(The Nail File)

Butterfly Manicures Are The Dreamiest Spring Nail Trend

A fairy tale for your fingertips.

butterfly nail art

In the fast-paced world of beauty trends, manicure looks come and go at lightning speed. Some are short-lived, existing just for a season, while others (read: latte nails) stick around longer. However, when it comes to elaborate designs, only a few motifs survive the test of time. Enter butterfly nail art. Whether you add it to the latest it-look or a timeless, classic style, it now transcends seasons. Even more enticing are the many options that have taken social media by storm. From intricate decals to rhinestones and bold colors, the sky is truly the limit.

You may recall the explosion of butterfly-themed beauty moments in pop culture during the 2000s, but this time around, there’s a lot more versatility — think delicate and femme with a bit of edge. Sure, a moody manicure is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this trend, but there is indeed a wide range of looks inspired by the alluring and deep hues of butterfly wings to give off a distinctly dark vibe. If that’s not your cup of tea, there are still plenty of pastel-colored, glitter-topped, and bejeweled styles to choose from. Just fix your gaze on the list below, which features stickers, hand-painted designs, and even a gold foil masterpiece.

Ahead, the best butterfly nail art ideas Instagram has to offer.

Scattered Butterflies

Looking for a spring-friendly way to update your French manicure? Consider adding a few floating butterflies. Instead of completely changing the design, it uses delicate hand-painted nail art to enhance it. The key to nailing the look is to stick with the traditional colorway and a fun nail shape to give it a fresh yet classic look.

Dark Romance

This set uses dark nail polishes to showcase the diverse hues of butterfly wings. The two painted fingernails feature shades of blue, and have a stunning stained glass appearance. However, it’s the black nails on either side that give the manicure a moody feel. If you decide to give this look a try, don’t forget to apply a generous layer of top coat for the glossy finish.

Gold Foil

Like any good manicure trend, butterfly nails don’t require you to be a professional or even seek one out. There are plenty of sticker designs that can give you an artistic look and only require a few simple steps. Take a cue from this set that uses gold foil appliqué. The gilded color pops against the milky base, giving an opulent appearance.

Shimmery Tips

There’s beauty to be found in even the simplest designs. For this look, the creator opted for a sheer wash of shimmering polish for a minimalist approach — but the middle two fingernails sport airy butterflies and icy blue rhinestones. The result is a manicure that’s as effortless as it is stunning.

Monarch Butterfly Print

Many of the manicures on this list feature the insects mid-flight, but you don’t have to sport an actual butterfly to get in on the trend. This set takes inspiration from the distinctive pattern of the monarch’s wings. The signature orange and black colors contrast so beautifully with the white dots for a unique style.

Delicate Charms

Gemstones and charms transform these nails into a sculptural, 3D piece of art. What makes them unique is the blend of icons that ranges from butterflies to cherries and pearls. Even the rose quartz color adds to the hyper-femme feel. It’s so on par with the coquette trend that it could make a nice alternative to the popular style.

Angled French Manicure

Angled French manicures have become one of the chicest twists on the classic. If you’ve already hopped on the trend, consider incorporating some butterflies to further shake things up. By using a simple color palette, you can keep the look cohesive. This will allow the artwork to take center stage and shine.

Ombré Pastels

Pastel polish colors are a no-brainer for spring, and this ombré butterfly design is elite. Each nail sports a different soft shade and matching metallic stickers. The combination is whimsical and enchanting — if you want to add a touch more glamour, line the base of the fingernail with rhinestones, as seen above.

Black Butterfly

There’s a lot to love about this dark set. The translucent black polish gives a see-through effect that mimics gossamer-light butterfly wings. Then there are the pearls, placed delicately on the fingernails to create a textural design.

Dreamy Clouds

You may not find a more perfect nail art combination than this one. The airbrushed clouds float across a pinky base, providing a dreamy backdrop for the butterflies — but that’s not all. Each butterfly features a set of golden glitter wings that add to the charming design.