then use a glitter polish with big flecks of silver and hints of gold over the top. This look is amazing either glossy or matte.
Spackled Black, White, and Silver
These sassy nails from Pshiiit combine two of our favorite nail design techniques—spackling and chevrons. Start with two coats of white polish; then use an old toothbrush to apply the black splatter. Once that’s dry, use a nail art brush to paint on a silver chevron and then outline with thin black lines.
Get a little more bang for your glitter buck with this multicolored look from Cristina of Let Them Have Polish. Find a few glittery hues that pair well with your favorite glittery silver—and for even more glitz and shine, use a glittery topcoat.
There isn’t really an official name for this type of mani from Sarah of Chalkboard Nails, so we’ll go with the 60/40. Start with two coats of a chrome silver polish; then tape off the bottom of each nail, and apply a violet hue to the top half. Finish off with a glossy topcoat.
Asymmetrical Silver Stripes
These silvery stripes look three-dimensional and so glam. To get the look of Leslie from Work Play Polish, start with two coats of pure black polish. Freehand-paint the silver lines using a nail art brush and glittery silver polish, doing a different design on each finger. Don’t worry if they get a little wobbly from time to time—just use an orangewood stick to push them into place before they dry.
Shimmery Holographic Metals
Holographic nails are so in this year—and they look good with any type of metallic hue! We love how Victoria of Manicurator tried them all out on one hand, so feel free to mix and match, or just keep one metal across the whole mani. Start with two coats of a black holo; then use striping tape to block off the design, and apply your second holo color. Finish off with either a matte or glossy topcoat—each is equally stunning.
Everyone will be drawn to you with these hypnotic swirly nails from Lindsey of Wondrously Polished. Start with two coats of whatever color you like—we definitely love the minty teal Lindsey used. Then use a nail art brush to freehand-draw the silver swirls—they don’t have to be perfectly circular at all! Use different pressures on each nail to vary the thicknesses. Finish off with a glossy topcoat.
Holiday Half Moon Wreaths
Show the holiday spirit on your nails with these adorable wreaths in the shape of a half-moon. To get the look from Sarah of Chalkboard Nails, start with two coats of a chrome (or glittery if you prefer) silver polish. Use a nail art brush to dot on green and red for the wreath, and freehand-paint a red bow below each wreath—add a little black polish to the bow for added dimension. Seal it all in with a glossy topcoat.
When we think of floral manis, we typically think of pinks and yellows. This fresh take on the floral mani from Lindsey of Wondrously Polished is eye-catching, bold, and fun—all with no color. Start with two coats of an opaque white. Then freehand-paint flowers using a chrome silver polish. Paint a black outline and flower details using a small art brush, and finish it off with a glossy topcoat.
To get these color-popped nails from Jacki of Adventures in Acetone, start with a base of chrome silver. Use tape to get the lines of the chevrons just right, and use whatever colors you like best. Fill in the half-moon area with a contrasting color, and seal it all in with a topcoat, of course.
Dainty White Hearts
This adorable look from Alice of One Nail to Rule Them All is easier than it looks. Make a gradient with silver (or gray) and black using a makeup sponge or just freehanding it; then draw white hearts in the middle of each nail. Finish off with a glitter topcoat for a shimmery look in no time.