25 Gorgeous Accent Nails That Prove Just One or Two Nails Make a Statement

accent nail design

 @oliveandjune+BYRDIE

Let's be very clear: We love nail art as much as the next person, but we're firm believers that, as pretty as fully outfitted nails can be, you don't always need five done-up designs to make a statement. In fact, sometimes all it takes is one or two accent nails to create a picture-perfect manicure.

Don't believe us? We scoured Instagram for the best accent nails the web has to offer. Ahead, you'll discover dozens of designs that will make you rethink a five-finger nail look. Here's to small details making a big impact.

01 of 25

Twin Heart Accents

We love this double-accent nail situation. Best of all, the matte mani is easy to recreate. Simply paint your nails with sheer nude polish, paint two small black hearts on side-by-side nails, and finish with a matte topcoat.

02 of 25

Black and White

Lemon-lime manicure with black and white yin/yang and cow accent nails

@tinybrushes

Accent nails don't have to match on each hand. Instead, choose a color scheme and get creative with your single-nail design.

03 of 25

Daisy Accents

Orange manicure with daisy floral accent nails

@oliveandjune

How pretty are these floral accent nails? If you're swooning over these blooms, you'll be glad to know you can copy them with Olive & June's Loveliest Day Nail Stickers ($8)—just keep in mind that they often sell out, but thankfully, they're regularly restocked.

04 of 25

DIY Daisy

Simple neutral manicure with daisy floral accent nail

@oliveandjune

Can't wait for a restock of the nail stickers? Follow in Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle's footsteps and paint DIY yellow-and-white daisies using a toothpick or striping brush.

05 of 25

Butterfly Accents

Cloudy sky manicure with butterfly accent nail

@oliveandjune

While this manicure is a bit of a mash-up, it features a single accent nail with two sparkly butterflies that really bring the look together.

06 of 25

Star Accent

Cream French manicure with star accent nails

@oliveandjune

A colorful French manicure topped off with a single star? We're here for it.

07 of 25

Dotted Florals

Sheer pink manicure with dotted floral accent nails

@oliveandjune

Creating a head-turning nail look is sometimes as simple as getting creative with dots. Case in point: These pale-pink beauties.

08 of 25

Butterfly Flutter

This slim French mani looks picture-perfect with a large butterfly on each middle finger.

09 of 25

Check Ya Later

Neon pink manicure with green-and-yelow checked accent nails

@amyytran

This neon nail look really pops thanks to two accent nails in the middle. To recreate the look, use striping tape to quadrant off your nails.

10 of 25

Simple Stripes

Cobalt blue manicure with simple striped accent nail

@jinsoon

Here's a patriotic manicure that manages to make a statement while being minimalist and easy to recreate.

11 of 25

Bright Stripes

White almond manicure with colorful striped accent nails

@jinsoon

Nude nails fare especially well with statement designs. Here, the pointer and middle finger don a colorful, '60s-esque design.

12 of 25

Minimalist Tiger Stripes

Neutral manicure with minimalist tiger stripe accent nails

@jinsoon

If you consider yourself a cool cat, you may want to show your stripes with this minimalist statement design.

13 of 25

Patriotic Nails

Here's another patriotic manicure idea—this time with stars instead of stripes.

14 of 25

Holographic Glitter

Instead of painting all your nails one color, consider switching things up with a pop of holo glitter.

15 of 25

Cow Print Moment

Periwinkle manicure with cow print accent nails

@paintsalon.uk

In case you missed it: We're suckers for cow print.

16 of 25

Water Marble Accent

Pink manicure with marbled accent nail

@paintsalon.uk

If you're a fan of both monochrome nail looks and water marble designs, you'll love this nail art idea. Try bringing it to life yourself with our water marble tutorial.

17 of 25

Leopard Accent

Orange and pink gradient manicure with colorful leopard accent nail

@anetaujwary

If you look closely, you'll notice that this leopard accent nail features all the colors from the other nails.

18 of 25

Watercolor Accents

Lavender manicure with watercolor accent nails

@anetaujwary

How dreamy are these accent nails? They remind us of ice-dyed tie-dye.

19 of 25

Metal Moment

Bright pink manicure with iridescent copper metallic accent nails

@anetaujwary

Craving a fierce nail look? These color-changing chrome accent nails will do the trick.

20 of 25

Cartoon Accents

White manicure with cartoon gradient eye and lightning bold accent nails

@anetaujwary

The bright contrast between these accent nails and white nails makes the cartoon design even more eye-catching.

21 of 25

Abstract Art

Teal manicure with abstract patterned accent nail

@chelseaqueen

This teal accent nail reminds us of tiki bars and all things summer.

22 of 25

Starry Accents

Rainbow manicure with star patterned accent nails

@chelseaqueen

These starry nails incorporate the other colors of the manicure for a fully cohesive, but totally bold end look.

23 of 25

Neon Negatives

Neon orange manicure with rainbow striped negative space accent nails

@chelseaqueen

Negative-space nail art will never go out of style. Consider this our most recent obsession within the trend.

24 of 25

Colorful Accents

Black manicure with colorful feather accent nails

@chelseaqueen

Bright pastels offer head-turning contrast against the shiny black base of this manicure.

25 of 25

3D Accent

Black manicure with 3D rainbow square pattern accent nail

@chelseaqueen

As much as we dig this 3D nail art, there's no denying that it will require a pro's hand to recreate. Still, it's worthy to add to your list of ideas for next time you head to the nail salon.

Related Stories