We Found the Coolest Festival Nail Art Ideas (So You Don't Have To)

Updated 07/03/19
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Festival season is somewhat mystifying (and no, we're not just talking about the suspect substances you'll likely come across in line for the porta potty). Instead, we're referring to the fatigue-inducing trends we see over and over again. (We have this weird theory that the overt predictability of festival beauty is part of the general allure.)

That being said, the inherent "fun factor" shouldn't be underestimated. After all, when else are you going to cover yourself head to toe in gilded body tattoos, glitter, ombré rhinestones, or heck, all three simultaneously? Which brings us to festival nail art ideas. We rounded up 14 of the best festival-inspired nail art ideas we've seen on Instagram as of late to keep your nail game inspired. Keep clicking!

@oliveandjune

If you thought the peel-on sticker trend was purely the stuff of your middle school mani dreams, think again. Beloved California-based nail salon Olive & June just debuted two different sets of salon-inspired designs which basically give you the look of a painstaking, in-house job, sans the sweat, wait time, and investment. Simply peel, stick, and seal (with your favorite clear top coat) for a festival-ready nail aesthetic. The butterflies shown here are a part of the brand's Desert Mood Nail Art Sticker Set ($8).

@paintboxnails

Not a fan of sparkle? Fear not—there are still plenty of festival nail art ideas to inspire your upcoming mani. For instance, we like the playfulness of the bold fuchsia color here, juxtaposed with three dainty black polka dots. 

@mpnails

Ombré nails have been around for awhile, and despite the fact they've been one of the quintessential festival nail art ideas for years on end, the trademark trend shows no sign of fatigue. To keep things fresh, we like this neon (versus chrome or metallic) take with fiery shades of yellow and orange. 

@paintboxnails

If you're not afraid of pink, we think you'll love this shimmering nail art idea, which feels perfectly on par with festival season. The more glitter the better, right?

@oliveandjune

As much as we would love to see The Rolling Stones perform on the Coachella stage, we're pretty certain our dream is 100% outside the realm of possibility. However, that won't stop us from carrying the band's iconic vibes to our nail game. This iteration feels on point for festival season and falls on the simpler side of the spectrum if you're not a fan of glitter and lollipop-esque color. 

@mspattycake

As a certain iconic blonde once sultrily sang, "diamonds are a girl's best friend." And since we don't recommend actually wearing them while partaking in festival fun (it just doesn't seem like a wise choice), why not have one painted onto your nails instead?

@oliveandjune

Less-obtrusive but still eye-catching in its own right, this metallic neutral nail look has a single tiny triangle for an added touch of interest. 

@oliveandjune

Normally, we're not fans of butterflies anywhere near our beauty look, but for the purpose of festival frolicking, we can make an exception. And thanks to the stark white base and cleverly broken design, this particular butterfly is making our hearts all aflutter.

@oliveandjune

We've all been there. That moment when you're standing in front of a wall of nail polishes at the salon utterly unable to decide which color to choose. But thanks to brilliant festival nail art ideas like this one, you don't have to. Choose three or four colors in the same shade range, and then ask for a dual-tone design as shown. Bonus points for a strategic streak of glitter.

@paintboxnails

The beauty of festival season is you can embrace all the trends at once without seeming over the top. We love the way this periwinkle base complements the iridescent foil detail for the ultimate festival nail art idea.

@oliveandjune

Not only does this manicure involve flowers (a natural choice for festivalgoers), but it also transforms whimsically hued blooms into peace signs to create a less predictable version of the go-to nail art idea. 

@oliveandjune

No festival nail art roundup would ever feel complete without the quintessential combo of palms and turquoise. However, by keeping the design just to the two nails shown here, it doesn't feel overboard. (Psst: For the perfect shade of turquoise, we love Essie Nail Color in In the Cab-ana, $9.)

@mspattycake

Disclaimer: Normally, we wouldn't choose to paint an actual unicorn on our tips. But for festival season—in all its whimsical, glitter-encrusted glory—we'll bend. 

@mpnails

When painted on your tips (and in unexpected shades of blue, no less!) cheetah print feels less cliché while mingling in the sweaty desert. 

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