These Celeb-Approved White Nail Ideas Are Anything But Simple

Something for everyone.

Kerry Washington white nails

The same way that crisp white dresses and strappy sandals become ubiquitous post-Memorial Day, so does the look’s manicure equivalent. The perfect neutral shade for when nude feels too pared-down, even celebrities know white nails are the ultimate match-anything choice for summer — and well beyond, really. With so many ways to dress up, enhance, tweak, and remix the seemingly simple shade, a stark, milky manicure can be its own statement piece or the ultimate canvas for an entirely unique creation.

Some stars like Sabrina Carpenter, Jennifer Aniston, or Kylie Jenner like to let the classic color stand on its own, a seamless addition to their red carpet and on-stage looks that don’t detract too much from their ensembles while still bringing a pop of brightness. For A-listers including Jennifer Lopez and Kerry Washington, though, white manicures are simply a radiant background for layering on intricate designs — stick-on monograms, 3D nail charms, and painstakingly hand-painted nail art alike. The best part about beautifully blanc manis, though? While they’re always a hit for summer, they’re far from a seasonal exclusive. Beach-perfect through warm weather, they suddenly turn into a snowy white when things start to cool off.

Just below, gather inspiration for your next trip to the salon with this selection of celebrity-favorite white nail ideas.

Jennifer Lopez


Of course Lopez can’t resist glamming a simple white manicure up with bespoke touches — she’s J.Lo after all. Celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik transformed her almond-shaped nails into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece by adding gold monogram stickers, piercing-like hoops, and all sorts of 3D studs for texture.


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Perfectly coordinated with her gleaming gold rings, Rihanna remixed a classic French manicure by opting for metallic ends against pure white beds. Both colors helps the other pop, a precursor to the colored tips trend that would take over shortly after Rih debuted this look.

Sabrina Carpenter

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On the simpler end of the spectrum, Carpenter gently enhanced her own milky white manicure with a hint of extra shimmer. It creates a gently pearlescent effect which is only amplified when the summer sun light hits each nail.

Kerry Washington


In such a sophisticated take on nail art, Washington coordinated her black and white floral nails with her slinky, sultry gown. By concentrating the glossy design on just a few nails, the art really stands out.


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The beauty of white nails is just how well it makes other colors pop, making it an ideal backdrop for every other shade imaginable. Zendaya capitalized on this effect by layering a blue striped design over her own white nails, an abstract take on a timeless French manicure.

Taylor Swift

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Swift’s been wearing white nails almost exclusively all year, a nod to the color palette she associates with her latest album. She included the aesthetic Easter egg in her Super Bowl outfit, applying the bright white polish to her short, natural nails.

Tracee Ellis Ross


Look closely — what do you notice about Ross’ white nails? The length and elegant, elongated shape might draw the eye first, but at second glance, you’ll see that her manicure is speckled with a 3D raindrop effect.

Cardi B


The queen of hidden details, Cardi B actually matched her white manicure to her shoes, but not in the way you’d think. The underside of each long, sharp nail is shellacked in a true blood red — it’s a Louboutin manicure, and it’s brilliant.

Jennifer Aniston

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Aniston generally prefers to stick with low-key nail colors, but that doesn’t mean she can’t play around with trends. For this red carpet moment, she went for a “milk bath” manicure, which incorporates filmy shades of white, nude, and pink for a subtle, hand-enhancing glow.

Kylie Jenner

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Square-shaped nails are back in a big way, and Jenner’s pure white manicure really helps show off the trending style. In a cool move, they’re a tonal contrast to her cream-colored suit, which makes her polish look even brighter.