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

accent nail design


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 for your nails to make a statement. In fact, sometimes all it takes is one or two accent nails to create a picture-perfect nail look.

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.

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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.

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Black and White

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

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Daisy Accents

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, are regularly re-stocked.

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DIY Daisy

Can't wait for a re-stock? You can follow in Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle's footsteps and paint DIY daisies with yellow and white nail polish using a toothpick or striping brush.

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Butterfly Accents

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.

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Star Accent

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

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Dotted Florals

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

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Butterfly Flutter

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

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Check Ya Later

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.

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Simple Stripes

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

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Bright Stripes

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

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Minimalist Tiger Stripes

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

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Patriotic Nails

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

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Holographic Glitter

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

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Cow Print Moment

CYMI: We're suckers for cow print.

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Water Marble Accent

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.

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Leopard Accent

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

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Watercolor Accents

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

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Metal Moment

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

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Cartoon Accents

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

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Abstract Art

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

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Starry Accents

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

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Neon Negatives

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

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Colorful Accents

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

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3-D Accent

As much as we dig this 3-D nail art, there's no denying that it will require a pro's hand to recreate.

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