Pastels like baby pink and buttercream yellow are usually associated with springtime, but lately we’ve seen some fun pastel nail designs that make the hues work for any season. We’ll show you what we mean ahead.
22 Pastel Nail Designs That Don’t Scream Easter
1. Muted Rainbow
Let’s start things off with a multi-colored mani since it’s the easiest design to try yourself. We love the muted tones used here, especially the burnt orange that takes this palette from Easter to Summer Friday.
Get the look: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color in "Heather Hustle" and "White on Time" ($6); Olive & June Nail Polish in "Glow" and "KMC" ($9)
2. Bolder Rainbow
Similar idea, but a tad bolder and brighter thanks to the burst of poppy red in the center.
Get the look: Orly Nail Lacquer in "Artificial Orange" ($8); Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color in "Heather Hustle" ($9); Olive & June Nail Polish in "Bright & Focused" ($9); Essie Nail Polish in "Bikini So Teeny" ($9)
3. Diagonal Split
Look at that color coordination though. Between that and the crisp diagonal lines, this mani expertly straddles the line between sweet and edgy.
4. Y2k Mani
Anyone else getting strong Limited Too vibes from this? We definitely had a cropped tee with this exact color scheme and design on it in junior high.
5. Sorbet Slices
You can try this look using any combination of shades (though we love this artist’s sorbet-inspired palette).
Get the look: Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in "Sh00k" and "All Things Ooo" ($9); Zoya Nail Lacquer in "Abby" ($12)
6. Lavender Fields
For a modern twist on a French manicure, try capping off a dreamy lavender base with the slimmest white tips.
Get the look: OPI Xbox Nail Lacquer Collection in "Achievement Unlocked" and "Alpine Snow" ($11)
7. Creamsicle Mani
These orange and white tones are ideal for spring and summer.
Get the look: Sally Hansen Insta Dri x GLAAD Nail Color Collection in "All the Heels" and "Cloud Divine"
8. Ombré Blend
Speaking of spring and summer, you can always blend a bit of neon with your pastels to create an ombré effect that works for both seasons.
Get the Look: Olive & June "The Summer 2020 Set" ($72)
9. Slender French Tips
Like our lavender mani above but inverted. Trust: A neutral base works with every shade.
Get the look: Pacifica Plant Magic Polish in "Ocean Surf" ($7); OPI Nail Lacquer in "Put It In Neutral" ($11)
10. Double-french Tips
FYI: These are press ons, so if you’ve got a shaky hand or want to save some money on your next mani, they’re a solid option.
Get the look: Olive & June Double French Press-Ons ($10)
11. Little Gems
Save this look for when you want to rock a classic French, but with a touch of color.
Another timeless look to bookmark ahead of your next appointment: dainty, hand painted roses.
13. Jelly Squiggles
Jelly nails meet pastel squiggles to create the ultimate summer mani.
14. Cute Prints
ICYMI: Mismatched prints are hot right now thanks to the rise of dopamine dressing.
15. Groovy Waves
Here’s a tip for anyone with shorter nails or nailbeds out there: Vertical designs (especially in lighter shades) have an elongating effect.
Get the look: OPI Xbox Nail Lacquer Collection in "The Pass is Always Greener", "Can't Ctrl Me", "Suzi Is My Avatar" and "Racing For Pinks" ($11)
16. Pastel Fever Dream
Pastels, brights, painted on designs punctuated with sparkly gems: It’s all a bit chaotic and yet, it somehow works.
17. Pastel Marbling
Further proof that pastels are anything but predictable in the right hands. Who knew a sliver of gold foil could look so chic against a sherbet blend of shades?
18. Watercolor Pastels
Want a bit more focus on the pastels? Skip the gold leaf details and try this water-colored look instead.
Get the look: Deborah Lippmann Happier Than Ever 6 Piece Nail Polish Set ($36)
19. Alien Print
Now this is a clever use of negative space. It’s an especially eye-catching mani with the pastel shades, too, since the edgy design and sweet color are in opposition.
20. Endless Summer
This is quickly becoming the summer we wear a lot more pastels.
21. Blooming Mani
For the pastel purists out there, here’s a classic design featuring florals and bees.
22. Halloween Pastels
We never thought we’d put those two words together, but then again, we’ve never seen someone use pastel shades in a Halloween-themed manicure before. And we love it. It’s festive without being too in your face.