Spring is so close we can almost feel the bearable 60-degree weather and of course, that means beautiful things for our style choices. We get to trade in our extra bundled layers for sundresses, tank tops, and sandals. Of course, we'll also be making different beauty choices to celebrate a season of sunshine that we can actually feel!
One of the easiest ways to refresh our look regularly is to have fun with neon nail art! Even if bright, electric shades weren't one of the biggest spring trends for 2019, we'd still be into them because they're such a bold statement.
From Lisa Frank-inspired animal prints that channel the 1990s to simple geometric shapes with just a splash of color, there are so many ways to pull off neon nail art. Whether you plan to play with press-on (they've upgraded since you last passed on them in the drugstore), do your own nails, or get a full acrylic set — you'll find enough vibrant nail art ideas to get you through spring and the duration of summer in the list ahead.
There is something so reminiscent of the 1990s about this psychedelic neon nail art design. These colorful swirls can be recreated using nail stamps, stickers, or you can always just go to the salon to get a professional. If you prefer to take a stab at creating this design yourself, then just pick your set of desired neon nail polishes. The makeup artist used colors from the Parrot Polish brand to execute this look.
There are also so many tutorials on YouTube for creating the perfect swirls. One of the coolest tutorials teaches a bowl-dipping trick that doesn't even require you to do any actual painting.
Take a little spring break from your regular white nail routine and treat yourself to a few different watercolor splashes of color on top of the white layer. The best part about this neon nail art design is that it's pretty difficult to screw up since the beauty is in the imperfect polish blends. You'll only need about six neon colors to complete this look. Simply take the nail brush and put a subtle stroke exactly where you want it on the nail.
For a similar (but slightly more complicated) tutorial for creating watercolor style neon nail art, check out this YouTube video on the Demelza's Word channel.
Ombre nails are likely one of the most popular Instagram manicure trends. People cannot get enough of this gorgeous look that starts off super subtle and then turns into a flash party by the end. This nail design is also pretty easy to pull off at home. This style can be achieved with regular, gel, airbrush, dip powder, or sponge methods!
To create the look at home, I suggest you take a look at a video that explains five different methods for pulling off gradient nails on the Cute Polish YouTube channel. Just pick whichever way works for you, your schedule, and the tools you may already have.
All it takes is a bright acrylic tip and a little bling near the cuticles and your nails are ready to own the spring! There are stencil cards you can use to create the sharp angle of the neon yellow on the tips after you've painted your nails with a nude polish. You can also easily buy rhinestones from an art supply store or offline to add to your nail.
A trick I've seen my own manicurist do over and over again is to give my nails a clear top coat. Before the clear top coat dries, he uses a pair of tweezers to pick up the rhinestone and place it down carefully so that the stone can dry along with the polish. For extra security, he paints another clear top coat on top of the rhinestones.
This multi-colored ombre nail art design is a lovely mix of neons and pastels. The ombre is so flawless that it's hard to really tell where the colors end and the nude shade begins. I especially love that no two nails are alike! This bright and whimsical manicure design manages to be eye-catching without overtaking the rest of your look, no matter what you wear.
I recommend that you seek out a professional to really execute this nail art. Simply snap a screenshot to show your manicurist so that you two can discuss exactly which neon and pastel shades you prefer to mix.
You don't have to depend on nail extensions to have fun with your manicures this spring! Try a look that features gray nail polish decorated with tiny neon geometric shapes. This is a super festive design that provides a playful vibe perfect for spring. It's a solid choice if you love your neutral colors but want to mix it up with something bright. You could DIY this neon nail art if you have a skinny nail brush in your beauty collection. To recreate these tiny geometric shapes, you'll need the smallest brush possible and a really steady hand.
If you're not into tiny designs, then it's totally understandable. They require a lot of focus and it's so easy to screw up the designs and have to start all over. Go big or go home with this bright neon nail art design featuring larger geometric shapes, silver bling embellishments, and holo specks on the thumbs and a single index finger. Once again, each nail is different.
Boring nails, where?!
If you can master the ombre theme and have enough colors laying around the house, this is actually neon look you can pull off fairly easily and quickly. To really cut down design time, I suggest you use the sponge method. In this case, you'll need five different sponges to make sure each ombre design is different from the other. If you don't own black nail polish, then now's the time to invest in the color. Even if you do not want full-out goth nails, black comes in handy for times like this when you want to have a rainbow look with a slightly cooler touch.
Don't these nails just give you all of the Lisa Frank vibes? This neon pink and lavender cheetah print design blends three spring trends in one: neon, animal print, and pastels! Adding the animal print to only a few nails gives it that extra ~wow~ and, surprisingly, this animal print is pretty easy to pull off. You'll need that trusty skinny nail polish brush to make an imperfect circle in lavender and then encase the circle in two black marks.
Don't even worry about making perfect shapes since the way to get this to look like an actual animal print is going to depend on it not looking too flawlessly drawn. To really get it down, check out this leopard print nail tutorial from YouTube.
There are so many different variations of neon animal print nails that you could really stick to this trend all spring without ever getting bored. Animal print also enjoyed a huge run in 2018 but it's back for more. Based on what's trending online and in the stores, people are going to be stepping on the wild side with different animal prints for the duration of spring and summer 2019.
For this look, you'll need yellow, orange, green, pink, and black nail polish. You can use the same imperfect circle and relaxed black outlines method.
Little known fact: Pulling off neon doesn't require you to stick to pinks, oranges, and lime greens. Never underestimate a bold gorgeous blue! This manicure features an ombre effect that shows off a black and blue starlit sky with people looking at the stores. It's one of those nail art cases where you could spend unnecessary time forcing your animation skills, or you could just capture a screenshot and pay a nail artist near you to get the job done quickly with ease.
Tap into your creative side if you like but there are honestly so many other things you could be doing with your time — like showing off your new nail art on your Instagram.
Go bright or go home with these holographic nails made bolder with rainbow paint drip designs at the tips. If you love a standout manicure that starts a conversation, then these nails are it. To pull these nails off, you're going to need to get the sparkliest chrome holographic nail polish you can find (harder than you think) and to master the pastel paint drip design!
So many brands brag about having a holographic nail polish but many of them are just plain silver or glittery. A true holo polish must actually have a rainbow reflect. Try the Live Love Polish ($16) in the shade Casting Call. To get that ombre paint drip down, check out this pastel paint trip tutorial on YouTube .
If you ever grow tired of doing the ombre nail art trend the traditional way, then you can try this look side-to-side ombre look that also transitions from cool to warm neon colors across your hand. You only need blue, purple, pink, and orange polishes to get this down.
Your pinky and thumb can be painted a single solid shade while the index, middle and pointer fingers have the gradient. The best part about pulling off this neon nail art is that it's fairly easy since it doesn't require a perfect ombre finish.
Trying to throw a 1960s style hippie party on your hand? It can certainly be done! Mix different shades of pink, throw in a tie-dye accent nail, and you've got yourself a truly standout look super retro and chic. To pull off the tie-dye design without a professional nail tech, follow the many YouTube tutorials.
The tie-dye tutorials are also great for the day you're feeling super colorful and want a complete tie-dye manicure! The best part about that tie-dye design is that you can create it with as many or as few colors as you like!
Never underestimate how gorgeous a single neon shade looks on a full set! Like the ombre design, solid neon nails are a huge trend on Instagram right now. Fashionistas are matching their bright nails with their neon handbags, sneakers, technicolor wigs, and even their sunglasses!
From long coffin nails to shorter almond shapes, the solid shade also looks great no matter what nail length or shape you have. Lots of people are going straight for neon green but don't forget how pretty a solid orange, blue, purple, or pink looks!
Hungry, anyone? Candy lovers, say hello to your new signature look. If you're really feeling daring, then let your sweet tooth lead the way and get nail art inspired by your favorite brightly colored candy packages. Whether you're going for the nostalgic look of Warheads or something bright like the caramel Sugar Daddy boxes, your nails are sure to look incredibly yummy.
Warning though: Everyone is going to want you to spill the tea about where you got your nails done when you hit the town with a look like this on your hands.
These clear tips outlined with neon polish and filed into the coffin shape definitely have "vacay" written all over them. The accent nail embellished with bright flowers makes the look extra dramatic and chic. If you look closer, you'll notice that the "clear' polish has a subtle shimmer to it which makes these nails even more festive. This is also a design you can get without having to wear extra long extensions.
Just because you're not on vacation yet doesn't mean you can't have an entire tropical getaway sitting right on your fingers. This nail art totally turns up the heat on the neon and ombre trends thanks to the black palm tree silhouettes painted on two nails from each hand.
These nails require a certain level of confidence. They also beg the wearer to dress up in the most extra outfits for the entire time the design lasts.
Why do clear nails when you can do neon Louis Vuitton-inspired ones that really POP! What better way to show off your adoration for one of the most iconic luxury houses in the world than to put them on your nails. They'll certainly make it a grander moment whenever you wave "hi" and "bye."
If you've got the coins to wear them with an actual Louis Vuitton bag, then yes, please! Creative director for the brand, Virgil Abloh, would likely be flattered. He just sent holographic and neon bags down the Fall 2019 runway for his menswear collection.
Instagram/The Shaderoom/Rihanna Instagram Stories
Seriously, what's cooler than Rihanna's party-ready birthday nails?! She celebrated her 31st birthday on February 20 with this bright, glittery color-blocked manicure created by her longtime nail artist, Maria Salandra. Her manicure also paired beautifully with the rainbow letters on her Vetements hoodie, colorful tinted sunglasses from her upcoming Fenty accessories collection, and a colorful unicorn piñata that was obviously part of the royal bad gal festivities, per her Instagram.
Based on The Shaderoom comments, not everyone was a fan of this cool manicure, but who cares? If you're into really unique nail art designs, then go for it! Besides, everyone knows everything is ugly until Rihanna says it isn't.
What's more committed than neon that literally glows in the dark like actual neon lights? Prepare to serve looks during the day and to keep the slay going even when the lights go out at night. These are the perfect nails to wear to a party at the club or a concert for those of you who love adding a surprise element to your overall looks.
If you're more into glitter but want to tiptoe into the neon space, then try a single bright stripe down the side of your sparkly manicure. This nail art was created with the Night in Shining Armor and One Piece Wonder nail lacquer shades from the indie brand Pear Nova.
If neon green isn't your favorite, then the design will look just as cool with any other neon shade you select. Even though a nail tech created this look, it is also a pretty easy design to execute at home with the right brushes and polish. Go ahead and add this to your list of must-try nail art designs for natural nails.
How's this design for a cultured throwback? Pay a little homage to the always beautiful pop art of Andy Warhol! These animated nails aren't just beautiful and bright. They're also a little piece of history. If you're not into Andy Warhol specifically, then you could also always do pop art inspired by the comics. You could either go with color-blocked nails like the photo or get a full manicure based off of one nail from this look.
If you're not particularly artistic, then get a professional to pull this one off or grab nail stickers to ensure that your Warhol manicure comes out looking like a total masterpiece!
The safe, classic polka dots get a really cool twist thanks to these bright hues! This particular nail design has an Easter fill thanks to the soft pink background, but you could also make your first layer one neon shade and get all of the polka dots in another. To get the perfectly shaped dots, just use a Q-tip or the ballpoint tool in any affordable nail kit. You could also likely find neon nail stickers with these similar designs or use a stencil.
If you're feeling really edgy, we recommend a black and white striped outfit with these colorful spotted nails.
Spring 2019 is not for those regular office stripes so cancel them right now. We're stepping out of our comfort zones and having fun with our beauty looks right? Treat yourself to this unique striped pattern featuring every color of the rainbow. No nail looks exactly the same as another, making this a look that manages to be whimsical yet neatly organized. You can pick any colors you like but do not forget to add in both the white and black shades if you prefer to balance out the brightness.