Nail art has come a long way since a toothpick-dotted flower made your middle school dance outfit feel extra special. Now most salons feature at least some sort of design option — a simple dot of glitter at the cuticle or a half dip — if not an entire menu of color-coordinated choices. Nail art is officially mainstream, but that doesn't mean it has to be predictable.
This season's coolest looks in particular are pretty, wearable, and most importantly, fresh. From a new spin on florals to unexpectedly chic cow prints and spots, we've rounded up the breakout nail art you're about to see everywhere. Scroll ahead and find the manicure you — and every other celebrity in Hollywood — will be wearing this spring.
If you fancy yourself a nail-art minimalist, then cuticle striping
will be right up your alley. Like the name implies, the look starts with a naked nail that's accented with a skinny stripe of polish along the curve of the cuticle. Nail pro Betina Goldstein tells us she's been gravitating toward neon shades
, like this electric blue by Nails Inc.
Like a trendier take on polka dots, Ariana Grande wore a speckled, hazelnut brown and white manicure
and we were immediately reminded how chic and spring-y spots look sprinkled across our fingernails. Grande rocked a muted version, but you can also go with brighter with pastel
We've been thinking about this look ever since Kendall Jenner told the world she loves cow print
. Long, almond tips
painted a crisp white, with imperfect black spots sprinkled over the top, is the chic spring nail trend we never knew we needed.
for spring may not be groundbreaking, but all things that bloom feel adorably apropos this time of year. "You can paint a single blossom on each finger, or mix and match your bouquet with press-on stickers
," says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder of L.A. cool-girl nail chain Olive & June
. That's right: A '70s-inspired flower child moment is upon us yet again.
If you've dabbled in nail studding
, like teeny tiny gems or rhinestones, then consider leveling up to delicate pearls for spring. "Pearls are so trendy right now," says nail pro Thea Green
. For the most minimalist adaptation of nail jewelry, use a top coat to get a clear glossy base, then stick a single pearl right at your cuticle.
Vibrant OmbréFaded ombré was a big winter nail trend
that we're seeing trickle into the spring season, but instead of the dark or glittery shades, we're seeing a brighter ombré. Nail pro Skyy Hadley
recommends starting with a base polish in a nude that's a few shades lighter than your skin tone, then blending a fun color — like this peach polish
— as your tonal gradient.
Mix & Match
The single greatest part of the mix and match nail trend is that anyone with opposable thumbs and a few different bottles of nail polish can pull it off. Tenoverten
nail pro Nadine Abramcyk
tells us that the key to a cohesive multicolored manicure is to be choosey about your polishes. "I always recommend a range of shades in the same color family," she explains. Paint each nail a different color, and you get a shade transition that feels purposefully mismatched.
Negative SpaceNegative space
adds unexpected shape and dimension to a manicure, while keeping the overall look minimalist. "Negative space nails are going to be huge this season," Green tells us. "You can definitely expect to see more cool creativity with the design of the bare nail." We're partial to this diagonal stripe between two blocks of pastel, but the whole point of this look is to try something new, so have fun experimenting with cut-outs, dips, and floating negative designs, too.