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.
Negative-Space Scalloped Nails
These pink and red negative space nails are nothing short of chic. With tiny arcs of color along each nail's outer edge, this manicure is both simple and artistic. To create the look, use an ultra-thin striping brush dipped into the polish color of your choice.
Red and Nude
These bold red nails create a fun illusion with squiggles of nude throughout. While there’s no rhyme or reason to the lines, the end look appears purposeful and put-together.
Red with an Edge
This dark twist on the classic French manicure is a great way to give a nod to Valentine's Day without going over the top.
Valentine’s Day is known for its romantic air. One way to pay homage to the day is with a sultry manicure that shows off the love and femininity of February 14. Case in point: These red silhouette nails.
If you couldn’t already tell, we’re suckers for well-placed negative space. Here, Paintbox embraces the look with this pale pink outlined creation, and 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—we're obsessed.)
These high-shine red nails have earned thousands of likes—and for a good reason. With seasonal nail art and trendy coffin-shaped tips, what’s not to love?
Metallic Pink Tips
Valentine’s Day nails don’t have to be layered in hearts to look like they’ve been struck by Cupid’s bow. Just look at these pink metallic French tips. We don’t know about you, but we think they look just lovely.
Modern Red Mani
Looking for a new way to rock a red nail color, 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.
Are these supposed to look like pills? Probably not. Do they? Yup. And let’s be real, they’re the perfect dose of Valentine’s Day cheer without being over the top.
Red Jelly Nails
Red for Valentine’s Day and jelly make this see-through manicure a must. Of course, creating the enviable nail look will require enlisting the help of a professional, so be sure to bookmark this image and bring it to your next nail appointment.
With slim French tips and half-hidden hugs and kisses, what’s not to love about these negative space nails? The black and white color palette gives them an undeniably chic allure that could work great well past Valentine’s Day.
If the idea of bright nails makes you cringe, rest assured you can hop on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon by opting for subtle red French tips.
These oversized XOXO nails add all the pink and red seasonal pops while getting edgy with black and white, too. If you’re going to try to DIY this look, be sure to have lots of uninterrupted time and a bottle of nail polish remover nearby for touch-ups.
Tiny Black Hearts
Looking for a minimalist way to show off your Valentine’s spirit? These nails will do the trick. Best of all, the teeny black hearts are super simple to DIY. Use a toothpick to paint a dot at the base of each nail and gently drag upwards to create the hearts' arcs.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to smother each other (and your nails) in kisses. Since it’s a more detailed nail look, your best bet will be to bring this image to your manicurist so that they can recreate the look.
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 color 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 sticker 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 red. How blessed are we that this nostalgic mismatched technique is now considered a must-wear trend?
What happens when you upgrade the evil eye nail art trend with a Valentine’s Day theme? You get a nail look that will leave everyone (yourself included) heart-eyed. See what we did there?
If you’re one to believe the bolder, the better, check out these multicolored heart nails. It's a lot to look at with black and white hearts and pink and red backgrounds, but a statement nail look nonetheless.
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 top coat to lock in this swoon-worthy look.
Matte Ombré Nails
These almond-shaped nails make our hearts skip a beat. With a seamless fade from red to pink, they’re the perfect nail look for anyone who can’t quite make up their mind about which color to choose for their mani.
Stained Glass Nails
Ready to take your Valentine’s Day nail look to the next level? With graphic lines and pops of color, this stained glass window-inspired manicure will make you fall head over heels.
Lips, Hearts, and Eyes
This cartoon-meets-tattoo-inspired manicure makes us want to book a nail appointment ASAP. With hints of red, pink, and nude, not to mention the hearts and lips, the detailed nail art is perfect for Valentine's Day. Plus, who doesn't love a touch of glitter?
Pink Arrow Nails
In case you forgot, arrows are a big part of Valentine's Day. To shoot your digits with a touch of love, try this metallic pale pink masterpiece. With gold glitter arrows and negative space accents, they're minimalist and majestic all at once.
These bright red nails manage to make a major statement without even covering each nail entirely in color. To create the ultra-crisp lines, use striping tape. If you're a crafter or serial planner, you can even use washi tape to create a stencil to paint against.
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's Matte About You Top Coat ($9) to create a shine-free stripe across the middle of each nail.
Plenty of Hearts
Let it be clear that there's nothing wrong with hearts for Valentine's Day (or ever). If you want to keep it classic with a heart-covered design, check out this modern monochrome nail idea. With two shades of pink, the nails feature contrast without adding more colors into the mix.
10 Red Roses
We're all about buying ourselves flowers whenever we please. If you feel the same, you'll love these realistic hand-painted floral nails. The roses make them Valentine's Day-ready, while the baby blue background offers a modern take on what's appropriate for Cupid's holiday.