30 Shockingly Easy Nail Designs You Can Totally Do at Home

Be your own manicurist.

close up of black and white dotted manicure


Stepping out of the nail salon with a set of freshly painted nails can make you feel like a new person. There's nothing like a little pampering and a fresh mani to make you feel like your best self. But it can get expensive fast, especially if you opt for some nail art.

That's why we rounded up 30 of our favorite simple and easy nail designs that you can do at home (and probably with the nail colors you already own). We're not nail artists by any means, but luckily with these looks, that doesn't matter. Whether you want to rock a set of stars along your cuticles, a tonal gradient across all 10 fingers, simple glitter stripes, or a double French mani, you're sure to find a look (or three or four) that you love.

Meet the Expert

  • Jordan Meade is a professional nail artist with on-demand beauty service Glamsquad.
  • Tammy Taylor is a professional nail artist and business owner with more than three decades in the industry.

Check out some easy nail art ideas you can do at home.

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Wavy Red

Easy Nail Art Ideas Wavy Red


This look offers "minimal effort but maximum design," says Glamsquad's Jordan Meade. "Like art on your nails, this abstract line design gives a simple yet alluring effect." Meade offers the following tips: "Apply a thin base coat using a light polish and cure for 60 seconds. Take a fine detail brush and color of choice to draw random, freestyled swirl lines that vary in thickness. Remember art is subjective, not perfect."

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White Stripe

Easy Nail Art Ideas White Stripe


In this case, less is definitely more. We love the simplicity of these neutral nails with a thin white stripe down the middle.

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Statement Red

Easy Nail Art Ideas Red Star


Who doesn't love a classic red manicure? The simple star accent on the ring finger takes it to a whole other level. Pick up this 10-Piece Nail Art Brush Set ($9), or any similar set, to achieve stars and many other details you'll find in this roundup.

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Shimmering Tips

Easy Nail Art Ideas Gold Tips


Play up your bare nails with a swipe of gold at the tips. Try a chunky metallic shade like L'Oréal's Colour Riche Nail Gold Dust ($6). 

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Pastel Mismatch

Easy Nail Art Ideas Pastels


We love a good pastel nail look, and having multiple shade options is even better. Mirror the color order on each hand for a polished nail art look that doesn't require any tricky precision. 

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Golden Stripes

Easy Nail Art Ideas Gold Stripes


This nail art is almost too easy. Use a thin gold polish like FingerPaints' Striping Polish in He-Art of Gold ($4), swipe it down the center of your nails, apply a top coat, and you're good to go. The design above features stripes overtop half-painted nails, providing inspiration for a way to make your mani last longer as it grows out.

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Starry Details

Easy Nail Art Ideas Stars


Olive & June's nail stickers make for a unique and easy mani, and it's safe to say we're impressed. 

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Teal and Gold

Easy Nail Art Ideas Teal Gold


Teal and metallic gold collide in this chic design. Try a shade like Essie Go Overboard ($5) when recreating this look. 

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Party Dots

Easy Nail Art Ideas Confetti Dots


You've probably seen polka-dot nails before, but this one creates a new layer of fun. Pick a few colors to create a bunch of tiny dots all around bare nails—variation and overlap are all part of the fun here. To replicate this look, nail artist Tammy Taylor suggests first applying Flawless Foundation Gel Base Coat ($29) and allowing to cure before adding designs. "Using the Tammy Taylor Dotting Tool ($7), New Flame Gelegance Gel Polish ($21) and Fresh n Fruity Gelegance Gel Polish($21), create a dotted smile line in the middle of the nail, alternating colors," she adds. "Repeat this process by filling in gaps down the nail. Cure."

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Colorful Lines

Easy Nail Art Ideas Colored Stripes


The colored stripes make this neutral mani fun and interesting, while remaining simple enough for both execution purposes and more conservative settings. Nail stripe stickers can make achieving this look even easier. To achieve interesting shapes, like curves or lines, Taylor suggests using the Tammy Taylor Striper Brush ($20).

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Graphic Neon

Easy Nail Art Ideas Graphic Neon


The impact of this manicure far outweighs the time it takes to achieve it. No metallic or color combo is off limits with this simple, chic style.

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Canary Yellow

Easy Nail Art Ideas Canary Yellow


The contrast between the yellow base and blue dots really makes this look from Paintbox pop. These dots are 3D, but a contrasting polish will also provide a bold impact if you're not looking to shop for extra baubles.

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Blue Dots

Easy Nail Art Ideas Blue Dots


An easy nail art hack? You can use a toothpick to create different-sized dots like the ones in this Chillhouse manicure. Taylor says to apply a product like Glass Slipper Gel Top Coat ($29) over the finished design and allowing to dry.

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Silvery-Blue Stripes

Easy Nail Art Ideas Silver Blue Stripes


Spice up your summery white mani with a strip of metallic blue. We love China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Can You Sea Me? ($5).

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Two-Tone Purple

Easy Nail Art Ideas Two-Tone Purple


Purple on purple totally works here. Different shades of the same tone are always a good choice for a polished, understated take on nail art.

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Diagonal Periwinkle

Easy Nail Art Ideas Diagonal


The unique color combo is what drew us to this two-toned nail design, and achieving the look is as simple as letting your first shade set, then applying the second diagonally across half the nail. The baby blue reminds us of Essie's Bikini So Teeny ($7). 

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Sprinkle of Glitter

Easy Nail Art Ideas Glitter


Get this sparkly yet understated look by using a sponge to press on glitter from the lower left corner, tapering into nothing. Set with a clear coat and bam—instant party nail art.

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Blushing Beauties

Easy Nail Art Ideas Pink Two-Tone


We're totally here for this twist on the two-tone manicure. Each nail is a little bit different, which keeps things interesting. 

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A Sleek Swoop

Easy Nail Art Ideas Swoop French


Shift your French tip to the corner of your nail for a modern take on the classic manicure. Stick with a pastel shade or go bolder with bright rainbow hues. "A base coat is optional with this design since all the flare is at the tip," says Meade. "Choose five different colors–one for each nail, and use the polish brush to create a curved slope starting at the corner of your nail. Keep some acetone handy to clean up the curved line with another brush. Just like that, a pop of color is all you need to stand out."

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Black and White

Easy Nail Art Ideas Black and White


If you're not a fan of bright colors on your nails, this easy nail art idea is a stunning choice. We love how the thin black stripe adds dimension to the white base, creating a design that's super versatile. 

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Bling Fingers

Easy Nail Art Ideas Bejeweled


Bejewel your nails for a minimum-effort, maximum-impact design. Grab some sparklers and get to gluing.

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Metallic Accents

Easy Nail Art Ideas Metallic Accent


This simple pastel mani got a major upgrade. Add a triangle of tonal foil to your go-to nail polish shade to emulate this beautiful style. 

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Nail Wave Nouveau

Easy Nail Art Ideas Curvvy


Throw in a curve to give a half-and-half mani a playful twist. Stick to all one shade as a base, or skip it in favor of a clear base coat for a negative-space moment that will make everyone positively jealous.

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Negative Space Stunners

Easy Nail Art Ideas Negative Space


If you want to rock a head-turning manicure but don't have the patience to sit and paint all your nails, consider this black and white half-and-half mani that confines the color to just two nails. Recreate the look using striping tape to trace clean lines for your base color, then finish with dots of contrasting black or white polish.

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Polka Dot Party

Easy Nail Art Ideas Polka Dot


We've shown you plenty of variations on this theme, but there's still room for a classic polka dot pattern in your easy nail art arsenal. If you look closely, these delicate dots are actually specks from a confetti polish—all the better to make a fun look even easier.

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Yayoi Kusama-Approved

Easy Nail Art Ideas Yayoi Kusama Dot


Your nails can look like an actual piece of Yayoi Kusama's modern art with minimal effort. Simply start with a bright, dandelion-yellow base, then finish with black dots in varying sizes—no need to stress about uniformity here.

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Embellished French Tips

Easy Nail Art Ideas Embellished French


Here's another option for all the French manicure lovers out there. Adorn the center of the nail with whatever design you want. The witchy decals in this mani are making us long for Halloween all year long.

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Blue Gradient

Easy Nail Art Ideas Gradient


If you're not one to get crafty with intricate nail art ideas but still crave an eye-catching design, check out this gradient option. With a different blue shade on each nail, it's a dreamy contrast we can't stop staring at. If you're not sure which shades of blue will pair well together, ask your nail technician.

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'90s Daisies

Easy Nail Art Ideas Daisies


Daisies are giving us serious mid-'90s, Clueless vibes—your nails will be the envy of everyone you flash with the "Whatever" hands. This example uses a few negative space designs underneath the daisies, but you can go as simple or complex as you want and be sure the flowers will shine.

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Just Smile

Easy Nail Art Ideas Smile


Add a boost of joy to your solid mani with some easy nail art that smiles back. The eyes on this Chillhouse design are purposefully squiggly, so there's no need to worry about perfectly straight application.

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