The 50 Best 4th of July Nail Designs That Are Classy (and Not at All Tacky)

Bring on the festive mani

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4th of july nails

While there are plenty of Fourth of July-inspired cocktails, food and crafts to try, a festive mani is the cherry on top for any holiday celebration. Whether you prefer a minimalist style (i.e., shapes, lines or a French mani) or want to get creative with a starry print or a red, white and blue color palette, here are 45 patriotic designs to try this Independence Day.

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1. Bedazzled Stars

Upgrade your basic mani with a fun 3D design. First, choose a base coat before dropping a small dot of nail glue onto the area you want to place the star. Use tweezers to lay the it on top of the glue and press down for a few minutes. If you prefer gel, just place the gem, swipe on a clear gel and put your nails into your UV gel lamp to secure the design.

Get the design: Confetti stars ($10); Nail glue ($13); Base Coat & Top Coat ($24)

2. Negative Space

Who says you have to paint your whole nail? Leave room for a clear base and incorporate lines or shapes for a minimalist yet chic look with one (or more!) colorful picks.

Get the design: OPI red polish ($11)

3. Tonal Wabi Sabi

Trick the ombré effect by wearing different shades of the same color on each nail from light to dark. For example, start with light rosy red on your pinky and end with a nice burgundy shade on the thumb.

Get the design: Nails Inc ($10; $7); Deborah Lippman ($20); Chanel ($30)

4. Modern French

Switch up this classic look by layering red, white and blue lines together. Tip: Use striping tape for crisp lines and even spacing between each shade.

Get the design: Sally Hansen white polish ($7); OPI blue polish ($11); Nail art tool kit ($12); Dior red polish ($30; $26)

5. Floral Print

Floral nail art isn't just for spring. Put a Fourth of July twist on them by painting them in red and blue polish. All you need is a dotting tool to create five small circles and voilá, blossoms.

Get the design: Olive & June assorted polish ($9)

6. Nude With Stars

Stars are a go-to pattern for this festive holiday, but they don’t have to feel run-of-the-mill. After applying a nude coat of polish or two, use a thin brush to draw stars in red, then again in blue. (Tip: To create the stars, make tiny triangles and connect them together. Here’s a tutorial.)

Get the design: Sally Hansen red polish ($5); Nail art liner brush ($10; $7); Terra blue polish ($13); Deborah Lippmann nude polish ($20)

7. Blue Squiggles

Straight lines are so 2022. Use a thin brush to create a ripple effect, and don’t worry about making it look “nice” as you create uneven dips and curves across your nail beds. The effect should be playful, not perfect.

Get the design: Nail art liner brush ($9); Maychao blue polish ($10; $8)

8. Bold Abstract

Similar to the above, this one uses blue as the base. Let your imagination run wild while making strokes, lines or whatever shape your heart desires.

Get the design: Nails Inc white polish ($8); Nails Inc blue polish ($15)

9. Glittery Twinkle

Watch your nails sparkle...literally. Grab your favorite glitter polish and go to work on creating diamond-shaped patterns in varying sizes on bare nails, then finish with a clear top coat for extra shine.

Get the design: Glitter set ($9; $7); Sally Hansen top coat ($13)

10. Summer Treats

Channel everyone’s favorite summer treat for your next mani by painting on a nude base and topping it off with red and blue sprinkles. Just reach for stripping tape and show off your sweet tooth with the final result.

Get the design: Sally Hansen nude polish ($7); Nail art liner brushes ($8; $5)

11. Polka Dots

What better way to wear your cute polka dot summer dress than with a mani to match? A nail dotting tool, a toothpick or a bobby pin will do the trick. Dip the tool into your nail polish and start dotting it onto your nails.

Get the design: Nail pro tool kit ($8); Sundays blue polish ($18); Sundays red polish ($18)

12. Blue Glitter

Fireworks aren’t the only thing shimmering on the 4th. Find a glittery polish in a single shade that keeps your nails shining bright all day.

Get the design: Essie glitter polish ($14)

13. Red And Blue Stripes

Some good ‘ole nail tape or a very precise brush will help create clean, straight lines.

Get the design: Striping tape ($5); Paintbox blue polish ($22)

14. Colorful Confetti

Focus on the tip of the nail and use a dotting tool to make red, white and blue circles for a playful take on 4th of July confetti.

Get the design: Dotting tool ($6); Jinsoon red polish ($18); Jinsoon blue polish ($18); Jinsoon white polish ($18)

15. Geometric Shapes

Whether it's squares, triangles or a new shape entirely, nail tape can guide you as you turn your nails into a masterpiece. Watch the tutorial here.

Get the design: Nail art templates ($10; $6); Jinsoon blue polish ($18); Jinsoon coral polish ($18); Jinsoon white polish ($18)

16. Star Stickers

If the thought of drawing freaks you out and jewels aren’t really your thing, stickers are a great alternative to get creative. Just peel the sticker off, apply it onto your nail and set with a topcoat. Have fun with the placement—sometimes it’s more interesting if every nail doesn’t match.

Get the design: Stickers ($8); Olive & June white polish ($9)

17. Outline Accents

Stay minimalistic and focus on the outer edges of your nails only, providing a splash color with an extra thin brush. You can even accentuate the borders with tiny “twinkling” white dots that will make people do a double-take.

Get the design: Essie blue polish ($7); Nail art polish set ($25)

18. Captain America

Are you a big Marvel fan? Try a Cap-inspired look with the superhero's go-to shades. Watch the tutorial to see exactly how it's done.

Get the design: Urban Outfitters blue polish ($5); Essie white polish ($10); Essie red polish ($10)

19. Patriotic Banners

Raise your flag nails up in the air with this adorable banner art. First, start with a bright blue base coat before using small circle strokes to paint on clouds. Once you're satisfied with your summer sky, draw a curved line and three small triangles. Finally, finish off with any designs inside the small flags.

Get the design: Essie white polish ($10); OPI bright blue polish ($11); Beetles nail art polish set ($60; $40)

20. Patterned Tips

Goodbye simple French mani. Step outside of the box and play with patterns to create an artistic flag effect. We especially love the way this looks on round or almond-shaped nails, which you can create yourself using a file.

Get the design: Nail art stripping tools ($10; $5)

21. Color Block Hearts

Hey, they’re not just for Valentine’s Day. Use a thin brush to outline the shape, then color it in with more polish. If you’re not comfortable with freehand, consider using paper, tape or even a bandaid to keep your lines clean. Watch the tutorial for more tips on this design.

Get the design: Nail art stencils ($6); Stripping brush ($10; $8)

22. Statement Stars

It’s time to give one of your nails the spotlight. Whether it's the ring finger, pinkie or thumb, add a bold pattern so it stands out on its own.

Get the design: Sally Hansen blue polish ($10); OPI red polish ($11); OPI white polish ($11)

23. Vertical Stripes

Upgrade the traditional flag design by painting on vertical lines in each patriotic color. Start by painting your entire nail red, then add two white stripes. Use a deep blue polish to create an even thinner line to the right of each white stripe. As always, finish with a clear top coat so your hard work lasts.

Get the design: Sally Hansen nail art brush kit ($8)

24. White Grid

Doesn’t this remind you of a summer picnic, only more subtle? Draw vertical and horizontal lines over a clear base coat for a simplistic but stunning look. The key: Make sure your lines are evenly spaced.

Get the design: Stripping brush ($10; $8); Paintbox white polish ($22)

25. Tie-dye

Tie-dye will never go out of style, so why not continue the trend on your nails? Add a few drops of red, white and blue polish into a bowl of cool water. Then, grab a toothpick and swirl the polishes together before dipping your nail into the bowl and slowly lifting it out to transfer the pattern onto your nail. Use remover and a brush or Q-tip to clean up the edges to finish. If you have the patience for it, do all ten fingers! If not, one accent nail on each hand is just as good.

Get the design: Manicure sticks ($5); Deborah Lippmann assorted polish ($20)

26. Pop Art Popsicle

Have a sweet tooth? Paint your fave summer treat on one nail (or all of them), making sure the lines are clean and the polka dots are uniform to really nail the pop art style. (Psst. Here’s how to draw the cutest popsicle.)

Get the design: Nail art tools ($10); Zoya assorted polish ($12)

27. Mix And Match

Another take on the updated French mani, this design breaks even more rules by making every nail different.

Get the design: Paintbox blue polish ($10); Paintbox white polish ($10); Paintbox red polish ($10)

28. Tri-color Florals

Let summer flowers bloom...right onto your nails. Stickers, stamps or a drawing can be done to showcase the season’s florals, and creating them in red, white and blue keeps them on theme for the holiday. Check out this tutorial to design your very own flower.

Get the design: Mineral Fusion red polish ($9; $5); Mineral Fusion blue polish ($9; $5); Nail stamp plates ($30; $18)

29. Vivid Zigzags

Be bold and let your nails pop with bright blue and fiery red designs in a comic-like take on fireworks.

Get the design: Orly blue polish ($11); OPI red polish ($14)

30. Variety Mix

Do you like polka dots, negative space or all of the above? Don't limit your palette—go ahead and combine different designs together. You might be surprised how cool it turns out.

Get the design: Dotting tool ($6); Sally Hansen assorted polish ($13)

31. Paint Drips

Make a splash with a dripping effect. All you'll need is your polish, a dotting tool and a top coat to complete the look. Need some guidance? Just check out this quick tutorial.

Get the design: Nail art tool kit ($8; $6); Ella + Mila blue polish ($11); Ella + Mila red polish ($11)

32. Fireworks Spectacular

FYI, this shimmering nail art is giving us major Macy's 4th of July Fireworks vibes. While the blue polish shines bright, it's the silver shade that makes the look pop. You can try your hand at making the lines using a brush (or reach for some nail tape to get the job done).

Get the design: Nail tape ($6); Nails Inc. blue polish ($15)

33. Shiny Jewels

Let's face it: Life is more fun with a bit of bedazzling. Whether you decorate all your nails or make a statement on your ring finger, the possibilities are endless. And when the light hits just right, your nails will be on full display.

Get the design: Jewels ($14; $8)

34. Cherry Bomb

We love a good fruit salad at the annual 4th party, so show your appreciation for your go-to fruit on your mani. You can apply some fun stickers or attempt creating your own with a handy nail art kit.

Get the design: Stickers ($4); Nail art kit ($12)

35. Lines On Lines On Lines

Whether they're vertical, horizontal or diagonal, pick up a red and blue color and let the brush move across your nails in any direction. The pattern just might remind you of a sunny day at the park (with a nice picnic to match).

Get the design: Paintbox red polish ($22); Paintbox blue polish ($22)

36. Outline Masterpiece

Negative space meets pop art with this outlined design. Use a thin brush to paint the color around the perimeter of your nail for a simple, yet striking style.

Get the look: Nail art brushes ($5); Sundays white polish ($18)

37. Translucent Blue

If you're into the clear acrylic trend, you'll appreciate this upgrade to the popular look. To recreate it, simply dilute your favorite blue polish with a few drops of clear top coat before applying it to your nails.

Get the design: Orly blue polish ($11)

38. Reversed French

We love a good French, but how about trying it backwards by placing the design at your cuticle area instead of your tips? Apply a blue base coat before grabbing a ruby red polish and painting a contrasting line at the base of your nails. Two words: Mind. Blown.

Get the design: Paintbox assorted polish ($22)

39. Matte Nails

Yup, matte nails are making a comeback. Goodbye shiny gel manis, you're taking the backseat for now. Try the look in red, white or blue matte polish or alternate all three shades on different nails.

Get the design: Zoya red polish ($10)

40. Smiley Face

We can't help but smile at this fun look. You can go the sticker route or freehand as many smiley faces you see fit. Grab a brush and go to town on your 4th of July creation.

Get the design: Tenoverten red polish ($14); Sundays blue polish ($18)

41. Magnetic Magic

Before you head to any 4th of July soirées, deck out your nails in this metallic design. Thankfully, the polish and magnet duo does all the work for you to get that shimmery ripple effect.

Get the design: Nails Inc blue polish ($10)

42. Red, White & Blue Ombré

FYI, ombré will always be in style. Grab your colors, paint and blend the hues together. Need some help? Here's a handy tutorial to get you started.

Get the design: Sundays red polish ($18); Sundays blue polish ($18); Sundays white polish ($18)

43. Fruit Salad

OK, the cherries on their own would be cute, but adding the entire summer fruit selection makes your mani even more festive. These fruity stickers come with watermelons, strawberries and more.

Get the design: Fruit Slices Stickers ($9)

44. Fiery Flames

We predict the 4th will be a hot affair, so why not rock some bright red flames to celebrate the occasion? Here's a a tutorial to guide you through the steps.

Get the design: Zoya red polish ($16)

45. Checkered Print

Picnic basket? Check. The best seat for fireworks? Check. A checkered mani that's on theme? Check.

Get the design: Orly blue polish ($11)

46. Watermelon Sugar

Did you know the peak season for watermelon is July? Well, why not give the most delicious fruit the spotlight for the upcoming holiday. Use a striping brush to recreate a few watermelons on the tips of your nails and don't forget to use a vibrant red polish to make the manicure really pop for the summer.

Get the design: Chanel red polish ($32)

47. Aura Nails

While aura nails came on the scene in 2021, they've recently resurged this season by mixing all of the 4th of July's staple shades. To join the trend, start by adding a drop of polish onto a sponge and pressing it down gently for the faded finish.

Get the design: Le Mini Macaron red polish ($13); Sponge ombré tools ($9)

48. Stylish Short Mani

This short manicure is the minimal style that's great for the 4th and requires two easy steps to follow at home. All you'll need is some nail tape to apply it right in the middle of your nail before grabbing a striping brush and applying a thin line of polish across the tip.

Get the design: Nail tape ($10; $7)

49. Patriotic Press-Ons

Here's your sign to invest in some press-on nails this summer. Once you pop on these coffin nails, following this tutorial for a step-by-step guide to turn your new lengthy nails into a chic patriotic manicure.

Get the design: Apres Nail Gel-X Coffin Tips ($24)

50. Lipstick Nails

The nail polish is key, but how about switching up your nail game in a new shape? These lipstick nails give an edge to a traditional manicure. Grab some press-ons and clip them to customize your mani or use a nail filer on your natural nail to mimic the design.

Get the design: Beetles gel nail kit ($15; $12)

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...