(The Nail File)

If You Love White Nails, Try These Creative Designs For Your Next Manicure

From super subtle to over-the-top.

white nail ideas

When you think of classic manicures, a few probably come to mind. Of course there’s the cherry red nail, which always gives a sense of glamour. And while the French manicure takes on different forms from year to year (lengths, colors, and shapes forever evolving), it never really goes completely out of style. And when in doubt, you can never go wrong with nude nails for maximum versatility. But another kind of mani belongs on this list of timeless styles. White nails have the rare ability to feel angelic and bridal, but they can also feel edgy and punk. Or totally sleek and minimal. There are actually so many different ways to wear them, as you can see by checking out some seriously creative white nail ideas from your favorite brands and manicurists.

Selena Gomez, Cardi B, JLo, and Taylor Swift are just a few of the celebrities who have shown their love of white nails. So if a simple, solid white is one of your staples, you’re in good company. Still, you might be surprised at how much variety you can get while still highlighting the hue. For example, the shade makes a perfect blank canvas for bold designs like flowers, fruit, and even abstract patterns. It also makes nail art (think gems and decals) stand out more than any other color. Want something a bit more subtle? Try a tone-on-tone approach to your typical French mani. Or play with transparency and go for a pearlescent polish.

Convinced? Check out a few of TZR’s favorite white nail ideas before you head to your next appointment. Long or short, simple or standout — there’s something for every size, shape, and style.

Pattern Mixing

Pattern mixing is just as playful as an option for nail art as it is for fashion. To get this look, start with a white base and alternate designs on each finger. For example, one might have a simple grid pattern on one nail and, on the next, colorful shapes.

Tone On Tone

For a super subtle take on the classic French manicure, follow this idea from cool girl-approved nail polish brand Color Dept. and use an off-white shade as your base color and top it off with white micro French tips.

Diamonds & Pearls

This white manicure is monochromatic, but it plays with transparency and luminosity. Start with a sheer layer of your favorite glazed donut polish. Then add on teeny-tiny pearls for even more shimmer.

Ombré Tips

The French manicure, but make it ombré! This mani from the nail pros at Olive & June reverses the typical pink base/white tips and features a gradient effect instead of a harsh line.

Black & White Abstract

Want to keep your color palette minimal? Some delicate black line work adds an artsy edge to your manicure, without making it feel too busy.

Vanilla Girl

For the most subtle switch-up to your standard solid white mani, simply swap in a creamy vanilla shade instead. It still reads as minimal and chic, but with a bit more warmth.

Bedazzled French Tips

Rhinestone and glitter nails are surprisingly subtle on this tone-on-tone mani that has a sheer base with bright white half moons.

Tattoo Nails

Solid white nails make an ideal canvas for tattoo-inspired designs. And with so many stick-on details available online, this creative mani is actually so DIY-friendly.

Black & White Flowers

Flower nail designs are still a major trend (just ask Ariana Grande). Incorporate it into your white manicure with contrasting black to make it really pop.

Fishnet Nails

This delicate fishnet design combined with a pointed nail shape feels totally cool and edgy, but the shorter length makes them feel wearble for day-to-day.

Strawberries & Cream

Strawberry girl summer is back — and this sweet nail design shows you how to apply the trend to your manicure. The bright which backdrop makes the fruity pattern so fresh and vibrant.

Short & Speckled

Delicate speckles and squiggles made this Japanese-inspired manicure such a standout. If you’re going DYI, just create subtle design differences on each finger, and even mix in a solid black nail or two.

Polka Dotted

Decorate your natural nails with dainty white dots. You’ll keep the sense of minimalism, but the pattern makes your manicure feel so much more playful.