Pop Art Nails Are the Love-It-or-Hate-It Manicure Trend Popping Up for Spring

Blue glitter manicure with pop art outline accents and minimalist gold rings


A fun new manicure is always a great way to refresh your look (and overall vibe), whether that's a trending color, an intricate design, or a fresh take on a classic go-to. If you feel like you've seen it all and/or are craving an option that plays with entering a new realm, pop art nails may be just the inspiration you need. Also called comic nails, this trend adds an illustrated finish to your mani via outlines and light detailing, creating an optical illusion that makes you feel like the main character in your own adventure story—even if you're just running errands or meeting a friend for a catch-up session.

One of the best parts of the pop art nails trend is that you don't need the portrait skills of Andy Warhol or the comic book talents of Roy Lichtenstein to recreate them—instead, it's all about enhancing all of your existing favorite designs to make them feel like they jumped right off the page. You're sure to get a major confidence boost as passersby do a double take to fully process your ultra-cool mani.

Intrigued by the idea of getting pop art nails, but not sure where to start? We've got you—keep scrolling for 11 creative designs that toe the line between classic mani and comic book.

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Periwinkle Pop

Pop art nails with periwinkle lavender base, black outline, and white and gray light lines


A pastel base is a standout choice for pop art nails, as it makes the contrast of the shading and highlighting that much more subtle (and mesmerizing). We love the joyful muted periwinkle shade of this mani.

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Heated Hero

Red pop art nails with outlines and white highlights


Red is passionate, powerful, and inviting, making it a popular choice when it comes to creating illustrations that are sure to stand out. Choose a classic hue (this one uses OPI's Big Apple Red, $11), outline each nail in black, then add strategic white and darker red curves to recreate the way light hits your nails. You can recreate this process with any color you like for a similar look.

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Vintage Jewel Tones

Pop art nails with muted jewel tone shades on base and minimalist outlines


One of the best parts of pop art nails is the nostalgia factor. Lean into this by opting for an array of muted jewel tones as your base—it's an elevated way to recreate that warm, fuzzy feeling you get upon rediscovering a faded comic book or magazine from your childhood.

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Comic Nude

If you gravitate towards neutral polish but want to step outside your comfort zone, try a design that takes nude shades into territory that's anything but natural. With the extended almond shape, dramatic contrast, and pop art aesthetic, these nails break out of the minimalist mold while still matching practically any outfit.

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Stiletto Neutrals

Just as with the last, this nude mani makes an unexpected statement thanks to the pop art aesthetic. We love the stiletto shape here, as it emphasizes the outlines and makes it feel even more like you're living out your best comic book narrative.

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Graphic Gradient

Gradient brown manicure with black outlines and cartoon light details


Pop art nails don't have to be all one color—you can take the trend to new levels by combining it with other manicure techniques, such as gradient polish. This one uses various neutrals, and the precise accent lines make it feel especially illustrated. If you don't want to stress about perfectly mimicking shadows and highlights, head to a nail tech who can make your dreams come true.

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Louboutin Vibes

This manicure subtly evolves the pop art aesthetic by using the black outline to create an exaggerated, faux stiletto shape. Paired with the red base color, the result makes us think about perhaps the world's most recognizable designer shoes.

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Candy Shop

Fuchsia, hot pink, pale pink, and lavender nails with pop art accents


Visions of this pink and purple gradient are dancing in our heads, as the pastels and bold hues are too sweet to resist. You might want to save this one for a rainy day, as the cheerful palette and unapologetic whimsy are sure to give you a burst of joy exactly when you need it.

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Glitter Pop Art

Blue glitter manicure with pop art outline accents and minimalist gold rings


Add some sparkle to your comic book aesthetic by choosing a glitter polish as your base. The blue shade here has celestial vibes reminiscent of a futuristic or space-themed setting.

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Pop Art French

Tried every French manicure variation under the sun and looking for new inspiration? Adding pop art accents to your classic French may be just the inspo you need. We love how Liza Koshy's nails work in tandem with her black-and-white color block outfit for an overall playful aesthetic.

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Just Peachy

Peachy nude manicure with pop art detailing and two French tip accent nails


You can also try taking your pop art nails in a peach-toned direction and using the French tips as accents. The contrast between the muted shade and bold outline demands attention in the best way.

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