Classic French manicures, cow print nails, tortoiseshell details, and minimalist nail art will always have a place in our hearts, but every once in a while, we want to veer away from neutral and towards bright and bold nail looks. You too?
From the looks of Instagram hashtags, we're not alone. #Neonnails has over 600,000 posts, and that's not even the only tag related to the bright color palette—and trust us, we would know. As soon as we saw glowing nail colors blowing up, we immediately took to the 'gram to locate the prettiest, most post-worthy neon nail looks social media has to offer. Naturally, we wanted to show you what we found. So, what are you waiting for? Keep scrolling for 23 ways to wear super-bright neon nails.
Not ready to go full neon? This nude option focuses the bright color solely to one edge of each nail.
With a bright blue base and gradient lime, yellow, and orange accents, this geometric nail look is undeniably head-turning. We're here for it.
Neon Yellow Stars
It's no secret that we're obsessed with star-print nail looks. Pair the print with an ultra-bright hue and we're swooning.
Neon Rainbow French
Why rock plain white tips when you can update a classic French manicure with a rainbow of color? We love this neon take that's both simple and eye-catching.
These bright, highlighter-yellow nails made us double-take. We love the sharp lines and crisp grey accents. After all, grey nails are in.
Another way to get in on the neon nail trend is with this mismatch French mani. The dark base creates a stark contrast against the bright tips in a way we can't stop staring at.
Tennis Ball Yellow
These tennis ball yellow nails remind us of summer and hours spent on the court. Best of all, they're easy to DIY. Simply start with a neon yellow base and finish with charcoal squiggles.
This ultra-thin French manicure makes a major statement with slim swipes of highlighter yellow. To create the look, use French manicure stickers placed close to the edge of the tip of each nail.
Neon and negative space make a powerful combo we can't stop admiring. This particular example is super easy to recreate, too—just use striping tape.
Matte Neon Moment
Can't choose a single neon shade to showcase on your fingers? With this idea, you can paint one hand one color and the other another. The matte finish really takes the whole look up a notch.
These neon-sign nails feature intricate designs that require lots of patience to create but, once complete, are bound to earn you endless likes. Of course, creating them will likely require the help of a pro, so bookmark this page for inspo during your nail appointment.
Neon + Cocoa
These neon yellow and cocoa-brown nails are the contrast we need in our lives. Plus, they're simple to DIY—so long as you're patient. Start with a bright yellow base, use a detail brush to swipe on a section of cocoa, and trace a black line between each. Finish with a matte topcoat.
These happy and sad (hi, Kacey Musgraves) almond-shaped nails make our hearts skip a beat. With neon yellow and hot pink accents and a semi-distressed finish, this mani is simply one of a kind.
Electric blue pairs with purple, nude, and leopard for a divided nail design that's undeniably chic. To create each layer of color, use French manicure stickers as stencils.
"13 Going on 30"
These brightly striped, negative-space nails remind us of Jenna Rink's iconic mini dress from 13 Going on 30. In other words, we're in love.
Vivid Orange Tips
These tangerine orange and gold glitter nails are perfect for summer, but they also work for any time of year when you could use a boost of bright. We love the sliver of negative space between the two shades.
This manicure proves that neon nails don't have to be complicated. Simply paint a couple of neon dots on each nail, et voilà.
Neon with a Chance of Clouds
How pretty are these cloudy ombré nails? The hot pink to electric blue fade is perfect for any time you want a dreamy look.
Stars and Such
Pink, orange, purple, blue, black, and white combine for a high-contrast neon nail look that doesn't even require full coverage on each nail. If you're worried about DIY-ing stars, consider adhering star confetti to your tips in their place.
Who knew checker-print nails could look so fun? We love how the turquoise and yellow checks are juxtaposed against a hot pink mani.
Sometimes rocking a double-tap-worthy neon nail look is as simple as finding the perfect bright shade to pair with your skin tone. We're obsessed with the contrast of the tennis ball-yellow against this model's perfectly accessorized hands.
This highly detailed mismatch mani features rainbows, hearts, smiley faces, and glitter for a nail look that looks equally fit for your kid sister as it does for Coachella. It's nostalgically '90s, and we can't help but smile every time we scroll past it.
How long does it take for neon polish to fade?
Traditional nail polishes are more prone to fading than color gels though both can grow dull due to exposure to sunlight and everyday wear and tear. Polish can fade within a couple weeks but wearing a topcoat and removing polish once it starts to chip is a good way to keep it looking fresh.
Where can I buy neon nail polish?
Pretty much any beauty supply shop or major drugstore carries some form of neon nail polish.
How long should I keep nail polish on my nails?
You shouldn't go more than a few weeks with polish on your nails, as it can cause damage or weaken the nails over time. It's best to take a break entirely and try going a few weeks without any polish, in between manicures.
How frequently should I get touch-ups when it comes to polishing my nails?
Gel polish will last between 1 and 3 weeks. Traditional nail polish will likely last a few days to a week without chipping, if you're careful. It's best to remove nail polish before reapplying, rather than applying layers of polish over old chipped layers.