Transparent Beauty: 25 Clear Base Nail Inspirations for a Fresh Appearance

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If you’re into a neutral look, clear base nails are an effortless option to turn to. With that said, they don’t need to be boring – as these 25 designs demonstrate.

With the rise of the old money aesthetic, it’s no surprise that clear nails are IN right now. These nails are the perfect example of the saying “less is more” because you get to skip solid nail polish entirely and go straight to artistic designs and decals. They’re unique, and it gives you the creative freedom to do whatever you want with your nails.

If you’re looking to DIY your nails, clean-looking clear base nails can be fairly easy to achieve at home. Depending on your chosen design, you just need clear nail polish, stickers, glitter, and a whole lot of imagination and you are good to go.

If you want to incorporate color into your clear nails, you can do so by applying minimalist designs like stripes, abstract details, or floral touches – it’s your choice. You can also switch it up by alternating each nail between color and clear.

Either way, clear nails are fun to play around and experiment with, whether that’s at home or at the salon. Below, we’ve featured 25 designs that have been popping up on our Instagram feeds – save your favorites for your next nail appointment.

Short clean girl nails.
via @matejanova

This year our favorite IT girl Sofia Richie has proven that natural, short, clear nails are the newest nail trend. After all, there is nothing more elegant and timeless than a nude manicure. Goodbye glazed donut, hello clear nails!

2. Spring Florals

Short flower nails on a clear base.
via @safinailstudio

If spring is right around the corner, and you have got Easter holidays planned, this clear floral set is a gorgeous design to show your nail tech expert. All-clear nails can sometimes be a bit too simple, so get creative and try out this floral idea.

3. Evil Eye

Minimalist evil eye nails on clear base.
via @isabelmaynails

We love this clear, evil-eye-inspired manicure. This design is a great way to subtly add detail to your clear manicure by still staying under the radar. The evil eye with the slight gold detailing is so cute!

4. Simple stripes

Short minimalist purple nails on a clear base.
via @alenavbas

If you want a clear nail with a bit of detail but you do not know what decal to add, try this nail design. Featuring subtle purple stripes, this manicure will up your clear nail game ever so slightly. We love this look paired with bulky rings!

5. Neon Passion

Clear nails wit hot pink and teal swirls.
via @gelpolish_bar

These clear base nails with a pop of color scream summer festival vibes. Channel your inner Coachella babe with these neon and gold detailed nails.

6. Pumpkin Spice French

Burnt orange French tip nails with glitter.
via @nailsbykatiedutra

If you love a classic aesthetic, and always opt for a French manicure, try these pumpkin spice-inspired nails for fall. We love the subtle clear nail bed with the glittery orange tips. Nothing says fall quite like burnt orange!

7. Polka Dot Nails

Short clear polka dot nails.
via @leannehaycock_

If you want to add a little twist to your usual clear nails but are not quite ready to go bold yet, try these subtle clear nails with dainty polka dots. They’re subtle yet add a bit of fun to your manicure.

8. Mocha Swirls

Brown swirl nails on a clear base.
via @reshbavny

Brown mocha nails are always a fall classic. A warm and toasty brown manicure is the perfect way to signal that the summer is officially over.

If you want to try something a little more trendy than your average brown manicure, try these clear base nails with mocha-colored swirls. Add a bit of gold detailing to bring out the brown even further.

9. Pop of yellow

Short minimalist half moon nails.
via @gel.bymegan

We love a clear timeless nail but sometimes it’s okay to add a pop of color. If you aren’t quite ready to make a bold statement but want to add a bit of fun to your classic nails, try this pop of yellow in your nail design.

Alternatively, if you’re not a big fan of pale yellow, feel free to experiment with other colors that might suit your color palette better.

10. Floral Nails

via @isabelmaynails

This slightly less over-the-top floral manicure is perfect for any season. It’s super feminine and minimalist, making it perfect to incorporate into any and every outfit. Pair this manicure with dainty gold jewelry to bring out the royal blue florals.

11. Gold Stars

Neutral gold star nails.
via @peachinails

You can never go wrong with adding a few cute stars to your simple manicure. This design is light and fun, perfect for birthdays or special occasions, especially a New Year’s Eve party. For added drama, play around with different colored and sized stars.

12. Rainbow Nails

Pastel rainbow French tip nails.
via @lindseysbeautylounge1

This manicure is so fresh and simple yet features just the right amount of color. We love the pastel rainbow tips as it’s such a unique way to add something different to your nails. Try these if you have a cute date night in the diary.

13. Galaxy Nails

Holographic lavender French tip nails.
via @heygreatnails

Are you bored of the classic clear French nail and want to try something different? Galaxy nails are a great way to change up your classic French. Add stick-on gemstones for a bolder look!

14. Abstract Dots

Short clear nails with bee design.
via @safinailstudio

Stick-on gem decals or abstractly placed nail polish dots can help add a wow factor to your clear manicure. While you can go for any design your heart desires, we particularly love this bee-inspired mosaic-like design.

15. Reverse French Mani

Clear nails with pink glitter.
via @thedailynailofficial

This reversed manicure idea is so chic and simple, perfect for adding just a touch of glamour. It is a subtle take on the French manicure, and endlessly customizable with your favorite colors.

16. Neon French

Short clear nails with neon French tips.
via @peachinails

Clear nails as we know can be a bit underwhelming, especially if you have plans to go to a festival, BBQ, or a summer party. For these occasions, try these super cute colorful neon French nails. These nails start at the tip of your nails and slightly elongate down into the nail bed – a unique design that we have not seen much of.

Clear neutral nails with flower design.
via @lindseysbeautylounge1

These nails are stunning! Pretty florals are the perfect nail art to add to your manicure if you are in doubt – you can never overdo it, especially if you stick to a muted color scheme.

18. Gold Detailing

Long clear nails with gold swirls.
via @matuszewsk.a

Adding gold detailing to your clear nails is always a great idea. It’s so timeless and elegant – perfect to add a touch of extra sparkle for special occasions like a gala or a black-tie dinner.

19. Christmas Vibes

Minimalist Christmas nails.
via @thedailynailofficial

These chic nails could easily pass for Christmas baubles on your nails! We love this simple red and green detailing on a clear base for Christmas. Friends and family will definitely complement you on this festive manicure this holiday season.

20. Multi-colored Florals

Clear nails in almond shape with flowers.
via @heygreatnails

This multi-colored floral design proves floral nail art can look good in any color across any season!

21. Clean Girl Glitter

Clear nails with glitter and flowers.
via @gelsbybry

Get your sparkle on with these understated glitter nails! While having overly glittered nails can sometimes come across as tacky, a subtle sparkle on a clear nail bed can never be overdone. This design is a great choice if you have a bachelorette party coming up [or any other special occasion for that matter].

22. Blue Butterfly

Short clear nails with butterfly design.
via @m.o.n.a.j

This clear nail idea is simple and minimalist, featuring nail art that’s somewhere between florals and butterflies. If you want a nude nail with a bit of detailing, this is a unique design to try for your next manicure.

23. Blue Swirls

Short clear nails with blue squiggles.
via @gelpolish_bar

Treat your nails like a small blank canvas with this abstract design idea. Try this design with different colors, mixing or creating more abstract patterns like these.

Silver and gold drip nails on clear base.
via @heygreatnails

This eye-catching nail design could be straight out of a sci-fi film. We love the melted gold and silver detailing –such a unique touch to your clear manicure.

25. Black & White

Clear nails with simple black and white tip

via @paulina_alaiev

These black and white nails are so cute. They are perfect for a subtle Halloween look, but also chic enough as an everyday manicure. The black tips are perfect for the spooky season!

Aren’t these clear nails just gorgeous? Let us know in the comments section if you have!

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