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6 easy spring nail designs (and a step-by-step guide to try them at home)

If you’re already counting down the days until the start of the new season, you can absolutely put your spring fever to use planning new nail designs.

If you’re curious what shades will be in favour this season, you can expect to see lavender and chartreuse taking over as some of the top nail colour trends for 2022. You might incorporate either into a simple swirl design or French tip, or go with the classic spring nail designs that make a return each year, eg miniature butterflies, flowers, or citrus fruits. You’re only limited by your imagination (and the dimensions of a pretty small canvas).

Here are some nail designs to consider for upcoming manicures, plus everything you need to know to pull them off at home.

Gingham Nails

 

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A post shared by Samantha Marie 🎀 (@sammismanis)

If there’s one pattern that screams “spring,” it’s the red and white gingham check that you’d find on a classic picnic blanket. Whether or not you have any intention of dining al fresco, you can bring the instantly-recognisable pattern to your nails by following these steps from New Jersey-based nail artist Samantha Gowe.

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply two to three coats of a white polish to all of your nails — enough to create an opaque layer of colour. Let dry.
  3. Dip a striper brush into a light pink jelly polish. Paint on three horizontal stripes and three vertical stripes. The stripes should overlap to create a grid pattern. Let dry.
  4. Dip a detail brush into a red polish. Paint a square over each area where the pink stripes intersect. Let dry.
  5. Apply a top coat and let dry.

Abstract Nail Art

 

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A post shared by Elle Gerstein (@enamelle)

Adorning your nails with paint strokes is one way to channel your inner artist. The beauty of this spring nail design is that you don’t have to be too precious about it — the layered paint strokes are meant to look imperfect. Here’s how Long Island, New York-based celebrity nail artist Elle Gerstein achieved the look.

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply two coats of a nude nail polish. Let dry.
  3. Add a nail polish colour of choice to a palette. Saturate a separate clean nail brush in the polish, then swipe the brush onto the palette to remove some of the polish. Paint a few short brush strokes onto each nail.
  4. Repeat step three with additional colours, using a fresh brush each time or cleaning the brush in between. Continue to layer brush strokes on top of each other until nails are covered in brush strokes. Let dry.
  5. Apply a top coat and let dry.

Negative Space Swirl

 

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A post shared by Samantha Marie 🎀 (@sammismanis)

This design combines two trends: negative space (ie leaving colour off of part of your nail) and curvy lines. Gowe went with a bright coral shade, but you could also use pistachio, creamsicle, or any other colour you’re loving ATM.

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply two coats of a sheer, soft pink shade and let dry.
  3. Using your favourite shade, paint one or two swirly lines onto one nail. Repeat on each nail, creating a different swirl pattern on each nail and let dry. Tip: If the bottle brush is wide, use the short side of the brush with light pressure as you paint the swirls to create a more narrow line and to allow for more “negative space.”
  4. Clean up the edges, removing any excess polish with an angled nail brush dipped in nail polish remover.
  5. Apply a top coat and let dry.

Negative Space Tips

 

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A post shared by Elle Gerstein (@enamelle)

For an elegant vibe, try this negative space design from Gerstein. To achieve the perfect dot accent, you can use a dotting tool dipped in polish or adhere a rhinestone with adhesive, as shown above. Either way, you’ll achieve cute nail art that you’ll look forward to showing off.

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply a base coat and let dry.
  3. Dip a liner brush in a purple nail polish. Paint a thin line across each nail just below the tip. Fill in the space between the line and the tip of the nail. Let dry.
  4. Dip a dotting tool into a cobalt blue nail polish and create a dot at the border between the colour and negative space, at the centre of each nail. Let dry.
  5. Apply a top coat and let dry.

Marble Nail Art

 

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A post shared by PEAR NOVA (@pearnova)

You can’t go wrong with a dreamy, marbleised manicure that incorporates complementary spring-appropriate shades. The trick to a marbled look is to apply multiple colours and swirl them together using a detail brush. Here are more specifics on how Melinda Carrillo, a nail artist at Pear Nova Studio in Chicago, achieved the above nail design. (Note: Carillo used gel polish, but you can follow the same steps with regular polish, allowing your nails to dry rather than curing them under a UV light as indicated.)

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply a base coat and cure.
  3. Apply one coat of a baby pink-nude shade and cure in UV light.
  4. Apply a second coat of the pink-nude shade but do not cure. Apply a coat of a light blue shade skipping the pinky fingers. Dot a light green colour, on top of the blue nails. With a detail brush, swirl the blue and green shades to achieve a marble look, then cure.
  5. Apply a top coat and cure.

Speckled Skittles Manicure

 

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A post shared by Samantha Marie 🎀 (@sammismanis)

One of the easiest nail designs to try, this technique transforms your fingernails into mini speckled eggs. Go with a classic robin’s-egg blue or try a Skittles (ie mismatched) manicure, as Gowe showed off above.

  1. Prep and shape nails as desired.
  2. Apply two coats of a pastel shade to one nail. Repeat on other nails, using a different colour on each nail. Let dry.
  3. Dip a small detail brush into black polish, wipe off excess paint, and lightly tap the brush all over each nail to create speckles. Don’t worry about making the speckles look uniform — they should vary in thickness. Let dry.
  4. Apply a matte top coat and let dry.

This story first appeared on www.shape.com.

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Maryna Terletska)

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