Minimalist Art Deco Nails Are Taking Over Instagram For Spring

Meet your new manicure.

by Natasha Marsh
Originally Published: 
abstract nail art

With warmer temperatures on the horizon it’s time to transition from moody winter nail art to colorful and playful designs for spring. On Instagram you might have noticed a new trend for manicures, which are embracing squiggly swipes, chaotic dots, and chunky swoops. Best of all, some of the most stylish abstract nail art ideas are incredibly easy to DIY.

Compared to some of the nail art designs of previous seasons, perfection isn’t the goal here. As luck would have it, asymmetrical and “flawed” designs are key to the trend. “Abstract nails are open to interpretation and can be a soothing point of interest to someone’s personal style,” says nail artist Miss Pop. Without having to perfect crisp lines and shapes, abstract nails are one of the easiest manicures to try at home, making it equal parts accessible and cool. “There is no right or wrong way to do abstract art,” adds Sophy Phok, StyleSeat nail technician. “It’s trending because of its simplicity, euphoric lines, and the ability to mix and match colors.”

Regardless of what style you’re looking for, these designs aren’t afraid to play with color, pattern, or negative space. There are some tonal and earthy abstract nails for the minimalists out there, and for the maximalists, neon abstract nails are a definite mani statement. Now that spring is well on its way, go ahead and grab your favorite nail polish and get inspired by one of the nine expert-approved abstract nail looks below.

Cotton Candy

According to Miss Pop, this trend was inspired by, “pearls growing in oysters, sitting on plump pillows — becoming even larger.” To create this look, swipe on Regent’s Place polish and utilize a detail brush and a dotting tool. Queenie Nguyen, celebrity manicurist also suggests selecting highly pigmented nail polish colors when doing at-home because they will deliver a smoother end result.

Twisted Orange

Prefer earthier vibes? With cream, terracotta, and olive green shades, you’re sure to find a new favorite look with this abstract design. Be sure to use a shiny top coat like Mineral Fusion Gel Top Coat to seal your polish and nail art in for longer wear.

Negative Space

Black and white will always pair well with negative space. Here, black strokes move in various directions, with white swirls as an accent. “This idea is great for those that love minimal nail art and prefer a natural base nail color,” says Nguyen. To DIY: Apply a half-moon style line on each finger with a thin nail brush. Either leave the base bare or apply neutral or light-pink polish to make the design pop more.

Green Thumb

You can’t open up Instagram without seeing green nails everywhere. And this season, they shade is one of the most popular to play around with via abstract nail designs. Use a thin brush to paint your edge for this look, and then flood the remaining color over half your nail. Make sure to apply a top coat for a longer-lasting mani.

Colorful Army Print

According to Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of GLOSSLAB, this eye-catching design incorporates as many colors as you like in a variety of fun shapes and lines. Paint on a matte pink like Love for the main color and add swirls in complementary colors.

Art Deco Purple

This abstract nail design is a great way to step out of your typical mani design rut. Grab your favorite lavender and deep purple, plus a crisp white for contrast, then make a grid using a striping nail stencil and a thin nail art brush.

Evil Eyes

Evil eyes can be a fun and easy accent on your French manicure, especially in royal blue shade. To achieve: Use a dotting tool dipped in blue polish and a fine line brush to add swirly white lines on each nail.

Sand Storm

More of a minimalist but still want to test out the trend? Just because abstract art is traditionally quite bold, doesn’t mean you can’t join in. Opt for tonal colors like Osha Root and throw in a swirl or two.

Check Mate

Who says dark colors are only reserved for the winter? Channel your inner Cher Horowitz with this checkered manicure. To add a little oomph, Glass suggests painting on (or adding nail stickers) smiley faces, or swirls.

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