8 Pretty, Minimalist Nail Art Ideas

That won't make you feel 17

You’re mostly a ballet-pink type of gal. (OK, sometimes red.) But you recently saw your cool colleague rocking a subtle gilded tip--or your best friend wearing a marbled masterpiece--and it’s got you wondering if you, too, could pull off some art of your own. Here are eight ideas that are just edgy enough to bring you out of your nail rut, without making you feel like you’ve gone too far.

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bright tips list
Glamsquad for Essie

French mani? Been there, done that. French mani in an unexpected color combo? Kinda badass.

Better yet, why not try splitting the tip?

Or color block the top altogether since you’re feeling bold now.

line list
Miss Pop for Orly

Short nails? Add a simple line along one side to subtly elongate them.

frame list
Gina Edwards for Morgan Taylor

Or frame the entire nail with two contrasting colors.

cutout nail
Yvonne TNT for ZOYA Nails

Like a tastefully cutout dress, keep a peekaboo design in your repertoire for any upcoming fancy events. (But, ya know, maybe seek a professional for application.)

But for simply sipping cocktails by the pool, it never hurts to try something a bit more artsy and abstract.

nail wraps list
Tracy Reese for Jamberry

Shaky hands? There’s always the option of nail wraps, like the ones Jamberry makes. They come in hundreds of patterns, so you’re sure to find a demure design to test the waters. 

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...