Valentine's Day might be known as a Hallmark holiday full of chocolate, greeting cards, and loads of love, but it's also the perfect excuse to pop into a nail salon. While you might love your go-to French manicure or plain pale pink nails, why not go outside the box with a little V-Day nail art? Whether you're a fan of minimalist masterpieces or bold pops of color, ahead, you'll discover 30 of our favorite Valentine's Day nail designs that are far from cheesy. Pinky-promise, you'll fall in love with at least one.
Red with an Edge
This dark twist on the classic French manicure is a great way to give a nod to V Day without going over-the-top.
If you couldn’t already tell, we’re suckers for well-placed negative space. Here, Paintbox rocks the look with their creation of pale pink outlined nails. And, hi, we’re in love.
Picture-Perfect Red Nails
Sometimes a Valentine’s-Day-ready manicure is as simple as painting your nails the perfect shade of red. And, we don’t know about you, but we think this hue might just be it. Try it yourself by purchasing Chanel’s LE VERNIS Velvet Nail Colour ($28) in Ultime. (Also, check the tiny gold accents by the cuticles—obsessed.)
Modern Red Mani
Looking for a new way to rock a red nail color—preferably without coating your entire nail bed in the bold hue? Look no further than this abstract blob nail art. With two slightly different shades of red, you can create high contrast and head-turning allure. For extra shine, add a dash of gold between the two blobs.
Thick French Tips
French tips are back in a big way, with modern updates popping up on every corner (and in every Instagram feed). Here, the tip is painted on so chunky that it features a negative space half-moon at the nail cuticle. Fortunately, this post-worthy nail look is easy to DIY. Use a circular stick to section off the nail's bottom crescent and paint from the sticker to the tip in the red polish of your choice. Easy-peasy and pretty as can be.
Shades of Red
Can’t choose a single color but don’t want to deal with nail art? With this multicolored mani you can create an eye-catching nail look by simply choosing five different shades of pink and red. How blessed are we that this nostalgic mismatched technique is now considered a must-wear trend?
Vampy Coffin Nails
If you’re feeling dark and moody this Valentine’s Day (hey, we don’t blame you), check out these sultry matte red nails. With a red fade from pinky to thumb, the seasonal nail look capitalizes on the ombré nail trend, too.
Negative Space Hearts
If you’re prepared to get hands-on with stencils, this negative space heart manicure is worth considering for your Valentine’s Day nail look. To create the look, stick a heart-shaped sticker in the center of your nail and paint over it. Once the polish is dry, remove the sticker and finish with a topcoat to lock in this swoon-worthy look.
Craving a simple red manicure that still has contrast? This matte-striped monochrome mani will do the trick. To create the look, paint on your choice of red polish and use a matte topcoat like Essie Matte About You Top Coat ($9) to create a shine-free stripe across the middle of each nail.