Not ready to go full-on nude? This manicure features light gray tips and a clean line of white dots to subtly jazz up the neutral base. Use a small dotting tool (or try nail stickers) to get the circles perfectly round and uniform in shape. Lim suggests Paintbox Like Mystery ($22) and Essie Topless and Barefoot ($9) to achieve this look.
Sure, nude looks demure all on its own, but add a tiny white Chanel logo pattern and your nails will look classically chic. The Chanel Set Le Vernis ($105) kit comes with three polishes and their iconic interlocking “C’s” logo decals to help you create a similar look. The idea of an allover pattern like this one can be replicated with any favorite logo, though, (Gucci also offers Nail Art Stickers ($20)) or go for a different design altogether– we think a bunch of tiny lips or hearts would be equally chic.
Sometimes a nude nail design doesn’t need to feature lines and dots to stand out. Here, it all comes down to the iridescent topcoat. Think Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails.
Half and Half
We’re suckers for negative space manicures, making these crisp clear-and-nude nails a favorite in our book. To replicate it, go for a French tip but with a much wider line, where the shape is asymmetrically arched and covers half of the nail.
Rose Gold Stripes
Rose gold is nude’s shinier sister, making these simple striped nails a fun take on monochromatic nail art. Ask your nail artist for a simple stripe down the middle with a sparkly shade for added punch.
These cool-toned nude nails give us pastel vibes despite being neutrals. In other words, they’re pretty as can be—especially with the elongated coffin nail shape. We love it on a minimalist manicure like this to add extra interest.
Nude nails on the brain? Here’s a star manicure worth considering. With only the slightest peek of stars on one nail (in this case: the ring finger), they’re more understated than some other options.
If nude is too neutral for your taste, spruce it up with a couple of red abstract lines. All it takes to create this look is your favorite skin tone polish, a bold red shade, and a toothpick to carefully draw the lines.
“While we don’t refer to any of our shades as nudes, there are a variety of ways to create a neutral mani that creates that ‘mannequin’ hand effect—where your nails either look nearly naked with a sheer wash of color, or are painted in a shade that’s close to your skin tone,” says Van Iderstine of finding the neutral hue for you. “You can opt for a sheer polish that creates a glossy effect on your nail and let your natural nail shine through, or choose one of our deeper neutral shades for that mannequin effect.”
Glitter Polka Dots
These glitter polka dot nails remind us of confetti and good times— sign us up. For this fun look, keep the base of the nail nude and glossy, adding sparkled dots for a contrast in both texture and color.
Daisies for Days
Ready to get excited? You can DIY this adorable floral nail look thanks to Olive & June and their Loveliest Day Nail Stickers ($8). Try the look by relegating the stickers to just one nail, or add them to two, as seen here.
Mother of Pearl
These sparkly nails will look nude in some lights and holographic in others. As you might have guessed, they’ll require professional skill to create. Give your mani a pearlescent effect with Olive & June’s Frosted Gloss ($9).
You don’t have to cover your entire nail in color to create a head-turning manicure. Just look at this glossy, glitter-topped nail look. Here, all of the colors are varying shades of nude, with the real pop coming in the form of the glittery gold topper.
These sheer nude nails with celestial stickers and pearl embellishments are dainty and ethereal and have us wanting to copy them stat. The trick is to apply a single coat of sheer nude color as the base, so it doesn’t look too opaque.
We don’t know about you, but we’re enamored by these floral nude nails. While the design is delicate, the intricacy is sure to stand out. Rather than adding the floral design to every nail, try going half-and-half, or just adhering the floral stickers to the ring or pointer fingers.
How cute are these abstract silhouettes? Their minimalist nature and artful design give us chic French girl vibes. Replicate the look with a toothpick dipped in white polish, or try another contrasting color of your choice.
Oil Slick Strips
We love the simplicity of this nude nail design. Best of all, it’s easy to DIY so long as you have a roll of oil slick-inspired striping tape. Run a stripe of contrasting color (we love something high-gloss or sparkly) down the center of each nail to replicate the look.
Just because you want to rock nude nails doesn’t mean you can’t add other neutrals to the mix. Case in point: this black-and-nude manicure that looks marvelous with a matte finish.
“What is classic about nude nails is they’re flattering on everyone and go with everything,” says Lim. In other words, don’t overthink your nude nail design. You can create a stylish manicure with a coat of color on each nail and a contrasting dot at each cuticle. Note that here the nails are done in varying minimalist, nude shades.
Black and White Tips
Another way to add black and white to your nude nail design is with this French manicure– this one is especially unique thanks to its half and half designed tip. Of course, you can always copy the same design with bolder, brighter colors, too.
If you prefer longer nails, check out these leopard almond tips. They’re the perfect way to embrace an animal print if you don’t want it to feel too loud.
It’s no secret that we love gradient nails. While color alone can make quite a statement, this manicure idea takes it up a notch with a glitter finish.
Ease into the nude nail trend by designating the edge of each nail for a bold pop of color. Just keep in mind that this particular design will likely require a steady hand to recreate.
These nude and rose gold nails make us think of shattering glass and the Japanese custom of sealing cracks with gold to celebrate the healed brokenness (Kintsugi). Talk about a beautiful (and meaningful) nail idea.
This warm-toned gradient mani merges a peach shade with a burgundy one, creating an almost sunset effect, but in the chicest way.
If you love the idea of star nails but don’t want to go all out with color and larger designs, consider this itty-bitty nude approach. Here, contrasting stars are placed at the bottom of each nail, with the rest of the design kept simple and square in shape.
We love a nail look that’s as pretty as it is easy to create. Start with a nude base and use a toothpick or dotting tool dipped into the colors of your choice to create this same design.
We’re taken by these diagonal nude nails that made their runway debut at New York Fashion Week. The oval shape helps elongate the hands and keeps the vibe feeling fresh and abstract.
Another star manicure has our hearts, who would’ve guessed? While this might be difficult to DIY, remember: Practice makes perfect. Alternately, try nail stickers, which are easy to apply.
Mini Black French
French manicures are having a major moment, and this thin black version is sure to be a hit. Wear it as is or pair with additional nail art on a few statement nails.
If you’ve never heard the term “cuff” when referring to nail art, you now know that it’s referring to your cuticle area. This diamond dust cuff from Betina Goldstein is the perfect amount of sparkle for a simple nude nail.
Glazed with Heart Tips
“The simplest way to add depth and intrigue to a neutral mani is to paint a topper over it—the overall effect is neutral, but you can create a shimmery glazed effect with an iridescent topper,” says Van Iderstine of this look. She recommends Olive & June’s Pink Goldfish ($9) polish over top. The cute scalloped take on a French tip is equally as captivating.
These rose quartz nails are inspired by the crystal with the same name, which is tied to the heart chakra and represents love. If that isn’t enough to win you over, maybe its every-nail-has-a-unique-design approach will do the trick.
Charcoal Chrome Tips
The best part about French manicures is that they work with any color combination. These charcoal chrome tips with a neutral base is both a classy and edgy look.
You can never go wrong with a classic French. Simply paint your favorite neutral base and add a simple, classic white tip. “Choose a more narrow tip for a modern look, or go ’90s vibes with a thicker French tip,” suggests Van Iderstine.
“I love adding a sweet detail to a neutral mani like a heart, star, cloud, or lightning bolt,” says Van Iderstine. “It’s super wearable, and the tiny detail is really only visible to you, so you can wear this mani literally anywhere.” She recommends recreating the above cloud design with nail art pens or stickers.
If you’re looking for a more dimensional way to decorate your nude nails, try charms or embellishments, like these Egyptian-themed ones.
This design features double neutral shades with a twist. “We love pairing a neutral mani with a geometric or swirly nail art look. These have a major design impact, but are perfect to DIY because you can just freehand the design, and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t come out perfectly,” says Van Iderstine of swirls, lines, and blobs, which are all great for a neutral manicure.