Searches For Abstract Nails Are Way Up—Here's How to Wear the Trend

woman with abstract manicure

@imarninails

There's no denying that abstract nails are on the rise on Instagram. The best part about these less-conventional nail looks is that they're easier for everyone to achieve, as they don't follow a single set rule in regards to the trend. So, if you're someone who likes squiggles, throw some in; if you fancy dots, paint a few on; if you love '70s vibes, illustrate it on your nails. The point is, abstract nails make for some of the most unique and universally attainable manicure ideas. And, as a result, Instagram is teeming with posts dedicated to the trend.

So, what are you waiting for? If you're looking for ways to switch your nail look, you'll be excited to find 22 abstract nail ideas below.

01 of 22

Cranberry Squiggles

Pink manicure with abstract cranberry squiggles

@amyytran

Here, cranberry, burgundy, and chrome play together in a design reminiscent of Jenna Rink's infamous mini dress. Just consider this a moodier take on the eye-catching design. Given the intricate nature of the lines, you might want to save this abstract nail art idea on your phone and ask your manicurist to bring it to life.

02 of 22

The Female Form

Abstract nails with female form outlines

@imarninails

Pale pink and peach hues give this abstract design a feminine feel. And it's fitting given the abstract shapes present are actually faces and female forms.

03 of 22

Bright Splashes of Color

Colorful abstract nails

@glosshouse

We love how bright this abstract manicure is. The best part? Since it doesn't focus on clean lines as much as it does splotches of color, it's an easier nail art idea to recreate yourself. Just pick your colors and start swatching.

04 of 22

Neutral Abstract

Neutral abstract nail design with negative space

@amyytran

Just because abstract art is typically bolder than other forms doesn't mean that an abstract manicure has to be loaded with color. Case in point? This nude mani topped off with gold foil.

05 of 22

Matte Abstract

Colorful matte abstract nails with gold rings

@nailsbycanishiea

Abstract nail art can be paired with other trends. Here, you can see how mix-and-match designs look with the recent Skittles mani trend. (Fun Fact: If you don't have matte polishes on hand, you can eliminate the shiny finish of any polish by covering it with Essie's Matte About You Top Coat ($9).

06 of 22

Terracotta Abstract

Abstract nail art in terracotta color scheme

@nailsbycanishiea

Prefer earthier vibes? This manicure—which features cream, terracotta, and olive green hues—will fit your fancy. While the lines are fairly easy to recreate, the squiggles may take a bit more time to master.

07 of 22

Charcoal Abstract

Charcoal abstract nail design

@nailsbycanishiea

Here we have another easy-to-recreate abstract mani idea. Start with charcoal polish and then swatch cream and green hues overtop. Don't forget topcoat to achieve that shine.

08 of 22

Feminine Lines

Neutral nails with abstract female form outlines

@imarninails

The female form is a popular subject when it comes to abstract nail art ideas. Looking to DIY? Start by painting your nails with sheer polish in the color(s) of your choice. Then, go in with a toothpick or ultra-thin lining brush dipped in black polish.

09 of 22

Lots of Dots

Nails with abstract dots

@oliveandjune

With a toothpick or dotting tool in hand, you'll be able to easily bring this dotted nail look to life. As chic as the black dots look, you can always mix in other colors, too.

10 of 22

Nude Squiggles

Neutral nails with abstract squiggly shapes

@nailsbycanishiea

If you're someone who sticks to neutral nail looks, know that you can still get in on the abstract nail trend using the same hues you're used to. Though, given the precise lines, you may want to enlist the help of a pro nail artist.

11 of 22

Autumn Sunset

Abstract nails in autumn sunset colors

@nailsbycanishiea

Whether you're a fan of warm colors or you wish it was perpetually fall, this red and orange abstract manicure will make you swoon. And, if you prefer cooler colors, you can always copy the design in the palette of your choice.

12 of 22

Gatsby Gold

This is what we call a black tie-friendly abstract manicure. With hints of gold, black, and white, it gives us major Gatsby vibes.

13 of 22

Evil Eye Abstract Press-Ons

Hands with abstract evil eye manicure holding coffee mug

@nailsbycanishiea

Evil eyes? Abstract lines? A neutral nude base? There's so much to love about this boho nail design.

14 of 22

Cow Print Cuties

Cow print, bright colors, negative space, and leopard spots make this mani the abstract choice for animal print lovers near and far. Thankfully, recreating spots can be easily achieved by creating dots and gently dragging the edges to make different shapes.

15 of 22

Hot Pink Swirls

Pretty in pink (and purple), no? We love how bright these swirly abstract nails are—though we totally admit that creating them yourself might be a tad tricky.

16 of 22

Dalmatian Dots

Thin lines and dainty dots? A toothpick will come in handy here. You can copy the black polish used here, or take it up a notch (or 10) with the colorful lacquer of your choice.

17 of 22

Gold Foil

Sometimes you don't even need colored nail polish to create an abstract nail look. Rather, with well-placed foil and a coat of clear topcoat, you can create a metallic take on the trend.

18 of 22

Neon Abstract

This, too, reminds us of our favorite dress from 13 Going on 30—only, this time, the colors are pretty spot on. So, while we may not be able to steal Jenna's wardrobe, we can snag her groovy abstract style.

19 of 22

Trippy Swirls

Negative space nails with colorful abstract swirls

@elias.nails

Sure, it's the same design on each nail, but there's no rhyme or reason to how the squiggles go. We love this funky design.

20 of 22

Santa Fe Abstract

Possible one of our favorite abstract designs ever, we love how this mani employs cherry-red polish to really make the designs pop. You can snag a similar look using Dior's Dior Vernis Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Pandore ($28).

21 of 22

Wavy Baby

So simple, yet so stunning. Start with a nude base, then use a toothpick to trace a colored squiggle directly next to a gold squiggle. Easy peasy!

22 of 22

Neon Lines

Don't overthink it: Abstract nails can be as simple as playing with a bunch of different colors and lines. We particularly like how bright this idea is.

Related Stories