The 45 Best 4th of July Nail Designs That Are Classy (and Not at All Tacky)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.)
7. Blue Squiggles
Straight lines are so 2021. 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.
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.
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.
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 ($7)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 assorted polish ($10)
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.
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.)
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.
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).
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 ($10)
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).
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 ($12)
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.
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)
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)
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 ($10)