From subtle to over-the-top, here are the top nail art ideas inspired by nail artists, celebs and fashion week, which everyone’s trying out in 2019!
Hey gorgeous! Whether it’s summer, winter, spring or fall, nail art is something we always love. It’s a way to express our personality in a small, subtle way. Nail art helps us represent our mood without being too overt or loud. And there’s no limit to what our nails can be, with all the colors, techniques and materials available today.
We’ve already seen so much variety in nail art already, including chrome finish, rhinestones, matte and photo realistic prints, that I thought I’d be disappointed with my research for the latest nail art ideas for 2019. I mean, what more’s left to do, really, when we’ve already seen so much? But I’m so glad I was wrong. We clearly hadn’t seen everything.
Usually when I research for nail art ideas every year, I go through Instagram feeds of nail artists, talk to nail salons and check out fashion week and celeb nails. This year, I was pleasantly surprised to see that instead of just a couple of new designs I see every year, I was able to find loads and loads of new nail art trends that I’ve never seen before. So I have made a list of a whole 35 new nail art trends for 2019.
We’re seeing a variety in new nail art ideas this year, from subtle to over the top. So let’s go, and check them all out!
35 Nail Art Ideas for 2019
1. Real Dried Flowers
This new nail art idea by nail artist, Miss Pop, is the cutest ever! Made with real dried flowers, this nail art is all about celebrating spring and florals in a natural, beautiful way. Perfect for your floral dresses and garden weddings Or pair them with your romantic date outfit, this one is natural looking without being too dramatic. We’re loving the natural floral palette for it like earthy nudes, lilac and blush pinks.
2. Naked Botanical Nail Art
We’ve already seen nature-inspired nail art before with leaves and flowers. But this year, what we are seeing everywhere is naked botanical nail art. It is all about creating simple nail art inspired by nature, drawn against a nude backdrop. Go for all things natural, like butterflies, flowers, leaves and tendrils, painted over clear nail polish. Perfect for summer parties and even for just wearing casually everyday.
Here’s one more example of it with 3D botanical nail art motifs.
3. Nail+ Finger Art
Who says nail art has to be limited to nails only? In 2019, it’s got to extend beyond just nails. Last fall, the New York Times featured nail art ideas extending to the hand and I love this idea. Nail artist Miss Pop created these beautiful nail art ideas where the fingers feature art similar to what’s going on, on the nails. Here we are seeing colorful rhinestones extending to the fingers.
And this one has just subtle rectangles drawn next to the cuticles. So cute and yet a great way to make a modern statement. It’s one of the simple nail art ideas that can work for short nails, too.
Who doesn’t love all things kawaii? This Japanese trend of wearing everything cute is extending beyond fashion these days. In 2019, kawaii nail art is one of the most popular nail art ideas. Go for cutesy color palettes, bright colors like turquoise, neon red, Barbie pink, bright yellow etc. and go for cute motifs such as hearts, hello kitty, bunnies, unicorns, etc.
5. Brush Strokes
This beautiful brushstrokes nail art was featured in Moschino Spring 2019 fashion show. And we are loving this idea, as it can translate to a really casual nail art that you can wear with jeans or casual outfits. Black is obviously a classic color that can go with any outfit, but it’s a great idea to try this with bright neons, lemon yellow, mint green or red.
6. Pop Art
I’ve always loved pop art, and I’m so happy that this year, this beautiful art style is getting translated to nail art as well. Colorful art designs against black backdrop looks really pretty and are perfect for night outs and parties. Go for black and yellow polka dots, comic style text saying boom! pow! etc. Or just try pretty shapes in black paired with bright colors.
7. Raw Amethyst or Semi Precious Stones
This is one of the most beautiful nail art ideas that we are seeing this year. This is bound to make a statement and it’s a great conversation starter. We are seeing real amethyst stones stuck to the sides of nails, which is painted with clear nail polish. You can also use other semi-precious stones or simple stones, such as faux turquoise, rose quartz or amber. Match it with your dress and you got yourself Instagram worthy nails. Or try your month birthstone on your nails.
8. Micro Crystals
The idea of using rhinestones on nails is as old is nail art itself. But 2019 is seeing a new version of these, with micro crystals and rhinestone nail art. If you don’t want all of your nails to be so glittery, just go for something like this where the micro crystals cover only your ring finger nail and the rest of the nails just have simple French manicure. You can go for nude colors or combine it with black to create night out or party nails.
If you want nail art ideas that create a real statement and look out-of-this-world, here is a great example. Here, Miss Pop created ruffles on nails to match the flowers on the dancer’s hair. This is a great idea for performances, photo shoots or weddings. You can also try ruffles on just one nail, created with ribbons or satin fabric.
10. Stones + Quartz Effect
Here’s another idea that uses precious stones or amethyst. These gel nails are so extra. They use polished amethyst stones, combined with other nail art including glitter, amethyst quartz effect, creating sort of a mixed media nail art design. Great idea for those who love their nails to look extra fancy.
11. Holographic Ombré
We’ve already seen ombré nail art last year, but this year takes this nail design further. Mixing new nail polish with holographic, this is all about creating an unexpected ombré design. Holographic ombré is or latest obsession, which can work both on short and long nails. It’s a great idea if you want to wear the holographic clothing trend, but don’t want it on your clothes or something too much. This is a great idea to wear holo fashion in a subtle way. Perfect for a night out or birthday party. You can also pair it with holographic makeup.
Appliqué has already been a fashion favorite for a couple of years now. And 2019 brings it to nail art ideas as well. Beautiful appliqué flowers made out of fabric, plexi or other materials are really in. Combine them with rhinestones, ombré nail art or micro-beads. It’s a beautiful nail art design for weddings or fancy parties.
13. OTT Glitter with Rhinestones
Want your nails to be way more extra than your dress? Then this is one of the best nail art ideas for you. These over-the-top nails combine all sorts of materials, including rhinestones, diamonds, ombré effect mixed with glitter of different shapes.
This could be a great idea for your birthday, engagement or wedding. For brides who love to make a real statement, this would be the perfect idea. Match it to your dress or make it your something blue if you’re a bride. Or go for it in a beautiful color like pink or lavender with your birthday dress.
14. Glitter Shadow/ Glitter Moons
Looking for something simple? Here is one of the new nail art ideas that can make a statement without being too much. These glitter half-moons created next to the cuticles look like a shadow of the nails. They are a beautiful idea for those who want to try some DIY nail art designs. Go for these glitter shadow effect in the same metallic color like silver or gold. Or try all the different shades of metallics such as gold mixed with copper, silver or bronze.
Water color paintings are making waves in fashion trends, birthday cakes and now even in nail art ideas. Try beautiful water color flowers on two nails and paint the rest of the nails in matte nail polish in the same color. This is a beautiful idea to combine with a floral print dress or skirt, on your birthday or a date.
Transparent nail art became trendy last year itself, and is still one of the most popular new nail art ideas. Combine these clear nails with beautiful micro-beads or rhinestones to create pretty nail art designs. Match them with your finger rings or dress embellishments.
17. Blush Effect
Looking for nail art ideas to pair with your casual Friday office outfits? Here you go! The blush effect is a soft pop of blush pink or coral color painted in the center of a nude nail. You can use sponge to create this soft effect.
18. Half Leopard Pattern
For girls who like to try animal prints on nails but don’t want it to be too much, here’s one of the best nail art ideas to try. Half and half prints are perfect. Try them on the half of all nails, or just one or two nails. You can also mix them up with cheetah prints.
19. Confetti Effect
Love glitter? Then here’s one of the most beautiful birthday party nail art ideas for you. Try lovely confetti effect nail art by mixing different glitter nail polishes in different colors and sizes. Paint them over clear nails and let them steal the show!
20. Rainbow Tips
Your regular manicure getting boring and you wanna show the world your colorful personality? Try this nail art trend with colorful tips. This nail art is very trendy right now, and is perfect to pair with the multicolor dresses, which are one of the top Spring 2019 fashion color trends right now. This nail art desin is perfect for summer and will even work in winter if you want a colorful change!
21. Triangular Negative Spaces
Here’s another one of the new nail art trends for summer. Negative spaces with bright nail colors in the shape of a horizotal strip or triangle. Try matching it with your makeup or bag!
Prints in nail art are back with a bang! We’re loving plaids and gingham prints. You can try all different types of prints and mix them with contrasting solid colors. These prints are a great idea for winter and fall to match with your overcoats.
23. Ribbon Effect
Here’s a pretty festive idea, great for birthday parties, New Year’s, Christmas or other holidays. Paint the nail gold and then use thin nail art strips over them, and then paint it over in another color. Then remove the strips to leave the thin gold lines that look like ribbons. So beautiful!
24. Nail Jewelry Effect
Why use rhinestones on all nails when you can use them all on the same nail? Try combining rhinestones or diamonds of different sizes to create something like a nail jewelry. This is a great idea for party, birthday or anniversary.
25. Lace on Transparent
Looking for some romantic nail art ideas for your next date? Well, here you go! Transparent nail trend is going further and beyond to give you lace designs. Try it on just one nail or all of them. Or get it done on alternate nails, combining the rest of them with solid nail color or matte effect.
26. Matte Nails with Chrome Tips
Chrome tips are back, and I’m so happy ’cause they look fabulous. And now you can combine them with matte nails in a neutral color to really bring out their metallic beauty! Go for an unexpected color combination like grey with gold, or mustard with silver.
The earthy palette including shades like ecru, biscuit, dove grey, and white is so pretty. Great idea for both summer and fall, try nail art ideas with the Greek evil eye designs, or Aztec patterns to really bring out the historic nerd in you.
28. Muted Neutral Palettes
It’s time to bring all of your nude nail polishes out and wear them all at once! ‘Cause this year, we’re seeing nail art ideas with mixed muted tones. Try a whole palette of nudes, or go for mixed pretty nude pinks. Or all shades of beige. Try combining them by wearing one shade on each nail, or create a simple geometric nail art design using them.
29. Fairy Dust Effect
Glitter too much for you? Well, you can still use your glitter nail polish this year without being too bling-y! Just wear a nude or sand-colored nail polish to create a base. Then just take very little glitter nail polish at a time on the tip, and put it on to create this fairy dust like effect. Top it off with 3D gel top coat.
30. Horizontal Stripes
Time to show your neatness and nail art prowess, since horizontal stripes are making waves among the new nail art ideas. Go for pretty color combinations like red and blue for the 4th of July, or go for summery tones like mint with orange!
You can also go for subtle horizontal stripes using just two colors – one plain base color and the second a complementary shade.
31. Mixed Media
Mixed media is one of the top fashion trends for 2019, and it’s now making its way among the nail art trends, too. Combine matte effect, gel top coat, ombre and glitter, all at once, by wearing one on each nail. And on the ring finger nail, decorate it with matching rhinestones.
32. Horizontal Ombre
Ombre nails have been making waves since last year. But in 2019, try side-reversing this trend. Instead of from cuticle to tip, try wearing your ombre sideways, with the gradient starting from thumb and going to the little finger. If you wear this idea subtly, you can also wear this to office, such as a gradient from nude to brown.
You can also try the horizontal ombre with chrome effect to make a statement at parties!
33. Embossed Effect
Not a fan of this one, but a trend it is! Embossed effect on nails is one of the newest nail art ideas of 2019. Try knitting patterns for the winter, or florals in spring.
34. Noir Themes
We love all things noir! So if you’re going to a vintage or Goth themed party, or just wanna bring out your inner-noir film lover, just go for something like this. Try nail art mixing black and old gold. Or shades of grey with black.
Last but not the least, vertical stripes are back and are a simple way to wear colorful nails. Perfect for pool parties and BBQ parties!
So those were the latest nail art ideas and top trends. Which one’s your favorite? I’m currently trying mixed media. Share your own pics with me by tagging me on Instagram @shilpaahujadotcom! I’ll be sure to like it!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]